- At Historical Belles and Beaus, Deborah Swift (whose debut novel The Lady's Slipper I'll be reviewing next month) provides an excellent writeup of the presentations she attended. It's interesting to read about the cross-cultural differences in historical fiction, the diversity within the genre, and authors' and readers' responses to both. Added later: Part 2 of Deborah Swift's writeup.
- On his blog, Doug Jackson, one of the speakers, talks about transitioning from a writer to an entertainer in the course of promoting his work.
- Dianne Ascroft reports on her experience meeting other writers at the event.
- Novelist Elizabeth Hawksley talks about meeting Ann Turnbull at the conference. Both Elizabeth and Ann are longtime reviewers of children's novels for the HNS.
- The Pages Ago Historical Readers' Day took place the day before the HNS event, and Jane Mathieson provides a nice overview at the Time-to-Read site.
The Romantic Armchair Traveller is a wonderful new blog I found recently, thanks to a comment Danielle left on my site. Pleasing from both aesthetic and literary standpoints, it takes readers on armchair journeys to lands near and distant. Danielle focuses on romance novels and other romantic fiction with a strong sense of place, and her thoughtful reviews, full of incisive commentary, are interspersed with photos of the setting in question.
The murmurings in literary circles are growing louder every day, thanks to an Oxford academic's revelation that Jane Austen had some editorial help with her spelling and grammar, and she also revised her own manuscripts. The BBC seems to have blown things out of proportion with the headline "Jane Austen's Style May Not Be Hers." I prefer Catherine Delors's take on the issue: Breaking News: Jane Austen Was Human! Most novelists today use word processing software, so the visual evidence of their editorial changes will be lost to posterity, but Austen's original manuscripts show all of her cross-outs and rewrites.
I spent the weekend reading an ARC of Kate Morton's The Distant Hours and finished it late last night, taking breaks every few chapters to draw out the experience a little longer. I'll save my writeup to post when it's out around November 9th, but I'll note here that I loved it and envy those who'll be reading it for the first time. (How's that for a recommendation?)