Friday, August 15, 2008

A visual preview of the winter season, part 2

Here's a preview of some more historical novels scheduled to come out in winter and spring; same disclaimers apply as last time. For corrections, leave a comment or send me an email, and I'll update the page. I'm still working on the corresponding listing for the HNS forthcoming books page, which will be more comprehensive. In the meanwhile, enjoy!

Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar returns in a third installment of the Mistress of the Art of Death series. This time she's at Glastonbury Abbey, investigating whether bones found there in 1176 are really those of Arthur and Guinevere. Putnam, February.

Grace Plantagenet, illegitimate daughter of Edward IV, has the ideal position at court to listen and learn about Perkin Warbeck, the man claiming to be her half-brother. Grace is a shadowy historical character, mentioned in passing as being present at Elizabeth Wydville's funeral. Ah, now we know where the title comes from! Touchstone, March.

From an expert on Japanese culture (Lebra was the first woman to receive a PhD in Japanese history in the US), a new novel about a 19th century Japanese woman who builds the largest sake empire in the country during an era when women were forbidden to do business. Avon A, February.

Higgs returns to her trademark Scottish settings with a retelling of the Old Testament story of Ruth, set against the backdrop of 1745 Edinburgh. Her novel Thorn in My Heart, the first novel in her earlier Scottish trilogy, retells the Leah-Jacob-Rachel triangle in the Scottish lowlands of the 1780s, and is one of my all-time favorites. WaterBrook, March.

You know the Jane Austen craze has gotten serious when a novelist as distinguished as McCullough joins the party. This P&P sequel promises something different from the usual Regency romance theme: "a look at the seamy underside of British life in the early 19th century" and a chance to see what may have happened to Elizabeth Bennet's plain and nerdy sister, Mary. Simon & Schuster, December.

A literary thriller about the secret double life of Charles Dickens, which may reveal the truth behind his unfinished final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, as recounted by his friend, writer Wilkie Collins. (Thanks to John for mentioning this novel in the comments last time.) Little Brown, February.

A historical thriller detailing the adventures of a penniless orphan in Renaissance Venice. Read the article from Forbes Online detailing how Newmark garnered online buzz for her self-published book, which was later sold to Simon & Schuster in a major deal. The previous title was Bones of the Dead, and some hopeful person is selling the original IUniverse edition for $199.00 on Amazon, if you really want to read it now. Atria, December.

"A poignant family saga set against the backdrop of the Great Irish Starvation," tracing the Irish-American experience from Galway Bay in Ireland to the frontier town of Chicago, written by a descendant of survivors of the famine. From Grand Central, February.

A novel illustrating the birth of Islam, written by a Hollywood screenwriter, as seen from the viewpoint of the Prophet's young wife, Aisha. I reported this deal, along with the one for Sherry Jones's A'isha, Beloved of Muhammad (later retitled), to little fanfare back in September 2007. Per the official word received via Galleycat, Simon & Schuster has "no intention to change [its] publishing plans" following the Jewel of Medina controversy. That's as it should be, imnsho. From Atria/S&S, April.

A mix of family saga, satire, and magical realism spanning five generations of Chinese women, beginning in the 1950s, described as "one of the foremost works of Chinese literature of the 20th century." Atria International, February.

A biographical novel of Jane Popyncourt, a member of the royal court of Henry VIII and mistress to the Duc de Longueville. I know I've said I'm tired of the Tudors, but I'll read this one, as it focuses on historical figures who are unfamiliar to me - and I've enjoyed her other novels. The author is Kathy Lynn Emerson writing under a pseudonym, of sorts. Pocket, February.

A sweeping story of Jamaican slavery in the tradition of Beloved, says the publisher, focusing on a young slave woman on a sugar plantation at the turn of the 19th century who may either be the key or the weak link in other women's plans for a slave revolt. Riverhead, February.

A very different retelling of the Tristan and Isolde legend, with Isolde as daughter of Mordred and granddaughter of Morgan le Fay. First in a new Arthurian fantasy trilogy. Touchstone, May.


  1. These look interesting! (And it's good to see Simon & Schuster has more guts than Random House.)

  2. Some interesting books, including the one about Dickens and Edwin Drood. I agree with Susan about S&S. If only Random House had as much chutzpah.

  3. Some very interesting looking books there! Thanks for the list!

  4. There goes my new book budget! :) Thanks for the lists.

  5. Tristan and Isolde...looks like a must buy!!! Along with several others. ugh....Thanks for helping me go broke.

  6. Anonymous10:26 PM

    I liked the look of the Dickens book too, and the McCullough.

  7. I think I'll buy Mother of Belivers not becuase I'm interested in the subject but to support S&S.

  8. why why did I look? Lord, they all look so appealing.. wow, the P&P by Colleen Mc.. thanks, your recommendations are spot on! (I loved "The River Wife")

  9. Thanks Lorie, I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed River Wife!