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Search tags: Empress-Theodora
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review 2016-06-28 06:58
Podcast #6 is up!
Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint - David Potter

After posting about my fifth podcast, I quickly forgot about posting my follow-up with a link to my sixth podcast, which is an interview with David Potter about his biography of the 6th century Byzantine empress Theodora. Enjoy!

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text 2015-07-02 15:32
Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore - Stella Duffy

The style is not one I enjoy. Too much telling.  Honestly, if the death of her youngest sister hits Theodora that hard, some effort should have gone into actually showing the relationship.  When a non-character dies, it lacks impact.

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review 2015-06-18 15:54
Good Read
Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint - David Potter

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

 

                I first heard of Theodora when I was trying to find out information about Eastern Empresses after watching a mini-series about Charlemagne.  She wasn’t the Empress I was looking for, but she sure sounded interesting.  The problem with Theodora is that she is so far in the past that finding accurate sources about her is difficult.  The most famous is The Secret History by Procopius, but to say the author has issues with women would be accurate.

 

                So it is to David Potter’s credit that he is able to draw an interesting picture and to make Theodora alive as any good biography of a modern subject.   Potter does draw upon Procopius but he is careful in his use of The Secret History and fully discusses its use as a source before moving into his biography.

 

                It would be fair to say that one can only guess at Theodora’s motives for doing some of what she did, such as her shelter for other women actresses or prostitutes, but Potter does a good job of making his case by showcasing what life was like at the time.  In many ways, this ability to paint a time and place with words and accurate historical detail, without making the book dry as old paper.  Additionally, Potter is able to challenge Procopius’ portrait of Theodora without making the Empress into boring woman, unlike a biography of Lucrezia Borgia, which disproved the poisoning stories, but made Borgia into such a boring figure that I wished she had murdered someone.  Potter shows that Theodora was not the Empress slut that Procopius suggests/claims, but also makes her more fascinating because of what she actually did.

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text 2015-06-13 14:44
At Netgalley
Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint - David Potter

It's up as a Read Now.  Publisher is OUP.

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text 2014-07-03 09:12
Currently reading
The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora - Stephanie Thornton

"You are a unique woman, Theodora."

"I'll take that as a compliment."

 

Arrrrrgh! Come on Thornton, after all your efforts making the historical setting feel so real, you have to ruin it with this bit of trite nonsense? I'd expect to see this in a flimsy YA romance, not with you!

 

>_<

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