I read this last year for Halloween Bingo. My review is at http://loram.booklikes.com/post/1478462/letters-to-the-damned
I saw on Twitter that it's on .99 this weekend so sharing.
I enjoyed this story. Catheryn's real self comes through when she is faced with Selwyn's game. I thought she was a little haughty in the beginning but liked how her layers were exposed as the story went along. The growth of both kept me listening. I enjoying reading this author's stories.
I received a copy of this audiobook as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.
* Chiltern Hills and Thames Valley (to mystery lovers, aka "Midsomer County" -- though given that this is an area chock-full of quintessential(ly) English villages, it's no surprise that it also routinely provides locations for other series, such as Inspector Morse, The Vicar of Dibley, and of course, adaptations of Agatha Christie's mysteries ... Christie herself, after all, also spent her last years in this area, in a village just outside of Wallingford, where she is also buried.)
* Chawton: Jane Austen's home
* Gloucester and Malmesbury
* The Welsh Borderland: The Welsh Marches, Herefordshire, and Shropshire
* Bosworth and Leicester
* East Anglia: Norfolk, Ely, and Stour Valley (aka [John] Constable Country)
* Jane Austen:
- Pride and Prejudice -- an imitation leather-bound miniature copy of the book's first edition
- Lady Susan -- audio version performed, inter alia, by Harriet Walter
- Teenage Writings (including, inter alia, Cassandra, Love and Freindship, and The History of England)
* Terry Townsend: Jane Austen's Hampshire (gorgeously illustrated hardcover)
* Hugh Thomson:
- Illustrations to Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion
- Illustrations to Mansfield Park and Emma
* Pen Vogler: Tea with Jane Austen
... plus other Austen-related bits, such as a playing card set featuring Hugh Thomson's illustrations for Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Persuasion, two Austen first edition refrigerator magnets, two "Austen 200" designer pens, a Chawton wallpaper design notepad, and a set of Austen-related postcards.
* Margery Kempe: The Book of Margery Kempe
* Julian of Norwich: Revelations of Divine Love
(have read bits of pieces of both, but never yet the whole thing(s) -- something to be remedied soonish)
* Margaret Sanders (ed.):
- Letters of England's Queens
- Letters of England's Kings
("Queens" looks decidedly more interesting, but I figured since there were both volumes there ... Unfortunately, neither contains any Plantagenet correspondence, though; they both start with the Tudors.)
* Terry Jones: Medieval Lives
* Ian Mortimer:
- The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England 1327-1330
- 1415: Henry V's Year of Glory
* Chris Skidmore: Bosworth -- The Birth of the Tudors
* David Baldwin: Richard III
* Richard Hayman: The Tudor Reformation
* Glyn E. German: Welsh History
(The last two are decidedly more on the "outline" side, but they're useful as fast, basic references)
* Martin Gayford: Constable in Love -- the painter John Constable, that is.
* Andrea Wulf: The Invention of Nature (yeah, I know, late to the party, but anyway ... and at least I got the edition with the black cover!)
* Chris Beardshaw: 100 Plants that almost changed the World (as title and cover imply, nothing too serious, but a collection of interesting tidbits nevertheless)
* Niall Ferguson: The House of Rothschild -- The World's Banker, 1849-1999
* Michael Jecks, Knights Templar:
- The Leper's Return
- The Boy-Bishop's Glovemaker
- The Devil's Acolyte
- The Chapel of Bones
- The Butcher of St. Peter's
- The Malice of Unnatural Death
* Shirley McKay: Hue & Cry (a mystery set in Jacobean St. Andrews, Scotland)
... and finally, two present-day mystery/thrillers, just to balance off (well, not really, but anyway ...) all that history:
* Jo Nesbø: The Snowman
* Michael Connelly: The Late Show
... plus several more mugs for my collection (because I clearly don't own enough of those yet), two Celtic knot bookmarks, a Celtic knot T-shirt, a Celic knot pin, a Celtic knot designer pen (can you tell I really like Celtic knot designs?), assorted handmade soaps and lavender sachets, and assorted further postcards and sticky notes, plus in-depth guidebooks of pretty much every major place I visited (which guidebooks I sent ahead by mail before leaving England, so they're currently still en route to my home).
Oh, and then there's John le Carré's The Pigeon Tunnel, which I bought at the airport right before my departure and am currently reading. Books that you buy at the departure for a trip do qualify for a vacation book haul, don't they?
For some reason Herman Melville intrigues me and I cannot seem to part with him. I was fascinated by the story of Moby-Dick since I was a kid, when I would look at the illustrations in my older brothers edition and I was thrilled when I saw the movie adaption in 1998. But ever since early this year, when I wrote a paper on the comparison of different translations of Moby-Dick and therefore was really diving into Melvilles writing, I cannot let go of him.
I wanted to know how Melville lived through the process of writing this incredibly leviathan of a book – and what better way to find out, than to read his correspondence. But I got way more out of his letters than that.
This was a journey through Melvilles life, beginning with the earliest (surviving) letter to his Grandmother at the age of 9 and ending with the last (again, surviving) letter in the year before he died. And in between those two you get to follow him through his whole life – you experience the beginning of his career, when he writes like a humble young man who is very happy, that his work gets published at all, then you reach a somewhat mean and cocky phase in his life, when he believed himself to be a world class author until you get to a point when he is settling down and becomes a content family man who likes good company and never refuses a drink or two. That nice, happy fellow is the Herman Melville we know and love today.
My personal favourites were his letters to Nathaniel Hawthorne – what a dream-team! Melville expresses such a deep understanding of Hawthorne and their friendship, I cannot explain it any differently than they being soul-mates. Those letters are much more intimate and tender than any of the letters I found, which he wrote to the members his family.
A few words to the „genre“ of letters. In general, I always feel a bit weird when I read someone else’s letters or diaries, because this is an extremely personal form of writing. Basically, these letters were never intended for anyone else to read than the addressee. There is a sort of intimacy in a letter, which I think we have lost completely in our writings nowadays.
But, me feeling weird about it aside, it was fantastic to experience a time, when there was no haste in communication. Melville knew, that it would take a letter to his publisher in London approximately one month to get there and because the same goes for the answer, you could probably expect an answer after two to three months.
By the way, this is a very nice edition, you immediately see, that the scholars put a lot of effort in it. And now, ending with Melvilles own words:
Much more might be said, but enough.