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European Royalty Group Reads > Shadow on the Crown: Ch. 19 - End

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message 1: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Please discuss Shadow on the Crown Chapters 19 to the end here.


message 2: by Whimsical (new)

Whimsical (goodreadscomb_flowers) | 55 comments Is anyone surprised at Athelstans motives?


message 3: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments Not entirely sure what you're referring to, I've only just gotten to chapter 20 though so I may not have reached that point yet.


message 4: by Whimsical (new)

Whimsical (goodreadscomb_flowers) | 55 comments Robin wrote: "Not entirely sure what you're referring to, I've only just gotten to chapter 20 though so I may not have reached that point yet."

I did not want to say too much; however; when you do come across what I am referring to, it will be evident.


message 5: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen I finished the book ( sadly)..it ended at a good place I guess,if it had to end..
When I go to the end and read the author's notes (should have done that first but sometimes it is awkward on kindle) I realized hat some of the things that puzzled me were intended as storytelling.

I think the author did a very good job, the characters came to life. I very much enjoyed it and Emma and her era as well.


message 6: by Whimsical (new)

Whimsical (goodreadscomb_flowers) | 55 comments Kathleen wrote: "I finished the book ( sadly)..it ended at a good place I guess,if it had to end..
When I go to the end and read the author's notes (should have done that first but sometimes it is awkward on kindle..."


Kathleen: the other good thing is that it is the first book in a series, so we can look forward to more!


message 7: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments Oops, forgot to say I'd finished it - gave it 3.5 stars. My review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 8: by Marie (new)

Marie Burton (marieburton2004) I had read this a little while ago as well (sorry I missed the read along!) but I wanted to pipe in and mention that Jean Plaidy's The Bastard King would be great filler for you guys if you wanted to stick with the Norman period.

The Bastard King (Norman Trilogy, #1) by Jean Plaidy

Plaidy's book starts with William The Bastard/Conqueror who is Emma's great-nephew I believe.. so you wouldn't be spoiling Emma's upcoming story in Bracewell's next installment. I am really glad I had read Shadow on the Crown and then The Bastard King, it helped me to enjoy Plaidy's a bit more as I understood the period a little more with the Danish conflicts etc. And even though this is a series book technically, I certainly feel this could be a stand alone since it covers the entirety of William's life.


message 9: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina | 54 comments I read this book a month too soon for the book read, so didn't feel comfortable chiming in, in case I added spoilers too soon. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next one.

I am interested in others thoughts. . . . if I remember correctly, in this book Emma's first borne was conceived through rape. This isn't the only book that's written it as such. Are authors basing this off of factual information?


message 10: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments Sabrina wrote: "I am interested in others thoughts. . . . if I remember correctly, in this book Emma's first borne was conceived through rape. This isn't the only book that's written it as such. Are authors basing this off of factual information?"

Some book spoilers...

In Shadow on the Crown, Emma is raped by Athelred and does become pregnant from it but she miscarries. IIRC (how quickly my memory fades!), by the time she conceives Edward, she is grudgingly consenting to sex with Athelred because even though she despises the act with him, she does want to become pregnant again since she understands that having a son is her only protection and source of power.

There is no historical evidence of such intimate details about Emma like whether she was raped or not - in fact, there is not much that is actually known about her. But it's traditionally believed that Emma did not show much warmth towards her children by Athelred, especially Edward, and so a novelist writing about Emma will have to speculate on why that might have been. Rape is a pretty good explanation and this is the approach Helen Hollick took in her novel on Emma. However, in Shadow on the Crown, it looks like Bracewell is not going with the traditional view that Emma had little love for her children by Athelred as she appears fiercely protective of Edward and very affectionate with him at the end of the book. I think Bracewell's usage of the rape was merely to give Emma a very good reason to really, really hate the man beyond any forgiveness. And to show the reader just how despicable he is.

Bracewell has said that she purposely did not read Hollick's novel on Emma before she wrote Shadow on the Crown (and presumably the rest of the series), I guess because she didn't want it to influence her own take on Emma. So it's interesting that both authors independently chose to use rape in their story despite there being no historical account of it. However, I think they used the rape for two different reasons so there is a distinction between them.

As for whether or not the historical Emma was lacking maternal emotions for her children by Athelred, (view spoiler)


message 11: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina | 54 comments Thanks for your response Robin - I love your knowledge!

I find Emma fascinating and would like to read her autobiography. Do you happen to know what it's called and whether or not it's accessible?

I would like to think Emma had love for all of her childen, and tend to be a believer in your last paragraph.


message 12: by Robin (last edited May 15, 2013 02:14PM) (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments Actually, I shouldn't have said autobiography, I was in a bit of a rush to finish that last bit - it's more like an official biography. She didn't write it herself but she commissioned it and would have controlled what went into it. It's assumed to be a propaganda tool.

This is it here: Encomium Emmae Reginae

It's available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Encomium-Regina...

Or if you're in the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Encomium-Regi...

And some info on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encomium...


message 13: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina | 54 comments Robin - I never thanked you for the information above - sorry, work is hectic these days. Thank you!


message 14: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments No problem!


message 15: by Helen (new)

Helen Azar (helenazar) Do you guys only read historical fiction for these discussions or also non-fiction?


message 16: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments Non-fiction is accepted. Though I don't think it's as popular, you can nominate it.


message 17: by Helen (new)

Helen Azar (helenazar) Thanks. I was just curious, because I have a non-fiction coming out this Fall about a Russian Grand Duchess, so was wondering if there may be any interest in reading and discussing it http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17...


message 18: by Whimsical (last edited Jul 03, 2013 01:06PM) (new)

Whimsical (goodreadscomb_flowers) | 55 comments Robin wrote: "Non-fiction is accepted. Though I don't think it's as popular, you can nominate it."

I would love to read and discuss non-fiction history book because one is learning from the bottom up, so to speak; there are obviously more facts which I believe would lead to livelier discussions. My take on the fiction book which is okay, is that when you have no prior knowledge, it does not lend itself to robust discussions of the subject. There are a few non fiction books that are well written that if included in the reading list here and there would prove quite enjoyable and would spark great discussions. This is my personal opinion.


message 19: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments Helen wrote: "Thanks. I was just curious, because I have a non-fiction coming out this Fall about a Russian Grand Duchess, so was wondering if there may be any interest in reading and discussing it http://www.go..."

You may want to check with the group mods to make sure self promotion is acceptable.


message 20: by Helen (new)

Helen Azar (helenazar) Oh I am sorry, I didn't even think of it as self promotion, just wondering if this would be something the group would be interested in reading. Then never mind.


message 21: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Helen wrote: "Oh I am sorry, I didn't even think of it as self promotion, just wondering if this would be something the group would be interested in reading. Then never mind."

No worries, other people have talked about their books randomly throughout the threads (at least it's related to European Royalty!).

I started an Author Spotlight thread which hasn't been used in a while, but by all means please contribute (I think it just got lost in the shuffle). The thread is here: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...

You are also welcome to nominate your book during nomination periods (other people have nominated their own books). I'll have a thread for that up shortly (hopefully today or tomorrow) for the Sept. 15 - Nov. 15 group read. As long as your book comes out before Sept. 15 it's fine to nominate it for that group read (if it's after Sept. 15, just wait for the next read). Your book will be available in a real book form? We haven't nominated books only available in e-formats although maybe we should consider that at some point.

If it doesn't get selected as a group read, you could start a thread for your book under the "Other Discussions" header (kind of make an informal discussion). People have made threads for various books there every now and then that haven't been "official" group reads, but it still tends to spark some discussion.


message 22: by Roberta (new)

Roberta | 10 comments Helen, your book sounds like it's just the thing for me, can't wait to read it!


message 23: by Helen (new)

Helen Azar (helenazar) Roberta wrote: "Helen, your book sounds like it's just the thing for me, can't wait to read it!"


Thanks, Roberta, hope you enjoy it!


message 24: by Helen (new)

Helen Azar (helenazar) Sara W wrote: "Helen wrote: "Oh I am sorry, I didn't even think of it as self promotion, just wondering if this would be something the group would be interested in reading. Then never mind."

No worries, other pe..."


Thanks, Sara.


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