Friday, June 5, 2009

Historical Books

One of my favorite books, which I stumbled upon quite by accident, is a little-known book, a curious hybrid between a historical novel and a scholarly non-fiction. The title is Wise and Foolish Kings, and it covers the Valois dynasty, kings from 1328 to 1498. Anyone writing during this period would do well to secure a copy of this wonderful book.
Remarkably, I picked it up at a library sale for $2, but to me it's worth hundreds. It covers the reigns of Philip VI (to the right), Charles the Dauphin, Louis XI, Charles VIII (below)and others. She includes interesting facts about their lives, their loves, their travels, and their foibles.
This book was translated to English in 1980, and was written by Anne Denieul-Cormier, a French historian.
Her narrative flows, her descriptions are unforgettable. You may be lucky enough to find it in a used or antiquarian bookstore.

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