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Never stop reading. (Content originally posted at Blogger.)

The Vizard Mask, by Diana Norman

The Vizard Mask - Diana Norman

Writing historical fiction takes a certain amount of chutzpah. One has to take on nitpickers who will point out that this wasn’t in fashion at that time or that hadn’t been discovered yet. One also has to create room for characters in written history without turning them into Forrest Gump. The rewards, at least for readers, are absolutely worth it. Nothing else can bring history to life like a well drawn character living in a time and place that we only know from broad strokes in a textbook. The Vizard Mask, by Diana Norman, is both a brilliant story and a brilliant piece of scholarship about life and politics in post-Restoration England. Because of this book (and because of the noodling around on Wikipedia it caused), I finally understand the Jacobite claim to the throne, how England transformed into a constitutional monarchy, and what Aphra Behn was up against. I had no idea how far The Vizard Mask would take me when I started reading it. I confess I was suckered in by a synopsis that advertised a Puritan woman going to live in her aunt’s brothel in London’s rookeries just before the Great Plague...

 

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.