Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.
Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.
Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.
About Deborah Harkness
Deborah Harkness made her fiction debut with book one of the All Souls trilogy, A Discovery of Witches, which was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into more than thirty languages. A professor of history at the University of Southern California, Harkness has received Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships, and her most recent scholarly work is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution.
William Shakespeare, vampire hunter. Well, not exactly. But, thanks to the magic of time travel, Harkness’ (A Discovery of Witches, 2011) latest finds witch and Oxford professor Diana Bishop and her lover, scientist and vampire Matthew Clairmont, at the tail end of Elizabethan England, when Shakespeare’s career is about to take off. There, by happenstance, they meet Christopher Marlowe, who commands an uncommonly rich amount of data about the ways of the otherworld. Asked why the odd couple should attract attention, he remarks matter-of-factly, “Because witches and wearhs are forbidden to marry,” an exchange that affords Diana, and the reader, the chance to learn a new word. Diana and Matthew talk a lot. They argue a lot, too, quibbling about the strangest things: “ ‘You are a vampire. You’re possessive. It’s who you are,’ I said flatly, approaching him in spite of his anger. ‘And I am a witch. You promised to accept me as I am—light and dark, woman and witch, my own person as well as your wife.’ ” But then they get to have extremely hot—indeed, unnaturally hot, given the cold blood of the undead—makeup sex, involving armoires and oak paneling and lifted petticoats and gripped buttocks. Meanwhile, Kit Marlowe gets to do some petticoat lifting of his own, even if his adventures lead him to a Bedlam populated by all kinds of unfortunate souls, from a few ordinary wackaloons of yore to a small army of daemons, witches, vampires and other exemplars of the damned and doomed. Will Shakespeare comes onto the scene late, but there’s good reason for that—and maybe a little fodder for the Edward de Vere conspiratorial crowd, too. Clearly Harkness has great fun with all this, and her background as a literature professor gives her plenty of room to work with, and without, an ounce of pedantry. – Kirkus Reviews
‘Shadow of Night’ is the sequel to Deborah Harkness’s ‘A Discovery of Witches’
The Washington Post Book Review – July 17, 2012 (Excerpt)
When last seen, Diana Bishop — the time-walking witch and narrator of Deborah Harkness’s first novel, “A Discovery of Witches” — was hightailing it out of the 21st century with her 1,500-year-old vampire lover, Matthew Clairmont. Now, in the sequel, “Shadow of Night,” Diana and Matthew have touched down in 1590. They’re on the lam from one of those shadowy supernatural cabals beloved of genre novelists. Which shady organization doesn’t really matter: This novel proceeds at a snail’s pace, leaving a silvery narrative thread that’s almost invisible.
Fortunately, Harkness makes up for a lack of narrative thrust by weaving a tapestry of 16th-century European life that is as densely populated, colorful and occasionally puzzling as a painting by Hieronymus Bosch. A scholar of Elizabethan history, Harkness is an entertaining guide to a French chateau, teeming London and the Prague Jewish ghetto during the Tudor era. Numerous luminaries — Walter Raleigh, Queen Elizabeth I, Emperor Rudolf II — and lesser-known historical figures are all given the kind of walk-ons beloved of the old “Masterpiece Theatre” crowd. Like Diana and Matthew, some of these folks turn out to be supernatural creatures. Christopher Marlowe was a charismatic, sexually obsessive, substance-abusing demon? Of course! [Read the full article...]
DOODLEBUGS & SPITFIRES Memories and Short Stories by Peter Carroll
“Doodlebugs & Spitfires” is a delightful collection of memories and short stories written by Peter Carroll, the author of “Queen of Misfortune,” in his trademark poetic and profoundly thoughtful style.
Most of his stories, previously published in limited form in local English newspapers and magazines, like “Brave New World”, “The Forties Street Tradesmen”, “Doodlebugs”, or “The Christmas of 43” evolve around his childhood in the Northern part of London during and after World War II. He describes the horrors that came with the V1 flying bombs, nicknamed the “Doodlebugs.” Heroic British pilots in their “Spitfire” airplanes would attempt to divert the flying bombs from the populated areas, sometimes successful, and sometimes not.
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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