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June 08, 2016


Donna Andrews

Bother! Dean, reading your blogs is always deadly to my efforts to keep my TBR pile under control!

Kathy Lynn Emerson

Both ladies had a big influence on me, too. I wanted to be Anya Seton when I first started writing. It fascinated me, too, that she reportedly owned, in those days way before ebooks, her own copy of the DNB (Dictionary of National Biography for those about to ask).

Joyce Tremel

My teen years were filled with reading Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. I also read Anya Seton's Green Darkness and I loved it. I think I may need to make a trip to the library and read it again.

There was a novel that my mother loved and I wish I could remember the name of it and who wrote it. All I remember was it was about the mistress of Charles II and I think it was made into a movie--probably in the 1950s.

Marcia Talley

Oh, KATHERINE is one of my all time faves! Such a romance! And, to think that the Tudor line descended directly from that love match.

Elaine Viets

Oh, good. Two new names for my TBR file. I'm a big fan of the Brother Caedfil (sp?) novels. Have you read those?

Dean James

Joyce, I think the book you're looking for is probably FOREVER AMBER by Kathleen Winsor. It was infamous in its day for being "Banned in Boston."

Dean James

Elaine, I've read all the Cadfael novels except the final one. I keep saving it... I love Ellis Peters, and I got to meet her in 1990 at the London Bouchercon. One of the true highlights of my life.

Dean James

Joyce, Linda Darnell starred in the movie version of FOREVER AMBER.

Dean James

I forgot to mention that Roberta Gellis wrote four medieval mysteries, set in the 12th century, featuring a whorehouse madam in London. Great books!


I must admit I don't find medieval history that interesting, which is probably why I haven't heard of these women. I can certainly relate to the interests you pick up because of reading, however, and the thrill of meeting a favorite author.

And I never realized I should have been calling you Dr. Dean all this time. ;)

Joyce Tremel

Forever Amber! That's it! Thanks, Dean.


My favorite Seton novel is Dragonwyck. Set in the 1840's Hudson River valley of New York. Loved Katherine too!

Kristin Lundgren

I adored Anya Seton, and read my PB copy of Katherine (which I still have) many, many times. Green Darkness filled that side of me that was becoming interested in the paranormal, fueled by Barbara Michaels, (I also enjoyed her books under Elizabeth Peters). Katherine was responsible for my interest in English medieval history, and for me carving out an independent study in medieval Englsih writings in HS. I read all of Seton's work, and bought extra copies if Katherine to give to unsuspecting readers. It was more dense than the traditional historical romance of today was, hewing close to actual people and places.

Sharan Newman

Bravo Dean! And you're a darn good historian as well as a writer. I never read most of the authors you mention but did like Roberta Gellis and Dorothy Dunnett (sp?) Actually, it was a Tale of Two Cities that grabbed me. I read it over and over, started reading about the French Revolution, worked my way back to the fall of Rome (and good riddance to it) before settling in the 12th century. Wish you would write a mystery set at Abington.

Michelle Kubitz

Looking forward to putting these books on my TBR pile. :)


Funny, how it reading that made me want to time travel, which I'm sure led to my own interests in history, Dean!

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