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The John James Appreciation Thread (Part 13)


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Old 06-08-2012, 17:59
augusta92
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[quote=nyannie;60175444]
BOOK GROUP DISCUSSION - please bump.

DARK FIRE




3. What picture emerges of 16th century English society in the book? What tensions exist between men and women, upper and lower classes, papists and reformers, citizens and foreigners durring the Tudor period?

QUOTE]




16th century English society is portrayed in both a very different way to the way we live today...with its period of absolute monarchy and religious dissent.....and of course its a very different time period....

a time without benefits for the poor, so if you are poor...you can live in absoute squallor or on the streets.....whereas if you are rich...you still have to play a complex game of keeping in with, and having friends allied to .. those in power....

yet within that there are still some recognisable character types and personalities......

We have Barak the handsome adventurer....up for any challenge and not afraid to use his fists......

the wives scared of losing their homes and unhappy at living on a limited income......yet still loving and caring for their children..... like the wife of one of the alchemists, murdered because they might have the secret of DARK FIRE. And this wife although she doesnt seem to much love her husband, is still exremely jealous of Bathsheba...and his relationship with her.....


the tension between men and women revolves around the fact that this was a period of english history, when women had virtually no rights in law at all.....They would be married off by their fathers....usually for money or status...rarely for love ......and once married they couldnt work...or earn any money for themselves...unless like lady Honor, they were left as a wealthy widow.....

As Elizabeths cousins show....the life for a tudor girl could be horrendous....not usually thought worthy enough to be taught to read or write, but taught to be polite and feminine in the hopes of making a good marriage....

the religious tension of the period....is similar now to the tension between say different religious extremists today..... it seems to me that its. less about the religion itself, but more about the political culture and way of life, that each religion promotes..... in tudor times ,,,,it was about who should wield the ultimate power.....the king or the religious factions supported by european powers like the pope....?
Its a very complicated and tangled process to even start to understand or resolve.....

I dont think i would have wanted to live in the tudor period at all......parts of it would have been exciting ....but parts of it extremely scary.....
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Old 06-08-2012, 18:01
nyannie
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BOOK GROUP DISCUSSION

Somehow I don't think the compassion outweighs the violence of the Tudor Times. Perhaps I have been looking at it from the modern perspective but the whole notion of 'justice' was brutal. Not speaking on your behalf but facing the press. Hanging for petty theft or poaching. Very hard to comprehend.

Henry VIII was a tyrant. He executed anyone who disagreed or went against him. What surprised me after seeing the exhibition at the British Library last year, was considering Henry was very well educated - and considered a knowledgeable and pious prince , how he could be so brutal! The small acts of kindness, in my opinion, did absolutely nothing to dispel the violence and brutality of the era.

Today, many of the conflicts in the world also show the attributes of Tudor time - the brutality, the fear of people to speak out etc. It does make me wonder if we have progressed since the brutality of the Tudor era.
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Old 06-08-2012, 18:16
nyannie
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Another GOLD MEDAL for Team GB - in Sprint Cycling.

Well done Jason Kenney! I want to do something else but I am glued to the TV. Was this Number 18?

How could John leave the UK when this wonderful spectacle is on?
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Old 06-08-2012, 19:00
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Another GOLD MEDAL for Team GB - in Sprint Cycling.

Well done Jason Kenney! I want to do something else but I am glued to the TV. Was this Number 18?

How could John leave the UK when this wonderful spectacle is on?

Maybe he hasn't - he loves his sport, and he would definitely be shouting for Team GB.
Well, even if his loyalties are a bit divided, let's face it, the Aussies are having a bit of a thin time at these games. Even NZ are outstripping them...
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Old 06-08-2012, 19:04
georgyporgy
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Thank you, for keeping us lurkers informed. xxx
Thats Ok
but less of the lurking
please join in

that also goes to anyone who would like to take part
in just the book club
all are welcome

Good evening jjat
just noticed someone sent john a tweet
asking him if he was at mercy nightclub in Norwich
this saturday
interesting
well it might be
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Old 06-08-2012, 19:09
georgyporgy
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Another GOLD MEDAL for Team GB - in Sprint Cycling.

Well done Jason Kenney! I want to do something else but I am glued to the TV. Was this Number 18?

How could John leave the UK when this wonderful spectacle is on?
just loving the Olympics
and all our medals

really enjoying
watching the men in small pants at the moment
and their diving not bad either
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Old 06-08-2012, 19:10
AlexBB3
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Another GOLD MEDAL for Team GB - in Sprint Cycling.

Well done Jason Kenney! I want to do something else but I am glued to the TV. Was this Number 18?

How could John leave the UK when this wonderful spectacle is on?
Awesome how well we're doing in the Cycling (Velodrome). Won 5 out of the 7 gold medals decided so far. With Queen Victoria (Pendleton) and Laura Trott a couple more potentials tomorrow.

In some ways though, Beth Tweddle's achievement in getting a bronze in a sport like gymnastics is equally as noteworthy, given how Britan have long been also-rans!

18 golds now, just 1 behind our Beijing tally!

Really punching above our weight these days, in part thanks to the National Lottery funding I suspect!

Venues, atmosphere and organisation have all been first class as well. I went out yesterday to cheer the Women's Marathon runners past ..... and promptly got completely drenched!
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Old 06-08-2012, 19:11
Lindy_Loue
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Another GOLD MEDAL for Team GB - in Sprint Cycling.

Well done Jason Kenney! I want to do something else but I am glued to the TV. Was this Number 18?

How could John leave the UK when this wonderful spectacle is on?
Wonderful, isn't it? I can't take my eyes off it I just rush off and get a cup of tea and maybe a snack and then I'm in for the next session!! Absolutely amazing. That goes for the sport, the people, the spectacle, the venues......everything
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Old 06-08-2012, 19:13
Lindy_Loue
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just loving the Olympics
and all our medals

really enjoying
watching the men in small pants at the moment
and their diving not bad either
Hello georgy

Trust you to raise a smile
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Old 06-08-2012, 19:19
Lindy_Loue
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BOOK GROUP DISCUSSION

Somehow I don't think the compassion outweighs the violence of the Tudor Times. Perhaps I have been looking at it from the modern perspective but the whole notion of 'justice' was brutal. Not speaking on your behalf but facing the press. Hanging for petty theft or poaching. Very hard to comprehend.

Henry VIII was a tyrant. He executed anyone who disagreed or went against him. What surprised me after seeing the exhibition at the British Library last year, was considering Henry was very well educated - and considered a knowledgeable and pious prince , how he could be so brutal! The small acts of kindness, in my opinion, did absolutely nothing to dispel the violence and brutality of the era.

Today, many of the conflicts in the world also show the attributes of Tudor time - the brutality, the fear of people to speak out etc. It does make me wonder if we have progressed since the brutality of the Tudor era.
Book Group Discussion

I think part of the brutality can be put down to the fact that they didn't have the tools for more peaceful means. Henry Vlll is thought of as having quite a government machine, but it was nothing compared to the bureaucracy and technology we have today, which enables governments to rule without apparent brutality. So, for example, not having the prison and supervision systems we have today - or the police force - if a person was seen as a danger, they had to be eliminated

Probably some exaggeration there but there may be something to this?
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Old 06-08-2012, 19:24
georgyporgy
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Hello georgy

Trust you to raise a smile
hello lindy

well they have already achieved so much,
by making
the speedo look good
its six packs galore
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Old 06-08-2012, 19:58
augusta92
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Book Group Discussion

I think part of the brutality can be put down to the fact that they didn't have the tools for more peaceful means. Henry Vlll is thought of as having quite a government machine, but it was nothing compared to the bureaucracy and technology we have today, which enables governments to rule without apparent brutality. So, for example, not having the prison and supervision systems we have today - or the police force - if a person was seen as a danger, they had to be eliminated

Probably some exaggeration there but there may be something to this?


its a fascinating discussion...why were the tudor times so much more violent than our own?



as well as the idea of beauracracy, i think it also has to do with the value we place on our lives........even 100 years ago, families were large and very few children would be expected to live into adult life.
so if death is always there....maybe the idea of dying is less strange, and easier to accept??

if your children are likely to die of illness, or famine, or hunger or poverty.......or in war as a footsoldier, then why worry as much as we do today, about an adult who is going to die?

and also there is the religious idea of life after death, which i dont think our society really thinks about that much... the victorians loved to play with..with ideas like The Water babies.....so that death is seen as a veil between this world and the next....and that there is another better life after death...for the virtuous....or innocent.....or religious.....


today we think of karma as something that can happen in the here and now.......
but i think originally the idea of karma is about future lives after this one.....if you live a good life now you will have a better afterlife, but if you do evil things, then this will catch up with you in the afterlife....


to me its a fairly alien concept , cos in the UK today we dont really live in religious times, or understand the effect of religious belief on how we live our lives.....

I think we percieve death in a different way...to our ancestors.....and today in the west.... we have a much greater respect for life.....
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Old 06-08-2012, 22:26
Lindy_Loue
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its a fascinating discussion...why were the tudor times so much more violent than our own?



as well as the idea of beauracracy, i think it also has to do with the value we place on our lives........even 100 years ago, families were large and very few children would be expected to live into adult life.
so if death is always there....maybe the idea of dying is less strange, and easier to accept??

if your children are likely to die of illness, or famine, or hunger or poverty.......or in war as a footsoldier, then why worry as much as we do today, about an adult who is going to die?

and also there is the religious idea of life after death, which i dont think our society really thinks about that much... the victorians loved to play with..with ideas like The Water babies.....so that death is seen as a veil between this world and the next....and that there is another better life after death...for the virtuous....or innocent.....or religious.....


today we think of karma as something that can happen in the here and now.......
but i think originally the idea of karma is about future lives after this one.....if you live a good life now you will have a better afterlife, but if you do evil things, then this will catch up with you in the afterlife....


to me its a fairly alien concept , cos in the UK today we dont really live in religious times, or understand the effect of religious belief on how we live our lives.....

I think we percieve death in a different way...to our ancestors.....and today in the west.... we have a much greater respect for life.....
Interesting post augusta. I guess I'd say that Tudor times were more violent than our own in this country....but this doesn't apply around the world.....look at Syria today, or places like Afghanistan, or Honduras (which I believe has the highest murder rate per capita in the world). I agree that some of this may be due to family sizes, or religious beliefs, but I think it's on the whole, more to do with economic development. If you have more (materially) to lose, you are less likely to risk it by allowing violence in society.

That isn't to say that violence isn't just below the surface, however. We saw that in the riots last year, which were shocking in the apparently sudden outburst of lawlessness.
Civil society 'fought' back pretty hard and pretty quickly then, with police leave being cancelled and magistrates working at weekends - and handing down some unusually severe penalties to restore order. Tudor society didn't have that state infrastructure......so individual misdemeanours were more likely to meet with summary justice to a level which we might feel was unjustifiable .....
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Old 06-08-2012, 22:48
Lindy_Loue
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Well done to our boxers Anthony Ogogo and Nicola Adams.

They are through to the semis of their events and so are guaranteed at least bronze medals
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Old 06-08-2012, 22:52
Lindy_Loue
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[quote=augusta92;60189515]
BOOK GROUP DISCUSSION - please bump.

DARK FIRE




3. What picture emerges of 16th century English society in the book? What tensions exist between men and women, upper and lower classes, papists and reformers, citizens and foreigners durring the Tudor period?

QUOTE]




16th century English society is portrayed in both a very different way to the way we live today...with its period of absolute monarchy and religious dissent.....and of course its a very different time period....

a time without benefits for the poor, so if you are poor...you can live in absoute squallor or on the streets.....whereas if you are rich...you still have to play a complex game of keeping in with, and having friends allied to .. those in power....

yet within that there are still some recognisable character types and personalities......

We have Barak the handsome adventurer....up for any challenge and not afraid to use his fists......

the wives scared of losing their homes and unhappy at living on a limited income......yet still loving and caring for their children..... like the wife of one of the alchemists, murdered because they might have the secret of DARK FIRE. And this wife although she doesnt seem to much love her husband, is still exremely jealous of Bathsheba...and his relationship with her.....


the tension between men and women revolves around the fact that this was a period of english history, when women had virtually no rights in law at all.....They would be married off by their fathers....usually for money or status...rarely for love ......and once married they couldnt work...or earn any money for themselves...unless like lady Honor, they were left as a wealthy widow.....

As Elizabeths cousins show....the life for a tudor girl could be horrendous....not usually thought worthy enough to be taught to read or write, but taught to be polite and feminine in the hopes of making a good marriage....

the religious tension of the period....is similar now to the tension between say different religious extremists today..... it seems to me that its. less about the religion itself, but more about the political culture and way of life, that each religion promotes..... in tudor times ,,,,it was about who should wield the ultimate power.....the king or the religious factions supported by european powers like the pope....?
Its a very complicated and tangled process to even start to understand or resolve.....

I dont think i would have wanted to live in the tudor period at all......parts of it would have been exciting ....but parts of it extremely scary.....
Enjoyed this post augusta.

Particularly liked your reference to the life of most girls in Tudor times...so different to our own, eh ?
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Old 06-08-2012, 22:53
augusta92
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Well done to our boxers Anthony Ogogo and Nicola Adams.

They are through to the semis of their events and so are guaranteed at least bronze medals
and isnt one of them an ex BB housemate.......

how exciting....
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Old 06-08-2012, 22:54
Giddykipper
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Interesting post augusta. I guess I'd say that Tudor times were more violent than our own in this country....but this doesn't apply around the world.....look at Syria today, or places like Afghanistan, or Honduras (which I believe has the highest murder rate per capita in the world). I agree that some of this may be due to family sizes, or religious beliefs, but I think it's on the whole, more to do with economic development. If you have more (materially) to lose, you are less likely to risk it by allowing violence in society.

That isn't to say that violence isn't just below the surface, however. We saw that in the riots last year, which were shocking in the apparently sudden outburst of lawlessness.
Civil society 'fought' back pretty hard and pretty quickly then, with police leave being cancelled and magistrates working at weekends - and handing down some unusually severe penalties to restore order. Tudor society didn't have that state infrastructure......so individual misdemeanours were more likely to meet with summary justice to a level which we might feel was unjustifiable .....
I agree with the points made here and by Augusta.

It was also a time of flux. The bedrock of religion had changed with the reformation, and Henry was closing the monasteries because he saw them as a source of opposition - and as an opportunity to get his sticky mitts on their loot! But it also meant that one of the safety nets for the poor was n the process of being removed and it would take time for a replacement system to be put in place - not until Elizabethan times - and that was pretty harsh. Sansome shows how precarious life could be - how that safety net was needed.

He's really good at weaving all this background into the narrative without letting his research lie to heavy or weigh down the narrative.

Oh yeah - meant to say - as much as I love the Shardlake books, I have read one clunker by Sansome - Winter in Madrid - starts slow, becomes boring and then rushes to a ludicrous conclusion! Not a Shardlake novel - it's set in the 1930s in the Spanish Civil War. However, it was a best seller, so I think I'm probably in the minority opinion here.
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Old 06-08-2012, 22:56
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Book Club Discussion




I have to apologise first – I read this when it first came out and intended to re-read for book club – but couldn’t find the book. I’ve obviously lent it to one of my larcenous friends. But before I cast aspersions I should add that I unearthed several books I seem to have ‘acquired’ when searching for this one… Anyway – it means that my thoughts are pretty generalised and based on the novels as a whole rather than this one in particular.

I love the seamless way in which Sansome weaves the fictional characters with the historical figures and finds room to build the main plot so cleverly in to the real events of the period. And as someone who annoys friends by complaining about historical inaccuracies in films and books, I have to admit that I have never spotted anything amiss in the Shardlake books.

The London of Henry VIII was a dangerous place for anyone who had to deal with the court and Henry’s officials. And it was always the 'little people' who payed the price first when things went wrong - though it has to be acknowledged that many of those ruthless officials and courtiers came to ‘unfortunate’ ends themselves. Life was so uncertain and so many people lived on the verge of abject poverty; It put them at the mercy of employers and social superiors in a way which is unthinkable today. And this comes over so vividly.

The flawed hero is brilliantly drawn, and I think the domestic detail of his life is one of the reasons we feel such a connection with Shardlake. It’s also refreshing not to have the usual physically superior hero, but someone who has to cope with his limitations in dangerous circumstances.

I have read all these novels as they’ve come out, and there hasn’t been a dud yet – just waiting for the next one!
Hi Giddykipper

I had never read any C J Sansome, and probably never would have, had it not been for this thread, and I didn't think at first that it was my thing. By the end, however, I was looking for the next one......I really enjoyed it.
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Old 06-08-2012, 22:58
Lindy_Loue
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and isnt one of them an ex BB housemate.......

how exciting....
Which one? Anthony Ogogo????
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Old 06-08-2012, 22:59
augusta92
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I am loving all these historical references.....and historical discussions....


but .......please everyone else feel free to join in.....

this is still the john james appreciation thread....and he must like history as well as he chose to call himself Achilles and to become a supporter of historical films like Troy.....
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Old 06-08-2012, 23:00
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Which one? Anthont Ogogo????
yes......but i think ucra knows more than me about him
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Old 06-08-2012, 23:02
Lindy_Loue
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I agree with the points made here and by Augusta.

It was also a time of flux. The bedrock of religion had changed with the reformation, and Henry was closing the monasteries because he saw them as a source of opposition - and as an opportunity to get his sticky mitts on their loot! But it also meant that one of the safety nets for the poor was n the process of being removed and it would take time for a replacement system to be put in place - not until Elizabethan times - and that was pretty harsh. Sansome shows how precarious life could be - how that safety net was needed.

He's really good at weaving all this background into the narrative without letting his research lie to heavy or weigh down the narrative.

Oh yeah - meant to say - as much as I love the Shardlake books, I have read one clunker by Sansome - Winter in Madrid - starts slow, becomes boring and then rushes to a ludicrous conclusion! Not a Shardlake novel - it's set in the 1930s in the Spanish Civil War. However, it was a best seller, so I think I'm probably in the minority opinion here.
Love this summary, Giddy. Do you write? CJS certainly does show the precariousness of life....makes the reader really feel for Shardlake, Barak, Elizabeth and the rest
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Old 06-08-2012, 23:07
Lindy_Loue
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I am loving all these historical references.....and historical discussions....


but .......please everyone else feel free to join in.....

this is still the john james appreciation thread....and he must like history as well as he chose to call himself Achilles and to become a supporter of historical films like Troy.....
Augusta, I don't know about you, but I have been glued to the Olympics....and I guess a lot of other people are too. Actually I feel I haven't given this discussion as much attention as I have some of the others, which is a shame because I did really enjoy the book.

Nyannie, sorry I didn't address all your excellent questions Thank you so much for posting them. Maybe we should give ourselves another few hours to discuss? Or maybe tomorrow's sport will be just as rivetting??
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Old 06-08-2012, 23:24
ucra girl
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and isnt one of them an ex BB housemate.......

how exciting....
Which one? Anthony Ogogo????
yes......but i think ucra knows more than me about him
Anthony Ogogo is the boxer from Big Brother Celebrity Hijack I have watched his fight and is throu to the semi finals with a chance of a medal.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/orga...lebrityhijackn
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Old 06-08-2012, 23:26
Giddykipper
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I am loving all these historical references.....and historical discussions....


but .......please everyone else feel free to join in.....

this is still the john james appreciation thread....and he must like history as well as he chose to call himself Achilles and to become a supporter of historical films like Troy.....
Tongue -in-cheek syndrome Augusta?! I adore our favourite Aussie - but history lover? - can't see it!

Troy? Yes - think he really loved the film - so did I. Very impressive battle scenes, and very impressive muscles on Brad! And I can see why he identified with Achilles - a forthright and bolshie Greek who ploughed his own furrow and cocked a snook at the powers-that-be. Hmm - who does that remind me of...?
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