Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Caroline by Sarah Miller

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s enduringly beloved “Little House” books (biofiction of the prairie as they might be called in today’s terminology) have spawned an industry’s worth of secondary writing. Scholarly and … Continue reading

November 6, 2017 · 1 Comment

Antonia White’s Frost in May

The advance publicity for this review of Antonia White’s 1933 novel Frost In May warns that I am enraged. I’d be amazed if anyone reading this novel is not similarly … Continue reading

November 1, 2017 · 5 Comments

Will on the TNT cable TV network

Twenty years ago cinema audiences fell for “Shakespeare in Love”, a film that presented the playwright as all too human, so different from the stuffy fellow many people thought he … Continue reading

September 13, 2017 · 3 Comments

Charlotte M. Yonge: Love and Life

A VL Classic, reposted from Autumn 2013 Published in 1880, but set in the late 1730s, Love and Life bears the subtitle ‘An Old Story in Eighteenth-Century Costume’, and that … Continue reading

September 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Woman Of Integrity, by J David Simons

Once again, J David Simons has written a novel that takes a wide sweep across the last century and this one, unravelling private secrets from a public life. The protagonists … Continue reading

April 7, 2017 · 1 Comment

Votan and Other Novels by John James

Paperback covers of the novels from the 1970s and 1980s, when they knew something about illustrations.  How do myths get started? What experiences point people towards explanations that draw from … Continue reading

March 21, 2017 · 1 Comment

Coming Up on Vulpes Libris

Daffodils mean Spring, and it seems to be a wonderful year for them – such a show they are putting on everywhere. Today’s image therefore says Spring to me – … Continue reading

March 19, 2017 · Leave a comment

Of The Arts: The Violinist of Venice & The Improbability of Love

A VL Classic, originally posted March 2016. The Violinist of Venice by Alyssa Palombo At first this appears to be a routine historical romance, but it soon deepens to something … Continue reading

March 13, 2017 · 1 Comment

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Dana is a twenty-six year old black woman living in California in 1976. She is married to Kevin, who is white, and who rejected his racist family to marry Dana. … Continue reading

March 6, 2017 · 2 Comments

Owen Archer mysteries by Candace Robb

One of the periods I like to read about most is the Middle Ages. No, not that time in your forties when you’re no longer young, but don’t yet qualify … Continue reading

March 3, 2017 · 2 Comments

The historical fictions that history tells us

The Historical Fictions Research Network had its second conference this weekend, in the splendid surroundings of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, home of the Meridian, south-east London. The Network … Continue reading

February 27, 2017 · 4 Comments

Historical Fiction Week on VL

Historical fiction is the closest thing we have to a time machine. When done right, it can transport you to another time and place as if a history book came … Continue reading

February 26, 2017 · 4 Comments

Golden Hill, by Francis Spufford

This is the first monthly new novelist in my challenge for 2017, and so far, so very good indeed! Golden Hill is a historical novel, set in an unfamiliar period … Continue reading

January 27, 2017 · 1 Comment

The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick

In her 1912 novel The Reef , Edith Wharton – that uncomfortably shrewd observer of the human condition – produced one of the finest descriptions of ‘life’ I’ve ever read. … Continue reading

January 20, 2017 · 2 Comments

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Acknowledgment

  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)