Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #2

Welcome to another week of Top Ten Tuesday!

This week, the top ten list is: Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who _____ (are music allyinclined, have lost someone, have depression, who grow up poor, etc.) Hmmm, that requires me to fill in the blank. Okay, I accept the challenge. I'm going to write a list of the Top Ten Books which Feature Characters Who are Real People 

Here is my list, again in no particular order, just as they come to me. Okay, you may already know my fondness for the first person I'm going to list. Duh, he's on the top of my blog, right?

1. The Cardinal and the Queen by Evelyn Anthony - the character in question is Cardinal Richelieu, who is also my historical crush. This novel tells of the relationship between him and Anne of Austria, wife to King Louis XIII of France. It's a fascinating story, and a great romance. There  were rumors at the time that the Cardinal was the real father of Louis XIV (Louis XIII was gay). I first read this over forty years ago and I'm still not tired of it.

2. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas - again Cardinal Richeleu, although quite a different tale. D'Artagnan is fresh out of Gascony, gone to Paris to seek his fortune, having been given a letter to get him into the King's Guards. While in the process of delivering said letter, he encounters three different men by whom he finds himself challenged to a duel on the following day. These men, as it turns out, are the Three Musketeers, but before any of the duels can take place, they are spotted by the Cardinal's Guards (dueling is illegal in France at this time) and they end up fighting against the Guards, together, and become bffs in the process. In Dumas' tale, Richelieu is the bad guy whom they must outwit at all costs.

3. The Last Love by Thomas Costain - The character is Napoleon, and it tells the story of his  
exile on the island of St. Helena and his relationship with a young English girl named Betsy Balcombe. I've heard rumors of a film to be made, supposedly starring Al Pacino, but have seen nothing. Pacino would make a lousy Napoleon, in my opinion, so I'm actually glad.

4. Desiree by Annemarie Selinko  - Another book with Napoleon, but an earlier Napoleon. Desiree is the daughter of a silk merchant in Marsailles. She meets the young man with great ambitions and they fall in love and become engaged. But when he leaves for Paris, in order to further his career, and she doesn't hear from him for a long time, she borrows some money from her maid and follows him, only to learn things she'd rather not hear. This is the first book that ever made me cry. It's a great story, and the movie features Marlon Brando as Napoleon, and Michael Rennie as Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte.

5. The Trial of Adolf Hitler by Phillippe Van Rjndt - The story begins as the Third Reich is
crumbling around him. Hitler is committed to suicide before capture, and has decided he and his bride, Eva, shall both die. They each have poison and a pistol, as they retire to their room in the Bunker to die. Hitler shoots Eva, then himself. But Fate intervenes and the bullet he fired at himself does not kill him. He is found and rescued by one of his faithful. He recovers and takes a new name and identity, burying himself in a small town in Germany, where no one knows him, and leads a quiet life. Years pass. Hitler, under his new name, is well loved by the citizens of the town, but he decides that the time has come for him to reveal himself, and to demand a trial to exonerate him of the the crimes attributed to him. The stunned nations of the world, learning that he is alive, don't know what to do, or what to charge him with. They get together, and finally come up with three charges, and make arrangements for a trial.  Now the ending was a foregone conclusion, as I suspected it would be, but really, in terms of the charges and the evidence that was presented hi Hitler's defense, I didn't find it quite so cut and dried. In fact, I think it might have been a miscarriage of justice. But that's just my opinion, and of course, it's a novel, so it didn't happen.

6. Lamb, The Gospel of Christ According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore - The title says it all, it's a great book, and I loved it. He has a real way with words, and the story just flows so smoothly. Hilarious and sensitive and deeply moving.

7. Depths of Glory by Irving Stone - This is an historical novel about Camille Pissarro, the
Impressionist. It was my introduction to the Impressionists, and features other artists as characters, including Degas, Toulouse Lautrec, Van Gogh and others. I loved this book, and would gladly read it again.

8. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone - This one is about Michelangelo and Pope Julius II, the struggle between them, as he painted the Sistine Chapel. Great book, also a really great movie starring Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison.

9. The President's Lady by Irving Stone - Another Stone novel, yes, so shoot me lol  This one is about the love between Andrew Jackson and his wife Rachel, before he was even President. It's a very romantic and poignant tale, and the movie is well worth watching too. Charlton Heston and Susan Hayward.

10. Love is Eternal by Irving Stone - a novel about Mary Lincoln, before and after her marriage to Abraham Lincoln. This lady definitely had issues, but it's also a great portrait of Abraham Lincoln. 

11. Blennerhassett by Charles Felton Pidgin - This novel is about Vice President Aaron Burr, including his infamous duel with Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. I read this many years ago and loved it. I recently bought it again, so I could read it again. Worth re-reading. 

1 comment:

  1. I've never read any of these but I love the sound of The Trial of Adolf Hitler. A similar book called Look Who's Back is on my TBR list, but I'll have to add this as well.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/top-ten-tuesdays-2/