Thursday, January 18, 2018

First Line Friday: Cecily Neville Edition


Hello again and welcome to another edition of First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books.

This week my line is from a book that I am destined to enjoy because it is by one of my favorite historians, Amy Licence.

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"On 31 May 1495, an old lady was putting the finishing touches to her will."

That 'old lady' is none other than Cecily Neville, who lived through an era of great turbulence in England. As mother to both Edward IV and Richard III, she could do little but watch as her sons destroyed one another - either physically or reputation-wise. She came close to being queen herself, and ended up out-living her husband and most of her children.

If you've not read anything by Amy Licence and love the drama of Lancaster vs. York, the Tudors specifically, or the Medieval period in general, you are missing out.

Leave a comment and then head over to Hoarding Books to see what other lines are waiting for you this week.

Happy Reading!
Sarah

34 comments:

  1. Ooh, thanks for the tip. Not that I've done a ton of non-fiction reading on the War of the Roses, but it's one of those periods I'd love to know more about.

    I'm featuring the first line from the SECOND chapter of Mesu Andrews' 'Isaiah's Daughter' on my blog (since the first line of chapter one is on Hoarding Books this week), but right now I'm going to share the first line from 'Fatal Mistake' by Susan Sleeman:

    "He was coming for her, and he was close."

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. No problem. You should definitely check out Amberley's website then. They have tons of great books from the period. I signed up for their newsletter so I am always notified when they have a big sale - I make larger orders when they have site-wide 25%-30% off sales. They also had a recent sale with hardcovers 50% off. I'm not sure if the shipping rate would be different for you, but to the US it is a flat rate of $15, so it is a STEAL. They've got a great selection, at least non-fiction. You know I can't really speak to the fiction section. Happy Friday!

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  2. I'd have loved to get inside her head about her sons, that's for sure!

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    1. Right??!! I mean, how do you even respond when two of your sons have called your other son illegitimate? There are so many stories about who started which rumor and when they started it. I find it very hard to believe that someone known as 'Proud Cis' would ever have an affair with anyone, let alone a low-born archer, the name of whom I can not even recall right now. If I were here, I would have wanted to slap Richard upside the head (though I already want to do this for multiple reasons). And imagine how she must have felt when the princes disappeared, those were her grandchildren. But to even imagine all the things she witnessed in her lifetime. Born so close to Agincourt, and surviving up to and beyond the birth of Henry VIII. There is SO MUCH happening in that time, I can't even. I am excited to get to reading this one.

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  3. If I'm remembering my history correctly, this makes Cecily Neville the grandmother of the infamous Princes in the Tower. It sounds like a fascinating story.

    I'm about to start reading The Boy in the Hoodie, a young adult novel by debut Australian author Catriona McKewon. Here's the first line:

    Before I met him, there wasn't much I knew about the boy in the hoodie.He seemed to live above the rules.

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    1. Yes, you are correct! She witnessed so much in her lifetime, as she was born so close to when Agincourt was fought, and died after Henry VIII was born. I so wish I could ask her like, one hundred questions about the period. Happy reading!

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    2. I recall reading she was born like a few months before Agincourt: and since we've established her mother was the daughter of John of Gaunt, that would have made her and Henry V first cousins (he was the son of Guant's eldest son, and she the daughter of his daughter).

      Sorry to interupt your and Iola's exchange thre, but I find the subject interesting.

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    3. Yes, that is also correct. Henry IV (mother was Blanche of Lancaster, Gaunt's first wife) and Joan (born before John married Katherine Swynford, his third wife and long-time mistress) were half siblings. Agincourt occurred in October of 1415 and Cecily was born in May of the same year.

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    4. Actally, I ought not to take all the credit for working that out, as I think I first read they were cousins in a book too. Marvellous things, history books :)

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    5. Now if only more people would read them.

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    6. I've read quite a few in my time, so I shall say a resounding Amen.
      I do like historical fiction, and read a lot of stuff set during the Regency period, but from long experience, and talking to others, I've set down the cardinal rule to never take it as fact.

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    7. I'm glad to hear that. That is my biggest fear about historical fiction. When fiction authors err on the side of more scandal/drama/etc, and people don't ever seek out the truth, then we get crazy stories like people thinking Anne Boleyn and her brother really did sleep together, though that of course was an original charge but most surely blatantly false.

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  4. Happy Friday!

    Today, my First Line Friday comes from the next book on my TBR mountain, Coming Home to Island House by Erica James…..

    There she is, the scarlet woman herself.’
    ‘She’s back then.’
    ‘Back to flaunt herself right under our noses. She’s no shame, that one.’
    ‘No shame at all.’

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. I love TBR mountains, they're one of my favorite things :)

      I must know more about this book though - and why these people are being so judgey and rude.

      Happy reading!

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  5. This looks like an interesting read!

    I'm sharing about The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma on my blog today, but I'll share a first line from a book on my soon-to-read list here.

    Your first thought upon picking up this book is probably: How can a person born without any limbs consider himself to to be the hands and feet of Jesus on this Earth?
    -Be the Hands and Feet: Living Out God's Love for All His Children by Nick Vujicic

    Happy weekend!

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    1. Yes, I am excited to get started with it. Her life span covers one of the most chaotic periods in England's historic. She would make quite the imaginary dinner part guest. Have a great book-filled weekend!

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  6. Happy Friday!

    The snow in middle Tennessee melted enough that my mailman finally showed up with a few packages in hand (a few of the books I’ve been waiting on). I pulled a first line to share from one of those:

    Her head throbbed and grogginess gripped her.
    –Thread of Revenge by Elizabeth Goddard

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    1. The mailmen don't deliver in snow?? I just realized I do not know much about the weather in Tennessee, I am guessing snow is not a regular part of winter? I have only ever lived where there is winter and it is my fave time of year, so the thought of people not seeing snow often is so weird to me. But I am happy to hear that you have the books you have been waiting for, happy Friday!

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  7. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. The book I'm sharing on my blog this week is Runaway Bride by Mary Connealy. I will share here the first line from a children's book I just finished reading by A. Lynn Basset called The Boy and The Clock Book. "Tick-tock, tick-tock. Only three minutes stood between Charlie Higgins and the best summer ever!" Have a great weekend!

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    1. Yes, Cecily is one of those people who would make an AMAZING imaginary dinner party guest. Her life pretty much covers one of the most chaotic and interesting periods in England's history. Thank you for sharing your line, happy Friday!

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  8. Happy Friday! My first line is from Callum's Compass by Sara L. Foust:

    "A persistent knock at the front door dragged Kat Williams awake."

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    1. Happy Friday to you too, thanks for sharing your line with me!

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  9. That's a great first line! My current first line is from The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright -

    "Death had a way of creeping up on a soul, and Ivy Thorpe was determined that when it visited her, she would not be surprised."

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    1. Thanks Carrie - I almost shared the whole first paragraph, but I am trying REEEEEAALLLYY hard to stick to one line. Sometimes it works. Happy Friday, thanks for sharing your line with me!

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  10. Oh Cecily Neville! Heard of her. I've looked up her geneaology a time or two: she was actually a grand-daughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster who was the progenitor of the Lancastrians (if I'm correct). Cecily's mother was his daughter Joan Beaufort. So the Yorkists actually had Lancastrian blood.

    My first line is from a Regency Mystery/Thriller/Romance the Peacock Throne by Lisa Karon Richardson.

    "The tiny snick of the latch sounded. Anthony rubbed at the stubble on his chin and turned a jaundiced eye on the intruder"

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    1. Yep, you are correct. Joan and her siblings were the Duke of Lancaster's children by Katherine Swynford, who he married after his second wife died. The children were declared legitimate with a papal bull.

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  11. That's a great first line! It certainly intrigues me enough to make me want to read further (and that time period isn't my usual genre!).

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    1. Well, I am the non-fiction guru of #FLF, so feel free to ask for recommendations. Talking about these subjects is pretty much one of my fave things. Happy Reading!

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  12. PROLOGUE

    Two Years Earlier

    Renee huddled in the garden shed in her pajamas and tried to hear him over the pounding of her heart in her ears. - Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble

    Happy Friday and happy reading!

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    1. Happy Friday to you as well, thanks for sharing your line with me!

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  13. Happy Friday!

    Over on my blog, I am featuring Brett Armstrong's novel Destitutio Quod Remissio. It's an interesting read so far. Here I will post the first lines from chapter four of this book.

    "The streets were filled beyond the usual that day, or perhaps it only appeared so to Marcus. The market district was expansive enough to accommodate thousands. Over it looked the tall stone buildings surrounding the huge open Forum that was the city's center for centuries. All of the grand structures were washed white by the noon's radiance and loomed large over the transactions of Rome's citizens."

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    1. Happy Friday to you too Nicole! Thanks for stopping by to share your lines - I am glad I am not the only one who can't resist sharing more than one line sometimes (or, often, for me, haha). Happy Reading!

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  14. It's been so many years since I have read these books, but this sounds like Phillippa Gregory. I remember Richard III being one the characters--such tragedy. Shakespeare recorded his life story well. Happy Saturday Sarah!

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    1. Happy Saturday Heather, thanks for stopping by :)

      Truthfully, I steer clear of Philippa Gregory. I don't even care much for Anne Boleyn, and just reading the plot of The Other Boleyn Girl made me want to shriek. I know that people say, well they are historical fiction...but I do wish authors would not take such liberties with the lives of people who really existed. That's what is toughest for me in general with any historical fiction. I do know a lot of people love her work though, so if people are reading, then that's always a plus.

      Amy Licence writes primarily about the women of the era, at least her non-fiction work. Her first fictional work came out recently, about Edward IV, called Son of York. I have not read it, but I have heard a lot of good things about it.

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