: fantasy monarchies

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 2 15:23:49 EST 2003


--- Margaret Ball <margaret at onr.com> wrote:

> 
> That last one, though, makes me think of an
> extremely good and 
> undervalued novel: Diana Norman's _Fitzempress'
> Law_. Anybody here read 
> it? She catapults four modern teenagers back into
> the mid-twelfth 
> century. And one of them is a peaant. And she makes
> it interesting. In 
> fact, the whole book is fun. She doesn't lean hard
> on the time-travel 
> trick at the beginning, I think that was just a
> device allowing her to 
> describe twelfth-century life from the point of view
> of an outsider. I 
> think my favorite scene is the one where one of the
> characters gets 
> wounded in a tournament and tells his solicitous
> friends, "Stop! Nobody 
> touches that wound untill they've washed their hands
> and boiled the 
> knives....uhhh....that is.....it's a charm my old
> nurse taught me."

Another interesting example of this type of book (a
sub-genre which goes back to Mark Twain) is a novel by
Turtledove and Tarr which I and others have talked
about here a little while ago - I forget the title -
"Household gods" perhaps??. Here the heroine is
hampered by her almost total lack of knowledge of how
our society works (very annoying in a suposedly well
educated woman), but here also, part of the point of
the book is to question our ways of doing things.

Jon

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