Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's New Wednesday: A Look at Next Weeks New Releases

Publish Date: October 12th, 2010
Format: Paperback 464pp



Synopsis: (From the Publisher)
"From international bestselling author Posie Graeme-Evans comes the passionate tale of a woman ahead of her time.
Ellen Gowan is the only surviving child of a scholarly village minister and a charming girl disowned by her family when she married for love. Growing up in rural Norfolk, Ellen’s childhood was poor but blessed with affection. Resilience, spirit, and one great talent will carry her far from such humble beginnings. In time, she will become the witty, celebrated, and very beautiful Madame Ellen, dressmaker to the nobility of England, the Great Six Hundred.
Yet Ellen has secrets. At fifteen she falls for Raoul de Valentin, the dangerous descendant of French aristocrats. Raoul marries Ellen for her brilliance as a designer but abandons his wife when she becomes pregnant. Determined that she and her daughter will survive, Ellen begins her long climb to success. Toiling first in a clothing sweat shop, she later opens her own salon in fashionable Berkeley Square though she tells the world – and her daughter - she’s a widow. One single dress, a ballgown created for the enigmatic Countess of Hawksmoor, the leader of London society, transforms Ellen’s fortunes, and as the years pass, business thrives. But then Raoul de Valentin returns and threatens to destroy all that Ellen has achieved.
In The Dressmaker, the romance of Jane Austen, the social commentary of Charles Dickens and the very contemporary voice of Posie Graeme-Evans combine to plunge the reader deep into the opulent, sinister world of teeming Victorian England. And if the beautiful Madame Ellen is not quite what she seems, the strength of her will sees her through to the truth, and love, at last."

 
Publish Date: October 12th, 2010
Format: Hardcover 304pp

Synopsis: (From the Publisher)
"Was the “Blood Countess” history’s first and perhaps worst female serial killer? Or did her accusers create a violent fiction in order to remove this beautiful, intelligent, ambitious foe from the male-dominated world of Hungarian politics?
In 1611, Countess Erzsébet Báthory, a powerful Hungarian noblewoman, stood helpless as masons walled her inside her castle tower, dooming her to spend her final years in solitary confinement. Her crime—the gruesome murders of dozens of female servants, mostly young girls tortured to death for displeasing their ruthless mistress. Her opponents painted her as a bloodthirsty škrata—a witch—a portrayal that would expand to grotesque proportions through the centuries.
In this riveting dramatization of Erzsébet Báthory’s life, the countess tells her story in her own words, writing to her only son—a final reckoning from his mother in an attempt to reveal the truth behind her downfall. Countess Báthory describes her upbringing in one of the most powerful noble houses in Hungary, recounting in loving detail her devotion to her parents and siblings as well as the heartbreak of losing her father at a young age. She soon discovers the price of being a woman in sixteenth-century Hungary as her mother arranges her marriage to Ferenc Nádasdy, a union made with the cold calculation of a financial transaction. Young Erzsébet knows she has no choice but to accept this marriage even as she laments its loveless nature and ultimately turns to the illicit affections of another man.
Seemingly resigned to a marriage of convenience and a life of surreptitious pleasure, the countess surprises even herself as she ignites a marital spark with Ferenc through the most unromantic of acts: the violent punishment of an insolent female servant. The event shows Ferenc that his wife is no trophy but a strong, determined woman more than capable of managing their vast estates during Ferenc’s extensive military campaigns against the Turks. Her naked assertion of power accomplishes what her famed beauty could not: capturing the love of her husband.
The countess embraces this new role of loving wife and mother, doing everything she can to expand her husband’s power and secure her family’s future. But a darker side surfaces as Countess Báthory’s demand for virtue, obedience, and, above all, respect from her servants takes a sinister turn. What emerges is not only a disturbing, unflinching portrait of the deeds that gave Báthory the moniker “Blood Countess,” but an intimate look at the woman who became a monster."


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11 comments:

  1. Great releases coming ahead, and beautiful stories.

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  2. I'm really looking forward to The Countess - I added it to my list a while back and have since been googling a bit about her. Will be most interesting to see what interpretation the author takes.

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  3. I read a really really icky book about Brathory once, so never again

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  4. Oh both of these books sound so interesting. I have read an article about Brathory once - that is one sick puppy!

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  5. Droppin' by via the hop. My beverage of choice is water or a glass of juice, depends on what's colder. Lol. Anyway, if you have the time, drop by Cladestine Sanctuary

    I also became a new follower. :)

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  6. Hopping over from the blog hop! I love Historical Fiction! I'm a new follower. Check out my blog and follow back if you want!
    Pris
    www.benterudbookshelf.blogspot.com

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  7. oooh the dressmaker looks fantastic! thanks for sharing!

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  8. They both look really great! That Bathory chick is a doozey!

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  9. Both sound like they will be good. I received a copy of The Dressmaker in the mail earlier this week and am anxious to get to it.

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  10. The Countess was so good! I posted my review this week. Loved it!

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