Thursday, 2 October 2008

The White Boar by Marian Palmer

The White Boar by Marian Palmer was the book that introduced me to Richard III (and Ricardianism) so it seems quite appropriate to write about it on the man's birthday.

These last few days I have been reading it again. With novels, as with places and employers, it's not always a good idea to go back; sometimes the memories do not stack up with the reality. Sometimes tastes have changed.

But in this case - I still rate it. OK, there's the odd bit of head hopping, which my literary advisers tell me is a Bad Thing, but on the whole it's beautifully crafted - I think I appreciate the writing technique more than when I first had it in my hands, circa 1971. It's not everyone's cup of tea (someone once told me that she absolutely hated the book) but if you fancy reading a Richard III novel, you could do a lot worse than try this one.

A few years ago I was in touch with Marian Palmer through one of the Lists, and it was a great pleasure to tell her how important her book had been to me. In a sense, it was life-changing.


Lynn Irwin Stewart said...

Okay, Brian, you're going to have to stop recommending books because every time you do, I buy them!! And I totally forgot it was R3's birthday. Oh, and I meant to tell you that I finished WITHIN THE FETTERLOCK and I adored it -- can't wait until your next one! So, hurry up! (Just kidding...sort of...)

Susan Higginbotham said...

Is Palmer still around and writing?

Brian said...

Hi Susan - When I was in contact with her (it must be at least a couple of years back now)she said she was writing again, but what and whether it is to be published, I know not.

I think, among other things, this book set up the literary tradition of Francis Lovell having an unhappy marriage. That is actually a major part of the story. I don't think I've ever read a piece of fiction where Francis and 'Anna' care for one another.

Thanks Lynn for the Fetterlock comment. I am on with the new book - honest - but I'm not yet as fluid a writer as I was once.

melitzanis said...

Brian, what is head hopping?

Anne Cholmondeley said...

I recently finished `Fetterlock` which I found thought provoking,entertaining and most intriguing. I recently found that Constance is a direct ancestress and Iam so happy to know something about her. Some of her characteristics remind me of a certain aunt of mine! Alianore`s Adventures is great fun. I do hope there is more to come.

Amy Durant said...

Hi Brian. I am not sure if you are still checking these comments but I work for Endeavour Press - the UK's leading independent digital publisher - and we are very keen to publish ebook editions of Marion Palmer's historical fiction books. If you are still in contact with her, would you mind passing this message on and asking her to get in touch with me if she is interested? My email is