Book Review: “Emma” by F. W. Kenyon

Emma F. W. Kenyon 1955

I picked up Emma by F. W. Kenyon at a yard sale back in July. It’s the hard cover 1955 version. Right away, I was surprised at the willingness and ease Emma, the main character only 17 years old in 1780, living in England, gave herself to Captain John Willet-Payne who offered to free her 14-year-old cousin from the Navy, having been forced into it by a press gang. ‘Gave herself’ as in a sexual favour exchanged for a personal favour. Oddly, it seems this wasn’t Emma’s first sexual experience.

No surprise, her stint at Uppark at South Harting in Sussex under Sir Henry Fetherstonhaugh’s protection ended within a year, Emma having become impregnated and showing. Offered protection by Charles Grevill, she eventually falls in love with him as he tutors her into being a refined lady.

In this novel, a man offering protection was not merely him putting a roof over her head and protecting her innocence; it was more often the woman doing the chores and offering her bed whenever her protector needed satisfying.

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Book Review: 1892 by Paul Butler

1892 by Paul Butler1892 by Paul Butler

Pennywell Books (imprint of Flanker Press, St. John’s, NL, Canada)

Published: June 2008

ISBN: 978-1-897317-28-0

Price: $16.95 (paperback; 165 pages)

Genre: Historical Fiction (romance)

About the Author: Paul Butler is the author of several novels including Cupids, Hero, NaGeira, Easton’s Gold, Easton and Stoker’s Shadow. Born in the UK, he currently lives in St. John’s, NL.

Author’s Website:


Cover (4/5): The cover suited the book. It grabbed my attention while at the bookstore hunting for a Christmas gift for my mother. I specifically targeted books about Newfoundland because she’s from there. I found the cover uncluttered, and I could easily read the title and the author’s name.

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Book Review: Writing Historical Fiction

Diane Lynn Tibert
Once Upon a Time, it was now . . .

I just finished reading The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction by James Alexander Thom. The first part of the book was a little boring but surprisingly a pleasure to read. Does that make sense? Can something be a wee boring, still a pleasure?

Perhaps I felt a little bored because the first part of the book covered much of the same material I had read many times before: research, libraries, getting your hands on the documents, getting your facts straight, what is history, staying true to history . . .

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