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First, from the comments of the review of The Luckiest Girl: an interview with Beverly Cleary. Thank you SO MUCH to Diana for the link. Yesterday was Cleary’s 95th birthday – and she’s still writing. How awesome is that?

From Rebecca: here’s a game at the McCord Museum website where you can navigate Victorian life!

OH, this is so cool.

You can choose to be a male or a female, and then select the location. For example, if you’re a man, you can go to the Gentleman’s Club, or to the train station or a ballroom. But be careful – you are scored on the choices you make, and the wrong choice can be problematic. Rebecca says, “I, unfortunately, chose the wrong dress to wear to the ball and got run over by a carriage. Enjoy!” HA!

And I’d be most out of line if I didn’t also include this link, which I found via DearAuthor, to Maya Rodale’s blog entry about White’s. Is there anything so alluring as a place you’re denied entry for the most basic of reasons?

Finally; this made me giggle. Have an awesome day, folks.

ETA: BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! I am over at Kirkus talking about older romances that still hold their power, appeal, and compulsion to re-read:

Many, many, and I do mean MANY romance readers first found the emotional and intellectual thrill of the genre in the novels of Georgette Heyer. When I was writing Everything I Know About Love, I Learned From Romance Novels (Sourcebooks, October 2011), I asked readers who their favorite heroes were, and of my top nine, two are Heyer heroes. Actually, three, because Vidal from Devil’s Cub and his father, the Duke of Avon from These Old Shades are tied for their spot on the list. The third was Freddy from Cotillion (Sourcebooks reprint, 2007).

Devil’s Cub, first published in 1932, was my first Heyer (doesn’t that sound like it should be a trading card? The My First Heyer Collection!), and I remember thinking as I started it that readers were going to kill me for not liking it, because the opening chapters were so slow to build. Then the plot took off once the heroine, Mary Challoner, hides her face and allows the Marquis of Vidal to believe he’s running off to France with Mary’s shallow, dimwit sister, Sophie. When he discovers the switch it’s too late, and Mary…well, Mary’s not one to take any crap from anyone, including Vidal….

Who are your favorites, and which older romances do you reread while seeking out new ones to enjoy?

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  1. 1
    Kerry Allen says:

    My fashion sense stinks in any era. As much as I enjoyed getting run over by a carriage for the wrong dress, I found the swarm of fig leaf-wearing cherubs who drove me away from the door for the wrong trousers even more LOLsome.

  2. 2
    Kristin says:

    Loved the interview with Cleary. She’s amazing.

    Great post about White’s.

    And, that last link made me giggle too.

  3. 3
    Sarah says:

    That game RULES.  I played to get hit though…

  4. 4
    Alex Ward says:

    I got the right traveling frock, but as a man got pooped upon by a flying horse (I think) – this game is AWESOME! Though I suspect from my score of 917 that I’ve read a few too many historicals…

  5. 5
    Gwynnyd says:

    I am the “picture of politeness” with 980.  I only got two wrong as a lady and none as a gentleman. 

    Now to go play it to lose!

  6. 6
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    Damn. That Victorian game is going to ruin my life. I must stop playing it immediately so I’m not late to class.

  7. 7
    Diva says:

    I love the McCord Victorian game! I got eaten by zombies for picking the wrong ball gown! Also got in trouble for monopolizing facilities on the train lol.

  8. 8
    JenD says:

    The Victorian Game was so much fun! I didn’t miss any as a woman. As a man, apparently, I am a complete idiot and should be taken far, far away from society for the safety of those I might come across!

    I never knew what a frock coat looked like before; can’t believe I never googled it. I’m getting lazy.

  9. 9
    Emily says:

    I am pretty good at the game. I am most socially challenged when it comes to the ballroom.
    @SB Sarah Have you read These Old Shades?  I ask because you reviewed Devil’s Cub.
    If you haven’t you should. Its the guardian romance that taught me that guardian romances work!
    (Real life guardian romances never appeal to me; such as Woody Allen or Grover Cleaveland (the 22nd and 24th president).)
    The hostess at home in the victorian looks like Frances Cleaveland.

  10. 10
    Jill says:

    That Victorian game ROCKS!

    I scored a bit better as a woman than a man (worse, strangely, as a woman at home rather than the man … I don’t want to ponder what that says about me).

    As either sex, however, it appears my Victorian self would be fit for polite company. I’m not sure people would say that about me IRE, LOL.

  11. 11
    Jenna says:

    In reference to the last question, older romances I reread. Slightly out of genre, perhaps, but I absolutely love Victoria Holt’s The Pride of the Peacock—it was one of my first romance reads and I come back to it over and over again!

  12. 12
    anna nomus says:

    The McCord Museum is in my town!!

  13. 13
    Vicki says:

    I, too, am the picture of politeness and will be happy to shake your hand when we encounter each other in the park.

    I reread Heyer, Devil’s Cub and These Old Shades being my two favorites. I like Holt, especially Bride of Pendorric. I also like Mary Stewart, especially Moonspinners (is that a romance? I think it is).

    Thanks for reminding me, time to do some re=reading

  14. 14
    Vicki says:

    Can I add that my music teacher when I was 12 would send me home with one of these books to borrow if I did very well that week? Miss Millicent Roberts of Port of Spain, Trinidad, I owe you so much.

  15. 15
    cleo says:

    I re-read Louisa May Alcott.  Not Little Women (which is too preachy for me now, although I adored it at age 10), but her other books hold up well.  My two favorite comfort re-reads are An Old Fashioned Girl and Rose in Bloom.

  16. 16
    Shaheen says:

    I am currently going through my book collection on a drastic reduction mission (moving house). This entails pruning down to the bare essentials – which obviously has to include all my Heyers (even though I haven’t really read them properly for a few years). Luckily I have a few weeks to do this, as sorting through obviously means sitting down and rereading all my old favorites – Devil’s Cub; These Old Shades; The Unknown Ajax; The Grand Sophy etc. Happily this is numbing the pain of moving.

    done89: I should have done 89 books by now, but I’m still reading the 88th!

  17. 17
    Kathy B says:

    The game is awesome (although I was taken away by aliens for showing up to the ball in incorrect attire…)

  18. 18
    cassincork says:

    There’s a 1920s one too -

    The Roaring Twenties

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