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Feel slightly daunted by 784pp of the Outlandish Knight - but if Mr C recommends, he's never let me down in the past!

Mr Cornflower

I'm flattered and a little daunted myself by the responsibility you have placed on my shoulders, Mary! Dinshaw writes very elegantly on a man who was himself exotic and multi-layered, so it didn't feel as if I was trudging dutifully through a long a turgid tome, but it does help to have an interest in the worlds in which Runciman moved.


I wouldn't call myself a fan of Hilary Mantel but I enjoyed A Place of Greater Safety (about the French revolution), which I read years ago.

I agree with Mr C. about Golden Hill; I thought it was terrific.

I've read several of Leon Garfield's children's books. I particularly like The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris, which has a brilliant little twist at the end.

Fran H-B

I too read Leon Garfield as a child. His 'Smith' and 'Devil-in-the-Fog' were the '60's version of a child -friendly Dickens. Looking back to that decade I see the rich seam of authors of historical fiction for 10+ readers which I mined fully, thanks to the local library. I hadn't realised he wrote for adults too; more searching the library sites for me.

Fran H-B

Whoops, just read the age range of The Pleasure Garden...9-11 years. Better search the junior section!


I found A Place of Greater Safety a bit of an 'uphill' read in the end; it's impressive, without doubt, and interesting in terms of her developing style. I'm not particularly drawn to that period, which may also account for my response to the book.


Leon Garfield sounds very interesting, if this obituary is anything to go by:


Leon Garfield seems more a teacher's book than a child's. Never been in school stock room that didn't have a set of Smith or one of his others. But the children never warmed that much - he is a bit hard, a bit ambitious for many. Great reading for an adult though. I've an edition of the Mystery of Edwin Drood finished by Garfield as well which I would recommend.


He sounds like a good fit for Dickens!

Fran H-B

Interesting that adults enjoyed his books too. My mother never read 'modern ' adult fiction; ie anything published after the 1940's. But she did read several 'children's' authors such as LG and Rosemary Sutcliffe as history was her thing. It was probably her sister, a teacher of 9-11 year olds who introduced us to him. She passed on the Puffin books she had read aloud to her class to me, I still have many of them.

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