Thomas vs Ned

Last summer I was obsessed with Ned Kelly. Time ran out before I could read and view everything I wanted to on my man Ned. 

Mr S approved of my obsession and was slightly thankful as it meant I was willing to accompany him on yet another trip to the same ski fields he always goes to, if it meant visiting Kelly Country. Which we did but to my shame I did not blog about. 

 This summer finds me feeling slightly guilty at abandoning Ned before I have completed all my reading. 

Yes, it is true. I am no longer obsessed with Ned. As the title tells you, Thomas has entered my world. 

Thomas who?

Remember when I was reading down the house? No! Well get back to here. I just couldn’t get into Wolf Hall. I tried three times and three times I was thwarted. 

My god, there must have been a shortage on boys’ names. A dozen characters were called Thomas. Then there’s several Johns and even more Henrys. If this was fiction, an editor would tell the author to make up some new names. 

That and the use by Mantel of “he” to refer to the central Thomas rather than the last male named as is the grammatical convention in English just left me feeling quite the un-intelligent being. 

Enter the BBC series. Ah, now I get it. And thanks to the wibbly wobbly net, I have been able to look up details of all the  players – major and bit players in the saga of Henry VIII. And the places. 

Yes, I knew the outline of the time and wives but not all the characters. Tudor history doesn’t feature heavily in Australian school history.  

I am loving the novel. I am going to buy the next book in the series as soon as I finish this one. 

My obsession is affecting my language. Posting comments on FB with the most exquisite language. My words would impress you all. Words like alacrity and louche and sybaritic. And, oh my phrasing and syntax. 

While Wolf Hall is colder and with less passion (funny though as they are having or wanting sex and Ned didn’t) the language is more appealing.

So which Thomas am I interested in?

You know how I hate suspense as a manipulative tool?  (Wolf Hall proves how pointless suspense is. We know there ending and we still love the tale.)

Anyway, you will have to wait until a future post to find out my Thomas and why I love him. 


5 thoughts on “Thomas vs Ned

  1. I love going around old houses but never think to read historical novels – my loss it seems reading your obvious passion that comes over. My time is definitely with the Jane Austen period – I love all the genteelness and femininity (of the middle to upper classes) I don’t think the working classes had much of a genteel life! Don’t keep us in suspense too long about Thomas!

    • I did like The Luminaries. Really got into it. But some found it tedious and others found the structure and style too clever by half. I loved the novel structure and slow revealing and misunderstanding of events.

  2. Hello, I also had trouble with Wolf Hall! Many of the same impressions you gave – was Thomas the only name allowed? Why isn’t “he” named? And really I don’t care for the present tense in fiction. The story is not happening right now.

    And I probably know even less of British history, being American, so grasping the context was difficult. I got through about 1/4 of the book, and returned it to the library. But as soon as I began another book, not nearly as detailed, I found myself wanting it back. So I may give it another chance and check it out again. Of course, I can’t actually imagine that it will be in demand, so should still be on the shelf where I randomly found it to begin with.

    It is part of a series, you say? Are the sequels as hugely long?

  3. Pingback: Will the real Thomas please stand up! | lucinda sans

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