Posts Tagged With: French history

Book Review: Dearly Beloved

In between Shakespeare and statistical analyses, Austen and annual reports, I indulge in historical romances. I especially relish reads whose heroines are spirited, steely-spined, softhearted survivors. And when it comes to strong women, author Mary Jo Putney always delivers.

Her novel, Dearly Beloved, written in 1990 and re-released in 2019, is no exception. But instead of just one tough lady, this novel boasts three! Each woman has suffered and struggled. Because of the hardships and heartaches these ladies have endured, they have become better versions of themselves.

However, despite these strong female characters, there are several aspects of this novel with which I took exception, especially in the first chapter when a less-than-fatherly father forces the male protagonist to marry his underage daughter. After the farce of a wedding, the male protagonist takes out his frustration on the innocent girl by raping her. Fast forward several years: This same man is back, somewhat redeemed but still flawed. Meanwhile, lurking in the background is a predatory male, who stealthily stalks the heroine throughout the pages.

Like many late-20th-century bodice-ripper books, Dearly Beloved‘s women are used and abused by men, all in the name of love and romance. But this is the 21st century, and many readers’ sensibilities have evolved or been refined, including mine. Consequently, no matter how likable or admirable the female characters may be, I still felt slightly sullied after reading this book.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zebra Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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Joan of Valois

My genealogical researches have uncovered dozens of devout ancestors. This is the ninth installment of a series of posts titled “Doing God’s Work: Our Families’ Faithful”, documenting the lives of those who served God.

In the previous post of this series, I discussed the life of Marie of Brabant (my 23rd great-grandmother), who entered monastic life after the death of her husband. In this post, I will discuss the life of my ancestress, Joan of Valois, who became a nun after her husband’s death.


On this day, 7 March 1342, Joan of Valois, Countess of Hainault, passed away. She was my 22nd great-grandmother through her grandson Thomas of Woodstock, my 23rd great-grandmother through her grandson Lionel of Antwerp, three-times 20th and three-times 21st great-grandmother through her grandson John of Gaunt, and my 21st great-grandmother through her grandson Edmund of Langley.

Born circa 1294, Joan of Valois was the second eldest daughter of Charles of Valois and Margaret of Anjou.

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Categories: On This Day, Our Families' Faithful, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Marie of Brabant

My genealogical researches have uncovered dozens of devout ancestors. This is the eighth installment of a series of posts titled “Doing God’s Work: Our Families’ Faithful”, documenting the lives of those who served God.

In the previous post of this series, I discussed the life of Ela of Salisbury (my 24th and my 25th great-grandmother), an abbess. In this post, I will introduce Marie of Brabant (my 23rd great-grandmother), who entered monastic life after the death of her husband.


On this day, 12 January 1322, Marie of Brabant passed away.

Born on 13 May 1254, in Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium, Marie was the youngest child and only daughter of Henry III, Duke of Brabant, and Adelaide of Burgundy. She joined brothers Henry (born circa 1251), John (born 1253), and Godfrey (birthdate unknown).

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Categories: Famous Faces and Places, On This Day, Our Families' Faithful, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ebles I de Roucy

My genealogical researches have uncovered dozens of devout ancestors. This is the sixth installment of a series of posts titled “Doing God’s Work: Our Families’ Faithful”, documenting the lives of those who served God.

In the previous post of this series, I focused on family members who served either as Abbott of Abernethy or Abbott of Dunkeld. Now, I will discuss the life of Ebles I de Roucy, my 30th great-grandfather, who died on 11 May 1033.


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Categories: Brickwall Ancestors, Famous Faces and Places, On This Day, Our Families' Faithful, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

La Tour de France

In life’s travels, we often take side trips. Some side trips prove to be integral aspects of our life’s journey, as in higher education, career choices, marriage, or having children. Others prove to be enlightening and exciting diversions.

In this series, Passport to the World, I will help tell my own life story by revisiting the side trips I have made. The first stop is France.

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Categories: Famous Faces and Places, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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