About Me

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Surrey, B.C., Canada
I have always been an avid reader and history has always been a passion of mine. I am a huge historical fiction fan, who also enjoys reading gothic tales with chills and thrills, mystery and suspense and who loves stepping back in time..... A quote I once read stated: I don't live in the past..the past lives in me!.. Perhaps that's why I am a Family History/Genealogy Addict too!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Diana Norman aka Ariana Franklin

The Pirate Queen
by Diana Norman (25 August 1933 – 27 January 2011) 
Edition: Paperback
Purchased by me from The Wee Book Inn Book Store
Publisher: Headline Book Publishing (9 July 1992)
My Rating: 5 out of 5

This was the first, of the many excellent Historical Novels written by Diana Norman which I have read.   Diana's ability to mixed real and fictitious characters effortlessly in the most believable, interesting and absorbing plots made her one of the best historical authors of the 20/21 centuries.

The Pirate Queen is based on the life of the 16th-century Irish pirate Grace O'Malley.  The title of the book may seem a little fluffy, but the contents of this book is gripping and historically accurate. The plot was exciting, full of life, adventure and drama.  The  characters were well rounded and very believable.   After reading this book I became so fascinated with Grace O'Malley that I read just about every book written about this Irish historical figure, whether the book were fiction or non-fiction novels and still, Diana Norman's novel was by far the best.   This was the first of Diana Norman's books that I had read. and it was fantastic!  I enjoyed it so much, that I have one copy for lending out to friends and one that I will keep forever. Since this book, I have read every historical fiction book that Diana Norman has ever written. They are hard to come by, but they are worth the hunt. Diana Norman has to be one of my top favourite authors.  She also writes under the name of Ariana Franklin and these books are also fabulous too!

Diana Norman (aka Ariana Franklin) novels should not be missed! 
- especially if you are a fan of historical fiction, 12 century history or Henry II as this author was.   
I quote from Diana Norman's Obituary in the Guardian on Friday, February 4, 2011...."She became a specialist on the early Middle Ages, its justice, its climate, dress, food, habits, and crime. In fact, her first book, which dealt with the coming of the Common Law and the jury system under that great English kings, Henry II, received plaudits from university professors of history and won a BBC award for its accuracy and depiction of the twelfth century. Accuracy is important, Ariana believes. If a reader's paying you the compliment of buying your book, you've got to get it right."....

Historical fiction books written under Diana Norman

A Catch of Consequence
 Taking Liberties 
 The Sparks Fly Upward
The Vizard Mask    
The Morning Gift
The King of the Last Days 
Daughter of Lir 
The Pirate Queen 
 Blood Royal 
 Shores Of Darkness 
 Fitzempress' Law 

Diana Norman also wrote Terrible Beauty: Life of Constance Markievicz, 1868–1927 (Biography) in 1987.

Books written under her pseudonym Ariana Franklin which are about Adelia Aguilar,  a medical doctor and native of Sicily known as the Mistress of the Art of Death, who is an expert in the science of anatomy and the art of detection in the 12 century and who later becomes part of King Henry II service.

Mistress of the Art of Death
The Serpent's Tale
Grave Goods
A Murderous Procession

She also wrote City of Shadows, her first book under the pseudonym Ariana Franklin.

Fitzempress' Law (1980), set in the reign of Henry II, was the first of her historical fiction books.

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