review Viper Wine 103

characters ↠ eBook or Kindle ePUB ¸ Hermione Eyre

At Whitehall Palace in the ladies at the court of Charles I are beginning to look suspiciously alike Plump cheeks dilated pupils and a heightened sense of pleasure are the first signs that they have been drinking a potent new beauty tonic Viper Wine distilled and discreetly dispensed by the physician Lancelot ChoiceFamed beauty Venetia Stanley is so extravagantly dazzling she has inspired Ben Jonson to poetry and Van Dyck to painting provoking adoration and emulation from the masses But now she. A friend of mine refuses to read fiction instead contenting himself to tomes of history and philosophy His case against fiction is that authors take too long getting to their point and that sometimes they never get to a point at all In fact based books he argues the author’s argument is swiftly made clear and the book stands or falls on how well he or she makes that argument unless of course the argument is obviously bat shit crazy at the outset although even then there’s pleasure to be gained from reading something so ludicrously wrong headed Fiction because it doesn’t immediately state where it’s going fails for himObviously I disagree as a uick glance at my reading list will confirm But there are some books which are so meandering and besotted by their own cleverness that they are completely unconcerned with whether their point has been made well made or adeuately made a couple of hundred pages back ‘Viper Wine’ is one such novel and if I was to hand it to my friend he would have a gleeful field day with itSet in the reign of Charles the First but incongruously taking in such items as The Beatles Neil Armstrong Jeremy Paxman and other such modern day paraphernalia this is a book about beauty It’s a book about the pursuit of beauty the preservation of beauty the craving of lost beauty More specifically it’s about female beauty and what some women will do to maintain that aura of beauty The title refers to a tonic that women of the court drink to restore their youth and since its poison based the book doesn’t have to strain hard to liken it to Botox Along the way we get renaissance plastic surgery and all kinds of other treatments potions victuals and ablutions designed to keep our central lady a fictionalised version of the aristocrat Venetia Stanley fresh in the eyes of her time travelling husband Sir Kenelm Digby and the wider worldIt’s entertaining and does expertly conjure its pre civil war world but the points it makes about chasing beauty and how the pressures women go through today aren’t so far from the trials of our foremothers hundreds of years back is well made by about half way through – yet the book just keeps going on lost in the bliss of its own artfulness cleverness and loveliness It’s vanity in a way but then I guess that’s an appropriate vice for a book about beauty

characters Viper Wine

Viper WineNd a country on the brink of civil war The novel takes us backstage at a glittering Inigo Jones court masue inside a dour Puritan community and into the Countess of Arundel's snail closet We see a lost Rubens altarpiece and peer into Venetia’s black wet obsidian scrying mirror Based on real events Viper Wine is rendered in Pop Art prose a place to find alchemy David Bowie recipes for seventeenth century beauty potions a Borgesian unfinished library and a submarine that sails beneath the Thames. Wow What a way to write historical fiction Unlike some readers I loved the addition of modern figures ideas words into the story Groucho Marx entertaining at a masue Mary Shelley attending one of Digby's scientific lectures and uotes from famous actresses and models My favorite is when Digby just knew the modern science terminology to a concept he was thinking of It showed that Digby was ahead of his time He's an interesting man with interesting ideas I also loved how the author interspersed the novel with uotes from Digby's actual journals letters etc It also shows how unfortunately apropos this story is to our time which is one of the reasons why we look at history This book is about the passage of time and beauty and the lengths we go to to get it all back This includes gums blackened by painting with lead; breasts operated on seventeen times for a non existent problem; healthy bodies cut apart by greedy physicians; women misled traduced deluded He had not realised vanity had undone so many 392 Like the time I chemically burnt my upper lip trying to remove its tiny practically nonexistent hairs after my sister egged me on Or the time I dyed my hair in high school and it turned black ie not the color I was going for Just saying we've all been thereThe notorious apothecary of this tale Choice was uite the character The author did a marvelous job showing this forefather of ratty uacks and greasy untrustworthy doctors or money hungry prescription pushers I wish we got to read of him or others like him maybe I'll pick up a few nonfiction books on this subject; I can't believe what they believed back then but then again there are still strong parallels of this nowadaysThis was such a refreshing addition to the historical fiction drama connecting the past with the present The ending chapters that draw this story to a full circle are lovely

Hermione Eyre ¸ 3 characters

review Viper Wine 103 ñ [Download] ➿ Viper Wine ➻ Hermione Eyre – At Whitehall Palace in 1632 the ladies at the court of Charles I are beginning to look suspiciously alike Plump cheeks dilated pupils and a heightened sense of pleasure are the first signs that they h At Whitehall Palace in the ladies at the court of Charles I areIs married and her “mid climacteric” approaches all that adoration has curdled to scrutiny and she fears her powers are waning Her devoted husband Sir Kenelm Digby – alchemist explorer philosopher courtier and time traveller – believes he has the means to cure wounds from a distance but he so loves his wife that he will not make her a beauty tonic convinced she has no need of it From the whispering court at Whitehall to the charlatan physicians of Eastcheap here is a marriage in crisis a. I am so glad that is overThis book had tremendous potential both in its premise and the author's apparent talent for writing A spring morning dawned shared by all those who happened to be alive at the same time as one another that unwitting complicity that means everything and nothing and goes unnoticed or glimpsed by historians or curious novelists Her writing even though verbose was uite beautiful at times and drew me into the book at first I also really found the topic fascinating a woman obsessed with looking young turning to dangerous concoctions to keep her from aging But all of what this book could have been was overshadowed by the completely incoherent pretentious mess it turned out to beThe amount of anachronisms breakings of the fourth wall and general nonsense in this book is mind boggling I understand it was designed this way but that does not make it any better in my eyes I felt like this book didn't know what it wanted to be and kept digressing from the main story There were so many unnecessary irrelevant points of view it kept jumping in time and place unannounced and most of the time I wasn't even sure what this book was trying to tell me Obsession with beauty is timeless Wowee who would have thoughtThe characters were fine for the most part except for Kenelm Digby who was a weird amalgamation of well weirdness He's apparently a time traveller and can access future information when meditating which was so far from making any kind of sense I would rather not dwell on it Blimey said Kenelm meaning to say Blind me but coining the modern version accidentally the book is full of these on the nose attempts at I don't even know what humour wit elbow to the side while winking conspicuouslyThe worst part is that I really did enjoy most of the sections that directly related to Venetia and her process of beautification I was morbidly curious about the whole situation but as the book progressed these sections grew few and far between I ended up only skim reading the last third of the book desperately praying for it to finally be over so I could toss this book across the room and never look at it again