book suggestion needed

I would like to open each of the five acts of Midnight Never Come with an epigraph.

(What, you thought I would actually be taking a really-and-truly break for any substantial length of time? Hah.)

I have sources picked out for four of the five, though in three of those cases there are several potential quotes I might use — which means they haven’t been firmly assigned to particular acts, except for the last one. In no particular order, therefore, they are: The Faerie Queene, The Book of the Courtier, The Prince, and Dr. Faustus.

I need one more.

So I’m opening the floor to suggestions. My requirements are as follows:

1) The book/poem/play/whatever must be contemporary to the period of the novel. That is, published no later than 1590. (The first three books of TFQ came out then, and since nobody seems to have conclusive proof as to the date of Faustus, I’m going with the argument that puts it some time 1588-1590.) If it’s foreign, it needs to have been translated into English by 1590. If it’s substantially older than that period, my ideal would be for it to have been popular in the Elizabethan era; Beowulf wouldn’t cut it.

2) No Shakespeare. I haven’t bothered looking up what, if anything, of his got written before 1590, but even if there is something, I’m making a point of not shoehorning him into this novel.

3) I’d like to avoid repeating any of the authors I already have. Ergo, no Discorsi, no other plays of Marlowe’s, no Shepherdes Calendar or whatnot.

I know some of you are thorough-going Elizabethan geeks; any suggestions as to sources I could mine for that last epigraph?

0 Responses to “book suggestion needed”

  1. anghara

    When was Dante, again…?

    • Marie Brennan

      Early fourteenth century, but I’ll keep it in mind; it might well have appropriate material, even if it’s a bit out of period.

  2. matociquala

    Tycho Brahe, DIE STELLA NOVA

    Sir Philip Sidney

    Thomas Nashe

    George Chapman

    Thomas Kyd

    Any love there?

    Actually, The Spanish Tragedy would be a great choice.

    Hey, do I get to read this?

    • Marie Brennan

      Oh, right, I’d been thinking of giving Sidney a look. Hadn’t thought about Kyd, though I should have. I’ve never actually read The Spanish Tragedy (though I blame Pamela Dean for me reading The Revenger’s Tragedy).

      Hey, do I get to read this?

      If you mean my book, yes, when it hits print around June of next year. If you mean The Spanish Tragedy, nobody’s stopping you that I know of. <g>

      • matociquala

        Oh, I’ve read the Spanish Tragedy.


        We’ll be hitting print around the same time. We can do the volcano movie thing!

        • Marie Brennan

          Or the bug movie thing. Or the [fill in other trope] movie thing. They really do seem to come in pairs.

          I’d been wondering if our release dates were as close together as I thought. I had offered to review Ink & Steel for Strange Horizons; I may have to think about recusing myself, on the grounds that I’m too close to the subject matter for anything resembling objectivity. (I don’t think they’ll want a review full of “hey, she found the same obscure bit of folklore I did!” or “dammit, I wish I had known about that historical incident.”)

          • matociquala

            The good news is, I’m starting three years after you end, so we won’t overlap overmuch. Dee is mentioned in passing in Ink & Steel, Yates not at all. I’m all over the privy council, Essex, Catesby, the players, and that lot–and I’m using almost exclusively historical characters, except in the Otherworld.

            Also, 100% Tiresias-free. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            By the way, I think I forgot to mention that I happen to think the Riggs biographies are kind of ass. (His Ben Jonson one inspired much scribbling in the margins, though his Marlowe is better.) The Park Honan ones filled me with glee, though….

            Who is your publisher for this?

            (Hey, I have been pleased to see you doing some in-depth research. *g* Just tell me you didn’t use Dead Spaniard. Because if I read one more fucking Elizabethan fantasy with a Dead Spaniard reference…)

          • Marie Brennan

            I’m using almost exclusively historical characters, except in the Otherworld.

            As am I, though originally I thought it would be otherwise. But my set consists of Walsingham, Beale, Hunsdon, the Countess of Warwick, Dee, and of course Elizabeth. (Plus assorted minorlings.)

            Our two books may be crossover fic waiting to happen. <lol>

            Riggs: I found his book pleasantly readable, but ultimately, the only thing I used it for was to decide that Kit wouldn’t be in my book after all, except in a passing mention. So any errors he might have made won’t screw me up, fortunately.

            Orbit (formerly Warner), I’m the stereotype of the perfectionist Virgo, and I promise, no Dead Spaniard. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • matociquala

            They pretty much look that way, don’t they?

            Anyway, I can’t wait to read what you’ve done with the old place. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Marie Brennan

            Given your familiarity with the period, I’m actually a little nervous about you reading MNC. <g>

          • matociquala

            A lack of Dead Spaniard will go a LONG WAY.

          • Marie Brennan

            Then I win! *o/*

            (Any other horrible Elizabethan-fiction cliches I should know about and avoid? I appear not to have read enough of the subgenre to be aware of things like an overuse of Dead Spaniard and the heresy of turning John Dee into some neo-pagan earth-mother-worshipping hippie.)

          • matociquala

            Hee. Well, you are in the wrong time period for the Dutch Church Libel, so that’s all good.

          • Marie Brennan

            . . . Dutch Church Libel?

          • matociquala

            Some verses nailed to the door of a church shortly before Marlowe was murdered.

            It’s, er.

            A long story.

          • Marie Brennan

            Ah — something I remember reading about in passing, but the phrase wasn’t immediately familiar (though I see from the internets that it’s a common term for the incident).

            I’ve been very thorough about ignoring/forgetting stuff that comes post-1590, so as to minimize the risk of confusing myself.

  3. kitsunealyc

    Phillip Sydney’s “The Arcadia” might be an appropriate pairing with Spencer. I think it’s 1580-ish?

  4. akashiver

    What? No Shakespeare love?!


  5. unquietsoul5

    John Dee perhaps….

    Starting point to look :

    Another place to look for various Elizabethans:

    And for Ren. Literature in general:

    • Marie Brennan

      Re: John Dee perhaps….

      I considered Dee, but I can’t quite bring myself to slog through the Monas or suchlike in an attempt to find appropriate quotes. Thanks for the link to the Wikiquote page; I don’t think I’ll be using anything off it, but that’s the kind of thing I really needed.

      • unquietsoul5

        Re: John Dee perhaps….

        Perfectly understandable the Monas is a bit of a pain to dig through. Hopefully you’ll find something else more suitable.

  6. cheshyre

    Depending on the subject, there’s Robert Greene’s books on coneycatching

    • Marie Brennan

      Heh. I do have a book that discusses Elizabethan life with many quotes from period materials, including stuff of that sort. But it’s probably not quite the subject matter I’m looking for. (I’ll keep it in mind, though.)

  7. lowellboyslash

    Well, there’s always Gargantua and Pantagruel (1540ish, maybe?), or, if you’re willing to go a bit older, Mandeville’s Travels (1360-70, but remained popular). And if you want something classic and permanently bestselling, there’s always the Decameron or the Canterbury Tales. And, I mean, nobody gets tired of Dante.

    In the spirit of the Shakespearean period, though, would you consider a translation of a classical work? English versions of Greek and Roman stories / pieces were fairly popular then.

    • Marie Brennan

      I considered classical lit, but the giant stumbling block there is how much of it I’d have to sort through. If an apropos quote leapt to mind from Ovid or something, I’d be happy to go with it, but I’m not going to review the entire Renaissance canon of classics just for one piddly epigraph. (There are limits to even my obsessiveness. <g>)

  8. shveta_thakrar

    Hi! I found you on , and I hope it’s all right I stopped by. ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you have the time, I’d love to talk to you about writing faerie novels. I saw in the clichรฉ thread that you used English folklore rather than the “traditional” Irish/Scottish take. This intrigues me, as I plan to go one step further into Asia for my faerie story.

    Anyway, I look forward to hearing more!

    • Marie Brennan

      My profound apologies for not having answer this, er, months ago; the comment notification ended up in the bottom stratum of my inbox, I’m afraid. However, if you’re still interested in discussing the topic, I’d be more than glad to oblige; feel free to e-mail me with any questions or points you might have.

  9. Anonymous

    I wasn’t sure if Thom and Moraine had an actual history so much as that she was aware of his history as a court bard and he was aware that she was a member of the Damodred family and a friend of the Amyrlin Seat, which they admitted to each other in conversation. But I more got the idea that they had each heard each other’s names, pieced something together, and then engaged in mutual threatening — not that they had a prior history, or at least much of one, before meeting in the Two Rivers. But I suspect that’s arguable.

  10. Anonymous

    The Atlantic had another good article on this whole phenomenon,

    I was particularly thoughtful about the section that’s concluded by this:

    “This certainly doesn’t give trolls a free pass, but it does serve as a reminder that ultimately, trolls are symptomatic of much larger problems. Decrying trolls without at least considering the ways in which they are embedded within and directly replicate existing systems is therefore tantamount to taking a swing at an object’s reflection and hanging a velvet rope around the object itself. “

  11. Anonymous

    Or, as I did on my way to Argentina, you can frantically copy down your burner codes before you board your flight and then bind the cookie to the code for 30 days, which exceeds the duration of your trip. Regardless, that sucks.

  12. Anonymous

    IIRC you’ll only be able to use one device at a time as the code generator, but you can use the printed backup codes as a way to enable a new device if the main one is lost/stolen/immolated/dropped into the Wisล‚a.

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