The recent Library sale has once again lengthened my seemingly endless list of books to read.
I picked up several books by Jane Yolen, including Sister Light, Sister Dark (whose dust jacket I tossled away in anticipation of grumblings from my significant other; same with a John Varley book I grabbed, that would’ve easily found its way to Goodshowsir with plenty of sheep) which I’d read*, but did not own.
One of the books I grabbed was “To Prove a Villain”, an old academic book that collects a number of works, from Shakespeare (Richard III is presented in its entirety) & Thomas More to Josephine Tey’s “The Daughter of Time exploring the evils of the ill-starred York.
I don’t need a book, however, to know Richard of Gloucester was evil. I’ve known since I was 3, haunted by the learing sidelong gaze of that wicked king. By some great misfortune, a very large coffee-table sized volume bearing in great detail and color that murderous monarch’s portrait had its home on the far end of my father’s wire-frame bookshelf, positioned such that if I had so foolishly decided to sleep with my door open and my head at the foot of the bed, I did so under his watchful eyes. As he twiddled his rings, shot me half-smiles, and even winked at me from his place on the shelf, I knew, though I knew not his name, that this was a wicked man!
A face that literally frightens small children.
*:the version I’d read had the much less booberiffic cover that came out after Tor realized they put a picture of three naked women on a Young Adult fantasy** story for girls and said picture of naked women might discourage young readers (or at least parents).
**: And, y’know, the funny thing is, if you got rid of all the wretched covers, most sci-fi/fantasy pulp makes for great YA reading***. In fact, there was an Andre Norton book that was IN the YA section of the sale that I almost grabbed but didn’t (I grabbed one of her other books, instead), simply because I didn’t want to defend its contemptible cover.
***: or kinda wonky Saturday Morning Cartoons.