Virgin Earth

by Philippa Gregory | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0006511767 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Koalabare of Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on 3/19/2004
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10 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Friday, March 19, 2004
This is an excellent book. I had read The Other Boleyn Girl by the same author and really enjoyed it and this is more of the same well-researched historical story telling.

Set during the English Civil War and the colonisation by English settlers of Virginia, the story the life of the royal gardener, John Tradescant. He ends up torn between his life in England with his family and the new life (and wife) in Virginia to which he flees to escape the encroaching war in England.
Once there he lives with the native tribe of the area, but ultimately cannot live torn between two vastly different worlds.

I knew a fair amount about the English Civil War, having studied it at school, but had never matched up the founding of Jamestown in Virginia as being within the same period. I also hadn't realised the extent to which the English settlers were ill-prepared and ill-equiped for their new lives, although I had read something of the brutality with which they treated the native People.

My only criticism was that it was a tad too long - the second half of the book is placed mainly in England, as John's family's troubles reflect those of the changing political climate. However....still a damn good read, moving and informative.

Good for anyone who likes history, gardening, a bit of romance and adventure.

Journal Entry 2 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 24, 2004
I'm sending this on a bookring...shipping order below:

Nyassa (UK)
Eucalia (US)
Stardustedangel (US)
Drommie1810 (US)
Jamieh2003 (US)
Czersk (US
Adrienne10 (US)
MarianneF (UK)
Nefertari (UK)<-- Arrived with

And back to me!

I know this is a fairly hefty book :) but please don't hang onto the book for too long. Also, please journal when you receive and to let us know what you think. Thanks and enjoy! :)

Released on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 at Sent to a bookcrosser in Royal Mail, City of London, England United Kingdom.

OK, this has begun it's journey! Off to Nyassa!

Journal Entry 4 by nyassa from Deal, Kent United Kingdom on Friday, April 02, 2004
Arrived today from Koalabare. Many thanks for arranging this ring.

It looks like a long read - 567 pages of close print. I'll do my best to be as fast as possible.

Journal Entry 5 by nyassa from Deal, Kent United Kingdom on Monday, April 26, 2004
This is the first Philippa Gregory book that I have read and, in spite of its length and the fact that I have several other rings waiting, I felt it was no effort to read it. I knew I was hooked when I started trawling the internet for more information on John Tradescant.

I have always been very interested in gardening so it was a theme that applealed from the start, indeed I would have like more on that than on Bonnie Prince Charlie. Equally I would have liked to have learned more about Virginia. The only problem with books of this type is that you are left wondering where does fact end and fiction begin? But I suppose that is no bad thing if you are prompted to find out more, and I am. My history teacher would be proud of me!

It will be on its way to Eucalia as soon as I can get to the post office.

Journal Entry 6 by Eucalia from Issaquah, Washington USA on Thursday, May 06, 2004
I received this book in the mail today. I will start it as soon as I finish the book I'm in the middle of now. Thanks, Koalabare, for sharing this book with us!

Journal Entry 7 by Eucalia at sent to bookcrosser in Mailed, Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Released on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 at sent to bookcrosser in Mailed, Bookring Controlled Releases.

My apologies to the group for hanging on to this book for so long--I hit a really busy patch there for a couple of weeks.

This book was really well written and although it was long, it kept my attention the whole time. It made me interested to know more about English history during that time and I look forward to reading more of Ms. Gregory's books!

Thanks again for sharing this book with us, Koalabare. I mailed it off to Stardustedangel this morning.

Journal Entry 8 by stardustedangel from Pineville, North Carolina USA on Friday, July 09, 2004
This came in the mail sometime last week while I was away. Started it when I returned and found I couldn't put it down! Good stuff...I'm going to have to hunt down other books by this author.
I'll send this off to the next person as soon as I know the mailing address=)

Released on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 at post office--controlled release! in Pineville, North Carolina USA.

sent out via media mail today. thanks again to Koalabare for sharing!

Journal Entry 10 by drommie1810 from Virginia Beach, Virginia USA on Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Received in the mail yesterday.

I read the first chapter or so in traffic last night...and she's certainly got the Virginia climate right! It's swampy and buggy and just plain ol' yicky, and I'm in the middle of it. Thank goodness for AC.

Interesting related factoid: in the mid 1700's, average life expectancy in Virginia was 26-29 (a bit lower for women, due to childbirth), while average life expectancy in New England and Pennsylvania was approximately 60.

Looking forward to reading this one!

Journal Entry 11 by drommie1810 from Virginia Beach, Virginia USA on Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Surprisingly quick read, for all its length, and really enjoyable!

I thought this was so much better than The Other Boleyn Girl, with a more finely drawn sense of setting and characters it was easy to get involved with. My personal favorites were Hester, with her practicality and sense of duty, and Lambert, who was just plain nice. John himself I thought would have occassionally benefitted from a smack, but he was still compelling and realistic.

The ending was a little disappointing (though it gives interesting insight to the origins of the Ashmolean) and I probably would have been a little let down just by the book coming to any end. Plus I'm still trying to figure out what John's "tulip tree" is, with flowers as big as your head. Maybe a magnolia.

I'm now in search of the first Tradescant book, which the back of this one says is Earthly Joys...anyone heard of or seen it about?

Thanks to Koalabare for initiating a *great* bookring!

Journal Entry 12 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Friday, August 06, 2004
Loved your journal entry Drommie - my thoughts on John were frequently very similar!!

'Earthly Joys' is available over here and is on my 'To get hold of' list - if it's as interesting as this one I may send it out as a ring...watch this space!

Journal Entry 13 by drommie1810 from Virginia Beach, Virginia USA on Saturday, August 21, 2004
Two things to mention here...

First, does anyone know who Jamie2003 is? My computer keeps saying she doesn't exist when I search for her, and I've been trying for a while, thinking it may have been a problem on my end. Koalabare- let me know if there's a different spelling I should try, or if I should send to the next person in line.

Secondly, ermintrude75 seems to have an Earthly Joys bookring going! I PMed her just now and asked if she was still taking names...watch this space for an update!

Journal Entry 14 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 24, 2004
OK, totally my fault for this - the list should read jaimeh2003 after Drommie1810, not jaime2003.

Mea culpa!

Sorry for the confusion, and sorry to jaimeh2003 for getting your name wrong!

Journal Entry 15 by drommie1810 from Virginia Beach, Virginia USA on Friday, September 03, 2004
Mailed out to jamieh2003 this morning (sorry for the delay...school just started and my mind isn't working well).

Also, Earthly Joys bookring is still open...PM ermintrude75 if interested.

Journal Entry 16 by jamieh2003 from Wiley Ford, West Virginia USA on Monday, September 13, 2004
This was waiting for me at the post office when I returned from vacation. I'm really looking forward to reading it and promise to have it moving on within the next few days. Thanks for including me in this ring! I've become a huge fan of Gregory's this last year.

Journal Entry 17 by jamieh2003 from Wiley Ford, West Virginia USA on Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Wow! What a tale! With each work by Gregory I read I become a more devoted fan. I loved this tale that was set during the English Civil War (17th Century). I find that Gregory uses enough detail to capture your attention but then makes sure she holds it with these finely etched characters. Now I have to go find the first book in the series LOL Ah...you guys who send me so many excellent books to read via bookrings have no idea what kind of book buying binges I've been on lately;-)

FYI, I did a search for tulip trees after reading drommie's comments but the one's I've found though is a member of the magnolia family are called yellow birch, and the flowers seem to only be about 2 inches or so in diameter...so, I'm not sure that would be the one. They are lovely trees though.

This will be off to Czersk as soon as I receive the mailing info.

Journal Entry 18 by jamieh2003 at N/A in N/A, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, September 16, 2004

Released 15 yrs ago (9/16/2004 UTC) at N/A in N/A, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

to czersk via media mail.

Journal Entry 19 by Czersk from Roscoe, Minnesota USA on Thursday, September 23, 2004
Just arrived today, and if it's anything like The Other Boleyn Girl, I'll love it. I will get to it as soon as I can.

Journal Entry 20 by Czersk from Roscoe, Minnesota USA on Thursday, October 28, 2004
After reading this book almost non-stop for almost a week, I finally finished at around 10:36 last night. Wow! That was a big book. I felt it kind of drug on a bit. A good story, don't get me wrong, I couldn't put it down, but I felt that it just wouldn't end and it wouldn't be until the end of the 18th century before Phillipa decided she had had enough.

SPOILER:
I was SHOCKED when I read that King Charles I was executed and that there was such a long interregnum between monarchs. I NEVER knew that, and I pride myself on having a fair grasp of British history. Not that I mourned him. I thought he was an idiot, and so was he son. I really wanted Lambert to be the leader, but I knew that wasn't going to happen, otherwise we wouldn't have a QEII. I got to thinking how different the world would be if the monarchy had ended then and there with Charles. Would America still exist as it does now? There would never have been a Queen Victoria, and as a result no Romanovs as we remember them, with the hemophilia problems. Would there have been all of those wars (Amer. Rev., War of 1812, WWI and WWII)? What about all the English literature? Whoa.

Now I need to read the first one.

On to Adrienne10 . . .

Journal Entry 21 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Rec'd a couple days ago. I've started it, but have 3 exams and a report due, besides homework and regular work the next 7 days. Will update when finished.

Update 11/27: I'm a little behing reading this book. I haven't taken it to opportunities to read it, and then I received a new release library book that I've been looking forward to for several months. Bad adrienne10, I read the library book. It took a couple days to read.

I'm going to admit now that I'm finding this a very hard to read book. It is not holding my interest well, and I'm not sure that I can stomach some of it. If I can't finish it within the next 10 days, I'll send it on.

Journal Entry 22 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Tuesday, December 21, 2004
I finished this book today. Yes, it took me a long time to read. I had very little "extra" reading time over the past month, and, I must admit, when I had a good weekend for reading, read a library book of a new release I had been waiting for since September.

This is my first Philippa Gregory book, and I joined the bookring because I had heard mnay good things about her writing. I do not generally read historical fiction because I do not like it. Ms. Gregory is a good writer, albeit I agree this book is a little long.

I had to struggle through some things in the beginning. I assume Ms. Gregory has done her research, and so I learned quite a bit about English History with the Stuart Kings. As an American, we are taught quite a bit about Native American history and I took an extra course in college on the subject. The fiction part of the John/Suckahanna story was interesting.

I had to speed read some parts of the novel as it grew a little dull in places. I'm glad I read it and did push through when I thought I might stop and move on. Thank you for sharing this book. I apologize for keeping it so long. I will pass it along as soon as I have an address for the next person to get the book.

Released on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 at about 10:00:00 PM BX time (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) at through mail in Give to the followed bookcrosser on the bookring, Bookring Controlled Releases.

RELEASE NOTES:

Sending to MarianneF as soon as I get to the post office.

Journal Entry 24 by MarianneF from Whitehaven, Cumbria United Kingdom on Friday, February 04, 2005
This boom just arrived today. Received it as part of a Bookring from Koalabare.

Journal Entry 25 by MarianneF from Whitehaven, Cumbria United Kingdom on Sunday, March 06, 2005
My only reservation about this book was the simplistic ways in which groups of people were dealt with. It tended to be native americans and parliamentarians = good, settlers and royalists = bad. This is itself a generalization, but prety accurate and to me this signifies lack of characterization.

Otherwise I found the story kept me gripped and I loved the atmosphere created. There was always the feling that something awful was going to happen, which added to the suspence. A very enjoyable read.

Journal Entry 26 by MarianneF from Whitehaven, Cumbria United Kingdom on Friday, March 18, 2005
Put this book in post today to Nefertari the next person in ring.

Journal Entry 27 by nefertari from Derby, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Monday, March 21, 2005
This arrived with me this morning. I'll try and read it as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 28 by nefertari from Derby, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Friday, May 20, 2005
I really enjoyed this, particularly the historical detail which is always wonderful in Gregory's books. I haven't read Earthly Joys, so I'd really like to read that and then maybe read this one again in another year or so. Thanks for the opportunity to read it! It might be another week before I can send this back to Koalabare as I probably won't be able to get to the post office 'til half term.

Journal Entry 29 by Koalabare from Fetcham, Surrey United Kingdom on Monday, July 25, 2005
This book has arrived home! Thanks to everyone who took part in this ring and made journal entries - it's been great to read what you all thought of it!

This book is now off on loan to a friend - hoping that all the journal entries for it will persuade her to try BookCrossing! :)

11th October - well, she liked the book and was intrigued by BookCrossing, so will keep slinging BC books at her until she succumbs ;)

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