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The Wenches


  • Mary Jo Putney

  • Patricia Rice

  • Susan Fraser King

  • Anne Gracie

  • Nicola Cornick

  • Andrea Penrose

  • Christina Courtenay

In Memoriam


  • Jo Beverley
    Word Wench 2006-2016

  • Edith Layton
    Word Wench 2006-2009

Word Wenches Staff

Wench Staff Emeritae

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June 2023

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Wenches Statistics

  • Years published: 164

    Novels published: 231

    Novellas published: 74

    Range of story dates: nine centuries (1026-present)


    Awards Won:

    • RWA RITA

    • RWA Honor Roll

    • RWA Top 10 Favorite

    • RT Lifetime Achievement

    • RT Living Legend

    • RT Reviewers Choice

    • Publishers Weekly Starred Reviews

    • Golden Leaf

    • Barclay Gold

    • ABA Notable Book

    • Historical Novels Review Editors Choice

    • AAR Best Romance

    • Smart Bitches Top 10

    Kirkus Reviews Top 21

    Library Journal Top 5

    Publishers Weekly Top 5

    Booklist Top 10

    • Booktopia Top 10

    • Golden Apple Award for Lifetime Achievement


    Bestseller Lists:

    NY Times

    • Wall Street Journal

    • USA Today

    • Waldenbooks Mass Market

    • Barnes & Noble

    • Amazon.com

    Chicago Tribune

    • Rocky Mountain News

    • Publishers Weekly

Books

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Comments

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Mary Jo Putney

Wow, Susan, thank you! I had no idea that Tolkien was such an artist! A magic man indeed.

Alison Y

What delightful illustrations. I've put the book on hold at the library, but I'm thinking it will probably end up in my basket the next time I am buying books.

Thank you for this post. You all give us so many wonderful insights into a large variety of subjects, which is why this is the first place I go with my morning cup of coffee.

Kathryn

I had never heard of this book, even though I've been a fan of Tolkien since high school (over 50 years ago). Thank you for pointing me in this direction. I definitely plan to see if can get a copy and read it to my grandchildren!

Katja

And here I thought I knew everything Tolkien wrote. Thanks for a very interesting post

Janice

Susan,
Thank you for this wonderful post! I saw an exhibit of Tolkien’s paintings in New York City at the Morgan Library & Museum in 2019, and was amazed at what a wonderful artist he was. To be blessed with two amazing talents, not just one, is quite a blessing. I didn’t know that the Christmas Letters were in book form! Must obtain a copy to add to my library.
Cheers,
Janice

Kareni

Thanks for a lovely post, Susan! I can attest that the The Father Christmas Letters book is indeed delightful.

Janice

We used Tolkien's translations of certain medieval texts in my medieval lit classes. He was still alive then so I hope he got some decent royalties off us :)

I must have read or listened to Rob Inglis's readings of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings a hundred times over the years. I never get tired of his language, his humor, or the beauty of the world he created (though I can do without some of the songs). Imagine a world in which horses can understand you and alcohol and tobacco are not harmful :)

I go back and forth as to whether he or Jane Austen is my all time favorite author. I never get tired of either one.

Patricia Franzino

Susan, thank you for this posting.

I loved the Tolkien exhibit at the Morgan Library several years ago. So much of his artwork was on display and first editions of his trilogy.

I also love The Father Christmas Letters. I laughed out loud at polar bear's antics.

His robes from Oxford were seen and many letters he wrote. It was a magical exhibit.

Susan, all the highest prosperity to you and yours, as well as all the Word Wenches for 2022!

Donna H.

A wonderful post, with amazing photos of Tolkien's paintings. It has inspired me to finally try and read his books - have never done so and I must admit I have never read Jane Austen either. I am sure I am shocking the Word Wenches by saying this. Any suggestions which books i should start with?

Janice

I would suggest starting with The Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings. That will keep the plot straight for you (though plot is the least of it). Because in the US The Hobbit wasn't paperbacked until after the trilogy was, I started the other way :)

The Hobbit was written for his kids, so it is in more of a young adult mode. LOTR was intended for adults.

Tolkien starts off amongst the Hobbits, and then gets you into the wider world. After a couple of chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring, I couldn't put it down. There's an incident near the end of Fellowship that made me yelp out loud and I scared the people in the restaurant :)

Ignore the movies except as illustrations; too many bad changes were made.

As for Jane Austen, it doesn't matter which one you start with, since she wasn't into sequels. I would suggest Persuasion, as it's the shortest.

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