Saturday, February 04, 2023

What is Sarah Rayne reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Sarah Rayne, author of Chalice of Darkness.

Her entry begins:
Admist the turmoils of the last few years, I’ve turned to old favourites, and there’s a remarkable reassurance in stepping into earlier eras.

I have re-read (for possibly the twelfth time), Broome Stages by Clemence Dane.

Clemence Dane was a highly thought-of novelist and playwright of her era. (Her best known plays are Will Shakespeare, Granite, and Bill of Divorcement). Broome Stages was written in the 1930s, and I discovered it many years ago, and lost an entire four-day bank holiday reading it. It’s a very long book – 700 pages – and spans the years between 1715 and 1930, covering seven generations of a theatrical family. The story begins with travelling players in tavern courtyards, and traces the family’s rise – through the fruity old Victorian actor managers who re-wrote Shakespeare to suit themselves, and into the early years of the 20 th century, with the dawn of the early movies. It’s about the changing world of the theatre, but it’s also about the Broomes themselves – their loves and hates and feuds, and the building of...[read on]
About Chalice of Darkness, from the publisher:
London, 1908. The Fitzglens are proud of their reputation as one of London’s leading theatre families. They are, however, equally proud of another profession which they pursue very discreetly . . . When not on stage, they are thieves.

Jack Fitzglen’s latest plan is to seek out the infamous Talisman Chalice, steal it and create a dazzling piece of theatre around it. He travels to Vallow Hall in Northumberland to find the mysterious Maude – the last known link to the Chalice – but uncovers something far darker. Scandal, secrets and danger lurk in every shady corner. Perhaps the legend of the Chalice has come true: that in the wrong hands, the Chalice drags a person into a darkness from which he or she can never emerge…

As past and present collide, can Jack find the Chalice, the truth and return to his theatre of thieves unscathed?
Visit Sarah Rayne's website.

Writers Read: Sarah Rayne (November 2017).

The Page 69 Test: Chord of Evil.

The Page 69 Test: The Murder Dance.

Q&A with Sarah Rayne.

My Book, The Movie: Chalice of Darkness.

Writers Read: Sarah Rayne.

--Marshal Zeringue