88 books like Marriage A-La-Mode

By John Dryden,

Here are 88 books that Marriage A-La-Mode fans have personally recommended if you like Marriage A-La-Mode. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Essence of Style: How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafes, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour

Richard Scholar Author Of Émigrés: French Words That Turned English

From my list on just how much English owes French.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been struck, as a learner of French at school and later a university professor of French, by how much English borrows from French language and culture. Imagine English without naïveté and caprice. You might say it would lose its raison d’être My first book was the history of a single French phrase, the je-ne-sais-quoi, which names a ‘certain something’ in people or things that we struggle to explain. Working on that phrase alerted me to the role that French words, and foreign words more generally, play in English. The books on this list helped me to explore this topic—and more besides—as I was writing Émigrés.

Richard's book list on just how much English owes French

Richard Scholar Why did Richard love this book?

This is cultural history with a difference and of a difference. It teaches you a lot about the reputation for fashionable culture that France enjoyed for centuries all over the world and continues to enjoy to this day. How much of all that is already packed into the book’s subtitle! The rest of the book is just as accessible and lively and unwilling ever to take itself too seriously. 

By Joan DeJean,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Essence of Style as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What makes fashionistas willing to pay a small fortune for a particular designer accessory? Why does a special occasion only become really special when a champagne cork pops? Why are diamonds the status symbol gemstone, instantly signifying wealth, power, and even emotional commitment? Writing with great elan, one of the foremost authorities on seventeenth-century French culture provides the answer to these and other fascinating questions in her account of how, at one glittering moment in history, the French under Louis XIV set the standards of sophistication, style, and glamour that still rule our lives today. Joan DeJean takes us back…


Book cover of The French Fetish from Chaucer to Shakespeare

Richard Scholar Author Of Émigrés: French Words That Turned English

From my list on just how much English owes French.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been struck, as a learner of French at school and later a university professor of French, by how much English borrows from French language and culture. Imagine English without naïveté and caprice. You might say it would lose its raison d’être My first book was the history of a single French phrase, the je-ne-sais-quoi, which names a ‘certain something’ in people or things that we struggle to explain. Working on that phrase alerted me to the role that French words, and foreign words more generally, play in English. The books on this list helped me to explore this topic—and more besides—as I was writing Émigrés.

Richard's book list on just how much English owes French

Richard Scholar Why did Richard love this book?

This is a brilliant essay in literary criticism. It traces English ambivalence towards French language and culture in the centuries that followed the Norman Conquest. It does so by delving into major literary texts—by Chaucer and Shakespeare among others—that explore that ambivalence for what it is: the symptom of a fetish. I like the way Williams writes and I find her inspiring in her desire to remain faithful to the complexity of the texts she studies and their attitudes.

By Deanne Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The French Fetish from Chaucer to Shakespeare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What was the impact of the Norman Conquest on the culture of medieval and early modern England? Deanne Williams answers this question by contending that not only French language and literature, but the idea of Frenchness itself, produced England's literary and cultural identity. Examining a variety of English representations of, and responses to, France and 'the French' in the work of Chaucer, Caxton, Skelton, Shakespeare and others, this book shows how English literature emerged out of a simultaneous engagement with, and resistance to, the pervasive presence of French language and culture in England that was the legacy of the Norman…


Book cover of Ennui

Richard Scholar Author Of Émigrés: French Words That Turned English

From my list on just how much English owes French.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been struck, as a learner of French at school and later a university professor of French, by how much English borrows from French language and culture. Imagine English without naïveté and caprice. You might say it would lose its raison d’être My first book was the history of a single French phrase, the je-ne-sais-quoi, which names a ‘certain something’ in people or things that we struggle to explain. Working on that phrase alerted me to the role that French words, and foreign words more generally, play in English. The books on this list helped me to explore this topic—and more besides—as I was writing Émigrés.

Richard's book list on just how much English owes French

Richard Scholar Why did Richard love this book?

Ennui is a hidden gem of a novel. I admire the way it deftly weaves together personal lives and political histories on either side of the Irish Sea. I have come to feel strongly that the author, Maria Edgeworth, is unjustly overlooked by literary history in favour of Jane Austen. Yet Austen drew inspiration from her older contemporary. In this novel, Edgeworth draws on French words and ideas to tell the tale of an over-entitled English lounge lizard who is cured of his fashionable affliction—the ennui of the title—by his travels and travails in Ireland. The result is a cosmopolitan novel crackling with invention and implication.

By Maria Edgeworth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ennui as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ennui


Book cover of The Naïve and Sentimental Lover

Richard Scholar Author Of Émigrés: French Words That Turned English

From my list on just how much English owes French.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been struck, as a learner of French at school and later a university professor of French, by how much English borrows from French language and culture. Imagine English without naïveté and caprice. You might say it would lose its raison d’être My first book was the history of a single French phrase, the je-ne-sais-quoi, which names a ‘certain something’ in people or things that we struggle to explain. Working on that phrase alerted me to the role that French words, and foreign words more generally, play in English. The books on this list helped me to explore this topic—and more besides—as I was writing Émigrés.

Richard's book list on just how much English owes French

Richard Scholar Why did Richard love this book?

This is a bittersweet comedy of manners in which John le Carré ventures way beyond the spy novels for which he is more famous. For lovers of spy novelsand I am one suchthere is much here to savour. Le Carré draws upon the French concept of the naïve – as paired with the sentimental by the German essayist Friedrich Schillerto inform and enliven the telling of a tale about a love triangle in middle England. Underlying the comic idiom of the novel is an acid dissection of the causes of British failure to be a part of Europe and to help lead Europe out of her darkness. A tale, perhaps, for our times. 

By John le Carré,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Naïve and Sentimental Lover as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Spy Who Came in from the Cold; and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom Hiddleston.

"I have visited bohemia and got away unscathed."

Aldo Cassidy is an entrepreneurial genius. At thirty-nine, he dominates the baby pram market and rewards his success with a custom Bentley. But Aldo's bourgeois life is upended by a chance encounter with Shamus-a charismatic writer whose first and only novel blazoned across the firmament twenty years earlier. The two develop a passionate friendship that draws Aldo-smitten also with his new…


Book cover of The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets: Cowley. Denham. Milton. Butler. Rochester. Roscommon. Otway. Waller. Pomfret. Dorset. Stepney. J. Philips. Walsh. Dryden

Willard Spiegelman Author Of Nothing Stays Put: The Life and Poetry of Amy Clampitt

From my list on the lives and works of English and American poets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent my life both in the classroom (as a university professor) and out of it as a passionate, committed reader, for whom books are as necessary as food and drink. My interest in poetry dates back to junior high school, when I was learning foreign languages (first French and Latin, and then, later, Italian, German, and ancient Greek) and realized that language is humankind’s most astonishing invention. I’ve been at it ever since. It used to be thought that a writer’s life was of little consequence to an understanding of his or her work. We now think otherwise. Thank goodness.

Willard's book list on the lives and works of English and American poets

Willard Spiegelman Why did Willard love this book?

This is where it all started. The beginning of modern criticism.


Samuel Johnson was the first and greatest English literary critic, whose life and work were memorably recorded by his friend James Boswell.
Johnson himself, an exemplary, even obsessive, man of letters, wrote these 52 short biographies of figures, many still canonized today (John Milton, John Dryden, Jonathan Swift, William Congreve, but no women, alas) and he shows with sympathy and good sense how an understanding of a writer’s life helps us to understand his work as well.

Johnson was luminous. His prose is dazzling. He was a prodigious writer and thinker.

By Samuel Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.


Book cover of The Sister Arts: The Tradition of Literary Pictorialism and English Poetry from Dryden to Gray

Lawrence Lipking Author Of The Ordering of the Arts in Eighteenth-Century England

From my list on the arts as crucial elements of human life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a chameleon scholar. Though my first love is poetry, I have written about all the arts, about 18th-century authors (especially Samuel Johnson), about theories of literature and literary vocations, about Sappho and other abandoned women, about ancients and moderns and chess and marginal glosses and the meaning of life and, most recently, the Scientific Revolution. But I am a teacher too, and The Ordering of the Arts grew out of my fascination with those writers who first taught readers what to look for in painting, music and poetrywhat works were best, what works could change their lives. That project has inspired my own life and all my writing.

Lawrence's book list on the arts as crucial elements of human life

Lawrence Lipking Why did Lawrence love this book?

In the Restoration and the eighteenth century, the mark of a true poet was to see thingsto describe the visible and invisible worlds so vividly that everyone could see them too. 

Most modern readers are blind to this. But Jean Hagstrum teaches us how to see with eighteenth-century eyes. The pictures that poets make, and the paintings that inspire those visions, come alive in thoughtful readings that focus on the workshops of art: the schools where artists learn the craft of making what is imagined into something that seems real.

By Jean H. Hagstrum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sister Arts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Ashes of London

Flora Johnston Author Of The Paris Peacemakers

From my list on historical fiction books with a new take on a famous event.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by stories from the past. I worked for many years in museums and heritage, telling Scotland’s stories through exhibitions and nonfiction publications, but I was always drawn to the question best answered through historical fiction – what did that feel like? Well-researched historical fiction can take us right into the lives of people who lived through the dramatic events we read about in academic books. I found that each of the novels on my list transported me to a different time and place, and I hope you enjoy them, too.

Flora's book list on historical fiction books with a new take on a famous event

Flora Johnston Why did Flora love this book?

I love a bit of historical crime, and this novel, the first in a series about Cat Lovett and James Marwood, has everything. It’s a brilliantly plotted mystery but it is also so much more. Set in 1666, it opens with the Great Fire of London, as the chaos of fire sweeping through the city is used to cover up murder.

I found the story and the characters compelling, so much so that I’ve gone on to read the rest of the series, each of which intertwines the personal lives of Cat and James with the political events of the day.

By Andrew Taylor,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Ashes of London as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book in the No. 1 Times bestselling series

'This is terrific stuff' Daily Telegraph

'A breathtakingly ambitious picture of an era' Financial Times

'A masterclass in how to weave a well-researched history into a complex plot' The Times

A CITY IN FLAMES
London, 1666. As the Great Fire consumes everything in its path, the body of a man is found in the ruins of St Paul's Cathedral - stabbed in the neck, thumbs tied behind his back.

A WOMAN ON THE RUN
The son of a traitor, James Marwood is forced to hunt the killer through the city's…


Book cover of 1666: Plague, War, and Hellfire

Esther M. Sternberg Author Of The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions

From my list on dealing with stress through strong characters and stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Internationally recognized mind-body science and design and health pioneer, Esther Sternberg M.D. is Research Director, Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, Inaugural Andrew Weil Chair for Research in Integrative Medicine, Professor of Medicine, Psychology, Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture, Founding Director, University of Arizona Institute on Place, Wellbeing & Performance, and Associate Director (Research), Innovations in Healthy Aging. Formerly a National Institutes of Health Senior Scientist and Section Chief, she received the U.S. Federal Government’s highest awards, authored over 235 scholarly articles, and two engaging and popular science-for-the-lay-public books: The Balance Within chronicling mind-body science underpinning stress and illness and belief and wellness, and Healing Spaces, which helped ignite the 21st-century design and health movement.

Esther's book list on dealing with stress through strong characters and stories

Esther M. Sternberg Why did Esther love this book?

This book is a gripping story of the year 1666 in which three calamities befell London: the Black Plague, the Anglo-Dutch War, and the Great Fire of London. When I read the book in 2021, I found that we were re-living practically the same events in modern times. I live in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson, Arizona, and in the spring of 2020, shortly after the COVID shutdowns, fires ignited by lighting swept through the canyons just north of my home. I found myself in a “get ready” zone of the region’s “Get Ready, Get Set, Go” emergency evacuation plan.

1666 shows the range of people’s responses to extreme and immediate danger: from Samuel Pepys’ quick thinking to get the critical government documents out of harm’s way, all the way to the panic and inability to act of others. All animals show a range of reactions…

By Rebecca Rideal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1666 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1666 was a watershed year for England. The outbreak of the Great Plague, the eruption of the second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London all struck the country in rapid succession and with devastating repercussions.

Shedding light on these dramatic events, historian Rebecca Rideal reveals an unprecedented period of terror and triumph. Based on original archival research and drawing on little-known sources, 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire takes readers on a thrilling journey through a crucial turning point in English history, as seen through the eyes of an extraordinary cast of historical characters.

While the central events of…


Book cover of The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Simon Leyland Author Of A Curious Guide to London: Tales of a City

From my list on London for the curious.

Why am I passionate about this?

In a previous life, I was a City trader and as such have always been fascinated by the ridiculous and the absurd. Now a full-time writer and poet, I live on the west coast of Ireland and have written a number of books including A Curious Guide to London, A Splendidly Smutty Dictionary of Sex, and The Men Who Stare At Hens. I also have a blog on all matters arcane.

Simon's book list on London for the curious

Simon Leyland Why did Simon love this book?

Through his jaundiced eyes we accompany our erstwhile hero into coffee shops, the arms of actresses, and experience the ebb and flow of London life. Later we watch as his beloved London undergoes the rigors of the plague of 1665 and then how he buries his beloved cheese in the wake of the Great Fire of London. A true classic.

By Samuel Pepys,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Diary of Samuel Pepys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kris Marshall and Katherine Jakeways star as Mr & Mrs Pepys in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the world famous diaries.

Samuel Pepys was 26 when he decided to start keeping a diary, in January 1660. For the next ten years he faithfully recorded the day's events and confessed his innermost thoughts. That diary has since become one of our most important, and fascinating, historical documents.

Pepys gave us eyewitness accounts of some of the great events of the 17th century, including the Great Fire of London and the Second Dutch War. He also told us what people ate…


Book cover of A Journal of the Plague Year

Alexander Fisher Author Of Delirium

From my list on where a catastrophe makes society fall apart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by the strangeness of human character when tested to the limit by overwhelming catastrophe. I’ve always wanted to write a story that brings into stark relief the courage, fear, ambition, tragedy, absurdity, and the ecstatic. In other words, a disaster. And if character is destiny, then an apocalypse maybe the best way to show us who we really are and where we’re going. My debut novel, Delirium focuses on these extremes of character. And after writing it I reached one indelible conclusion: that the human being is the most disturbed creature, but also the most hopeful.

Alexander's book list on where a catastrophe makes society fall apart

Alexander Fisher Why did Alexander love this book?

I enjoyed reading this book both as a historical artefact of the 17th century but also because Defoe’s plain, matter-of-fact style makes all the chaos, the shrieking, the death carts, families locked in their houses, health certificates, the delirium, the fear of coming too close, the paranoia, the panic and the madness that surrounds the narrator all the more disturbing.

He is a witness whose curiosity far outweighs his fear. But there’s also the Defoe-like sense of adventure when for instance a group of three escape London and shift for themselves in a countryside whose towns and villages are hostile to strangers. Instructive, disquieting, gripping, indelible.

This retained its curiosity value even on a second reading. A great little book.

By Daniel Defoe,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked A Journal of the Plague Year as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The haunting cry of "Bring out your dead!" by a bell-ringing collector of 17th-century plague victims has filled readers across the centuries with cold terror. The chilling cry survives in historical consciousness largely as a result of this classic 1722 account of the epidemic of bubonic plague — known as the Black Death — that ravaged England in 1664–1665.
Actually written nearly 60 years later by Daniel Defoe, the Journal is narrated by a Londoner named "H. F.," who allegedly lived through the devastating effects of the pestilence and produced this eye witness account. Drawing on his considerable talents as…


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