Here is the stack of books I am considering.
1 . The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart. I enjoyed The Crystal Cave, the first of the Merlin trilogy, and though I prefer Stewart’s charming Gothics, her writing is on a higher level here. The trilogy is categorized as fantasy, but they are really historical novels about mythic characters. As always, Stewart meticulously researches the background, and the details about political conflicts and Merlin’s protecting Arthur are fascinating. I hope The Hollow Hills is as good.
2. Dorothy Dunnett’s The Game of Kings. Everyone recommends this six-book series about a Scottish soldier. Is it time for me to read it? (See an entertaining essay in The Guardian.)
4. John Cowper Powys’s Porius. I read several of Powys’s novels after reading this essay by Margaret Drabble in The Guardian, but Porius, a 751-page novel set in the year 499, may defeat me because of the tiny print.
5. Mary Renault’s Alexander trilogy: Fire from Heaven, The Persian Boy, and Funeral Games. I read Fire from Heaven after the TLS published the introduction to the Folio Society edition of the trilogy. I have two to go. From the Goodreads book description: “This is Mary Renault’s masterly evocation of ancient Greece and Alexander the conqueror, beautiful, beloved – and flawed. ”
My mother used the following slang expressions. Were they dialect, I wonder? Or were they American idioms? They are long obsolete.
crooked as a dog’s hind leg, as in “Your part is crooked as a dog’s hind leg.” (This was said to me often.)
fussbudget – someone fussy
slow as molasses
cute as a bug
old as Methuselah
Darn! (instead of damn)
too old for you (Mom said this mostly of clothes)
quick as a wink
don’t count your chickens… [before they’re hatched]
tickled pink – happy, amused, and surprised
happy as a clam
THERE ARE MORE, BUT I CAN’T REMEMBER THEM. That’s the trouble with disused slang.