I have to recommend Christopher Moore’s Fool: A Novel. It’s a rollicking pastiche of Elizabethan and Pagan sensibilities, played for maximum sex and mayhem. I was impressed that an American who has not lived in England got the mix of Shakespearean and colloquial English right. Historically accurate language would get in the way of farce, so Moore substitutes current English slang to keep the tone earthy and mine anachronisms for humour. In his long note at the end of the book, Moore lists his sources and names the DVDs he watched for research. By the style of comedy, I was surprised he didn’t name Rowan Atkinson of Blackadder. The comic situation is similar. An ambitious, morally degenerate underdog hero takes on the bloodthirsty and even less scrupulous bad guys of the English court.
Here’s my recommendation. If you like Blackadder, you’ll love reading Fool. If you like Fool and you are unfamiliar with the Blackadder TV series, you’re in for a treat.
In personal news, I finished chapter eight of my work-in-progress at 10:00 this morning. I’ll see how much more I can get done today.