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Giveaway of Emma Darwin’s A Secret Alchemy

July 7, 2009

The lovely Stephanie from Harper Collins has offered me FIVE copies of Emma Darwin’s new novel, A Secret Alchemy, to give away to my readers! I recently read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it (check out my review), and I know plenty of you are historical fiction fans, so I’m thrilled to have the chance to share it with some of you!

One of the things I most enjoyed about this book was the sense of history permeating even the modern sections of the novel; the idea of history having happened all around us. (Also check out the fascinating discussion on my post a week ago about whether this sense of history differs between Europeans and Americans.) Therefore, for this giveaway, I’m going to ask you to tell me about somewhere you’ve lived, or somewhere you’ve visited, where you’ve most felt the presence of history.

To enter the giveaway:
1) This giveaway is open to folks with a U.S. or Canadian mailing address.
2) Leave a comment below, telling us about your experience with historical places.
3) Make sure that the e-mail you enter on the comment form is one that is valid and checked frequently. No one will see this e-mail but me, but I need to have some way to contact the winners.
4) If you mention this contest on your blog and come back here and leave the link, you’ll get a bonus entry.

I’ll draw the winners on 15 July 2009. If you just can’t wait, you can pick up your own copy of A Secret Alchemy at Amazon.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2009 3:20 am

    I’m not supposed to be entering contests anymore, but I couldn’t resist!

    I have lived and visited many places where I felt the history. The feeling was probably the heaviest at a concentration camp near Munich and the atomic bomb museum in Nagasaki.

  2. July 7, 2009 5:30 am

    Ooh, I can’t resist the opportunity to win a copy of this book! Especially because I live in a place where I feel history every day. I walk past the walls and I think about medieval knights up there. I look at all the timber-framed houses and wish I could see the streets lined with them rather than interspersed with Georgian construction. (Most builds around here are 100+). That’s not to mention York Minster, which is stunning and boggles the mind with its size and beauty.

  3. July 7, 2009 8:03 am

    This book looks really interesting, especially because my ‘experience with a historical place’ fits perfectly with its subject. I spent a semester studying in London with a really unique curriculum – we used the city itself as our textbook. Every Monday we would get a list of places to go visit and explore around the city as a way to learn the history of the western world. What an incredible semester it was!

  4. July 7, 2009 8:45 am

    Where we lived in France, there were plaques to people who fought in the Resistance during World War II – I always felt a shiver go through me when I saw those. I admired those people’s bravery so much.

  5. July 7, 2009 8:46 am

    Wow! I don’t have a lot of experience with historical places. I don’t get out much — LOL! I did travel to London when I was in high school and absolutely fell in love with it! I especially loved how old everything was — we just don’t get that sense of history in the U.S. since we are still such a new country. I especially loved visiting Windsor Castle.

  6. July 7, 2009 8:53 am

    Oh, this looks wonderful! I loooved The Daughter of Time, and I love me some research books – I’m always so optimistic about the author’s ability to weave together the storylines of the researcher and the researchees.

    This is a bit dorky, but the reason I love going to the Globe in London is that history always feels so present to me there. It’s silly – London’s one massive chunk of history, and it’s at a building that’s not even the original that I feel most connected with the past! (But it is wicked fun being a groundling.)

  7. July 7, 2009 8:53 am

    I live in Frederick ,MD about an hour from Washington DC. We have alot of historic places around here and since I was born here I have been to all of them more than once but, I am always in awe when I go to DC. The old buildings and all the events that have happened there. I can just “feel” it when I’m there and I love it.

  8. July 7, 2009 5:50 pm

    This book was already on my wish list, so I just have to enter.

    I was lucky enough to go to college at William and Mary, the second oldest college in the U.S., adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg. Walking down the main street of the colonial area was a favorite activity. It’s hard to find historical sites that go back as far as those in England, and so it was a treat to live in one of our oldest towns.

  9. July 7, 2009 6:20 pm

    I would love an opportunity to win this book! Thanks for the chance.

    We recently lived near Philadelphia for two years, so there’s a lot of history in the area….in fact our house was just a few yards away from a plaque commentorating the place where Cornwallis’ troops marched towards the Battle of Brandywine during the Revolutionary War. It was amazing to imagine that they actually trod over our yard nearly 300 years ago. I always hoped that I’d bump into a ghost, but never did :-).

  10. dag888888 permalink
    July 7, 2009 7:29 pm

    Living in Baltimore many years ago made me appreciate the Star Spangled Banner!

  11. July 7, 2009 10:14 pm

    I’d love to win this one!

    Let’s see, I don’t have a TON of experience with historical places, but I did visit the Colosseum of Rome about 13 years ago, and I definitely felt the history there. There was something about standing on the same marble that’s been there since the thing was built that just gave me the shivers. It was pretty cool!

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  12. July 8, 2009 2:22 am

    I felt history very strongly when I was in Japan, even more so than in Europe, particularly in Kyoto.
    I’d love to read this book so thanks for the giveaway!

  13. July 8, 2009 7:41 pm

    I was brought up in D.C., and it was so wonderful to have the national news as our local news, and all those wonderful historical sites and museums. It really instilled a lifelong love of history in me.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

  14. July 8, 2009 7:52 pm

    I often think of the Civil War soldiers who dug the trenches that are still visible in our national military park, here, but the strongest sense of history I think I’ve ever had was on a hill in England at the earthworks of an Iron Age fortification. You can stand where the keep would have been and see for miles in almost every direction. The earthworks are intact, so it’s also obvious where there would have been walls. We had one of my husband’s employees along and when he walked to the far end of the earthworks, we could barely see his white jacket. I like to imagine peasants and huts, cattle and pigs inside those walls. We’ve been there twice. We got locked in once — that was interesting. :)

  15. elizabeth permalink
    July 8, 2009 8:47 pm

    my experiences with historical places that were memorable have been alcatraz and the california missions, both were such haunting places.

  16. Megan permalink
    July 8, 2009 9:48 pm

    This book sounds sooooo good! Unfortunately, I haven’t had many historical experiences myself, but I’m starting college in the fall and am going to be a history major.

    I’d love to read this book. Thanks for having a giveaway!

  17. July 9, 2009 9:37 am

    I never lived or visited outside the US (except for Mexico) – and nothing too exciting – but I did drive through Colorado -through the Continental Divide – and it made me think about all the covered wagons and how in the world did they ever make it!

  18. July 9, 2009 9:57 am

    I love historical places & things; but I have to say that, so far, the best place I’ve visited is the Tower of London (coming closely in 2nd would be Notre Dame). So much happened there and we have nothing like it in the states!

  19. chey permalink
    July 9, 2009 2:34 pm

    I love historical places! My favourite is Edinburgh Castle. I can spend hours there, always finding something I haven’t seen before.

  20. July 9, 2009 2:39 pm

    i have always loved history and was lucky to have parents that loved to take road trips and explore places with historical markers. (from museums to old cemetaries and basement remains out in the woods) When i moved from home i got a job at a working museum and lived there for 3 years. I worked on the old ships, cooked over the open hearth fire in the old farm house, gave tours and lectures, guided horse and carriage tours etc. I miss it now but continue to drag my family along on adventures where we now live, they might grumble at first but end up loving it!

  21. July 9, 2009 7:25 pm

    This is going to sound strange, but I’m going to say my grandmother’s house. My dad grew up in an old hotel that my grandparents renovated into apartments on the upper story and living quarters for themselves (plus a hardware store) on the bottom. Anyway, the building is one of the oldest in the state and is a historical landmark. You can still tell which part of the house was the original settlers’ cabin built in the 18th century. And Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas both stayed there (along with a bunch of other famous people I can’t remember). You can see their signatures in the hotel’s old ledger. I remember my mom showing it to me when I was about five and thinking that was SO COOL. That was when my love of history started. :)

  22. July 9, 2009 9:12 pm

    Sorry if this is hackneyed, but I loved visiting the Tower of London – one of the ravens got so friendly that he posed for pictures, and I kept thinking of the relative freedom vs. captivity, now and then –

    I love novels that are structured like this: People of the Book comes to mind, and also Possession.

    Yes, I’d love to win this book! Thanks for the contest –

  23. July 10, 2009 9:36 am

    I grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When I was a little girl I read all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and used to go play outside and pretend to be her. We would imagine what it would be like to be rolling along in a wagon through the fields near our house.

  24. July 10, 2009 8:18 pm

    When I lived in Providence, I had a membership to the Providence Athenaeum, which was founded in 1753. There’s all kinds of history associated with The Athenaeum, but some of the most literary is that Edgar Allan Poe and Sarah Whitman “courted” in the stacks, and H.P. Lovecraft wrote there. It’s a beautiful library, and it was always a little thrilling to walk the same floors and hold the same handrails as these famous writers.
    Thanks for the chance to win this book – that would be thrilling, too!

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

  25. cheryl permalink
    July 11, 2009 12:36 am

    My two favorite historical sites are the cities of Philidelphia and Washington,DC because of their place in history.

  26. Lesley permalink
    July 12, 2009 3:15 pm

    Honestly, though it is cliche, my favorite historical place is the Lincoln Memorial. You can just see so much that is important to America from there! I never tire of going there–thanks!

  27. denise permalink
    July 18, 2009 7:45 am

    I guess when I lived in London I visited many historical places, however, I really like the James River area and DC area for much of our history here in the US.

    denise_22315(at)yahoo(dot)com

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