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Reading Reviews for Ignotia
  
14 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Flower n Prongs Ignotia

5th March 2017:
Hello. I saw that this was one of the stories nominated for the Most Original Nargle, so I decided to stop by.

I will start by saying that the length of this initially scared me a bit. Eight thousand words is a lot, but once I began reading it the story did not drag. The way it was broken up into different entries helped. And even though the entries jumped around between dates and there were a lot of original or rarely written characters, it was easy to follow. The hinting at things that were to come kept me reading as well.

The knowledge of what would eventually become of Gellert Grindelwald gave me mixed feelings. It is clear that he was both brilliant but different as a child, which I imagine must have been the case for somebody who turned out like he did. The brilliance, the love of reading, the being easily bored, and the desire to always be right were so natural and so in character that I would not doubt that he was like you wrote as a child.

We know so little about Bathilda other than that she wrote the gold standard book for History of Magic and didn't appear to live with anybody during the fateful summer Gellert spent with her. Because of that, I would not be surprised to learn that she elected not to marry or have children because she was not interested in men. The same could go for Elladora. (And, by the way, I love that dear aunt Elladora with the house elf heads made an appearance. I knew I recognized the name but a quick Google made me happy that it was her of all people. Of all the people on the Black family tree, she was certainly one of the saner and less cruel ones.)

L'optimisme seems to be the golden standard of Albus/Gellert stories, so I am not surprised that you also mastered writing Bathilda Bagshot. The style just seems right for the late 1800s, while still being easy to read.

I wish I had more to say or something constructive to add, but I don't. You know these characters so well that I feel like anything I tried to add would be minor and/or a bit dumb.

Good luck in the Nargles! :)

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Review #2, by teh tarik Ignotia

7th October 2016:
Hello Laura! ♥

Sooo...it has been ages since you submitted this entry for the Epistolary Challenge, and I'm ashamed to say that I've only just got around to finishing up this challenge and reading all the entries. I am so so sorry for this. *hides* Especially since your entries was one of the first I received.

Anyway, hello, I think I just got blown away. What an incredible story! And such a gorgeously detailed insight into Bathilda's character. And speaking of character, your interpretation of Bathilda Bagshot is probably the most original I've ever seen. It's hard to pull apart which bits I loved, because I'd like to quote this entire story back to you.

I'll start with your brilliant brilliant characters. They all shine; they're so unique, even if some of them appear very briefly during the story. Bathilda's (or yours :P )writing really brings them to life. There's Livia, who first appears to be demurely sitting beside Elladora, but is in fact a master actor and manipulator - but she's not invulnerable. I thought I detected quite a bit of vulnerability in one of the segments (where she meets Bathilda again after some time, and seems quite upset). I'm wondering if she did have genuine feelings for Bathilda after all, or if she merely regretted losing Bathilda. And Kendra, who is such a fascinating character. Bathilda thinks that a sense of mystery is essential in characterising Kendra.

And that's another point I want to bring up about this story: it's pretty much a study of the characters in Bathilda's experience, by Bathilda herself. We learn as much as she does; we see new sides to these characters, and we acknowledge that certain aspects of these characters will always remain in the dark for us, and that not everything about everyone is knowable.

And dear lord I loved your portrayal of child!Gellert! Hahaha, he comes off a little as the tantrum-y child prodigy kind (made even funnier by the face that he's in a sailor suit lol). I love how this insight of him as a child is contrasted with the portrayal of Gellert as a teen. And that he requests all of Albus Dumbledore's writings! So he can beat Albus one day!! Even before their meeting, it seems that their paths are destined together. (#grindeldore FTW).

Another thing I adored was how easily you evoked the setting and time period of this story. I loved the portrayal of ROsamunde's cocktail bar and saloon and how the place changes with the difference in its daytime & night time patrons!

Your use of the epistolary format is perfect. This is exactly what I was looking for when I first set the challenge: the non-linear arrangement of Bathilda's writings, the mix of letters and diary entries. And I remember in my original challenge criteria, I stated that all stories had to be complete. Well, I see what you did here bahaha! You submitted a complete story, which happens to be incomplete. :P And of course, that's how epistolary works are like sometimes. They're deep insight into certain characters' lives, and there is no fourth wall between them and the reader. And of course, like any realistic portrayals, things never get tied up neatly. And in case of this fic, Bathilda's story is unfinished.

And i love that even though this is unfinished, as readers we can still fill in the gaps with our own interpretation, and we have to come to our own sense of conclusion.

Long story short: I love open-ended stories ♥

Thank you so so so much for participating in the challenge, Laura! ♥ I truly enjoyed your brilliant writing, and once again, apologies for the wait.

As soon as I finish reviewing the remaining entries, I'll post the results.

-teh

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Review #3, by Jo Raskoph Ignotia

8th April 2016:
A lesbian Bathilda Bagshot recording the histoty of women, such a wonderful treat for my Friday afternoon! I had no Idea what I was getting when I clicked on the link but this is exactly my cup of tea. You had my at … no, I can’t really specify which plot point drew me in, because honestly, your lovely wording had me right from the start. Your sentences are works of art!

I’m going to try and keep the quoting-your-work-back-to-you to a minimum, but: „Such is life – and history is life, if slanted.“ This is genius! Both the double-meaning and the wording are perfect, but the combination makes it really stand out.

May I also say: the balance you strike with your writing is really comfortable to read. A lot if times descriptions and multiple adjectives can feel kind of forced. This was not the case here, your writing is very rich (bordering on almost too much for me personally, but never crossing the line), and it is consistently so; additionally it fits well with the time it is set in, it really works.

Your characters were all really well-rounded, I have never thought about Bathilda more than what was important in the books, your characterisation really lets her shine. You managed to capture some nuances of the relationship between Elladora and Livia, which were hidden for Bathilda at the time. It is obvious from their very first appearance that they shared something between them and it’s a little heartbreaking to think Bathilda was oblivious for so long.

One scene I loved in particular was when Livia approaches Bathilda and at first she only sits there and does nothing but look. It’s such a powerful picture and while much of the story is distanced since it is retold by Bathilda, this was electrifying and very intimate. You made a great moment there.
It also contains another of my favourite sentences: „Now, I consider it a happy mistake, a sweet mistake, but then I was simply confounded.“ First of all this captures Bathilda’s insecurities, secondly it is such a beautiful antithesis – the sweet mistake – and together it expresses so much in so few words.

I feel the budding admiration and fascination Bathilda develops for Livia, it reads like the typical first love – too sweet to last, but heartbreaking and intense and interwoven with so much idealism it is almost a fantasy.

Reading the young Bathilda justify her writing about women’s history is so … bittersweet – it’s precious to have the issue addressed in fiction and you make her contemplation very very believable. And at the same time you make it the perfect character study of a young person discovering, getting passionate and excited, completely falling for someone and adopting their passion. Throughout the story really, you manage to tell Bathilda’s development as this person and it is realistic how she never looses interest, but her excitement wanes and matures … it’s really strong, like all of your writing.

Oh and Livia, she is a fascinating character. So dominant, obviously charismatic, passionate, maybe a little ruthless, not entirely likeable, but still someone I’d love to meet. I mention her specially because this characterisation is kind of uncommon, or at least I have not read it often and it feels special. I could imagine her so well and at the same time I wanted to know so much more about her, felt like I didn’t know her at all – much like I imagine Bathilda feels. I’m curious how you transport it so well and will definitely be re-reading this a few times yet.

One of these times I was not quite sure what to make of her was when she leaves and seems upset after confronting Bathilda in the street. Is it because she takes Bathilda’s story about Gellert a stab about her behaviour? Or the other way around, does she find Bathilda is sulking endlessly because she can’t have what she wants (Livia)?

„…when to smile, because smiling at everything was not possible and just foolish.“ This line perfectly surmises the feeling of falling in love for me. The uncertainty is there and also the overwhelming joy, so much it’s almost too much… Love it!

The queer historical figures you introduced were just the cherry on the tip of a marvellous ice-cream-berg, but I could not submit this review without at least mentioning them and offering kudos for you thoughtfulness. Generally, Bathilda’s plans for her work really struck a chord with me, she and all the woman in this are my historical heroines and already I can’t imagine any other way it could have happened. Bathilda Bagshot, an early feminist advocate in the wizarding world. And the (house-elf beheading) Elladora Black with her mistress Livia Bonham, both on the Wizengamont – I said I wouldn’t quote it back to you, that doesn’t include paraphrasing! – true genius, all of it!
(Also the spike about them being known for their choice in clothing!)

I’m neglecting Gellert and the Dumbledores’s stories here, but rest assured, I loved them every bit as much as the rest. I loved your idea about Bathilda’s extended family, I loved Bathilda’s defence of Kendra and her disparaging comments about Percival, I loved your depiction of Gellert’s personality and his obvious fascination with Albus, his delight at the idea of beating him, – everything you imagined works so well together, the set up makes sense, the characters are true to canon, but have so much more depth and are also more three dimensional.

One last quote to complete my sudden and absolute infatuation with this tale: „I am not sure how I feel, only that I do, and I wish I did not.“ How do you write like this?! You take a feeling and you, I don’t know, dissect it until you have its very essence and then you formulate one tiny sentence to encompass it in its entirety.

tl;dr: It’s been some time since I’ve gotten this excited about a sentence/story. You are a great writer, please continue to share your words with the world!

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Review #4, by PaulaTheProkaryote Ignotia

6th March 2016:
This review is brought to you by the HPFF Review-a-Thon and the number 1.

I have to start off by saying I love that you begin the story with ‘They say history is always written by the victors’ because my favorite history professor said this again and again and insisted we learn “alternate history” which was by and large more interesting thanks to the different perspective.

I love the concept of this story. Bathilda’s entries, unedited and raw. It helps me view her as an actual historian rather than a minor character to skim by. I’ve never really read a Bathilda story so this one sets the bar pretty high.

If I had to select one strength of your writing, it’d be your way of writing descriptions that are insightful and provide vivid imagery, but are not tedious.

I relate to the line ‘Always, I thought, it could be better, it should be better. It must be better’ on a personal level. It’s so hard for me to submit any of my papers or presentations because with just a few more days or even hours I know that I could improve it further. I’d happily be like Darwin, sitting on my work for two decades until I’m about to be scooped.

I love the tidbit about Bathilda offering herself to be mentor to Dumbledore. I can’t imagine Dumbledore every having a mentor during his youth, but I really think he should have. It’d have saved him quite a bit of heartache along the way.

I have come to believe that a family cannot truly be a family if it does not have secrets – things which are not spoken of, outside of the home, things everyone knows but does not say except perhaps in anger.

That line was so incredibly true. Unfortunately, my family has a few of those horrendous secrets and somehow we all know, but never mention them. For my family, not even in anger. You conveyed a simple truth incredibly aptly and I think it really highlights the period that you’re writing while still being relatable to our modern era.

I’m quite intrigued by Bathilda writing about gender inequality in the context of history. Livia is absolutely right that the men are remembered all too well, but women? We are barely spoken about at all.

THE ENDING! ‘As the author died before the project reached completion.’ I’m so pleased with the way you wrote it.

Overall, I absolutely adored the story. It was very well written and I’ve pretty much accepted this as head canon now.

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Review #5, by Dirigible_Plums Ignotia

23rd February 2016:
Um, wow. I really can't think of anything else to say, other than telling you that this was amazing and I loved every bit of it. It was written beautifully.

Author's Response: Omigosh, thank you so much, Plums! :) I really didn't expect this at all - it was such a lovely surprise to get, and I'm so glad you liked the story! I loved writing it, though it was a lot harder than I expected, so I'm always so happy to hear people say they enjoyed it! :)

Aph xx


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Review #6, by victoria_anne Ignotia

16th February 2016:
Wow. You have blown me away.

This is the first Bathilda Bagshot fic I have read and you have set the bar very high for any others I read!

The style is different, but it still flowed flawlessly, almost like poetry, and still gave me a good insight into Bathilda's personality and relationships.
The way you wrote Gellert, even as a child, gave me goosebumps!

Awesome job!

Author's Response: Hey there - thank you so much for stopping by! :)



Ahh thank you - I'm so glad you liked it! It was a super challenge for me, because I'd never written anything in letter/diary format before (or, at least, not that much), but it was so much fun to do so I'm so happy you liked it :)



I actually loved writing Bathilda - she was so great and so interesting as a character, so I loved getting to explore a bit of her past, especially since I'd had a lot of it cooped up in the back of my head since L'optimisme started :P Haha, child!Gellert was so fun - he's so pouty and sullen :P But yeah, he's a bit chilling when he's a teenager - it's all the ambition, I think, and the self-belief; though that bit was one of the ones I was most nervous about, so I'm glad you thought it worked :)



Thank you so much for stopping by and for the lovely review - it was so great to get! :)


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Review #7, by UnluckyStar57 Ignotia

15th February 2016:
LAURA! I'm here for the BvB, but why oh why didn't I come read this sooner?!

Okay, so you basically live in the Victorian era, and I love it so much. Seriously, all of your stories seem to evoke all of the weird Victorian ideals and thoughts, and this one definitely takes the cake, since it takes place right at the end of Victoria's reign.

And oh my gosh Bathilda Bagshot as a single lady who loves ladies there is nothing that I don't love about this, which is to say that HEADCANON ACCEPTED.

Wow, let me just go off on a tangent here for a minute: Bathilda is such a strong narrator, and you as an author are so incredible with descriptions. So Bathilda-in-awe-of-Livia is so vivid. I very much love the colors that Bathilda describes Livia with--and she sounds so very pretty. Of course, I'm sure that's all biased because of the first person narration, but still, I loved the little glimpses of Livia because those were the ones that really screamed how Bathilda felt.

This sentence: For my family, one such secret was mine: that like all good lady academics do, I will not marry nor have children, and that, truthfully, I do not want to. Silk is much softer than marble, after all, and beauty appeals more to me than handsomeness.

I am dead because of its perfection. Like, you describe ordinary things in such magical ways--and come to find out, the word "lesbian" wasn't used until around 1890, which makes the sentences that I quoted above absolutely brilliant. Very poetic and beautiful way to describe same-sex attraction. I'm still freaking out about it.

Also, I really admire the structure of this piece. The leaps in time that it takes leave plenty of room for imagination, and wondering about what could've happened in between the gaps. I think I need to reread it to put all of the elements together, but I wanted to get all of these thoughts out first. Every new installment seems to flow organically--even though they were found in a sort of "scattered" formation--and each one comments on the other really interestingly. The relationship that develops between Bathilda and Livia is so heartbreaking because you just know it's going to end, but you don't know why. And then at the end, the fact that Livia was with Elladora the entire time...Whoa. (Please correct me if I'm oversimplifying!) But anyway, in relation to form, the Bathilda-Livia thing sort of loops around and backtracks sometimes, leaving only the forecasts of an older, wiser Bathilda to cast doubt on it.

AND I LOVE THE COMMENTARY ON GENDER BIAS WOW. Bathilda's trying to get this cutting-edge article published, but Victorian Values say NO BE QUIET. The Wizarding World is arguably shaped by the Muggle one, and this time period is no exception. All that "weird" stuff--like Oscar Wilde--either becomes a public spectacle or gets kept under heavy wraps. The Felix Summerbee case interests me very much--have you written about him? He reminds me of Oscar Wilde a little, though I don't know enough about Wilde's personal history to say whether or not he was directly inspired by him. Anyway, you know I love the Victorians, even though I don't know much about them, but I could definitely do with less of their prudishness about sexuality and stuff. You did a brilliant job of highlighting the Victorian mindset while also not beating it to death--it was balanced perfectly with Bathilda's personal story.

Speaking of, this story masquerades under the fiction that it's about someone else's life, but of course I preferred learning more about Bathilda. She's the one who's telling the story after all, and as a character she figures much more into the plot than she would have you believe. Tricky, tricky. :)

And man, what an ending. "As the author died before the project reached completion," geez. And then it just stops in mid-sentence. I wonder if she was working on this when Voldemort came to visit?

Thanks for writing this brilliant story. I know my review can't do it justice, but (in case you couldn't tell) I loved it a whole bunch.

♥Mallory

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Review #8, by RavenclawFTW Ignotia

6th February 2016:
APH APH APH OMG APH THIS STORY

I am so blown away by this story!!! It's incredible! Ahhh! Okay, I'll try to collect my thoughts and be a bit more coherent.

(Side note: I also wrote something for this challenge, and the enormous difference between the stories is laughable.)

I think putting the letters out of order really adds to this, and I love how the story is slowly unravelled over time. It doesn't come out at once, and your blending of description and action is, as per usual, phenomenal. The voice you've given to Bathilda is spectacular, and it totally fits with her character. As an academic and as a historian, she's always telling stories and seeing more than is just on the surface, which is exactly what can be seen from her prose. There's also the sense that she's always aware of her audience for the journal, and you can see her growing and reflecting throughout the story.

I also love the depth you've given to her as a historian, as that's something that really interests me as a student of history and as a lover and critic of the HP world. Her interest in history and academics is such a part of who she is, and it's wonderful to read about such a cohesive character. JKR never really focused on how academics in HP get advanced, or what it means to become one, but I love how you've imagined her here. And it's so great and important that she's telling the stories she is! I loved seeing her progression as an academic.

And then there's the content! I love the impact of Livia, from helping Bathilda become less timid, to making her question her own feelings of anger, to guiding her work even after they've cut ties. It's great to see the influence of a character so much, even when she's not actually in the story that much. I also like how she's set up as Gellert, and how there seem to be such obvious parallels between Albus/Gellert and Bathilda/Livia. Those similarities really add to the establishment of Albus and Gellert, even though Albus is never himself present in the story.

Also, I'm a broken record on this front, but your descriptions are the best thing in the whole world. Teach me your ways. They're so clean and evocative and I always have such a clear understanding of what's going on. You're incredible!!

Okay, I think that's about all I had to say. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story! :)

--J (for BvB)

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Review #9, by TreacleTart Ignotia

29th January 2016:
Hey Aph!

I'm here for our review swap!

Wow! This was a really interesting, beautiful story. I love that you chose Bathilda as the main character because it keeps you in a time frame which you seem to know really well, but allows you to explore some new characters and still allows you to slip in Albus and Gellert.

I love the idea of Bathilda being inspired to write articles and books about women's history. It's so true that women often get overlooked in history. We read about Presidents or Prime Ministers or Kings and it's like their wives are footnotes, barely mentioned even when they do something extraordinary.

The relationship between Livia and Bathilda and Elladora always seemed like it was going to end up hurting Bathilda. I got the impression that Livia and Elladora were quite taken with each other right away, so when Bathilda starts to fall for her, I got really nervous. I'm glad that even though things ended the way they did, she's able to look at the influence to write women's history as a positive one.

And as usual, I love what you've done with Gellert. I've never seen a childhood version of him before, but what you've written is so interesting and unique. I love how sullen and despondent he is, but how when Bathilda starts talking about history it catches his attention and even though he pretends that he's uninterested, he's totally wrapped up in it.

Anyway, I could continue on for another 1,000 characters about your magnificent description or the beautiful tone you set throughout this story, but I think you already know how much I love your writing. It's stunning as always.

Good work!

~Kaitlin

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Review #10, by TearsIMustConceal Ignotia

25th January 2016:
Here for the BvB review battle!


Laura! Your writing leaves me speechless! The way you write is intelligent and beautiful and I could read everything you write and always find something more beautiful than the time before. This review is probably going to consist of me literally just praising you, just so you know.

I have honestly never read anything about Bathilda Bagshot, nor do I know a lot about her, aside from her being an author but the banner (I can't resist anything with Natalie Dormer on it,) immediately drew me this and I knew I just had to read it and I was not disappointed in the slightest.

I love the theme of Bathilda telling the untold stories of people she thinks truly deserve it and then to have this, her own story, told after her death is just poetic. I am already in love with this piece of mastery.

Bathilda is so intriguing in this piece. I find it so interesting that it took another woman to suggest to her about writing about women in history but I love that she took it on because she's just incredible and if anyone can write about women's history, it's Bathilda! It just seems fitting that she be the one to write it.

The way you write this era is incredible – you capture everything with authenticity and realism, it's just remarkable. The way you portray small facts that really transport you back to that time period and include all the societal oppressions, especially for women in that time – I'm in awe.

I love the way you write Bathilda's relationships with the various characters referred to here. I especially loved her interaction with Gellert and how they eventually bonded over a mutual love of history. I wonder if she ever realised, back when she reading him stories of glory and power and might, that he would ever turn out the way he did? And I wonder how she viewed him once he started his rise to power – would she be proud of his excellence, despite the ways he showed it? Or would she simply abhor the way he turned out? It's an interesting thought and I also wonder whether she realised that she almost encouraged his future behaviour with the reading of past conquerors and the glory they received? Such an innocent hobby turned into something much more sinister in the end.

Her relationship with Livia – oh how I loved their interactions! When I picture her and Elladora and the others, I am immediately think of Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement! Also this line - “I found that I was not so timid as I had always thought. “ I love that Livia brought Bathilda out of her shell and I really feel Livia had such an impact on Bathilda and her character and confidence in some respects.

Oh Laura, this was simply incredible and I'm going to have to start reading more of your work. I could praise this forever and not get bored, it was that good! I bow down to your greatness!

-Vicki

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Review #11, by Claire Evergreen Ignotia

20th January 2016:
Hey! Here for the BvB Battle!

As ususal, this was brilliantly written. You have such a wonderful writing style and I love reading pretty much all of your stories. Telling this story through letters and entries is such an interesting tactic and you pull it off wonderfully. I love that we don't get everything in chronological order because it really made me want to keep reading to see how everything would fall into place and if Bathilda would tell us what happened between those 'skipped' years. It especially added to the dynamic between Livia and Bathilda since we see their first interaction and the fallout from some meeting before we find out what actually happened between them.

I also love how you've written all of these characters. I've never really stopped to think of Bathilda as more than just the author of a few books, but you've really brought her to life. You can really get a sense of who she is as a person even though the story is told completely through Bathilda's experiences. Her reactions to Livia and Elladora and Kendra and how she acts around Gellert tell a lot about her. I mentioned the order of events before, but jumping around in time helped to solidify her character and why she did the things she did, at least to me.

I never thought that I would read a story focusing on Bathilda, but I'm really glad that I read this one, it was absolutely wonderful!

Claire

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Review #12, by nott theodore Ignotia

7th January 2016:
Hi Laura! I saw that you'd written this when you posted it and I couldn't wait to read it, but I've had it open on my laptop for a while before I got here. Can I just say how completely amazing this story is? ♥

Bathilda Bagshot is such an intriguing character to me, and I've only read maybe one or two stories about her before but there's so much about her that is really intriguing and for you to have written about her makes me so happy. I love the theme here, the idea of telling the stories that nobody else has told before, of Bathilda being a historian who wants to tell the untold stories, and then this being her own story told after she's died.

This is an era you write so well - every time I read something by you set in this era, I'm always struck by how well you capture the sense of the time period. The language that you use and the kind of restrictions that society placed on people, even though they're just the same as we are today and there was so much variety that was repressed. You just really portray the period well and it feels so authentic and interesting, almost like I'm actually reading something written by someone at the time.

Bathilda was brilliant here. I loved the way that she was an historian and telling those stories was really important to her. She was gaining so much renown and yet it never occurred to her really to write about women's history, one of those aspects that has been so overlooked for so long, and I love the idea of her choosing to write about it and being one of those people who actually made an impact. The idea of this collection was great, too - the magnum opus she intended to publish which never made it, so it's happening now and she's triumphed in a way.

There were so many little details in this that I just absolutely loved ♥ I've read a few of your other stories in this period now and I loved the way that your head canon for it came through here, with aspects like Kendra being from a Native American family and Percival's sister being called Honoria and all the tiny details that have appeared in some of your other stories. For me they just made this feel even more authentic and believable and I loved reading it.

I absolutely adored reading about Bathilda's relationships with the various characters mentioned here, too. I liked how she wrote to Albus and made a connection with him that way, but eventually grew to knew his mother too, and relate to her on the basis of her children. (I thought it was really interesting that you included all those references to what life was like for an unmarried, childless woman at the time, because it was so far from what was expected and didn't comply with the norms that it made a real impact on her life.) And then with Gellert, the doting aunt - it kind of made me wonder what she thought of him later on, when she saw him rising to power the way he did. And with Livia, of course.

Livia was so intriguing. She and Elladora kind of remind me of the Suffragists movement, and I love the way that they were fighting to promote women's rights and using the resources that they had to do that. At the same time, I can't help thinking that they were quite manipulative about it, and I'm a bit undecided on their characters. Rosamunde's was such a great idea, though, a place where people can kind of take refuge - it's the sort of thing that still happens today in places like Soho and I loved the way you included it.

One thing that struck me here was the way that Bathilda kind of encouraged Gellert in his quest for power, even though I'm sure that she didn't intend for the outcome that it had. I just had this whole sense of foreboding when she started talking to him about these great conquerors and emperors and finding stories that he could read about them, because it was kind of clear that he was lured by the idea of glory and power and she probably didn't help by encouraging it. I thought it was so clever for you to play into that and examine how something seemingly so innocent might affect someone growing up and the person they become.

Gellert's characterisation was fantastic here, too. I think one of my favourite parts was the way that he had taken note of Albus's achievements before he even met him, and was aware that there was someone else his age who had the same level of skills and talents that he did. It felt like they could only ever really be allies or rivals and nothing in between.

There were a couple of typos that I noticed here:
'Publishor's note:' - publisher's
'Honora had supposedly told her' - I think this should be Honoria?

This was really incredible, though, Laura, and I absolutely loved reading it ♥ I can't believe you managed to write something so beautiful in the time that you did, but I should probably not be so surprised any more because your writing always impresses me :P

Sian :)

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Review #13, by HarrietHopkirk Ignotia

4th January 2016:
I LOVE BATHILDA! WRITING ABOUT WOMEN'S MAGICAL HISTORY HUZZAAAH! BEING IN LOVE WITH OTHER WOMEN! THIS IS BEAUTIFUL! Her narrative is so wonderfully executed! I also love the descriptions and characterisations of all the secondary characters, especially Gellert, and your description of Kendra was particularly on point. I also adore her relationship with Livia, how heartbreaking but simultaneously lovely.

You've obviously got a good grasp on spelling, grammar, etc. Just one typo - 'publisher's' instead of 'publishor's' at the very beginning of the story. I am so impressed by the tone of the fic; the beginning starts off very textbook (a la History of Magic), but as you get into the anecdotes and the personal stories, it seems to soften, but is still very readable. It also changes in the various letters! Very well done.

I may just need a little bit more info when it comes to the section describing Gellert's birth - is Maxi her brother, and Gellert his illegitimate son? The way Maxi is spelt made it seem like a girl's name so I got a bit confused.

I love how the dialogue fits the time and setting of each section; the first conversation with Elladora was perfect in the way it portrayed their upbringing and the social etiquette of the time, which can be said for all the sections. The same with Bathilda and Kendra's conversation, and the tension filled dialogue between Livia and Bathilda. You have such a knack for it.

Overall, a really really beautiful story. Favourited. I LOVE IT!

TEAM BRONZE

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Review #14, by ad astra Ignotia

30th December 2015:
Laura.

Laura.

i don't think i could ever put into words how amazing this story is or how absolutely touched i am that you dedicated it to me, or even the sheer fact that a historiographical one-shot about nineteenth century queer witches written by the most talented author i know is a thing that exists. but this is a story that i will come back to and reread and treasure so much and i am really emotional right now.

i've mentioned in reviews before how much i love the way you evoke the era and setting you're writing in, and this setting and era is like your second home. everything feels so beautiful and real and almost tangible, and it's the reason i will always love your writing - you have an unparalleled ability to bring the past to life.

god, this story is everything. the ladies' ladies, the academic and social circles, Bathilda's dedication to history, Livia's passion for untold stories - i want to immerse myself in the world of this story permanently. and the cameos of Albus and Gellert, especially Gellet's fascination with Albus's academic work - i just adore everything about this story, and i'm probably sounding like a stuck record by this point i'm sorry

People are not what they seem, they change: twisting into things we do not quite recognise as the figures we were taught about; goodness becomes far too simple, far too pure a label to give them. In turn, evil becomes nicer, sweeter, more understandable than we thought – we see monsters become men, and we cannot hate them as we used to. i love this so much. so much. especially the second part, about monsters becoming men, and what a beautiful way to describe it

this story honestly couldn't have come at a better time because the prospect of postgrad and my thesis is so incredibly daunting right now but you've just reminded me of why i'm studying history and why i love it and why it matters and i just love this story so so so much

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