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Author Topic: Historical Fiction  (Read 40700 times)

Offline Nighteyes

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Historical Fiction
« on: May 07, 2011, 09:26:28 AM »
I think most fantasy fans enjoy historical fiction as well.  Okay, might not be magic or mythical beasts, but you still get great battle scenes, memorable characters, and political intrigues - which are three core ingredients to a good fantasy novel.

I love it - from the well researched, and detailed blow by blow battle descriptions by Bernard Cornwell in his Sharpe novels, the friendship between Aubrey and Maturin in Patrick O'Brien's Napoleonic era Naval Adventures, to prob two of the best books I've read in the last year of so: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantell and The Thousands Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. 

Any other fans, and recommended books and writers from the genre?
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Offline missoularedhead

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2011, 09:34:24 AM »
Funnily enough, although I love steampunk (certainly historically mixed) and fantasy, I have a really, really hard time reading historical fiction. A friend of mine bought me a Diana Gabaldon book once, and I just...couldn't. I think it has something to do with being a historian, and knowing so much about history, that I have a REALLY hard time with someone writing fiction about it.
I know that sounds odd, especially since some of my favorite books completely make a hash of Victorian England, but historical fiction makes me nuts.
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2011, 09:35:38 AM »
Please tell me you have read Hilary Mantell 'Wolf Hall' ^ a must for any professor of British history. She puts a positive spin on Thomas Cromwell! Who else has done that before?
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Offline pornokitsch

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2011, 10:08:21 AM »
Heh. My wife also loooooves Wolf Hall.

I'd like to read more historical fiction actually... I've only read a couple O'Briens and really liked them. And I've heard great stuff about the Cornwell...

Offline Blodeuedd

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2011, 12:39:23 PM »
I liked Wolf Hall, Mantel is such an excellent writer.

But yes I do love historical fiction, I read the more "trashy" kind too  ;) And I honestly do not care about mistakes there, then there are the half ones, there I still overlook things since I just enjoy the stories. But then there are the real books and there I want my facts right.

I do like interesting peeps in history and Michelle Moran has sure written some good books. And then there are tons more that I enjoy
« Last Edit: May 07, 2011, 05:40:46 PM by Blodeuedd »
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Offline ChrisMB

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2011, 01:30:51 PM »
Back in high school I was on a major historical fiction kick, especially about books pertaining to the Roman Empire. My personal favorite was Michael Curtis Ford's The Last King: Rome's Greatest Enemy.

Offline missoularedhead

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2011, 02:15:15 AM »
just read an excerpt from Wolf Hall, and I must say, despite it being well written, I'm so very not interested in reading the rest. No offense, but these are EXACTLY the sort of books that put me off.
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Offline Blodeuedd

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2011, 10:05:37 AM »
I know what you mean, cos trust me Wolf Hall was good but took some serious effort. It would not be a book I would recommend to someone who does not love reading historical fiction
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Offline ashleyjbarnard

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2011, 05:38:17 PM »
Just recently came across Jude Morgan -- had to devour everything he's written. Mostly Regency period but some Victorian. Absolutely stunning writer.
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Offline DBASKLS

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2011, 10:13:16 PM »
Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World Without End are reasonable medieval novels. They did get a bit soap opera-ish though but still good reads.

I also like the C J Sansom Shardlake novels - murder mysteries in the time of Henry VIII
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Offline Harry_Dresden

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2011, 10:06:51 AM »
Wolf hall I have to say was awesome, but you do have to concentrate when you read it. Also the other Bernard Cornwell series set in Arthurian times is supposed to be very good.

Offline ScatteredK

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2011, 03:29:42 PM »
Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World Without End are reasonable medieval novels. They did get a bit soap opera-ish though but still good reads.

I enjoyed Pillars of the Earth! It provided a good look at the living conditions, power and corruption of the church, as well as the politics involved from that time period. The soap opera side of it was probably necessary to keep a certain market of readers interested throughout the enitre story. I haven't read World Without End yet, but plan to do so soon.

One of my favorite historical fictions is Anna Lee Waldo's Circle of Stones. It brings to light the mother of Welsh legend Madoc, who is thought to have explored North America three centuries before Columbus did.
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Offline Francis Knight

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2011, 03:08:03 PM »
The Robert Low Oathsworn series (Starting with The Whale Road) about 10th(?) century Vikings.

I've no idea how accurate they are (I suspect pretty much, but I can't be certain) but I love these books so hard - lots of detail without overloading the narrative and a really lyrical, immersive narration. Every word reminds you that you aren't in the now any more. Great characters, lots of action. Fabulous. Note: Not for the squeamish though!
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Offline Thyra

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2011, 03:26:03 PM »
I love historical fiction (and history in general) - especially books taking place in the Viking age and during World War 2. Oh, and I`ve read way too many historical fictions about Danish kings and queens for my own good  :-[

The Robert Low Oathsworn series (Starting with The Whale Road) about 10th(?) century Vikings.

I've no idea how accurate they are (I suspect pretty much, but I can't be certain) but I love these books so hard - lots of detail without overloading the narrative and a really lyrical, immersive narration. Every word reminds you that you aren't in the now any more. Great characters, lots of action. Fabulous. Note: Not for the squeamish though!

I`ve started - and thrown away - many novels about Vikings and am curious about this one. What often annoys me when modern day authors pick this time and age as the background for their novels is how they describe women as submissive. Or they don`t even include women in the story apart from being the odd extra for some happy-time under the furs. I mean, I could understand it in books written back in the 50s when archaeologists still thought all bodies buried with a sword must be a man, but now we know better. So I guess what I really wondered was if this series (or other series you know of) about the Vikings had women as a natural part of the story?  :)

I`ve read quite a few interesting ones but I just checked and none of them were translated into English. Sorry.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 11:46:34 PM by Thyra »

Offline Khaldun

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Re: Historical Fiction
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2011, 05:05:52 PM »
The viking books by Bernard Cornwell are pretty good. I read the first one and loved it, but I hate buying series unless I absolutely loved it (ASOIAF, Rothfuss, Abercrombie, Lynch, Butcher, Hulick)