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A few medieval novels

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Post by Ash » Sat August 1st, 2009, 5:11 am

These aren't in any order, but the ones that come immediately to mind when I think Medieval HF:

1. Here Be Dragons (while it kills me to leave off the others, this is the one that got me started with the time and place)

2. Marsh King's Daughter (my favorite of ECs books, perhaps because it really feels different from the others, and I love the premise)

3. Queen of Swords Judith Tarr

4 Katherine, by Anya Seton

5. Bless this House Norah Loft

6. The Physician by Noah Roberts Story of a young Jewish man who travels to the Islamic Empire to learn about medicine and finds great learning and tolerance.

7. The Caedfael series

8. Robin Hood Read it as a kid several times, and it never ceased to entrall me

9. I am wanting to add Once and Future King, because I went through two copies of it from rereading. I know its a bit before the MA, right after the fall of the Romans. But I can't resist

10. Do plays count? Jean Anouilh's Becket.
Last edited by Ash on Sat August 1st, 2009, 2:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by annis » Sat August 1st, 2009, 7:00 am

Posted by Ash
Do plays count? Jean Anouilh's Becket
I guess we can make up our own rules if we want :)

I still love T S Eliot's poetic drama "Murder in the Cathedral" and drag out my "Becket" movie starring Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton every now and then.

I had trouble not adding "Katherine", Reay Tannahill's "The World, the Flesh and the Devil", EC's "The Marshking's Daughter" and Diana Norman's "Morning Gift" , all of which are on my favourites list. It's pretty hard to make the cut!

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Post by EC2 » Sat August 1st, 2009, 11:33 am

Those on my list were just some of my favourite medievals and not in order - I'd find it difficult to have a single top favourite because it all depends on mood. I left off Avalon and Katherine by Seton, Penman's Prince of Darkness - I love her mysteries too, Valerie Anand's King of the Wood, Brian Wainwright's Alianor Audeley - which would have been on the list if I hadn't put it down somewhere and couldn't find it to scan! Bernard Cornwell's Harlequin and Last Kingdom series, Diana Norman's FitzEmpress's Law.... and so it goes on. :)
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal


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Post by Leyland » Sat August 1st, 2009, 2:33 pm

[quote=""Ash""]Never read a Holland and really think its time. [/quote] You must read her! Start with Until the Sun Falls for sure. Don't miss Great Maria. I also love Lords of Vaumartin as well, but she's got so many really good stories set in various timelines. I'm sure I started reading her in the late 70's.

In Pusuit of the Green Lion was the first JM Riley novel I read, which got me hooked right on her. I've got several of hers in my keepers.

And EC knows that Red Adam's Lady is by far my most favorite on her list. :) I've read it many times and will continue to read it many more.
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Post by Margaret » Sat August 1st, 2009, 4:59 pm

I'm glad there are so many Cecelia Holland fans here. She's a big favorite of mine, but doesn't appeal to everyone. Ironically, I think it's because she is so exceptionally good at getting into the minds of medieval people, and for some readers that's just too alien. But I eat it up. I'm less keen on her 19th century novels, though that's more likely to be my own quirky taste than her writing.
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Post by Ludmilla » Sat August 1st, 2009, 5:22 pm

Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter, is one that I enjoyed, set in Norway during the first half of the 14th C. The newer Nunnally translation makes it much more accessible than the older Archer translation.

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Post by Carine » Mon August 3rd, 2009, 6:44 am

Great list EC ! Thanks for sharing.
There are a few on it that I have on my TBR pile too and some others that I've never heard of which is great, I'll explore them further with pleasure ! :D

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Post by nona » Fri August 7th, 2009, 1:11 pm

theanks EC, a few of them i had never heard of but can only guess how much I will enjoy when they get here!

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Post by Jack » Fri August 7th, 2009, 6:02 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]Oooh, thanks for sharing. Margaret, the Roselynde books are nearly so wild as the covers might indicate. One of my friends at Goodreads just read the first two and she's not much of a romance kind of gal and she enjoyed them.

I've just added to my Amazon wish list and for fun went to see how many of those real old ones I could find in the library catalog - they've got the Schoonover book, Red Adams Lady and the Lofts book. I've already read RAL, but I placed a hold on Burnished Blade. That looks like fun. Found this cover at Amazon,


If you like BURNISHED BLADE, try GENTLE INFIDEL, SPIDER KING or THE CHANCELLOR by Schoonover. They're all great. Some of his other stuff is more romance oriented, but these are all good. Happy reading.

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Post by Jack » Fri August 7th, 2009, 7:26 pm

The problems with doing lists like these are:
1. You get lost with time in reminiscing about all of the great stuff you've read
2. It's impossible to really settle down to ten-you just run out of time and have to say "Okay, here's my list but I had to leave off..."
3. Like EC said, your mood comes into play; sometimes it's this type, sometimes that.

With that said, here are in no particular order ten, but-I had to leave off a LOT of good stuff!

The White Company-Arthur Conan Doyle (I just like the way he writes)
The Last Kingdom- Bernard Cornwell (Any in this series will do)
The King's Fool- Margaret Campbell Brown
Ivanhoe-Walter Scott (To my mind a neglected author)
Alchemy of Fire-Gillian Bradshaw (She can really write as well)
Lion of Justice-Jean Plaidy (Any of hers would work; this was my first)
Eaters of the Dead-Michael Crichten (I know; it's weird, but compelling)
Harry of Monmouth-AM Maughan (Old but incredible)
Walking Drum-Louis L'Amour (It's a FUN book)
Spider King/Gentle Infidel/Chancellor-Lawrence Schoonover (YOU pick between them;I couldn't. But something of his would be on the list, just not his romance stuff)

Thanks for doing this. It was fun. I happen to have the time right now, so problem no.1 was actually enjoyable. But I DID have to leave quite a bit of good stuff off of the list!

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