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Any suggestions for HF in Charlemagne's era?

Chatterbox
Bibliophile
Location: New York

Any suggestions for HF in Charlemagne's era?

Postby Chatterbox » Mon October 12th, 2009, 10:08 pm

Was watching some DVDs of Kenneth Clark's civilization series, and it piqued my curiosity about Charlemagne. I've read some interesting NF about that era, but am not aware of any fiction.

Any suggestions???

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon October 12th, 2009, 10:27 pm

Mary Stewart's The Prince and the Pilgrim is set about then.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Mon October 12th, 2009, 10:30 pm

Given that it's such an exciting era it's surprising to find so little HF set at that time. I've been looking for ages, and this is all I've been able to come up with, but it would be great if someone else knew of others.

There are a few novels around which feature Charlemagne's predecessors

Louis deMartelly, Charles Martel and the Lance of Destiny (self-published)

Diana M. Johnson, has written a trilogy
1) Destiny's Godchild - features Prince Dagobert, the heir to the Frankish throne, and his tutor Pepin the Vain
2) Pepin's Bastard: The Story of Charles Martel
3) Quest for the Crown: The Story of Pepin the Short

Both deMartelly and Johnson are descended from Charlemagne

Eyvind Johnson's The Days of His Grace is about a Lombard family of minor nobility northern Italy during the time of Charlemagne's conquests there.

Alan Massie's Charlemagne and Roland is a story of Charlemagne, as narrated by the tutor of the young Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II

Catherine Munroe, The King's Nun: A Novel of King Charlemagne about an eighth century nun who becomes a trusted advisor of Charlemagne.

Naomi Mitchison wrote a short novel called The Oath-Takers, which is about a young Frankish noble who goes on a mission to Spain in the ninth century.

I ecently came across a novel which sounds intriguing set in an earlier Merovingian period , called "A Rib of Eve" by Katherine Christensen ( it looks to be self-published) Info from author's blog here.

Just remembered, many years ago I read a couple of historical romance/time travel novels set in Charlemagne's time, but they probably don't count!
Flora Speer
Time To Love Again and A Love Beyond Time-- not too bad , but make no claims to serious novelhood :)
Last edited by annis on Tue October 13th, 2009, 1:01 am, edited 6 times in total.

Chatterbox
Bibliophile
Location: New York

Postby Chatterbox » Tue October 13th, 2009, 12:47 am

Tks Annis & MLE...

I'm not that interested (actually not at all!) in HF around Arthurian legends, so I'll pass on the Mary Stewart. I found the first of the Diana Johnson books and the King's Nun on Paperbackswap, and will scour the web for a copy of the Allan Massie books (I love his Roman novels...)

I think Andrew Taylor's first book, Caroline Miniscule, revolved around some kind of printed legacy from the Carolingian renaissance.

Everyone in the world, I'm convinced, is descended from Charlemagne. Certainly, if you can trace your ancestry back to the 17th century in New England, you have a 50% chance of being descended from European royalty, which means, de facto, from Charlemagne. I'm unique in having no provable link to either, just a lot of near misses! On the other hand, I am an eighth cousin (twice removed) of Ernest Hemingway, making me Mariel Hemingway's 10th cousin... How's that for obscure trivia??

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Tue October 13th, 2009, 1:05 am

There are a couple of Da Vinci Code-type books around with a link to Charlemagn'e time, but can only think of Steve Berry's Charlemagne Pursuit at the moment.

Yes, I think half the world is descended from Charlemagne (maybe not surprising when you consider how widely he spread his seed around) and the other half related to Genghis Khan!

chuck
Bibliophile
Location: Ciinaminson NJ

Manly pursuits

Postby chuck » Tue October 13th, 2009, 4:05 pm

"annis" wrote:There are a couple of Da Vinci Code-type books around with a link to Charlemagn'e time, but can only think of Steve Berry's Charlemagne Pursuit at the moment.

Yes, I think half the world is descended from Charlemagne (maybe not surprising when you consider how widely he spread his seed around) and the other half related to Genghis Khan!


Ahem!......Don't forget about those lusty Blue Eyed Men from the North.....

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rex icelingas
Reader

Postby rex icelingas » Wed March 10th, 2010, 7:25 pm

Somewhere in the garage I have a HF book about Charlemagne it was terrible
Not that it wasnt Historically correct it was just so damn boring and goody goody about the King of the Holy Roman Empire.
A far more interesting perspective would have been the poor people who had to suffer the religious intolerance of Christianity,a novel about the continental Saxons perhaps?

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Wed March 10th, 2010, 8:20 pm

Posted by Chuck
Ahem!......Don't forget about those lusty Blue Eyed Men from the North.....


Giles Kristian's latest "Raven" novel "Sons of Thunder", has both Vikings AND Charlemagne. If you like historical adventures in the Bernard Cornwell style this is an exciting read and paints a vivid picture of early 9th century Francia.

Edit
Eyvind Johnson wrote a novel in 1960 called 'The Days Of His Grace", about a family of minor nobility in what is now northern Italy during the time of Charlemagne's conquests there.
Last edited by annis on Wed March 10th, 2010, 8:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Location: Georgia USA

Postby Ludmilla » Wed March 10th, 2010, 9:41 pm

The Eyvind Johnson book looks interesting. Charlemagne's dealings with the Lombards approached a family vendetta. He abandoned his first wife to marry the daughter (Desiree, also known as Desiderata) of King Desiderius of the Lombards. Charlemagne quickly realized what a mistake the match was and sent Desiree home a year or two later where she died shortly thereafter (possibly in childbirth). Desiree's sister was married to Tassilo of Bavaria (a cousin or nephew, I think, of Charlemagne's father), and she never forgave Charlemagne for his poor treatment of her sister. It didn't help that when his brother died, Charlemagne annexed his brother's territory rather than let it go to his brother's sons. His brother's wife and sons sought sanctuary with the Lombards. This added fuel to the fire of an already eroding relationship between Charlemagne and Tassilo. When Tassilo finally capitulated, Charlemagne claimed his famous sword (it was never made clear to me whether there is any connection b/w Tassilo's sword and Charlemagne's Joyeuse).

Good fodder for a book, anyway (and I hope I remembered the details right). Sounds like some of this may be in the background of Johnson's book. I wasn't sure whether it was translated into English, but Amazon shows used English language editions.

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Elizabeth
Avid Reader
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Postby Elizabeth » Thu March 11th, 2010, 1:37 pm

I treasure an old copy of Julia O'Faolain's WOMEN IN THE WALL, which centers on the Merovingian queen Radegunda, one of the six wives (sounds like the BBC) of Clotair I. What an incredible woman she was... captive, queen, nun and ultimately saint.

The setting is Frankish Gaul, a couple of hundred years before Charlemagne, but it evokes the dark, gritty world of the sixth century very vividly.
THE RED LILY CROWN: A Novel of Medici Florence.
THE FLOWER READER.
THE SECOND DUCHESS.

www.elizabethloupas.com


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