Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Nigel Tranter

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Nigel Tranter

Postby Margaret » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 7:43 pm

Has anyone here read a lot of Nigel Tranter's novels about Scottish history? They used to be hard to get in the U.S., and I've only read one. It was years ago - I think it was the one about Macbeth. I'd be interested to know which novels are considered to be his best.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 650 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

Mara
Scribbler
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Postby Mara » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 7:49 pm

I've read the one about Glencoe some time ago. It was good. His style was more old fashioned storytelling. Sadly I've yet to catch up on other novels (and he published many) but I've seen them dead cheap in second hand book stores here.

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 7:58 pm

I read the Bruce Trilogy and enjoyed that, but I tried another MacBeth the King and bailed at around 50 pages. It was a bit dry, although I'll admit I was having a bad book day and started about three or four before I could find one to interest me.

User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 8:11 pm

My mother read just about every book of his going when we lived in Scotland. I've tried a few but can't get on with him. He sometimes writes in never ending sentences that are very clunky. I found him dry and musty and way off base with some of his historical details. A friend challenged me to read his Master of Grey series and change my mind. I didn't, but to be fair I will say that this was a better read than the others I'd tried. In places it had vague echoes of Dorothy Dunnett (stressing the 'vague.')
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

www.elizabethchadwick.com

User avatar
Melisende
Reader
Location: Australia

Postby Melisende » Thu September 4th, 2008, 1:00 pm

I loved his "Macbeth" - there was also one about one of the early saints of Iona (forgotten the title) which was also quite good.

My local library has quite a few titles on the shelves - but as we have four branches spread far and wide - so are many of the books themselves. Meaning - there is not a full set of each "series" on the shelves of any one library - which is quite annoying when you like to grab them all for yourself!
"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."

Women of History

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Thu September 4th, 2008, 6:23 pm

Was it Druid Sacrifice about St. Mungo's mother, Melisende? As a young teenager, I read a novel that made druids seem like really creepy charlatans - there was a scene in which one of them was explaining that everyone had a spot on his body where you could stick a needle in without feeling pain, and if you did this as a public display, you could impress people. For years, I've been wondering what book that could have been, and looking over the descriptions of Tranter's titles, I think that might have been the one. I guess you could call it skillful writing, to make a scene like that stick in my mind for so many decades, but even then I thought he was being quite unfair about the druids.

I did find Macbeth the King pretty dry. I was hoping one of his other novels might be better so I could give him another chance. Scottish history is so interesting, it deserves a writer who can really bring it alive.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 650 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

User avatar
Melisende
Reader
Location: Australia

Postby Melisende » Sat September 6th, 2008, 1:22 pm

That's the one!

Thanks Margaret!
"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."

Women of History

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Thu September 11th, 2008, 9:17 pm

I just found out that Nigel Tranter's Druid Sacrifice was not published until 1993, in which case it couldn't possibly be the novel I was remembering. This is quite mysterious - perhaps it was published in the 1950s or 1960s under a different title? Or else we are thinking of two different books?
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 650 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

User avatar
Melisende
Reader
Location: Australia

Postby Melisende » Thu September 11th, 2008, 11:37 pm

Maybe its was published with a new company in 1993 - otherwise there must be a very similar book covering a very similar subject.
"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."

Women of History

User avatar
sweetpotatoboy
Bibliophile
Location: London, UK

Postby sweetpotatoboy » Fri September 12th, 2008, 4:31 pm

I've wanted to like him but the only time I tried he completely failed to engage me and I gave up (which I rarely do).


Return to “By Author”