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.

As good as The Baroque Cycle?

Trying to remember a title or an author? Want to know who or what a particular novel is about? Want a recommendation for books about a particular person or period? Post here!
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Wed July 14th, 2010, 6:10 am

It occurs to me that you might like John Barth's work- oldies but goodies. I'd start with the Sot-Weed Factor

User avatar
Posts: 28
Joined: August 2010
Location: I'm based in Hampshire (UK) but we also have a partner based in Kentucky, USA

Post by Diiarts » Sun August 22nd, 2010, 11:59 pm

I loved The Baroque Cycle, not least because I was reading it alongside Lisa Jardine's superb biographies of Wren and Hooke. It got me seriously hooked on reading historical fiction in parallel with a non-fiction book about the same period.

I've enjoyed many of the others mentioned in this thread, too - O'Brian (along with Allan Mallinson and Julian Stockwin, and far better writing for my money than either Forester or Cornwell); Iain Pears's excellent 'Instances of the Fingerpost'; Charles Palliser's superb 'The Quincunx' (which I re-read a few years ago alongside Jerry White's 'London in the Nineteenth Century').

But the series that towers above them all is Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles. I second Gyrehead's comments about DD - if you enjoyed the journey and the intricacies of plot of the Baroque Cycle, and if you coped with the physical bulk of the books, there's a good chance you'll enjoy the intellectual bulk of Lymond
Last edited by Diiarts on Mon August 23rd, 2010, 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
www.diiarts.com - books for people who love books

Posts: 2475
Joined: August 2008
Location: Arizona, USA

Post by Ash » Mon August 23rd, 2010, 2:32 am

Another book to consider is Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. Excellent double cross/mystery that takes place in London circa 1700s. The HF part is that she evokes the time and place wonderfully; you can almost smell the back alleys (a fingersmith is what theives were called, esp ones esp talented with their hands.

BTW on your recommendation I started Quicksilver. I had to put it down a few times at the start, shiny new objects (aka new books) got me distracted, but now I am well into it and enjoying it quite a bit. Yeah, its big, but no bigger than George Martin books. Thanks for the rec!
Last edited by Ash on Mon August 23rd, 2010, 2:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

M.M. Bennetts

Post by M.M. Bennetts » Thu August 26th, 2010, 9:57 pm

Allan Mallinson's Matthew Hervey sequence is really good, and well written. It's cavalry from the battle of Waterloo forward--a period of time which saw action just about everywhere except Europe. And Mallinson knows his horses and the cavalry as well...

Alex Worthy
Posts: 27
Joined: September 2008

Post by Alex Worthy » Wed September 1st, 2010, 8:40 pm

I just started the 3rd book in the Volume One of the Baroque Cycle. Fantastic reading. Although quite lengthy and full of intellectual ideas, the adventure and the characters make it easy reading. Does remind me a lot of Pynchon - erudite and witty. But much more accessible.

Post Reply

Return to “Ask Your Fellow Readers”