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Help! Historical Fiction for my Book Club

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.

Help! Historical Fiction for my Book Club

Postby WhispofMemory » Tue September 14th, 2010, 12:14 am

I tend to read a lot of historical fiction and was actually expecting my club to vote for the Tudors but it ended up losing by 2 votes. Instead, they voted for "Authors." Basically what I am looking for is more novels based on the lives of authors OR at least where he/she is prominently featured.

I'm in the process now of finding selections (Jane Austen isn't on the list on purpose). This is what I have so far and I was wondering if anyone could offer up any other suggestions for me.

Still She Haunts Me by Katie Roiphe (Lewis Carrol & Alice Liddel)
The Master: A Novel by Colm Toibin (Henry James)
The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl (I realize this one is a bit of a stretch since Poe isn't the protagonist but I think it's better than nothing)
Girl in a Blue Dress by Gayor Arnold (Charles Dickens)
The Tale of Hill Top Farm by Susan Wittig Albert (Beatrix Potter - Is this the ONLY historical fiction that features her in a prominent way? I'd prefer not to force my readers to have to read another mystery after we've just finished one)
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees
Charlotte & Emily by Jude Morgan (Ugh couldn't they have kept the original title? This is awful! 'A Taste of Sorrow' was a much better title)
The Hours by Michael Cunningham (Virginia Woolf)

In the following month, we will read a non-fiction to go with the fiction we have just read. I've found a non-fiction to follow up each of these already.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue September 14th, 2010, 12:19 am

Hi and welcome. The only one on your list I recognize is Lost Summer of LMA. Divia loved it but I was kinda *meh*. I prefer Glory Cloak (author's name escapes me) which is also a fictional account of Louisa.

Other than that I'm personally stumped, but Michele has some suggestions here, http://readersrespite.blogspot.com/2010/05/finding-authors-in-books.html
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be


Postby WhispofMemory » Tue September 14th, 2010, 12:28 am

Thanks so much! I'll have to check out that other historical fiction of LMA too...it might be the better option then.

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Location: North Carolina

Postby boswellbaxter » Tue September 14th, 2010, 12:32 am

Drood by Dan Simmons features both Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens.

Syrie James has written novels about both Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte.

Jerome Charyn has written a (very) literary novel called The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles



Postby annis » Tue September 14th, 2010, 12:39 am

Elizabeth Battrick, who wrote several NF books about Beatrix Potter, also wrote a novel called Beatrix Potter's Tale (pub. 1993)


Postby WhispofMemory » Tue September 14th, 2010, 12:50 am

Elizabeth Battrick, who wrote several NF books about Beatrix Potter, also wrote a novel called Beatrix Potter's Tale (pub. 1993)

Looks like it's OOP. :( I would love to read that on my own sometime but in order for a book to become a choice in my book club, it has to be available for everyone.

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Postby Elizabeth » Tue September 14th, 2010, 3:21 am

Susan Wittig Albert has written a series of cozy-style historical mysteries featuring Beatrix Potter as a gentle sleuth in England's turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) Lake District. The series is collectively known as "The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter."

Laura Joh Rowland, who writes the excellent Sano Ichiro mysteries (17th century Japan) has just begun a new series featuring Charlotte Bronte, beginning with The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte.

Nicola Upson's An Angel with Two Faces features Josephine Tey, author of The Daughter of Time, as a sleuth.

Stephanie Barron's The White Garden is billed as "A novel of Virginia Woolf." It features a mysterious lost journal of Woolf's and a search for hidden truths about her death.
THE RED LILY CROWN: A Novel of Medici Florence.



Postby annis » Tue September 14th, 2010, 3:33 am

Richard Maltby has written a novel based on the movie, Miss Potter, also called Miss Potter, but you may not consider it literary enough for your book group. I agree absolutely about the boring Amrican title for Jude Morgan's novel, btw- "A Taste of Sorrow" is so much more evocative.

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Currently reading: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell & And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Tue September 14th, 2010, 8:48 am

There's Daphne by Justine Picardie which features Daphne du Maurier and also Peter Llewellyn Davies (Peter Pan). I'm not sure if she is classed as an historical author, though!
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Location: London, UK

Postby sweetpotatoboy » Tue September 14th, 2010, 10:26 am

Fanny: A Fiction by Edmund White is about the novelist Fanny Trollope (mother of the more famous Anthony Trollope).

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