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.

King Arthur-Elizabeth II Challenge

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.
User avatar
Sintra
Reader
Posts: 58
Joined: March 2011
Location: Moscow, Russia

Post by Sintra » Wed April 6th, 2011, 11:09 am

[quote=""Brenna""]
Nicole Galland-The Fool's Tale
[/quote]

I wonder how that one's going to turn out. I've read Galland's Revenge of the Rose and i really liked it, but it was intentionally not historical fiction. But The Fool's Tale is much more authentic from what i've heard.

As for the books...
A Great and Terrible King was already recommended and i think that it's a really good book to get into Edward I.
Also, W.L.Warren's King John is great.
Ian Mortimer's Time-Traveller's Guide to Medieval England is a good choice if you want to know all the details about what law was like, what games were played and what places to visit if you're stuck in the 14th century :)

User avatar
Amanda
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 910
Joined: August 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by Amanda » Wed April 6th, 2011, 11:10 am

[quote=""boswellbaxter""]F
I loved Jude Morgan's The King's Touch (James of Monmouth, with quite a bit on Charles II)

[/quote]

I recommend this one too. One of my first Charles II era reads.

Carla
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 965
Joined: August 2008
Contact:

Post by Carla » Wed April 6th, 2011, 12:58 pm

A few more recommendations for the King Arthur - Harold section:

Non-fiction on King Arthur:
The Reign of Arthur: From History to Legend, by Christopher Gidlow. Clear, readable, balanced survey of the evidence for a historical King Arthur and subsequent development into legend. Review here for more information: http://www.carlanayland.org/reviews/reign_arthur.htm

For the mid-sixth century, I can recommend Born of the Sun, by Joan Wolf, a novel about Ceawlin of Wessex.

For the seventh century - between Storyteller by GR Grove and An Involuntary King by Nan Hawthorne in the King Arthur to Harold section of your list - I highly recommend Kathleen Herbert's three novels set in Cumbria and Northumbria:
Bride of the Spear (first published with the title Lady of the Fountain). Late sixth century, covers King Urien of Rheged, his son King Owain of Rheged, and Princess Taniu of Lothian.
Queen of the Lightning. Early-mid seventh century, 630s-640s, covers King Oswald and King Oswy of Northumbria, King Penda of Mercia and Queen Rhianmellt of Northumbria (Princess Rhianmellt of Rheged). ('Queen of the Lightning' is an approximate translation of the name 'Rhianmellt').
Ghost in the Sunlight. Mid-seventh century, 650s, covers King Oswy of Northumbria, King Penda of Mercia and his son Peada, and Queen Alchflaed of Mercia (Princess Alchflaed of Northumbria).
These are unfortunately out of print at the moment, but there are second-hand copies available on Amazon. They are sometimes billed as 'The Cumbrian Trilogy', though I would say the first one (Bride of the Spear) is a stand-alone and the other two form a pair. I like these very much; they all have a strong plot, well-rounded characters, a firm sense of historical time and place, and are beautifully written with a dry sense of humour.

If you don't mind my mentioning it, there's my own novel Paths of Exile, about Eadwine (Edwin) of Northumbria, set in the early seventh century, 605-606. It was Book of the Month here in April last year; I think this is a link to the thread if interested: http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/ ... php?t=3217

For King Alfred, I can also highly recommend Joan Wolf's novel The Edge of Light. It will give you a distinctly different take on King Alfred from Bernard Cornwell's Uhtred series.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009
Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords
Website: http://www.carlanayland.org
Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com

User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3661
Joined: August 2008
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Post by EC2 » Wed April 6th, 2011, 2:39 pm

[quote=""Sintra""]I wonder how that one's going to turn out. I've read Galland's Revenge of the Rose and i really liked it, but it was intentionally not historical fiction. But The Fool's Tale is much more authentic from what i've heard.
:) [/quote]

Ummm.... I wouldn't say so. The sex over a barrel in the courtyard scene??!!! :eek: :eek: :eek:
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
Brenna
Bibliophile
Posts: 1358
Joined: June 2010
Location: Delaware

Post by Brenna » Wed April 6th, 2011, 2:52 pm

Thank you everyone for the wonderful suggestions! I am furiously adding them to my list and checking with the library to see which ones I can get from there. I knew putting this list and my idea of the challenge on here could possibly bankfrupt me, but alas, is there any better way to spend my money (unless it is on traveling to all of these places?)

I do not mind authors suggesting their own books as sometimes they are on my shopping cart but have not been added to my reading list or I hadn't heard about them. I've noticed that I haven't received any suggestions for the Hanover and later time periods. Do you think this is because there just are not a lot of books about the time period or it isn't interesting enough for people to really read about it?

Most of the books I have on my list came from http://www.historicalnovels.info and I have made it a point to check back there periodically to make sure I've added books I am interested in.

In regards to Jean Plaidy-I've heard some questionnable responses from people regarding her authenticity so I wasn't sure if I should read them or not. Thoughts?

Thanks again and keep the suggestions coming!
Brenna

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Wed April 6th, 2011, 3:00 pm

House of Hanover, The Glitter & the Gold by Michael Dyne. The review up there is from a friend at Goodreads.

Back to the Stuarts,

The Vizard Mask Diana Norman
The Child from the Sea Elizabeth Goudge (Charles, the early years)
Dark Angels Karleen Koen

Margaret Irwin wrote a book on Minette (Charles' sister). The name escapes me.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

User avatar
fljustice
Bibliophile
Posts: 1995
Joined: March 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Post by fljustice » Wed April 6th, 2011, 3:50 pm

I really liked Thomas Costain's NF series (from 1983) covering the Plantagenets from William the Conqueror in 1066, closing with the reign of John in 1216:

The Conquering Family
The Magnificent Century
The Three Edwards
The Last Plantagenets
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
Image

User avatar
sweetpotatoboy
Bibliophile
Posts: 1641
Joined: August 2008
Location: London, UK

Post by sweetpotatoboy » Wed April 6th, 2011, 3:52 pm

1) I second the recommendation for the royalty.nu website. The book lists do focus on non-fiction, but there is typically historical fiction cited as well underneath each section that is very helpful.

2) There's a good non-fiction on Kings Richard and John: "Lionheart and Lackland: King Richard, King John and the Wars of Conquest" by Frank McLynn. Well, my Dad's read it but I haven't yet.
That's just off the top of my head for books that others may not have mentioned. Apart from that, books on royalty are too numerous to mention....

3) There's not much fiction that focuses on Henry VII, so I thought I'd mention "An Unknown Welshman" by Jean Stubbs (1972), which I read a couple of years ago.

4) If you're looking for inspiration for someone in particular, I have a book at home that lists historical novels by name of historical character. It's about 10-15 years old but captures a lot of older books that might be off the radar.

I also find the tag-mash search at LibraryThing of some value, though it's not perfect and relies on people having appropriately tagged their books with the relevant characters.

User avatar
Sintra
Reader
Posts: 58
Joined: March 2011
Location: Moscow, Russia

Post by Sintra » Wed April 6th, 2011, 4:07 pm

[quote=""EC2""]Ummm.... I wouldn't say so. The sex over a barrel in the courtyard scene??!!! :eek: :eek: :eek:[/quote]

A barrel? That's... um, creative. Have to read it now :)

[quote=""sweetpotatoboy""]1
2) There's a good non-fiction on Kings Richard and John: "Lionheart and Lackland: King Richard, King John and the Wars of Conquest" by Frank McLynn. Well, my Dad's read it but I haven't yet.
[/quote]

Personally, i wouldn't recommend this one. It may serve as an introduction to the period, but the author is really biased and he clearly favours Richard. Plus there is a lot of mistakes, but it's the narrative that really bugged me.
Last edited by Sintra on Wed April 6th, 2011, 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
boswellbaxter
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3066
Joined: August 2008
Location: North Carolina
Contact:

Post by boswellbaxter » Wed April 6th, 2011, 4:10 pm

For the Hanovers, most of the fiction I know of is written by Jean Plaidy. She strove to be accurate, but of course some of the sources she relied on have since been discredited. I've found this to be more of a problem with her novels set in medieval and Tudor England than with her novels set in later periods, however.

For nonfiction, there's The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace by Lucy Worsley and A Royal Affair: George III and His Scandalous Siblings by Stella Tillyard.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”