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July 2011 BOTM: Nominations

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July 2011 BOTM: Nominations

Post by boswellbaxter » Sun May 1st, 2011, 3:06 pm

July's theme is historical novels that were published before 1960. Please limit nominations to books that are still in print or that at least can be obtained used at a reasonable price.

Nominations close May 5.
Susan Higginbotham
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Post by Carla » Sun May 1st, 2011, 7:11 pm

How about Frenchman's Creek, by Daphne du Maurier? I believe Sourcebooks recently reissued it in the US. First published 1941.

Here's the publisher's description from Amazon.com. It's a bit breathless (and what's with the 'shadowy forests', in a novel that's mainly set on and by the sea?) but gives the idea; Frenchman's Creek is a cracking read:
Jaded by the numbing politeness of Restoration London, Lady Dona St. Columb revolts against high society. She rides into the countryside, guided only by her restlessness and her longing to escape.

But when chance leads her to meet a French pirate, hidden within Cornwall's shadowy forests, Dona discovers that her passions and thirst for adventure have never been more aroused. Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him.

Frenchman's Creek is the breathtaking story of a woman searching for love and adventure who embraces the dangerous life of a fugitive on the seas.
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
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Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
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Post by Vanessa » Mon May 2nd, 2011, 9:24 am

Mary of Carisbrooke by Margaret Campbell Barnes
The moving, tragic story of Charles I, the last absolute monarch of England, during his imprisonment in Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight. Richly drawn and inspired by the New York Times bestselling author's own experience living on the Isle of Wight, this dramatic retelling brings to life the cavalier king whom Cromwell deposed. But even more fascinating than the account of royal hopes and misfortunes is the tale of a charming servant girl who is as romantic and tender in love as she is bold and resourceful in plotting the king's escape.
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Post by Ludmilla » Mon May 2nd, 2011, 1:32 pm

Conscience of the King by Alfred Duggan (originally published in 1951):
Cerdic Elesing, King of Wessex and ancestor of all subsequent British monarchs, narrates in this fictional biography how he murdered, cheated, looted and lied his way to the great position he ultimately held - and in the process served with the great Roman leader Ambrosius and the Saxon warlord Aella, and was the foe Arthur defeated at Mount Badon.

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Post by annis » Wed May 4th, 2011, 2:21 am

Mary Renault's The Last of the Wine, pub. 1956, a novel set in ancient Greece.
Two young Athenians, Alexias and Lysis, compete in the palaestra, journey to the Olympic games, fight in the wars against Sparta, and study under Socrates. As their relationship develops, Renault expertly conveys Greek culture, showing the impact of this supreme philosopher whose influence spans epochs.
Last edited by annis on Wed May 4th, 2011, 2:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Wed May 4th, 2011, 8:39 am

I'll take the opportunity to nominate one of my favourites:

The History of Henry Esmond Esq. by William Makepeace Thackeray – originally published in 1852
The book tells the story of the early life of Henry Esmond, a colonel in the service of Queen Anne of England. A typical example of Victorian historical novels, Thackeray's work of historical fiction tells its tale against the backdrop of late 17th- and early 18th-century England — specifically, major events surrounding the English Restoration — and utilizes characters both real (but dramatized) and imagined.
(PS. Anyone reading this should never read a full plot summary. The Wikipedia entry contains a huge spoiler right upfront!)

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Post by Matt Phillips » Thu May 5th, 2011, 9:40 pm

I'll nominate Kenneth Roberts's Rabble in Arms, published in 1933. Set during the American Revolution, it follows the adventures of a young man trying to track down the location - and loyalties - of his lost younger brother while serving under Benedict Arnold during the Saratoga campaign.


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