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any historical personages you wish had fiction composed about them

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Carla
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Post by Carla » Wed December 3rd, 2008, 4:07 pm

[quote=""SonjaMarie""]Yup it was Judith's book I came across, I'll check out the other link though, thanks!

SM[/quote]

I have a review copy of Judith Weingarten's Chronicle of Zenobia: The Rebel Queen. I'm not a member of any of the book swap club things, but I'll happily give it away to a good home in exchange for the postage. If interested, PM or email me.
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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gyrehead
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Post by gyrehead » Mon December 15th, 2008, 4:11 pm

Now this is a topic near and dear to my heart!

I'd love to see someone who actually knows how to research and how to write (like say Colleen McCullough) a book about the various Cleopatras who came before VII. While the last Cleopatra who ruled Egypt was famously interesting, her predecessors were as much if not moreso. From the first who was the daughter of Antiochos III to second and third who ere murderous rivals and mother and daughter. To the three who were sent off to the Seleucid court and wreaked mayhem that defied even Shakespeare to get a good enough grasp to write a play about them.

A good strong, well written fact based novel on any of the Valide sultanas. I enjoyed Barbara Chase-Riboud's book but since then what I have read is horrible and it seems you either have authors taking way too much license (And in the process getting facts wrong) or you have them treating it like they sat through too many renditions of Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail: stereotypical eunuchs as villains etc. Even just a good strong novel about the Turkish empire would be nice. One that neither portrays them as the depraved cruel opponents of Christianity or the revisionist reactionary attempt to be politically correct and make all Christians cruel, bigoted hypocrites. (I've read Jason Goodwin's works and like them but he goes a bit farther astray from the intrigues of the Ottoman court to acheive what I'm hoping for in this niche).

As I've really, really enjoyed Deana Raybourn's series to date, I think someone with her skills should do a thriller/mystery series in New York's Gilded Age. With the right deft hand and well-researched approach, there is sucha vast realm to tap into. But it would have to be clever and well written. Or Carr could return to the world of the Alienist.

Caterina Sforza. The woman who, when presented her captive children by the besieging army, stood on her battlements, lifted her skirt to show from where she could easily produce more. Locked wills and arms with the likes of the Borgias, the della Roveres. Fascinating woman who married several times and lived a violent and vibrant life.

That's it for now. But I have tons!

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Mon December 15th, 2008, 7:34 pm

With our current economic situation unpleasantly reminiscent of the Gilded Age, that period should be due for a fictional renaissance.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

annis
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Post by annis » Sun May 3rd, 2009, 2:02 am

i've been stuck in the eleveth century lately, and came across a story which I think would have great potential for a novel, that of Gunnhild, one of King Harold Godwinson's daughters by Edith Swan-neck.

Gunnhild, was a nun at Wilton. She may have fled there after the defeat at the Battle of Hastings, but more likely she had been sent there originally to be educated as her aunt, King Edward the Confessor's wife Edith, had been. Initially she remained there as a refugee from the Normans, using the veil as her protection. With her was Edith, Edgar Atheling's niece, later to be the wife of King Henry I of England. Gunnhild may have sought refuge from the Normans, but later they seem to have used the nunnery as a prison to prevent her from being involved in any threat to their power. The threat and controversy did in fact arise, but from a Breton rather than an English source. Alan the Red (of Brittany), Earl of Richmond, abducted Gunnhild in August 1093.

Alan had been given lands that had belonged to Edith Swan Neck. Alan must have felt that, being married, though maybe only in the hand fast manner, to Edith's daughter, would help him gain the co-operation of the locals. Gunnhild seemed happy with the arrangement. Whilst living with Alan the Red she defied the attempts of Anslem, Archbishop of Canterbury, to get her to go back to the nunnery, saying that she had never formally taken the veil. Anslem later found out that she had in fact taken vows. Meantime Alan the Red had died and Gunnhild had taken up with his brother and successor, Alan the Black! Despite the strong terms he used in trying yet again to unsuccessfully get Gunnhild to return to being a nun, Anslem remained very respectful acknowledging her noble and royal lineage.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun May 3rd, 2009, 3:33 am

After reading the wik link on renaissance artist Sofronisba Anguissola, it seems this lady would make an excellent protagonist for some ambitious writer. And it allows for romance and a happy ending, too!

annis
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Post by annis » Sun May 3rd, 2009, 3:49 am

Yes, that thought occurred to me as well :) She led such an unusually independent life for the times.

I was intrigued by the Carthiginian connection
"Over four generations, the Anguissola family had a strong connection to ancient Carthaginian history and they named their offspring after the great general Hannibal, thus the first daughter was named after the tragic Carthaginian figure Sophonisba". (Wiki)

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Lauryn
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Post by Lauryn » Sun May 3rd, 2009, 5:59 am

[quote=""gyrehead""]Caterina Sforza. The woman who, when presented her captive children by the besieging army, stood on her battlements, lifted her skirt to show from where she could easily produce more. Locked wills and arms with the likes of the Borgias, the della Roveres. Fascinating woman who married several times and lived a violent and vibrant life.[/quote]

I always found that this story made me think of John Marshal, who (while not necessarily showing his equipment) told King Stephen he had the hammer and anvils to beget more and better sons than the young boy Stephen held hostage.

Elizabeth Chadwick's A Place Beyond Courage does a pretty even-handed job of rehabilitating him, I thought. And I would definitely enjoy reading more on Caterina Sforza.
Even the mighty oak was once just a nut that held its ground.

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zsigandr
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Post by zsigandr » Sun May 3rd, 2009, 11:52 am

I personally would be interested in something written from the point of view of Louis XI of France. Everyone, I am sure, has heard of the "spider king", but I would like to see something written from his point of view and how it must have been for his 3 wives (Margaret of Scotland, Charlotte of Savoy, and Catherine D'Mailly) to live with such a man.

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Ariadne
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Post by Ariadne » Sun May 3rd, 2009, 12:09 pm

Regarding Sofonisba Anguissola, I'd posted this historical novel deal on my blog in early '08 (based on a note in Publishers Weekly). I don't know when the novel will appear.
Lynn Cullen's first two historical novels (for adults; she's also written I Am Rembrandt's Daughter for YAs) were sold to Peternelle van Arsdale at Putnam via agent Emma Sweeney. The first of these, The Black Legend, is a biographical novel of Sofonisba Anguissola (ca 1532-1625), an Italian mannerist painter who joined the Spanish court of Felipe II (the husband of England's Mary I).
Last edited by Ariadne on Sun May 3rd, 2009, 12:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Sun May 3rd, 2009, 4:58 pm

[quote=""Lauryn""]I always found that this story made me think of John Marshal, who (while not necessarily showing his equipment) told King Stephen he had the hammer and anvils to beget more and better sons than the young boy Stephen held hostage.

Elizabeth Chadwick's A Place Beyond Courage does a pretty even-handed job of rehabilitating him, I thought.[/quote]

I found that speech absolutely fascinating for many reasons because there is so much more to those few simple words than meets the casual reader's eye.
It's only reported in one source - The Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal. This was a massive poem glorifying the family and that speech was designed to show John's coolness under fire. The cojones of the stock from which the Marshal's were sprung. It was never a villification in their eyes.
The anvil and the hammer are two of the symbols of a Marshal - along with the pincers. A Marescallus was a horse master and a smith. So the comment was a pun on his day job and a great play on words for a writer to use as an example.
Children being forged from a fire is a common motif in the medieval period and those listening would have well understood the common parlance.
John Marshal was in charge of the royal whores and the association of male regenerative equipment is close to the subject. Stephen knew John's job brought him into association with the prostitutes. The latter is perhas a slightly lesser point than the others, but it all adds up to one speech saying a heck of a lot more than appears on the surface.
It's interesting too, to see how chirpy and confident and eager to play games with grown men, little William was (in the full expectation these men would do so) - to say he was 'supposedly' so undervalued.
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

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