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Favorite HF Author?

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The Czar
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Favorite HF Author?

Post by The Czar » Mon April 23rd, 2012, 5:24 am

I'm having trouble finding new HF to read, and am re-reading some of my favorites. This made me think: Who is your favorite HF writer? I figured I may be introduced to some new ones in your answers.

I'd have to go with Robert Graves. I LOVE Counte Belisarius, and the two Claudius novels. I am about to read his "Golden Fleece" book, and his Sci-fi future book Watch the North Wind Rise. "King Jesus" looks interesting to, as does "Hercules, my Shipmate" if I could find copies of either.

So who you got?
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.
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Cayuga1561
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Post by Cayuga1561 » Mon April 23rd, 2012, 4:45 pm

It's hard for me to think about Historical Fiction without James Michener coming to mind. His books are long and full of more information that some think necessary, but I like his characters and the high-adventure themes. You might try my book, but it's not in the same league as a Michener novel. I think it all depends on your interests and what period of history you like to read about.

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Mon April 23rd, 2012, 4:59 pm

[quote=""The Czar""] I am about to read his "Golden Fleece" book, and his Sci-fi future book Watch the North Wind Rise. "King Jesus" looks interesting to, as does "Hercules, my Shipmate" if I could find copies of either.
So who you got?[/quote]

"Hercules, My Shipmate" is the American title for "The Golden Fleece". I love this book. It's one of my favorite mythic historicals. I don't think there's a better retelling out there of Jason and his Argonauts. It actually contains a lot of the research that later went into his NF, "The White Goddess". I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Ancient Greece.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon April 23rd, 2012, 4:59 pm

I like Samuel Shellabarger. He only wrote four novels (there was a fifth published postumously that I haven't read) but I loved them all, and even more telling, when I re-read them several decades later, I still loved them. Not many writers can pass that second-reading test.

Gone with the Wind also passed the test, but as Margaret Michell only wrote one book, she couldn't be classed as a favorite.

Michener is pretty hit-and-miss with me. I used to love him, but his stuff started to feel rather industrial, as though he were churning them out on the same template. After Texas, I decided that I preferred to read a straight history if I wanted the information. For one thing, it took less time than getting through a Michener doorstopper.

I should get around to reading Graves. I've seen the BBC miniseries I Claudius, and liked it.

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The Czar
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Post by The Czar » Mon April 23rd, 2012, 5:54 pm

[quote=""Ludmilla""]"Hercules, My Shipmate" is the American title for "The Golden Fleece". I love this book. It's one of my favorite mythic historicals. I don't think there's a better retelling out there of Jason and his Argonauts. It actually contains a lot of the research that later went into his NF, "The White Goddess". I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Ancient Greece.[/quote]

Oh ok, the library must have had the English version, as it's "The Golden Fleece." I'ts such an old pretty leather bound copy, I'm half inclined to not return it. :p

[quote=""MLE""]I like Samuel Shellabarger. He only wrote four novels (there was a fifth published postumously that I haven't read) but I loved them all, and even more telling, when I re-read them several decades later, I still loved them. Not many writers can pass that second-reading test.

Gone with the Wind also passed the test, but as Margaret Michell only wrote one book, she couldn't be classed as a favorite.

Michener is pretty hit-and-miss with me. I used to love him, but his stuff started to feel rather industrial, as though he were churning them out on the same template. After Texas, I decided that I preferred to read a straight history if I wanted the information. For one thing, it took less time than getting through a Michener doorstopper.

I should get around to reading Graves. I've seen the BBC miniseries I Claudius, and liked it.[/quote]

Cool, I'll have to check Shellabarger out. My library has several of his books. Thanks, that's what I was hoping this thread would do.

Yes, you really should read I, Claudius and Claudius the God. They are excellent. I also love Count Belisarius, which describes one of the oddest periods of history out there (ridiculous heresy disputes, factional violence between chariot teams, a whore-turned-empress, etc.)
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.
_______________________________________________
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

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Vaughn Entwistle
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Post by Vaughn Entwistle » Mon April 23rd, 2012, 7:36 pm

For me, Louis Bayard is hard to match.

I've read all of his historical fiction novels:

Mister Timothy

The Black Tower

The Pale Blue Eye

and his most recent:

The School of Night.

I find his plots suspenseful and engaging. They are often mysteries with an a-ha moment or plot twist at the end.

Perhaps, most importantly for me, I love his prose style. Authorial voice is one of my key considerations, and I'll cross genres to read an author with a powerful, original, and distinctive voice. For this reason alone, Bayard is my number one pick.

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Post by Rhunt » Sat May 26th, 2012, 7:07 pm

Although there are a lot of good ones, I think I'm going to have to hold out for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, with his "White Company", "Sir Nigel", "Micah Clarke", and the like. Good old fashioned adventure -- and for a bit of humor, the Brigadier Gerard stories as well.

Everyone remembers him for Sherlock, but I always found those to be less interesting than his historical adventures. Has anyone else here read any Doyle historical fiction?
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donroc
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Post by donroc » Sat May 26th, 2012, 7:47 pm

Shellabarger, Costain, Sabatini, Dumas, Scott, Dunnett, early Frank Yerby, Edison Marshall ( several films from his novels), Graves, Renault, and the American Winston Churchill (not the half-Brit PM) are in my pantheon of HF authors.
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rockygirl
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Post by rockygirl » Sun June 10th, 2012, 4:01 pm

Love the Claudius books.

But I'd have to go with Margaret George and Colleen McCullough as my favorites.

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Post by Michele Kallio » Mon June 11th, 2012, 2:23 am

I would have to say that Elizabeth Chadwick and Sharon Kay Penman top my list of favourite HF authors. I would add Barbara Erskine and Robert Graves. The more I think of it the more names I come up with, but, the above named are definitely my favourites!

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