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List your favorite Top 10 Historical Fiction Reads

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.
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Kasthu
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Location: Radnor, PA
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Post by Kasthu » Sat December 13th, 2008, 6:36 pm

The Sunne in Splendour, by Sharon Kay Penman
The Meaning of Night, by Michael Cox
The Alienist, by Caleb Carr
The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
Katherine, by Anya Seton
Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor
A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, by EL Konigsburg (YA)
Nefertiti, by Michelle Moran
The Greatest Knight, by Elizabeth Chadwick
Company of Liars, by Karen Maitland

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nona
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Location: Oklahoma

Post by nona » Sat December 13th, 2008, 9:45 pm

[quote=""Kasthu""]
The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
and[/quote]

I saw this online the other day and it perked my interest but I didn't get to finish reading the review.

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Margaret
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Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Post by Margaret » Sun December 14th, 2008, 5:56 am

I really enjoyed The Name of the Rose. It works on so many levels: an intriguing mystery with monastic bodies dropping in all sorts of inconvenient places, a vividly presented historical setting in medieval Italy, a thoughtful story about the hows and whys and wherefores of religious fanaticism, and an emotionally moving conclusion. It's the only Umberto Eco novel I've read, because the others sounded forbiddingly literary. This one will be most appreciated if a bit of brainpower is brought to the reading process, but it's a straightforwardly presented story with a good plot. It's long - so there's all the more of it to enjoy!
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

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Sun December 14th, 2008, 1:01 pm

[quote=""Margaret""]I really enjoyed The Name of the Rose. This one will be most appreciated if a bit of brainpower is brought to the reading process, but it's a straightforwardly presented story with a good plot. It's long - so there's all the more of it to enjoy![/quote]

It was way too much for my peanut brain! :confused: I just couldn't stick with it. I'd find myself reading pages, and then jerking awake with a line of drool between book and mouth. (metaphorically speaking!). However I absolutely love the film. I've just bought it to add to my DVD collection. If Umberto Ecco's other works are more literary than The Name of the Rose, I'm done for!
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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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2440
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Post by Margaret » Mon December 15th, 2008, 1:35 am

I think my husband felt the same way about Larry McMurtry's tour de force, Lonesome Dove. He did love the TV miniseries.
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

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Leo62
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Post by Leo62 » Mon December 15th, 2008, 11:03 am

"Mistress of the Art of Death" was definitely a high point of 2008 HF wise :)

And I can't believe I left out CJ Sansom's Shardlake series! :eek:

gyrehead
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Post by gyrehead » Mon December 15th, 2008, 3:49 pm

I guess this is the best place to plunge in with a first post.

And I'll have to start off by cheating a bit. Some series I just cannot judge as being separate.

"House of Niccolo" series by Dorothy Dunnett
The Master of Verona by David Blixt
Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen
The First Man of Rome by Colleen McCullough
The Grass Crown by Colleen McCullough
"The Lymond Series" by Dorothy Dunnett
A God Against the Gods and Return to Thebes by Allan Drury
The Court of the Lion by Eleanor Cooney and Daniel Altieri
"The Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine" series by Sharon Kay Penman
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

honorable mentions:
Imprimatur by Rita Monaldi and Francesco Sorti
Katherine by Anya Seton
The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton & Marion Mainwaring
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
The Egyptian by Mika Waltari

ETA: correct spelling on Monaldi book; too much Rome on my mind when typing!
Last edited by gyrehead on Tue December 16th, 2008, 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Mon December 15th, 2008, 3:59 pm

Welcome, gyrehead! Nice choices.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


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

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2440
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Post by Margaret » Mon December 15th, 2008, 7:36 pm

Great list, Gyrehead. Our taste in historical fiction definitely coincides, so I will have to put the few on your list that I haven't read high on my TBR.
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

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sweetpotatoboy
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Location: London, UK

Post by sweetpotatoboy » Mon December 15th, 2008, 7:44 pm

Ditto. There were a few there that I hadn't heard of and that I've added to my growing list...

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