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Anyone here interested in 1790s France and England?

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ladytess
Newbie
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
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Anyone here interested in 1790s France and England?

Postby ladytess » Tue August 26th, 2008, 6:17 pm

I'm just curious :) I love the Revolutionary War era and would love to hear if others are too. :D

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue August 26th, 2008, 6:23 pm

Absolutely. I've been reading Dumas' series on the French Revolution and loving it. I've still got the last book to read Knight of the Maison Rouge, I believe this is about the attempt(s) to rescue Marie. Unfortunately another book has side tracked me :o

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Catherine Delors
Avid Reader
Location: Paris, London, Los Angeles
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Count me in!

Postby Catherine Delors » Tue August 26th, 2008, 6:40 pm

In fact my first novel, Mistress of the Revolution, is set during the (French) Revolution...

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

French Revolution

Postby Margaret » Wed August 27th, 2008, 5:20 pm

I will have to add Mistress of the Revolution to my TBR! This was an incredible time period. A lot of authors have chosen to write about it, but so much was going on that there is plenty of room for more novels to explore different angles of it.

Two novels that I've reviewed on my Historical Novels website are Charles Dickens' classic A Tale of Two Cities (review at http://www.historicalnovels.info/A-Tale-of-Two-Cities.html) and Sandra Gulland's The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., about Josephine Bonaparte, Napoleon's empress (review at http://www.historicalnovels.info/Many_Lives.html). These are totally different novels. Some people find Dickens' archaic language a bit hard to get used to; others love it. Dickens was a very popular author in his own time (A Tale of Two Cities was one of his very few historical novels), and it shows in his rapid pacing, his sense of humor, and his romantic storyline. Many Lives is my favorite type of novel - literary in its grace and precision of language and its depth of insight into the characters, but with a lively, page-turning pace that kept me wondering what was going to happen next.
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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Tambo
Scribbler
Location: Aberdeen
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Postby Tambo » Wed August 27th, 2008, 8:39 pm

I like the era, although I have been put off recently.

My local book group read The Blackstone Key by Rose Melikan (an "adventure" novel set in 1790s England)
Over 90% of us (myself included) found it incredibly dull.

I think I need to cross the channel and have a little Dumas make things right again.

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

Postby Margaret » Thu August 28th, 2008, 5:53 am

I'm sorry to hear this about The Blackstone Key - it got good reviews. I do often find historical thrillers boring, though. I started Dietrich's Napoleon's Pyramids and set it aside after a couple of chapters. Now I'm working on an advance review copy of Liss's new historical thriller, The Whiskey Rebels. I'll finish reading it, but it's not thrilling me. I get much more hooked by strong characterization and a thorough exploration of a historical event or period - and the thriller format just doesn't lend itself to that kind of depth.

Can anyone recommend some historical thrillers they've really enjoyed?
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
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Thu August 28th, 2008, 6:24 am

I haven't read "Whiskey Rebels", but I did find David Liss's "Benjamin Weaver"
historical mysteries, "Conspiracy of Paper" and "Spectacle of Corruption", very satisfying.
I also enjoyed Robert Goddard's thriller set around the South Sea Bubble collapse, "Sea Change".

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diamondlil
Bibliomaniac

Postby diamondlil » Thu August 28th, 2008, 10:01 am

"Tambo" wrote:I like the era, although I have been put off recently.

My local book group read The Blackstone Key by Rose Melikan (an "adventure" novel set in 1790s England)
Over 90% of us (myself included) found it incredibly dull.

I think I need to cross the channel and have a little Dumas make things right again.



Uh-oh! I just received this in the post yesterday!

tsjmom
Reader

Postby tsjmom » Thu August 28th, 2008, 3:05 pm

"Catherine Delors" wrote:In fact my first novel, Mistress of the Revolution, is set during the (French) Revolution...


I LOVED LOVED LOVED this novel. It is exactly the kind of story line I like. Truly was one of the most enjoyable books I've read re: the French Rev. Right up there, for me, with To Dance With Kings (one of my all time favorites!).

Catherine - if you have any other recs for similar novels please tell or PM me.

Carla
Compulsive Reader
Contact:

Postby Carla » Thu August 28th, 2008, 3:27 pm

"Margaret" wrote:I'm sorry to hear this about The Blackstone Key - it got good reviews. I do often find historical thrillers boring, though. I started Dietrich's Napoleon's Pyramids and set it aside after a couple of chapters. Now I'm working on an advance review copy of Liss's new historical thriller, The Whiskey Rebels. I'll finish reading it, but it's not thrilling me. I get much more hooked by strong characterization and a thorough exploration of a historical event or period - and the thriller format just doesn't lend itself to that kind of depth.

Can anyone recommend some historical thrillers they've really enjoyed?


Well, I really liked Pompeii, by Robert Harris, partly because the hero was an aqueduct engineer (hurrah! a change from a soldier or a spy!), partly for the terrific description of the Vesuvius eruption, and partly because the Roman water supply system was critical to the story. Apart from Attilius the engineer, and maybe Vesuvius which is almost a character in its own right, the characterisation isn't all that great. Review here: http://www.carlanayland.org/reviews/pompeii.htm

I also liked The Conscience of the King, by Martin Stephen. This is a spy thriller featuring Henry Gresham (fictional; the Jacobean answer to James Bond) and involving conspiracies about who really wrote the plays of Shakespeare and why the Globe theatre really burned down. I thought it was great fun, like a James Bond film (and about as plausible). Again, characterisation was a bit on the obvious side, but there was some interesting stuff about the London theatre scene. Review here: http://www.carlanayland.org/reviews/conscience_king.htm.

I have The Blackstone Key for review at the moment - will be interesting to see what I think of it given the comments here!
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