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Anyone here interested in 1790s France and England?

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 » Fri October 24th, 2008, 7:35 pm

No worries, Catherine - this site has gotten so big and rich, it's hard to keep up!

What a cool idea, to take a historical figure and split her up among several different characters. A good novelist always has to simplify real people and real events to at least some degree in order to keep a story from flying out of control. I love the idea of keeping some of the complexity in the story by using multiple characters.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 650 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

User avatar
Catherine Delors
Avid Reader
Location: Paris, London, Los Angeles
Contact:

Postby Catherine Delors » Fri October 24th, 2008, 8:19 pm

Oh, Margaret, I think a good story is always flying out of control to some degree or other. That's what makes writing fun. :)

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 » Sat October 25th, 2008, 8:24 pm

I like that idea, Catherine. I will try to let myself fly out of control more often!
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 650 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

Carla
Compulsive Reader
Contact:

Postby Carla » Fri December 12th, 2008, 3:45 pm

"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.


Just posted my review of The Blackstone Key over in the Reviews section. I can see why your reading group found it dull! There's so much fluttery Jane Austen-style gossip in drawing rooms that there's hardly any room for the mystery, let alone any adventure. Pity, because the premise appealed to me. Apparently it's the first of a trilogy, so maybe the adventure happens in the next book?
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
Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com

M.M. Bennetts

Postby M.M. Bennetts » Thu September 9th, 2010, 11:10 pm

I'm a specialist in British political and military history of the Napoleonic era--which is to say a generalist, because in that era of the amateur, everyone did a bit of everything (both the Prince Regent and Lord Castlereagh were both fine amateur cellists, for example), and one thing always leads to another. I read non-fiction almost exclusively though.

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Catherine Delors
Avid Reader
Location: Paris, London, Los Angeles
Contact:

Postby Catherine Delors » Thu September 9th, 2010, 11:20 pm

"M.M. Bennetts" wrote:I read non-fiction almost exclusively though.


But you belong to a site that's called Historical Fiction Online? :)

M.M. Bennetts

Postby M.M. Bennetts » Fri September 10th, 2010, 6:51 am

Well, I adore Patrick O'Brian and I know too he did more for bringing the study of this period of history back into people's lives than just about anything...but he also was accurate to a fault, so that you really could gain an idea of what it was truly like to live back then. He put you in the room (well, on the ship...) A fantastic achievement.

If we as historians get too up ourselves and forget that history is people and stop telling the stories, then we may as well throw in the towel now.

Historical fiction is one of the greatest formats for examining ourselves, our world and our past. Today is built on the foundations of yesterday.

Two of my favourite books are A Tale of Two Cities and The Battle of Wagram (Gilles Lapouge) because the history's all there, and these authors demand that we look at the ideas behind what was going on too, but they were also such great writers that who could put their books down? That, to me, is success.

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 » Sat September 11th, 2010, 12:13 am

And after all, we do discuss a lot of history here, along with the fiction!
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 650 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

User avatar
Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Sat September 11th, 2010, 1:46 am

"M.M. Bennetts" wrote:but he also was accurate to a fault


Ummmm, just wondering how accuracy can be a fault? ;)

M.M. Bennetts

Postby M.M. Bennetts » Sat September 11th, 2010, 8:03 am

"Michy" wrote:Ummmm, just wondering how accuracy can be a fault? ;)


It shows up the errors that all the rest of us mere mortals make...and there were those who found it annoying that he was so insistent on having it all that thoroughly researched and understood. But since he was also described as 'crack for intellectuals' by Walter Cronkite, I guess O'Brian could live with the nay-sayers. Ha ha.

But when I say historical fiction is a most powerful medium, I mean it. At the big conferences on Trafalgar, at least half the 300+ delegates were chaps who'd become addicted to the history of the period through O'Brian's books.

Equally, naval history used to be a 'you'll be lucky if you can find it' course at university. Now, Exeter has a full enrollment in their course and it's the place to go for it at a graduate level too. And meanwhile, because of that, they've been able to expand into the ancillary work of studying shipyards and shipbuilding and that's led to a number of interesting studies on women owning shipyards in 1805.


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