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The Crusades

annis
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Post by annis » Mon November 24th, 2008, 8:08 pm

Do you think that there might be historical fiction about the Jewish experience of the Crusades which is written in languages other than English?
There's so much good HF out there which isn't written in English.

I can't think of much HF about the Crusades written from the Muslim POV either, though I did discover Sarah Bryant's "Sand Daughter" a while ago, and enjoyed that.
I'll put in CW's piece about it from his Historical Boys blog, as that's where I first came across the book.
http://historicalboys.blogspot.com/2007 ... or-of.html

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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
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Post by Margaret » Mon November 24th, 2008, 8:26 pm

Tariq Ali's The Book of Saladin is about the Muslim reconquest of Jerusalem in 1187.
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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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Mon November 24th, 2008, 8:55 pm

Absolutely agree with you. Egyptian Jewry under the Fatimids is a fascinating, untapped goldmine.
There is so much there. The rivalry between Karaites and rabinnical Jews, the interaction with the Muslims, corresponding with and travelling the known world, in fact traveling on the very fringe of the unkown (such as TImbuktu, the amazing medical and scientifical discoveries, the philosophy, the poetry...
The Karaites especially were well integrated and on the cutting edge of everything.
I can't read Arabic but luckily there is a lot in Hebrew.

[quote=""Margaret""]Interesting, interesting question, Volgadon! In Nicole Galland's Crossed, one of the main characters is an educated Jewish woman from Constantinople, and a considerable portion of the novel is devoted to the destruction of the Jewish quarter there. However, this is not really the type of subject matter you're talking about.

I learned enough about the Jews of Cairo when I was researching an article about Ibn Ridwan and the supernova of 1006 (on the web here). I was fascinated to see what an important role they played in the life of Cairo during the Fatimid era. There's material for much more than just one novel there, and I'm not aware of a single one about the Jews of medieval Cairo.

If I could read Arabic, I would certainly write a novel about Ibn Ridwan (not a Jew, but he had important Jewish friends).[/quote]

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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.
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon November 24th, 2008, 8:58 pm

not the crusades per se, but within the era, I would recommend the Travels of Ibn Battuta (sp?). Available in English. Non-fiction translation of a man who led an interesting life.

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Mon November 24th, 2008, 9:00 pm

Even as a kid I vastly prefered him to Marco Polo.

maggie anton
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Post by maggie anton » Mon November 30th, 2009, 8:36 am

[quote=""annis""]Do you think that there might be historical fiction about the Jewish experience of the Crusades which is written in languages other than English?
There's so much good HF out there which isn't written in English.

I can't think of much HF about the Crusades written from the Muslim POV either, though I did discover Sarah Bryant's "Sand Daughter" a while ago, and enjoyed that.
I'll put in CW's piece about it from his Historical Boys blog, as that's where I first came across the book.
http://historicalboys.blogspot.com/2007 ... or-of.html[/quote]
As far as I know, the only historical fiction written about First Crusade from the Jewish POV is the final book of my RASHI'S DAUGHTERS trilogy, BOOK III - RACHEL. Some secondary characters from the first two volumes are living in Speyer, Worms, Mainz, and Cologne when Count Emicho's marauders attack, and my readers will share their experiences.

Maggie Anton
http://www.rashisdaughters.com

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Margaret
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Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
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Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
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Post by Margaret » Tue June 22nd, 2010, 5:19 am

Kamran Pasha's new novel, Shadow of the Swords, takes a look at the Crusades from the perspectives of people of all three "People of the Book" faiths - Muslim, Jewish and Christian. I've just posted a review at HistoricalNovels.info. It's about Saladin and Richard the Lionheart, but I'd have to say the main character is the fictional Jewish woman Miriam who, in this story, becomes the link between Saladin and Richard. Readers who enjoyed Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and/or World Without End will likely enjoy Shadow of the Swords, too. The content is different, but the larger-than-life yet gritty epic style is quite similar. (Not my favorite style of HF, personally, but Follett's novels were hugely popular.)

In one sense, this could be companion reading for Tariq Ali's The Book of Saladin (which I also reviewed), because BOS is about Saladin as he plans and carries out the reconquest of Jerusalem, and SOTS is about Saladin after the reconquest when Richard sets out to wrest it back. But the two novels are very different in tone - BOS very literary and philosophical; SOTS more geared toward action-adventure-romance.
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 October 17th, 2010, 6:26 am

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I've just recently read a novel with a First Crusade setting which is a twist on the popular grail quest thriller and also pokes a bit of fun at academic life. It's The Waste Land by Simon Acland. Those who followed the furore when Dr John Hood was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Oxford will particularly appreciate this one. Based on the Grail romance, "Perceval' by Chrétien de Troyes, it's both very clever and entertaining. It can be read as a straightforward adventure, but if you enjoy a game of "hunt the literary allusion" you'll find plenty there to track down, starting with the title. "The Waste Land' can refer to the Waste Land ruled by the Fisher King in de Troyes "Perceval", TS Eliot's poem of the same name, taken from the same source, and also as a reference to the devastation left by the Crusaders.

I've posted a review at the Historical Novels Info website:
http://www.HistoricalNovels.info/Waste-Land.html

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medievalnovels
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Crusade of 1101

Post by medievalnovels » Mon March 21st, 2011, 11:22 pm

A lesser known Crusade.. pretty much mucked it up for all those that came after. Never got out of Turkey. Of over 6000 pilgrims less than 100 survived the massacre at merzivan Plain, and of those almost all hwere the leaders and their households. The woman said to be the "most beautiful in Europe", Ida of Austria, disappeared during it. Ratmond of Toulouse, so popular with Emperor Elexios according to his daughter Anna Comnena, snuck out and left the whole army etc. to die.. for which Tancred arrested him. Venice and Milan owe their rise to the Crusade of 1101 since it bunged up land travel to the Holy Land.

True story!

The fictional one, my new novel Beloved Pilgrim, with its lesbian knight protagonist, is now available on Smashwords as an ebook and in no time in print on Amazon. See my site http://www.nanhawthorne.com if interested. And how can you not be when historical characters apply crude epithets to each other in its pages?

Nan Hawthorne
Cordially,

Nan Hawthorne
medieval-novels.com
Over 1200 novels and movies set between 400 & 1600 AD
[url]http://www.medieval-novels.com;[/url])

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