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What are the best fictional history books ever written?

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Showing 1-25 of 44 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Mar 2010, 15:59:15 GMT
V. Bowe says:
I have read Phillipa Gregory and Jean Plaidy, could anyone reccommend other equally historical fiction authors.

Posted on 18 Mar 2010, 16:09:10 GMT
The Golden Warrior

Posted on 18 Mar 2010, 16:35:05 GMT
Huck Flynn says:
George MaDonald Fraser - The Flashman series
Robert Graves - I Claudius / Claudius the God

Posted on 18 Mar 2010, 19:32:55 GMT
Fee fee says:
I've recently read The King's Mistress by Emma Campion and The King's Daughter by Christie Dickason..both were very good indeed. My favourite historical fiction writer is Michelle Moran..her books are set in Ancient Egypt.

Posted on 18 Mar 2010, 19:47:44 GMT
If you are interested in ancient history, then I recommend the excellent Gates of fire by Steven Pressfield.

Posted on 18 Mar 2010, 22:25:52 GMT
P. Pritchard says:
Sharon Penman - Here be Dragons, followed by Falls the Shadows and then The Reckoning. Also,When Christ and His Saints Slept. All brilliant reads

Posted on 18 Mar 2010, 23:21:21 GMT
kermit 333 says:
Anya Seton - no question about it! (although Norah Lofts comes a very close second..................!)

Posted on 19 Mar 2010, 08:37:48 GMT
Jen Errik says:
Diana Norman. You could try 'The Vizard Mask', which is set during the plague years in London. Or 'A Catch of Consequence' which is the first in a set of connected books set in the second half of the eighteenth century. (My library stocks her, so you may not need to buy.)
She also writes as Ariana Franklin, but I haven't read any of her work under that name.

Posted on 19 Mar 2010, 08:45:58 GMT
julie says:
Little Black Pearl...a fictional history story of a black princess for little girls aged 7 - 12 yrs.
Unlike the latest Disney offering she doesn't spend most of the story as a frog!

Posted on 19 Mar 2010, 12:11:14 GMT
AnetteF says:
Eighteenth century with an added hint of fantasy - Diana Gabaldon

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2010, 12:50:44 GMT
M. Stevens says:
There is an author, who I beleive is a collection of authors writing under the pseudonym Laurien Gardner, who has tackled similar ground to Gregory (although seems to have stalled after Jane Seymour for some reason) - I suspect they are American authors, but an entertaining easy read.

The Shardlake Books are worth reading, particularly if you like historical fiction with a dose of crime, set during the Tudor period - written by CJ Sansom, whilst I have just finished Martyr, also crime but set slightly later (under Elizabeth, whereas Sansom is under Henry), not as detailed as Sansom, but very readable. Heresy is a book by a new author which is ok and shows signs of a decent series.

Ofcourse, set much earlier there is The Pillars of the Earth and its sequel World Without End, the former of which regularly appears in "best books of all time" lists, about the building of a cathedral (whilst the latter develops the story into how the town around the cathedral evolves) - epic novels (1100 + pages each), but well worth it if you like the genre!

Hope that helps.

Posted on 19 Mar 2010, 13:46:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Mar 2010, 13:50:34 GMT
funkywombat says:
Hi. I agree with P Pritchard - for fantastic historical fiction - it's got to be Sharon Penman. In addition to the ones mentioned there's the Angevin/Plantagenet continuation of While Christ and His Saints Slept - Time and Chance and The Devil's Brood. There's also the standalone The Sunne in Splendour about Richard III. They're all fairly hefty tomes but well written and engaging. Look her up on Amazon - you'll see she consistently gets 5 star reviews. I just wish I hadn't already read everything she's written!

Posted on 19 Mar 2010, 17:20:14 GMT
Hamstead says:
Authors who you would enjoy if you enjoy Plaidy and Gregory would include
Elizabeth Chadwick - Medieval period and consistent top ratings as someone else mentioned about Sharon Penman.
Sharon Penman. Try either The Sunne in Splendour or Here Be Dragons (my personal favourite) to begin with but all of hers are excellent.
Michelle Moran - if you like Ancient Egypt and Rome
Anya Seton - as someone else has mentioned. Katherine is her world famous one.
Diana Gabaldon - try Cross Stitch and see what you think.
See if you can find a copy of Legacy by Susan Kay. I know the Americans are re-issuing it in a few months, but it was originally a British novel about Elizabeth 1.
You might like Alison Weir's novel Innocent Traitor. I haven't read it, but it seems to have been well read and reviewed by others.
C,W. Gortner - The Last Queen. Good one and Plaidy-esque.

Posted on 19 Mar 2010, 18:13:52 GMT
PJD says:
Try Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey - Did Richard III kill the Princes in the Tower?
The King Must Die by Mary Renault
The Bull From the Sea ditto

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2010, 22:13:50 GMT
Burnsboy says:
Conn Igulden's Emporer and Conqueror series, covering respectively the rise to power of Caesar and Genghis Khan. Fantastic page turning drama and adventure!

Posted on 19 Mar 2010, 22:31:52 GMT
Allan Massie has written some brilliant fictional biographies of the Roman Emperors (Augustus, Tiberius, Mark Antony - I know he wasn't an Emperor.
The Walled Orchard by Ton Holt.
If you fancy a bit of alternate history I would reccomend 'the years of rice and salt' by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Posted on 19 Mar 2010, 22:41:02 GMT
mermaid says:
Dorothy Dunnett
Mary Renault
Robert Graves
Tim Pears
Henry Treece

Posted on 28 Mar 2012, 09:22:36 BST
[Deleted by Amazon on 29 Mar 2012, 01:06:32 BST]

Posted on 28 Mar 2012, 11:27:04 BST
I Readalot says:
Anyone else getting a bit suspicious about this Stormbringer book, it has started appearing in just about every thread? Is Jake C1415 actually Daniel DeLacy?

Posted on 28 Mar 2012, 11:42:22 BST
Rhmeakins says:
Robin H. Meakins -The Boy on an Eagle because it tells about how ordinary people became apprentices to make England the leading aircraft manufacturer and how ill prepared the RAF was for war in 1939.
Robert Graves - I Claudius

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012, 12:10:09 BST
[Deleted by the author on 28 Mar 2012, 12:14:06 BST]

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012, 12:32:41 BST
zzzzzzz says:
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel is excellent and ties in well with C J Sansom's Shardlake books - Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation and Heartstone, all set in the reign of Henry VIII. Mary Renault's books on ancient Greece - The Last of the Wine, The Praise Singer and The Mask of Apollo, 2 on the Theseus legend - The King Must Die and The Bull form the Sea, also the Alexander books - Fire From Heaven and The Persian Boy.

Posted on 28 Mar 2012, 13:41:00 BST
sally tarbox says:
Haven't read it since my teens but 'Immortal Queen' (Elizabeth Byrd) absolutely haunted me when I'd read it- story of Mary Queen of Scots.
More recently I did enjoy Rosemary Hawley Jarman's 'Crown in Candlelight', the magical -slightly fictionalized- life of Katherine de Valois and her love for Owen Tudor.
And of course ANYTHING by Jean Plaidy.
NB If you want to get into French historical fiction, I recommend Maurice Druon's set of 6 novels, beginning with 'the Iron King'. Set around 1400s these cover the 'accursed kings'- the last of the Capet dynasty who were cursed by the leader of the Knights Templar from his funeral pyre.

Posted on 28 Mar 2012, 14:14:21 BST
M. Holmes says:
Dorothy Dunnett- King Hereafter(MacBeth)
Margaret Irwin
Nigel Tranter all Scottish history, particularly his trilogy of Robert the Bruce!
Bernard Cornwall - Grail Trilogy etc.

Posted on 28 Mar 2012, 14:30:15 BST
chris says:
Without doubt the most enjoyable historical fiction book is "The Long Ships" by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson. A saga of the Vikings which I defy you to put down once you have started to read it.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  37
Total posts:  44
Initial post:  18 Mar 2010
Latest post:  3 Apr 2012

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