Historical Fiction

Discussion in 'Books' started by flowergirl, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

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    Ordered The First Man in Rome last night finally from Amazon. Not sure when I'll get to it, as I want to finish McMurtry's Lonesome Dove series first. Probably not till summer...


  2. frankken2

    frankken2 New Member

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    I am new to your site,but it was nice to visit.
  3. The Biscuitman

    The Biscuitman Member+

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    Really enjoyed it
  4. Caesar

    Caesar Moderator Staff Member

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    I do love this genre. The books listed below have wildly varying levels of historical accuracy, but I enjoyed them all.

    McCullough's Masters of Rome series
    John Maddox Robert's SPQR series
    Lindsay Davis' Falco series
    C.S. Forester's Hornblower series
    Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series

    Surprised that the latter two haven't been mentioned in the preceding 6 pages.


  5. fischerw

    fischerw Member+

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    Just saw this thread.

    I think that it is definitely worth mentioning Patrick O'Brian again, since he hasn't been mentioned since the first page. His Aubrey/Maturin series is an absolute joy. The characters and the setting are so vibrant. He can be very funny at times, too. And touching. I deliberately take long breaks between novels in the series because I don't want to ever finish! Luckily, there are 20 (and a 21st unfinished work). Be advised that these novels don't hold the reader's hand-- a lexicon of naval terms may be needed. Recently, all 20 novels were bound into a 5 volume set. From what I hear, there are many bad errors of transcription in the set-- go with the individually-published ones.

    Also, many have mentioned Michael Shaara and Jeff Shaara. Michael Shaara's The Killer Angles is a genuine work of literature. Jeff's stuff is just okay. I've read 4 of his books, but I'm really not moved to pick up any of his most recent ones.
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  6. Bloody Eleven

    Bloody Eleven New Member

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    I've read the first three books, I highly recommend the first book. There is a definite drop in quality from the first book to the following 2 or 3.

    I'm sure the publisher wanted to cash in on the success of the first book. ( It worked I went on and read the next two :eek:)


    I would also recommend "Gates of Fire" by Steven Pressfield, If you've seen and liked the movie 300, then you will love this book. It's a tad more realistic than the movie ;).
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  7. nicephoras

    nicephoras BigSoccer Supporter

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    Is that about the bloody history of geometry? ;)
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  8. Rhand

    Rhand Member

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    Ken Follet - Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, Edward Rutherford's Russka and Bernard Cornwell's Azincourt are the only historical fiction books I've read so far, but I loved em all.
  9. biniman90

    biniman90 Member

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    Bernard Cornwell's books about the viking take over of England in the 9th century are particularly good. The first is The Last Kingdom. He does some other nice stuff as well but after reading many of his books it starts to feel like you are reading the same story with different character names.
  10. fischerw

    fischerw Member+

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    DAMMIT. Good eye, sir.
  11. Tsunami

    Tsunami Member

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    John Dickson Carr did a number of good historical detective novels, as did Peter Lovesey. And I've always liked Carole Nelson Douglas' series of Irene Adler novels - certainly prefer her version of Adler when compared to the one portrayed in the new Sherlock Holmes movie.
  12. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

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    Yeah, I just finished the first and am early in the second, The Pale Horseman. Fun, page-turning stuff. I'll have to check out the Sharpe series later on.
  13. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member+

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    I would suggest Ivo Andric's The Bridge on the Drina.

    Here's a brief blurb about it from Wikipedia:

    The Bridge on the Drina (Serbo-Croatian: Na Drini ćuprija, На Дрини ћуприја, [na drǐːni tɕǔprija]), sometimes restyled as The Bridge Over the Drina, is a novel by Yugoslav writer Ivo Andrić. Andrić wrote the novel while living quietly in Belgrade during World War II, publishing it in 1945. Andrić was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his entire literary work and mainly this novel in 1961. The Bridge on the Drina centres around the town of Višegrad and the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge over the Drina river. The story spans about four centuries during the Ottoman and subsequently Austro-Hungarian administrations of the region and describes the lives, destinies and relations of the local inhabitants, with a particular focus on Muslims and Orthodox Christians living in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  14. CrewArsenal

    CrewArsenal Member

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  15. eric_appleby

    eric_appleby Member+

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    The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan.
    It chronicles the Irish rebellion of 1798. Finest historical novel ever written.
  16. malby

    malby Member

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    Ta. Must get that.
  17. eric_appleby

    eric_appleby Member+

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    For "Rome fans", I, Claudius, and , Claudius the God by Robert Graves.

    I'm currently reading Count Belisarius by Graves. So far, it's excellent. It takes place during the Justinian era of the Eastern Roman Empire.
  18. EnglishBostero

    EnglishBostero Member

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    Vampyre by Tom Holland

    It interweaves fiction with the true story of Lord Byron. Really good read and an interesting twist on a historical figure
  19. Skippysasquirrel

    Skippysasquirrel Member

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    I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet (at the end of page 1), but I, Claudius is one of my favorites. If you're looking for more fiction than historical, Walter Scott is great (though very longwinded). I read Rob Roy last summer, finished Waverley this spring, and Ivanhoe has been my project the past few weeks (frequently interrupted, I'm on a nonfiction kick lately).
  20. eric_appleby

    eric_appleby Member+

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    Wolf Hall, and Bring up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel.

    A different perspective on the Henry VIII/Anne Boleyn story.
    Mantel's version is compelling.
  21. argentine soccer fan

    argentine soccer fan Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't enjoy the books about Caesar quite as much, they were still interesting, but I thought they were too predictable, and her depiction of Caesar is a bit too much. but after a long time I finally got around to reading The October Horse, and I love her Octavius. He's almost as brilliant as Caesar, but he's such a cold calculating prick that it's actually fun.
  22. nicephoras

    nicephoras BigSoccer Supporter

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    The books after Caesar's Women really dragged for me. Caesar becomes perfect, and it's no fun reading about a character whose biggest failing seems to be that he's too good for everyone else.
  23. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

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    i've always been surprised at dickens being the most loved and famous of victorian novelists when both trollope and eliot in the same genre are so immensely superior, but he isn't that bad once you make the necessary allowances. pickwick is excellent... showing there really is such a thing as trying too hard. but i agree ATOTC really is his worst. nothing in it works.
    i was a hornblower fiend in my youth and last time we were in CA i brought back hotspur and midshipman (the two that i had in paperback) hoping to get my son interested but in those days he was too deep into (@nicephoras) caroline lawrence's roman mysteries books to read anything else. anyway a couple of weeks ago i was browsing my shelves looking for something light to read... two days later i'd finished them both and if i'd had the others i probably would have reread the whole series.

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