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Old 09-05-2010, 11:55 PM   #1
some call me tim
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Good historical fiction?

Does anyone have recommendations for good historical fiction? I don't have a whole lot of exposure to the genre, but I'd like to try some more. I've read a lot of Bernard Cornwell's stuff, and enjoyed most of it. I really liked his Warlord Chronicles, which admittedly is a mixture of fantasy and history. I also enjoyed the Saxon Stories, but his writing has gotten rather stale on me. It all seems a bit formulaic now--he fleshes out the era in his books well, but it's like each book is the same story with the same characters, just in a different time period.

I've also read a little bit of Patrick O'Brien, which in the long run I enjoyed, but had to will myself forward in a lot of the places in the few books I read.

Any recommendations? I'm not affixed to any particular time period, I just like the feeling of history coming alive and being immersed in the story.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:58 PM   #2
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How about the Shardlake novels by Sansom?

or the Mordlake books by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:00 AM   #3
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You might find some suggestions in this thread.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:02 AM   #4
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hah! Thanks, I swear I did a search, but somehow didn't see that.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:22 AM   #5
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Try the Flashman series; absolutely hilarious and, historically, accurate
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:26 AM   #6
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Gore Vidal has written some excellent novels about key points in American history, all from a Washington perspective. Vidal is a brilliant author, but he does have an extreme bias that shows through in his portrayal of certain characters. Also, a great deal of the novels are presented in dialog at parties, so it's not exactly exciting stuff.

The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel García Márquez is a beautiful look at the last days of Simón Bolívar, as well as some flashbacks to the major events of his life. Simply beautiful writing.

Rose by Martin Cruz Smith is an excellent historical mystery set in 19th-century Wigan, a British coal-mining town. Great atmosphere and intrigue.

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier is about an injured American Civil War soldier abandoning the war and walking home to his true love. Language, character, and atmosphere are Frazier's strengths in this novel which, apart from some coincidences, is one of the best Historical novels out there.

The World War II espionage thrillers by Alan Furst are also quite well written, and among my personal favorites. Initially, Furst's narrative was more detailed, but, as he's mastered his craft, he's become somewhat more spare--to great effect. He's not strong on plot, but his atmosphere alone makes these worth a read. I can't recommend these enough.
That's a start, anyway.

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Old 09-06-2010, 04:16 AM   #7
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Ken Follett writes in a variety of genres, but his novels Pillars of the Earth and World without End are highly recommended, and he has another coming out in the next few weeks which would fit in with your request but I've forgotten what it's called.

There is also an author called Karen Maitland who has written The Company of Liars and The Owl Killers.
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:22 AM   #8
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and whilst I think about it - the Boudica books by Manda Scott.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by some call me tim View Post

Any recommendations? I'm not affixed to any particular time period, I just like the feeling of history coming alive and being immersed in the story.
Hi.
The following site is a good source for all types of historical fiction. I have found some great reads using it but don't expect to find most of the books in an eBook format. Hope this is of some use to you.

http://www.historicalnovels.info/
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Georgiegirl2012 View Post
Ken Follett writes in a variety of genres, but his novels Pillars of the Earth and World without End are highly recommended, and he has another coming out in the next few weeks which would fit in with your request but I've forgotten what it's called.
.
Totally agree!!!
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:54 PM   #11
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Neal Stephenson - The Baroque Cycle

Steven Brust & Emma Bull - Freedom & Necessity
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:10 PM   #12
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And if you want historical novels which are themselves almost historical because they were written a century or more ago try Stanley J. Weyman (Under the Red Robe, A Gentleman of France) and Rafael Sabatini (Scaramouche, Captain Blood). They are still very good reading, and are available for free download on this forum.

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Old 09-06-2010, 11:11 PM   #13
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P.S C.S. Forester (the Hornblower series) and Robert Graves (I, Claudius, Claudius the God) though their ebook productions have many typos etc.

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Old 09-08-2010, 11:41 AM   #14
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The Empire By Stephen Saylor

A new book by Stephen Saylor was chronicled in USA Today yesterday.

http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/r...e-review_N.htm

It is a continuation of Roma a historical novel about ancient Rome. The first book Roma is available as a promotion in ebook for 2.99. I picked it up for my kindle/ipad yesterday.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:43 AM   #15
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The first book Roma is available as a promotion in ebook for 2.99.
Only if you live in the USA.
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