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Old 12-10-2009, 08:45 AM   #1
jenieliser
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Historical Fiction Suggestions

I'm trying to find a good historical fiction with a love story in it. (not "historical romances"-if there's a picture of a half naked renaissance (sp?) woman on the cover-not my thing)

I'm leaning toward something more along the lines of Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights...

Any suggestions?
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:42 AM   #2
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Have you read any Georgette Heyer? Much lighter in tone than the examples you gave, but she was known for her meticulous background research. And if you liked P& P, Trollope might appeal, although his books are Victorian rather than Regency.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:36 AM   #3
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Off the top of my head:

If you're into the Tudor period, Philippa Gregory has thoroughly mined that vein. For an earlier period of English history, anything by Sharon Kay Penman is worthwhile. Into Renaissance Italy? Try Leonardo's Swans by Karen Essex.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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Take a look at www.bewrite.net and see if anything catches your eye, Jennie. Then drop me a line and I'd be happy to send the ebooks to you as a wee Christmas present (ntmarrATbewrite.net [use the @ sign]). I think two that might really appeal to a lover of (non sloppy) well researched, grippingly written, historical fiction might be *Treason* and *The Playmakers*, but there are others on our site. Take your pick. Very best. Neil
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenieliser View Post
I'm trying to find a good historical fiction with a love story in it. (not "historical romances"-if there's a picture of a half naked renaissance (sp?) woman on the cover-not my thing)

I'm leaning toward something more along the lines of Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights...

Any suggestions?
I assume you mean books similar to "Pride and Prejudice" and "Wuthering Heights" because, if you haven't read those, you should immediately drop everything else and do so.

Neither, however, are "Historical Fiction", since that title is generally reserved for books set in a time prior to their writing. Both of these books describe the society that was contemporary for their authors, and so can't really be called "Historical Fiction".
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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Well, you might like "Pillars of the Earth". There is a strong romance component to the novel, however that is only one element of the plot. Are you looking for something that is "all" romance, i.e. the plot is only focused around romance? (Sorry I might not be making much sense...)
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:07 PM   #7
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Well, you might like "Pillars of the Earth". There is a strong romance component to the novel, however that is only one element of the plot. Are you looking for something that is "all" romance, i.e. the plot is only focused around romance? (Sorry I might not be making much sense...)
"Pillars of the Earth" is one of the best books I've ever read. I'd second the recommendation, although it's not really a romance novel in the way that, say, "Pride and Prejudice" is. It is, however, a truly wonderful book.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:12 PM   #8
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Among my favorite historical fiction are the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser. He borrowed the Harry Flashman character from the novel 'Tom Brown's School Days' and has placed him at the center of momentous events in Victorian Britain such as the Charge of the Light Brigade, Sacking of the Summer Palace and the Retreat from Kabul. He even has him in the US in a couple of novels.

Very funny while at the same time, very historically accurate.
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:18 PM   #9
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Yup, Cassidym; all the Flashman novels are ripping, romantic yarns -- Flashman's one of the most attractive villains in fiction, and Fraser knows how to kennly research without lumbering his reader with an information overload. Quite brillians work. And I'd certainly be with Harry and Latina in recommending *Pillars of the Earth* and the sequel, *World Without End*. Neil
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:09 PM   #10
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I agree with the others about Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth and A world without end, but the first one coming to my mind, when reading your post was The Touch by Colleen McCollough. I have read that 3 times.

http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b1...n-McCullough/?
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:41 PM   #11
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What historical period and country interests you?

Some suggestions (that are not romance in disguise):

Edit: I just realised you still wanted a love story....

Rose by Martin Cruz Smith
'Fingersmith' and 'Affinity' by Sarah Waters
Any book by Judith Merkle Riley except the last three - they're humour, it might not be what you are looking for?
'Possession' by Antonia Byatt
In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant (BTW, even if there actually *is* half-naked woman on the cover (I just realised), it's not 'romance', so don't diss it bec. of the cover )
edit, added: 'Girl with a pearl earring' by Tracy Chevalier


Moved these out of the way. Good historical novels, but not love stories:
Colleen McColloughs 'Master's of Rome' series
Roanoke by Margaret Lawrence
Lempriere's Dictionary by Lawrence Norfolk
'A Conspiracy of Paper' and 'The Coffee Trader' by David Liss
The Blood Doctor by Barbara Vine
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber
The Physician by Noah Gordon

Last edited by Ea; 12-10-2009 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ea View Post
What historical period and country interests you?

Some suggestions (that are not romance in disguise):

Edit: I just realised you still wanted a love story....

Rose by Martin Cruz Smith
'Fingersmith' and 'Affinity' by Sarah Waters
Any book by Judith Merkle Riley except the last three - they're humour, it might not be what you are looking for?
'Possession' by Antonia Byatt
In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant (BTW, even if there actually *is* half-naked woman on the cover (I just realised), it's not 'romance', so don't diss it bec. of the cover )

Moved these out of the way. Good historical novels, but not love stories:
Colleen McColloughs 'Master's of Rome' series
Roanoke by Margaret Lawrence
Lempriere's Dictionary by Lawrence Norfolk
'A Conspiracy of Paper' and 'The Coffee Trader' by David Liss
The Blood Doctor by Barbara Vine
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber
The Physician by Noah Gordon
I second Fingersmith, I really liked it. I JUST picked up Lempriere's Dictionary, and have been looking forward to reading it for a while. I am glad to see you mention it. After I am done think I will check out some of these other books that you've mentioned. Cheers.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:59 PM   #13
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I second Fingersmith, I really liked it. I JUST picked up Lempriere's Dictionary, and have been looking forward to reading it for a while. I am glad to see you mention it. After I am done think I will check out some of these other books that you've mentioned. Cheers.
If you like Lempriere's Dictionary, try 'A Conspiracy of Paper' by David Liss. 'Fingersmith' is brilliant.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:59 PM   #14
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the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon. You either love 'em or hate 'em. Many adore them!! This is one series where it *really* matters that you start at the beginning tho.
I didn't; hated & didn't finish it; started the series later un-knowingly, and wondered why that middle book sounded so familiar (up to where I had quit it). Yummy historical view!
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:04 PM   #15
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the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon. You either love 'em or hate 'em. Many adore them!! This is one series where it *really* matters that you start at the beginning tho.
I didn't; hated & didn't finish it; started the series later un-knowingly, and wondered why that middle book sounded so familiar (up to where I had quit it). Yummy historical view!
I'd definitely say these are romance in disguise. I like them myself because I think they're fun, entertaining, light reading, but the books fits comfortably within 'historical romance' IMHO.
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