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Old 05-13-2013, 03:48 PM   #16
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I would very highly recommend anything written by Bernard Cornwell.
I have read a couple of his books and would agree.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:34 PM   #17
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I've been meaning to read Cornwell.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #18
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I've been meaning to read Cornwell.
I've started reading hos Sharpe series and it's very good. I've seen some of the UK TV series and that's quite good as well.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:25 PM   #19
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There's a 5 page thread from a few years ago here http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54165 that lists quite a few good historical fiction reads.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:35 PM   #20
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Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' "The Morland Dynasty" consists of over thirty novels covering six centuries of British history, from 1434 onwards - fictional characters in a historical background. I was addicted for a while, but after reading several in a row I felt I needed a break. I'm about ready to go back to the series now!
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:44 PM   #21
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Wow... This is what I get for catching the flu and subsequently sleeping for about eighteen hours! I'm going to have books falling out of my ears after picking up all of these - and I will be picking up all of them, because they all look really interesting. Of particular interest is Gingrich and Forstchen's Gettysburg trilogy, so that'll be one of the first lots of books that I pick up. I'll have a dig through the older thread that wayspooled has linked, too! This is exciting...
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:02 AM   #22
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There are so many to choose from. Are you interested in a specific time period and/or culture?
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:33 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by owly View Post
There are so many to choose from. Are you interested in a specific time period and/or culture?
Other than the one I've already mentioned, no, I have no real preferences. As you can see, I've been interested in everything that's been recommended so far, and the recommendations have spanned quite a range.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:24 PM   #24
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Three historical mystery series that I recently read and enjoyed are:

M. J. Trow's Kit Marlowe series

First book is "Dark Entry":
Quote:
First in the thrilling new Kit Marlowe historical mystery series - Cambridge, 1583. About to graduate from Corpus Christi, the young Christopher Marlowe spends his days studying and his nights carousing with old friends. But when one of them is discovered lying dead in his King's College room, mouth open in a silent scream, Marlowe refuses to accept the official verdict of suicide. Calling on the help of his mentor, Sir Roger Manwood, Justice of the Peace, and the queen's magus, Dr John Dee, a poison expert, Marlowe sets out to prove that his friend was murdered.
Ariana Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death series

First book is "Mistress of the Art of Death":
Quote:
In medieval Cambridge, England, four children have been murdered. The crimes are immediately blamed on the town's Jewish community, taken as evidence that Jews sacrifice Christian children in blasphemous ceremonies. To save them from the rioting mob, the king places the Cambridge Jews under his protection and hides them in a castle fortress. King Henry I is no friend of the Jews-or anyone, really-but he is invested in their fate. Without the taxes received from Jewish merchants, his treasuries would go bankrupt. Hoping scientific investigation will exonerate the Jews, Henry calls on his cousin the King of Sicily-whose subjects include the best medical experts in Europe-and asks for his finest "master of the art of death," an early version of the medical examiner. The Italian doctor chosen for the task is a young prodigy from the University of Salerno. But her name is Adelia-the king has been sent a mistress of the art of death.

Adelia and her companions-Simon, a Jew, and Mansur, a Moor-travel to England to unravel the mystery of the Cambridge murders, which turn out to be the work of a serial killer, most likely one who has been on Crusade with the king. In a backward and superstitious country like England, Adelia must conceal her true identity as a doctor in order to avoid accusations of witchcraft. Along the way, she is assisted by Sir Rowley Picot, one of the king's tax collectors, a man with a personal stake in the investigation. Rowley may be a needed friend, or the fiend for whom they are searching. As Adelia's investigation takes her into Cambridge's shadowy river paths and behind the closed doors of its churches and nunneries, the hunt intensifies and the killer prepares to strike again . .
Judith Rock's Charles du Luc series

The first book is "The Rhetoric of Death":
Quote:
Paris, 1686: When The Bishop of Marseilles discovers that his young cousin Charles du Luc, former soldier and half-fledged Jesuit, has been helping heretics escape the king's dragoons, the bishop sends him far away-to Paris, where Charles is assigned to assist in teaching rhetoric and directing dance at the prestigious college of Louis le Grand.

Charles quickly embraces his new life and responsibilities. But on his first day, the school's star dancer disappears from rehearsal, and the next day another student is run down in the street. When the dancer's body is found under the worst possible circumstances, Charles is determined to find the killer in spite of being ordered to leave the investigation.
What actually set me off on this historical mystery side trip was reading the second book in Deborah Harkness' All Souls Trilogy, "Shadow of Night", in which the main characters time-travel back to Elizabethan London and interact with John Dee, members of the "School of Night" (Walter Raleigh, Henry Percy (Earl of Northumberland), Thomas Harriot, George Chapman), Mary Sidney Herbert (Countess of Pembroke), Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel and Rudolf II (Holy Roman Emperor). It just piqued my interest about that time period and what life was actually like. I found Judith Rock's series via Ariana Franklin's recommendation of it.

Last edited by Xanthe; 05-14-2013 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:42 PM   #25
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About 50 years before your timeframe during the US civil war, I recommend The Killer Angels. Since you are a fan of warfare I hope it'll suck you in.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:29 PM   #26
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One thing you can do is to look for fiction books published during that time period. They often give the best perspective. You'll have to put up with the social mores of the time.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:51 AM   #27
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Historical Fiction Books

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Ariana Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death series
This one looks really good. Did you just read the first book?
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:49 PM   #28
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Has anybody read any Nancy Mitford books? I was thinking of picking up her novels about Madame de Pompadour and The Sun King.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:16 PM   #29
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Just wanted to put in a plug for Shogun by James Clavell. That is one of my all-time favorite historical fiction novels (set in 17th century Japan) along with Pillars of the Earth, which has already been mentioned.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:10 AM   #30
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Wow, not a single mention of Neal Stephenson yet? His Baroque Cycle (3 books) is to me at least a masterpiece - provided you can stomach his slightly non-traditional approach to narrative arc.

If you have already read Cryptonomicon, this thas some narrative hooks into that. Some plausible, others less so, but what I love most about Stephenson is that he is so irreverent and so capable, both at the same time, you can't help but go along for the ride.
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