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Customer Discussions > Historical Fiction forum

Favorite real historical person and a novel that helpes you to get to know them


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Showing 1-25 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 29, 2008 1:01:30 AM PDT
Lilly Flora says:
Hello all! You may or may not have noticed but I've been kind of absent from Amazon lately (especially the discussion boards which I do love so much)-the cause was unfortunately hands that hurt too much to type. But I'm back and I have a new question for you all.

Who is your favorite, real, honest to god would give five years of your life to actually meet favorite historical figure? Also-please name a book one could read to get to know this person (as much as any work of fiction will truly portray a real living person.) And no Tudor's allowed (sorry-but we'd be over run with the same people over and over again and I want you to think outside the box!) Mythological people are your own call.

For me, lately it would be Hypatia of Alexandria who was a pagan martyr to the growing power of the Roman Christian church, tortured and killed because of her teaching at the great library and free lectures to the poor. To read her story in a book that tells it as it should be I recommend you check out "Remembering Hypatia" by Brian Trent. It's a short but excellent memorial to a woman almost completely forgotten by time.

I look forward to seeing other reactions to my question.

Lilly Flora

(If you've seen this elsewere, I accidently posted it in the wrong place at first please forgive me. And don't forget to name that book!)

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2008 2:59:52 AM PDT
Selene says:
Just for fun, I'm going to say Calamity Jane, and I enjoyed Larry McMurtry's take on her in "Buffalo Girls", a poignant end-of-an-era tale.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2008 5:24:55 AM PDT
Sempai Matt says:
That's a good question, Lilly. I can think of a few.

Gaius Julius Caesar. Books: Colleen McCullough's "Masters of Rome" series, books 3 through 6 (even though in McCullough's portrayal, Caesar was too perfect).

King Arthur (the Brittish/Roman version of Arthur, not the later knight in shining armor one). Books: Bernard Cornwell's King Arthur series. Some people would add Jack Whyte's Camulod books, but I just started the series and it hasn't gotten to Arthur yet.

Llywelyn Fawr ap Iowerth. Books: Edith Pargeter's "Brothers of Gwynedd" series and Sharon Kay Penman's Wales-England trilogy.

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2008 6:14:33 AM PDT
Laura says:
wellcome back Lilly!!!
Eleanor D Aquitaine in When Christ and His Saints Slept, Time and Chance and Devil brrod (coming next October) by SKP.
Brain Boru in The Lion of Ireland and The Last Prince of Ireland by Morgan Llywelyn
Marie Antoinette in Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2008 6:43:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2008 6:48:02 AM PDT
KOMET says:
1) Aaron Burr in "BURR" by Gore Vidal
2) Abraham Lincoln in "LINCOLN" by Gore Vidal.
3) Winston Churchill in "Winston's War" (2002) - by Michael Dobbs
"Never Surrender" (2003) - by Michael Dobbs
"Churchill's Hour" (2004) - by Michael Dobbs
"Churchill's Triumph" (2005) - by Michael Dobbs

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2008 6:51:53 AM PDT
Misfit says:
Hands down Eleanor of Aquitaine (sp?), with Penman's Trilogy, When Christ and His Saints Slept, Time and Chance and to be release in October (YAY!!!) Devil's Brood (said to be her best yet).

William Marshall, The Greatest Knight and the Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick

Marshal's father John in A Place Beyond Courage also by Chadwick

Llewellyn The Great, Here be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2008 6:31:20 PM PDT
Lu says:
Selene,
I thought I was the only one who had ever read that book. I have in fact read it twice. I also enjoyed "Anything for Billy" by Larry McMurtry about Billy the Kid. Yes, also just for fun
LeAnn

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2008 6:31:56 PM PDT
Lu says:
Lilly Flora:
I have missed you. So glad to hear that you are back!
LeAnn

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2008 6:34:53 PM PDT
Lu says:
Lilly Flora,
Actually I would have to say Mary Todd Lincoln. I cannot remember which 2 books I have read about her, but I presently have another in my Amazon cart. Fascinating, complex woman to say the least. I started out reading a huge biography of Lincoln, but instead become very intrigued by Mary.
LeAnn

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2008 6:39:33 PM PDT
Lu says:
Lilly Flora:
My other fav obsession is Charles II. Antonia Frasier's book "King Charles II" is a great place to start. But I will read and have read many books about him.
LeAnn

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2008 10:00:40 AM PDT
MVA says:
Are you up for a wonderful "stretch" with this idea?
How about a fifty-year-old Huck Finn who falls in love, finding a home at last?
Try Larry Kimport's A SMALL HARVEST OF PRETTY DAYS.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2008 8:33:10 PM PDT
J. Fuchs says:
Leonardo da Vinci -- The Queen's Gambit by Diane Stuckart
Cleopatra -- The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George

Still looking for fiction about Pythagoras!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2008 2:12:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2008 2:14:17 PM PDT
Danon says:
In Middle School (I am 54) I read a book about King Henry VII, which led me to read a book about Anne Boleyn. In grade school I read Marie Currie's biography. My aunt also gave me a couple of the books from the Mandingo series (slavery) to teach me some life lessons. You see, I lived in a Mayberry type town and there were only whites - well, except for me. I was born to an Irish/Native Am (the Native Am. part was a secret) woman but my dad was Jewish and Colombian (Also a secret as he was never here). Funny thing was I looked Asian and my mom said is was 'Black Irish or Dutch". Ah, the secrets. Anyway, my aunt wanted me to see how cruel the world 'could be' in case I ever faced it so it wouldn't be such a shock. All those books made a huge impression on me so I love reading Historical - Fiction and Non-Fiction - any time period - any country.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2008 12:45:26 PM PDT
Harry Potter. I have a lot of questions Jo didn't answer in the series.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2008 9:51:52 PM PDT
Lilly Flora says:
Do you mean historical figures represented in Harry Potter that the author talked about?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2008 9:55:17 PM PDT
Lilly Flora says:
God I have so many books in my to read stack about him. Well, about his mistresses, children, wife. Have fun with him, there's so much material to play with!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2008 11:35:51 AM PDT
I'll second someone else's mention of Charles II. Jean Plaidy did a trilogy on the women in his life (sorry - can't come up with the titles off the top of my head) and Margaret Campbell Barnes did one focusing on his wife called _With All My Heart_. I know those two authors are not the greatest in the world, but there isn't a lot of choice for fiction about him, and I thought that they both conveyed his personality and charm very well. I have Antonia Fraser's book but have never had a chance to read it.

I did, however, read Paul Murray Kendall's biography of Richard III, which, along with Sharon Kay Penman's _The Sun in Splendour_, really made me feel like I knew him.

Also the Brontes, particularly Emily - Juliet Barker's joint biography (called _The Brontes_) is the best book.

Leslie

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2008 3:07:57 PM PDT
Lu says:
Leslie,
The name of the Jean Plaidy book about Charles II is The Loves of Charles II.
And I agree I think she conveyed his personality really well.
LeAnn

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2008 4:35:24 PM PDT
Thanks - I guess I'm dating myself but there were three separate books when I read them back in the 70s. My little local library probably had about 75% of her books.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2008 3:30:11 AM PDT
Lu says:
L.J.,
That's funny, so did my little small town library. I do think the trilogy was originally published as three books. I was into the Tudors in the late 1970s, so I wouldn't have looked for anything on Charles II. I bought this book a few months ago.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2008 3:43:33 PM PDT
Dusty Yefsky says:
Hi Lily
Regards to your question abt Historical folks you were greatly impressed with, so much, that you wish you could meet them in person. That is a very interesting subject.

I would pick Robert the Bruce ( King of Scots ) as presented by Nigel Tranter in his books that comprise "The Bruce Trilogy".

Here was a man who had to overcome overwhelming odds to try to get the English out of Scotland in the late 13th-early 14th centuries. The might and extreme cruelty of Edward I and his Scottish traitor friends were a stumbling block to a united Scotland. The Scots were also split along differing clans and areas ( Lowlands vs Highlands ). The petty tyrants were strangling the country.
I am still reading the third installment of the trilogy and cannot wait to find out how he accomplished this feat.
Mr. Tranter made him very much come back to life to this 21st century reader and he ( Robert ) taught me what it really was like to be a King.

George Schaffer

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2008 5:01:27 PM PDT
rubybegonia says:
Memoirs of Cleopatra -- by Margaret George.

The Egyptian society of her times was very advanced. She was so much more than a sex symbol - a true ruler who loved her country and her people. Both her love affairs, seems she had only two - Caesar and Mark Anthony - were tragic.
The meaning of dysfunctional family is defined by hers!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2008 5:49:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2008 6:05:55 PM PDT
BJ Rose says:
Joshua Chamberlain, who led the 20th Maine in successfully holding Little Round Top against a Confederate charge at Gettysburg. Fell in love with him in Michael Schaara's Killer Angels, and have since read quite a bit more about him, including a small book of his letters. What a caring and honorable man - a Confederate general called him the "knightliest soldier" he knew.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2008 4:03:27 AM PDT
rubybegonia says:
Memoirs of Cleopatra -- by Margaret George.

The Egyptian society of her times was very advanced. She was so much more than a sex symbol - a true ruler who loved her country and her people. Both her love affairs, seems she had only two - Caesar and Mark Anthony - were tragic.
The meaning of dysfunctional family is defined by hers!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2008 2:54:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2008 2:57:29 PM PDT
Cindyash says:
>I would have to say Mary Todd Lincoln

Would one of those be the Barbara Hambly book, The Emancipator's Wife? The author is one of my favorite fantasy writers and was thrilled to find that she is now writing HF. I always heard about Todd's insanity and spending, but I knew there had to be more to it. Im so glad Hambly wrote this. It gave me a much better sense of not only her as a woman, but her relationship with her husband. I'd love a good bio, anyone know one?
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Discussion in:  Historical Fiction forum
Participants:  16
Total posts:  27
Initial post:  May 29, 2008
Latest post:  Jun 28, 2008

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