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Customer Discussions > Historical Fiction forum

Bar none the very best historical novels . . . .

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Showing 8476-8500 of 1000 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2008 12:52:27 PM PST
Lu says:
J. Sewell, I definitely feel the same. Isn't wonderful to be able to discuss our interests in books with others who feel just as strongly as we do?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2008 11:36:34 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2008 11:38:42 AM PST
J. SEWELL says:
The memories of such great books I have read over the past 70 years makes me want to join in. I definitely agree with those who cited Clavell, Michener, Kenneth Roberts (Oh! to be able to read Lydia Bailey again for the first time), Vidal, Seton, Renault, and quite a few others. I have not read all of the posts, but did not see R. F. Deldefield and his two Victorian trilogies The Green Gauntlet and God Is an Englishman; superb, but we're talking 2 - 3 thousand pages. I dont' know if they are in print yet, buy my paperback treasures are slowly yellowing. Another favorite of mine about the US cavalry/Indian wars is A Distant Trumpet by Paul Horgan. If you think today's partisan politics are bad, try another oldie, The Tree of Liberty by Elizabeth Page; very long and sometimes politically dreary, but you will learn a lot about how our country was founded. Sorry I have not kept up with recent sellers in the field, but about twenty years ago I turned more to science fiction and thrillers. That was probably because there was no 'net' at the time where I could converse with all of you lively and lovely people. Thanks to all for recommendations, my wish list is going to be a record breaker.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2008 6:41:46 AM PST
Lu says:
I have The Autobiography of Henry VIII as one of my all time favs as well. Nothing else like it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2008 6:39:43 AM PST
Lu says:
Thanks! As was mentioned in an earlier post, some of us are more interested in certain historical periods than others, and this era is certainly one of mine.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2008 6:03:20 AM PST
Sam Morton says:
Good answer! Try "Where the Rivers Run North" it is three generations of misfits that come to power in the American west from Crazy Horse to Bob Tate.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2008 5:51:13 AM PST
M. A. George says:
Again, the Colleen McCullough books were mentioned here some time ago--I guess the posts do not last forever. They are outstanding. I have them all and have read them several times over--so packed with detail that it takes several readings to take it all in.

You can a varied discussion of her books on the "Ancient Roman and Greece" historical fiction site.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2008 9:41:32 PM PST
Ditto. I am fairly fanatical reader of HF, thus far focused on pre-1000 AD.

"Masters or Rome" is the most superb set of work I've read, bar none. Others may be more rousing, or more in the way of 'literature', but for overall sweep, writing, historicity, you name it, McCullough has done the best of all.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2008 7:48:54 PM PST
U. Warrier says:
How could you mention Thorn Birds but not the Ancient Rome series by Colleenn McCullough?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2008 6:10:57 PM PST
M. A. George says:
Margaret Geroge's books have been often mentioned on this site in the last few months, but not very recently. She is not always recommended, but more so than not.

Margaret George (no, not the writer, another Margaret George)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2008 5:24:30 PM PST
lscollison says:
J.M. Cronkright,

I loved Mary, Queen of Scots, by Margaret George. (I wish I had 8 hours a day to devote to READING!)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2008 4:45:54 PM PST
I was wondering why no one had mentioned any of Margaret George's books. My fav was The Autobiography of Henry VIII.
Other favs are Pillars of the Earth, A Sorrow in our Hearts and The Grapes of Wrath.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2008 3:33:46 PM PST
lscollison says:
J. Fuchs,
Oh, yes; I agree! Ann Rice is an excellent writer. "Feast of All Saints" is another good historical novel, set in New Orleans, before the Civil War.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2008 3:16:37 PM PST
J. Fuchs says:
Surprised no one has mentioned Anne Rice's "Cry to Heaven." Yeah, I know... Anne Rice. But who else has made 18th century Italy and opera come alive like that? Never thought I'd be interested in reading about the castrati, but Rice does a good job when she's not trying so hard to be goth.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2008 9:03:28 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Apr 18, 2008 9:03:33 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 6:30:47 PM PST
M. A. George says:
Sara--tell us more about Pargeter. What historical period does she specialize in? Some of us out here are mainly interested in particular periods and not in others. From the titles I would say high middle ages England. But I could be wrong.
Margaret George

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 6:21:37 PM PST
Just discovering this discussion, not sure how to chime in, but if it hasn't yet been mentioned, I would like to say that Edith Pargeter's The Heaven Tree Trilogy has to be among the very best historical novels, if not the best, ever written. Her other historical novels--The Brothers Gwynedd Quartet, A Bloody Field at Shrewsbury, The Marriage of Megotta--are likewise wonderful. But Heaven Tree is just magnificent, not to be missed.
Sara Ciborski

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 4:11:11 PM PST
Hi Linda....This book is a real keeper.....I have read it a couple of times....Early Colonial reads are difficult to find and especially about Jamestown....don't let my harsh criticism of "Perfume" scare you away from your interests in the psychological.....I read a couple of books that might be of interest "Haunted Ground" and "Lake of Sorrows" by Erin Hart Irish bog mysteries with very well developed plots and interesting characters...check out her website....should be available at your local library.....Best wishes

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 2:19:03 PM PST
M. A. George says:

Far be it from me to try to turn any prospective readers away from a good book. But I was excited about "Perfume" when I first heard of it and was glad I borrowed it first. Best to try out this one first--it is not, I think, for everybody. You may find my judgment completely wrong here, and then you can buy a copy for your personal library--where you can keep those books worth rereading. Frankly, I found this one almost unreadable--perhaps due to a difficult prose style; perhaps some failing in myself. It was certainly worth trying; after all they actually filmed it--so somebody must have seen more there than I could.

I have heard many good things about Patrick O'Brien. They filmed him, too, lately--"Master and Commander" I think. But that period and place are not a particular interest to me personally. My late husband was a big fan of his, though.

Margaret George (not the writer, another Margaret Geroge)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 2:08:57 PM PST
lscollison says:

I've just purchased "A Durable Fire" by Virginia Bernhard, based on your recommendation, and am looking forward to reading it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 2:00:04 PM PST
lscollison says:
Margaret George,

I appreciate your honest criticism of "Perfume", which I immediately placed on my "wish list" when I first read about it. Fortunately, I enjoy psychological studies in themselves, so I'll probably still eventually have a look at "Perfume", but based on your comments, I'll borrow it from the library instead of buying a copy.

For me, setting is organic to a story. Again, I cite Patrick O'Brien; although he isn't my favorite writer, he is a master at creating an 18th-century setting, and believable 18th-century characters. It's almost as if he lived during that time, aboard one of His Majesty's frigates....

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 10:45:33 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 5, 2008 10:53:48 AM PST
I love Early/American History fiction some non fiction from 1580's to 1830's.........earlier posts I mentioned some of my all time favorites....and I feel compelled to mention a few more favorite reads.....On the 400th year anniversary of the founding of Jamestown a great book called "A Durable Fire" by Virginia Bernhard, well written,researched and from a women's perspective....two books by Robert Moss "Fire Along the Sky" and "Fire keeper" interesting reads about the Pontiac Conspiracy weaves Native Americans and Colonials; many of them historical some fictitious characters, interesting use of dream interpretations adds to the drama of the times....Alan Eckert's "Winning of America Series" starting with "Wilderness Empire"....tons of research.... a rich narrative style....loaded with controversial Eckert spins on some of the historical characters and events....but very interesting....some earlier enjoyable reads by Walter Edmonds "Drums Along the Mohawk....Neil Swanson's "Unconquered".....trying to remember a couple of fiction reads about the Roanoke Colony and the mysteries about their of them particularly dealt with a woman character who brought the Druids/Celtic sacrificial lore into her daily life in England and then transplanted the lore to the new world and Roanoke.....I know I have read way to many books....and I am the first to admit that I tend to hallucinate about past reads....Best wishes

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 9:39:12 AM PST
The "Flashman" one of a kind....and nevermore....his memory will live on.......

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 9:13:29 AM PST
M. A. George says:
Sad news! George MacDonald Fraser has just died. There is an eulogy and discussion of him at:

So--we will never see Flashman in the American Civil War. I for one am verklempt!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 8:49:41 AM PST
M. A. George says:
I'm afraid I must agree with Chuck on "Perfume". I got about 1/3 through it and gave up. It may have been set in 18th century France, but did not project any real feel for the period, times, history, characters. It could have been written about any historical age. I suspect what most members of this thread most appreciate is historical fiction that gives us a sense of history, of a time and place, of events and characters of a particular period. This is not to denigrate the book as literature or fine writing. It seems to be a very fine book--but more a psychological study than historical presentation.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2008 7:49:19 AM PST
tried reading it...could not get into it....the sense of smell?...obsessive killer because he could not control his obsession....were we suppose to have "pathos" for his affliction?........The film tried....but lost it's way....and had a very short shelve life.....Maybe if it had "smell-o-vision" it might have worked.....Masterpiece?.....time will only tell
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Discussion in:  Historical Fiction forum
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Initial post:  Jun 7, 2007
Latest post:  Sep 20, 2015

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