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Steven Pearson





Joined: 06 Jul 2009

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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jul, 2009 12:22 pm    Post subject: Medieval Historical Novels         Reply with quote

Anyone else read books in the Medieval Historical Novel genre?

I thought I would post a couple I have read and like here in case anyone is interested and see if anyone else has any they can recommend.

I tend to enjoy books based on history in a novelized format better than straight historical books... much easier to stay interested.

A couple I read and really liked are:

"The Sunne in Splendour" by Sharon Kay Penman. This fantastic book is the novel of the war of the roses. Great book. It's mostly a novel about Richard III and his family during the wars. What I found really eye opening was high precarious a kings power base really was, they didn't always have absolute power.

I didnt like her sequels as much as this one though.

http://www.amazon.com/Sunne-Splendour-No....848957&sr=8 -1#

Also like Elizabeth Chadwick's novels. I think my favorite is "Lords of the White Castle". I just read her first Novel about William Marshall "The Greatest Knight" and it was pretty good.

I also enjoy Bernard Cornwells books...have read the Archer's tale series and just read "Agincourt" recently.

Anyone else have any to recommend?
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Maurizio D'Angelo




Location: Italy
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jul, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Medieval Historical Novels         Reply with quote

Steven Pearson wrote:

I tend to enjoy books based on history in a novelized format better than straight historical books... much easier to stay interested.

Welcome, Steven
I never read books of the kind that you say. but I believe that now, one will read it. I agree, a historical book is heavier to read if you do not have passion.
Happy
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jul, 2009 3:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I recommend Cecelia Holland, a novelist who has written books set from the time of Attila the Hun to19th century California. Most of her stuff is Medieval. Here are a few of them.

Her first novel, The Firedrake, set around 1066, with a good description of the battle.

The Earl, set in 1153, in the last years of the Anarchy between King Stephan and the Angevins. This is a really good book, out of print, but not too hard to find.

The Lords of Vaumartin, covering the first part of the 100 years war, Crecy, Poitiers, and a harrowing depiction of the Black Death in Paris.

Jerusalem - the last years of the Frankish Kingdom of Jerusalem, focusing on the Templars, and ending with the Battle of Hattin. Another really good, but very grim book. An antidote to Ridley Scott's recent, wretched movie, the Kingdom of Heaven.


Last edited by Roger Hooper on Mon 06 Jul, 2009 9:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jul, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject: novels         Reply with quote

Edith Pargeter's The Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet : Sunrise in the West, The Dragon at Noonday, The Hounds of Sunset , and Afterglow & Nightfall, and of course all her Brother Cadfael's.
Sharon Kay Penman's covering of the same period with: Here be Dragons, Falls the Shadow , and The Reckoning. Also her take on the quarrel between Stephen and Maud in When Christ and his Saints Slept.
Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth, and World Without End.
Gary Jennings :The Raptor, also Aztec.
Manda Scott's : Dreaming the Eagle (Boudica, or Bodicea... dependingon your cultural preferences...)
Melvyn Bragg's : Credo (Dark Ages, nasty old St-Cuthbert...)
That should do for your summer on the beach, reading while the kids play in the sand....JC

Bon coeur et bon bras
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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jul, 2009 8:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Strongbow Saga, by Judson Roberts
the first one is called Viking Warrior, very accurate but not very long.
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Gabriele A. Pini




Location: Olgiate Comasco, Como
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jul, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jack Whyte, the saga of Merlin (or better Caio Merlino Britannico)

I arrived second for The Pillars of the Earth, but I recommend it the same (only don't do as I did: I readed it at 11, an there are some scenes a little too hot for a kid).

C. J. Samson. I read only "Dark Fire", but he is good.
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Steven Pearson





Joined: 06 Jul 2009

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon 06 Jul, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent, great suggestions and some I have not heard of!

It's not the easiest genre to find since its mixed in fiction but you pretty much have to know the author to find it.

I have read Pillars of the Earth but it was quite a few years ago. I have not read the sequel, is it worth the read? Most people say its good but a step down from the original.

The "The Lords of Vaumartin" sounds worth checking out. Actually most of those suggestions do. I have more books in line to read now Wink

I also just read "The Black Arrow" by Robert Louis Stevenson. Pretty good book, its a light hearted medieval adventure type book, the worst part of it was the funny dialog. I wasn't sure if it was because it was written about 100 years ago or if the weird dialog was intentional and I found an article where Stevenson said he didnt like the Dialog he used so I guess it was intentional. It's not horrible but hard to follow at times. I still recommend it though.

Im also currently reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The White Company", which is also a medieval adventure set during the hundred years war. It's quite good and does have some historical reference. Apparently this book and the sequel (Sir Nigel) were his personal favorites over the Holmes books and he spent quite a bit of time researching the time period for the books. It shows as some famous people from the times appear. I obtained an original 1905 copy of "Sir Nigel" on ebay, very sweet. I read they were quite popular up to the 1940's but seem to have lost popularity in recent times.

Cheers
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Jim Adelsen
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Location: WI
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 4:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bernard Cornwell Saxon Series. The Last Kingdom, Pale Horseman, The Lords Of the North, and Sword Song. 9th century and Danes are attacking. Has historical figures Alfred the Great, Ivar Lodbrokson, Ubba Lodbrokson, and Halfdan Lodbrokson.
www.viking-shield.com
www.thevikingmuseum.com
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William Knight




Location: Mid atlantic, US
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 5:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kristen Lavransdatter. It won the nobel prize for a reason.

-Wilhlem
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nigel Trantor:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Tranter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_novel...efore_1286
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_novel..._1286-1603

Just a few titles from the links above:

Contents
1 The Wars of Independence (1286-1329)
1.1 The Isleman
1.2 The Wallace
1.3 Robert the Bruce trilogy
1.3.1 Robert the Bruce: The Steps to the Empty Throne
1.3.2 Robert the Bruce: The Path of the Hero King
1.3.3 Robert the Bruce: The Price of the King's Peace
2 The Bruce Legacy (1329-1406)
2.1 Flowers of Chivalry
2.2 Courting Favour
2.3 Stewart trilogy
2.3.1 Lords of Misrule
2.3.2 A Folly of Princes
2.3.3 The Captive Crown
2.4 The End of the Line

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 10:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"In the Name of the Rose" pops into mind. I don't think it's what you're looking for, but that was what popped into my head ha.
By the way, three words; Sean Connory accent. Big Grin

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2009 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sirs-What popped into my head was the world's first novel,(according to some ) which was written in medieval Japan, by a Japanese noblewoman who was a lady-in waiting at the Imperial court and so knew the life very well. It is"The Tale of Genji" by Lady Murasaki. There are lots of english translations so you should be able to get one from Amazon.com It is the story of the illegitimate son of an emperior, and his decendants, and how they made their way on the world.
Ja68ms
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Ed T.




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2009 5:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you're looking for mystery novels set in the middle ages try the "Medieval Murderers", a group of authors who write collaboratively. The authors include Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Michael Jecks, Karen Maitland, Susanna Gregory, Philip Gooden and CJ Sansom. Each novel has a central mystery theme that is developed by different authors. Usually the writers deal with the mystery as it unfolds by characters they have previously created for their own mystery series. The stories are interlinked chronological tales. It's a good way to sample each authors work before you read their individual works.
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Adam S.





Joined: 01 Sep 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2009 6:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd have to second Elizabeth Chadwick. She pays attention to her history, and writes an author's note explaining where she deviates from history and what her historical sources are.

I have read Shadows and Strongholds, and the Falcons of Montabard. Both rather fun reads.

~Adam
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Fri 17 Jul, 2009 1:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Alfred Duggan.

He covers many eras, but if you want purely medieval then I suggest:
- Lord Geoffrey's Fancy
- The Lady For Ransom
- Count Bohemond
- Conscience of the King
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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Fri 17 Jul, 2009 3:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Morgan Llywellan has her Lion of Ireland, a novel about Brian Boru, high king of Ireland. She also has novels written about the various semi-mythological figures of the various cycles. The Red Branch is about CuChulain of Ulster and is a good read. The eponymous Finn MacCool is about the legendary captain of the Fianna.
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Fri 17 Jul, 2009 8:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Baudolino, extremely well documented and fantastic tales as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Baudolino-Umberto-Eco/dp/0156029065
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James Holczer




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PostPosted: Fri 17 Jul, 2009 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

“The Hollow Crown” and its sequel “Harold the King” by Helen Hollick are well worth the read. The Hollow Crown chronicles the life and times of Queen Emma who was high queen of Saxon England during the reigns of Ethelred the Unready and Canute. The follow up book “Harold the King” covers the life of Harold Godwinson, his service to Edward the Confessor and his ultimate rise to kingship after Edwards’s death. This is a fascinating book that attempts to explain the life of the last Saxon king in England.
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Steven Pearson





Joined: 06 Jul 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 17 Jul, 2009 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam S. wrote:
I'd have to second Elizabeth Chadwick. She pays attention to her history, and writes an author's note explaining where she deviates from history and what her historical sources are.

I have read Shadows and Strongholds, and the Falcons of Montabard. Both rather fun reads.

~Adam


Except for the new book covers, they look like Romance novels...awful. If you want better covers look for the older hardback version of some of them. (IF you care about the covers).
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Adam S.





Joined: 01 Sep 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 17 Jul, 2009 10:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven Pearson wrote:
Adam S. wrote:
I'd have to second Elizabeth Chadwick. She pays attention to her history, and writes an author's note explaining where she deviates from history and what her historical sources are.

I have read Shadows and Strongholds, and the Falcons of Montabard. Both rather fun reads.

~Adam


Except for the new book covers, they look like Romance novels...awful. If you want better covers look for the older hardback version of some of them. (IF you care about the covers).


Laughing Out Loud HA! Excepting also that her earlier works *are* romance novels... Still good history though.
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