What period of history do you find most fascinating?

(53 Posts)
Vagaceratops Tue 25-Sep-12 20:39:20

From another thread.

Which bit most interests you?

For me its definitely from the reign of Henry II to the end of John's Reign. I love it and have read so much about it. I also have a soft spot for the Peasants revolt, and have read good books from that period.

retiredgoth2 Tue 25-Sep-12 20:48:15

I'm a contemporary type-

The post war social history of the UK fascinates me...

Astonishing change within the living lifetime of many.

That said, a few years ago I went back to (posh Russell group- I was token mature local colour) University a couple of years ago to study History.

I found myself in a seminar about the miners' strike. And shame facedly had to admit that I was not only alive, but rattling an NUM collection tin at the time...

Those years. They have not been kind...

LiviaAugusta Tue 25-Sep-12 21:32:37

I'm developing quite an interest in the Wars of the Roses at the moment.

Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome, no specific times

Tudor history.

NellyBluth Tue 25-Sep-12 21:52:11

Wars of the Roses here too. Specifically the earlier parts, Henry VI and Edward IV and the Earl of Warwick, rather than Richard III. I know Game of Thrones is very roughly based on this so it might put producers off, but the Wars of the Roses would make a spectacular big, bloody TV series.

stubbornstains Tue 25-Sep-12 21:52:20

Anything BC rather than AD, TBH....

Penelope1980 Wed 26-Sep-12 08:55:19

20th century for me (until 1950) as well as the history of the British Empire. Apart from a couple of books about the British royals (and Tudor fiction!) most of my non-fiction history books are about WWI, WWII, Hitler, Stalin and the Holocaust.

Never really been so into the BC stuff, can't articulate why though. I can't even explain why I am interested in what I am interested in either.

throckenholt Wed 26-Sep-12 09:45:54

I like it all - but particularly like the medieval period from about 1000-1500.

GranToAirMissiles Wed 26-Sep-12 20:57:49

Life under totalitarian regimes, no idea why. So (I know this is a tall order) I'm looking for books giving an objective history of the Soviet Union and similar regimes. Good novels would be even better.

I have already read this book about North Korea by Barbara Demick www.bbc.co.uk/news/10477175, and am currently reading a book of short stories about life in Syria by Zakaria Tamer 'Tigers on the Tenth Day'. I think both are very good.

Penelope1980 Wed 26-Sep-12 23:20:24

Gran my two fave books about the USSR are Alan Bullock's 'Parallel Lives' (comparing Stalin and Hitler) and Richard Overy's 'Russia's War' - both more about WWII but have facinating info about the USSR and find them both very good at debunking the idea that the USA won WWII for the allies, so a bit more objective in that regard.

R2PeePoo Thu 27-Sep-12 10:27:49

I've read that one too Gran (Demick book), excellent isn't it?

How about:

Wild Swans by Jung Chang.
Vermilion Gate by Aiping Mu
Gulag by Anne Applebaum
The good women of China by Xinran (she has written some others that are also good and very readable)
This is Paradise by Hyok Kang
One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich by Solzhenitzyn
Cancer Ward (<slits wrists>) by Solzhenitzyn
Life and Fate by Grossman
Stasiland by Anna Funder
Factory Girls by Leslie Chang (this one is particularly awesome)

Goodbye Lenin is a super and very funny film about East Germany.

Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco is one of the most upsetting and moving books I have ever read- about the Bosnian War. Not sure if it quite fits into the same 'totalitarian regime' thing but its one of the best and simplest explanations of what happened in the former Yugoslavia and is one of the starkest representations of what living in a fractured and dangerous society is like.

mixedmamameansbusiness Thu 27-Sep-12 20:08:46

Early twentieth British for me. I am doing a history degree at the moment and Russia has captured me - all of it.

freerangelady Thu 27-Sep-12 20:22:54

Gran - its not a period I know much about but I recently read sashenka by simon sebag montefiore and I loved it so much I've bee reading a bit around the Russian revolution.

For me it's

Egypt - mostly ancient but Coptic v interesting too
Wars of roses
Tudors - had such an impact on modern Britain.

tiredemma Thu 27-Sep-12 20:24:59

War of the Roses.
Tudors.
Cromwell era / civil war/ reformation

mixedmamameansbusiness Thu 27-Sep-12 20:44:26

Gran - I think objectivi is tricky to come by with history. I like Sheila Fitzpatrick and I could read Orlando Figes forever, in spite of his shortcomings and scandals.

GranToAirMissiles Thu 27-Sep-12 23:54:03

Thanks for great recommendations. Forgot to mention 'The Lives of Others' as a good DVD (thriller) about life in East Germany.

WofflingOn Fri 28-Sep-12 00:01:10

Fourteenth century, my interest tailors off after 1415.

Penelope1980 Fri 28-Sep-12 05:11:42

What happened in 1415? (Probably exposes ignorance of that time period)

WofflingOn Fri 28-Sep-12 07:08:08

Battle of Agincourt. smile
I'm interested in bits of history after that, just not the all-encompassing passion I have for Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and the first civil war in the 1140s.

Penelope1980 Fri 28-Sep-12 07:27:29

<goes off to Wikipedia Battle of Agincourt...>

LimeLeafLizard Sat 29-Sep-12 18:41:28

Wars of the Roses again here smile - the early part, esp reign of Henry IV, who had an influence on the history of where I live.
And another vote for the civil war in the 1140s... I like Matilda and have always felt a bit sorry for her.
I find prehistory very interesting too, and Ancient Rome.
The history of the human colonisation of the pacific is fascinating.

ok better stop here.

waitingtobeamummy Sat 29-Sep-12 18:48:04

Victorians! Love everything about it. But mostly the "underworld" part. And ww2 fascinates me. Particuarly Hitler and how people supported him, turned on Jewish people, but it scares me too.

NettleTea Fri 05-Oct-12 22:52:49

pre-history. And the more 'pre' the better!

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 17:48:06

Human prehistory, the earlier the better. The bit where we became human - symbolic thought, language etc.

MrsPear Sat 06-Oct-12 17:51:14

English Civil War without a doubt - the ideas that came about were amazing.

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