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Can anyone recommend any good historical fiction please?

(43 Posts)
lowra Tue 21-Aug-12 17:48:26

By historical I mean middle ages type era? Thriller, crime or romance...


RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Tue 21-Aug-12 18:13:48

Try CJ Sansom - tis Tudor but some of the best historical stuff out there imho.

Middle ages - try 'Mistress Of The Art Of Death' which is the first in a series - not great but not bad.

joanofarchitrave Tue 21-Aug-12 18:15:00

I assume you've read the Ellis Peters ones. One Body Too Many is my fave if you haven't, but there are loads.

ODearMe Tue 21-Aug-12 18:15:56

I loved Phillippa Gregory's stuff for an easy read.

MegBusset Tue 21-Aug-12 18:16:34

Wolf Hall / Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel - these are fabulous.

TheDreadedFoosa Tue 21-Aug-12 18:17:53

I second Wolf Hall. Brilliant.

joanofarchitrave Tue 21-Aug-12 18:32:34

[jumps on bandwagon] and I have never forgotten reading A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel, but I read it at 18 which is when I had more time for reading, I think I was buried in it for about 2 weeks solid so it's not a light proposition.

Olivia Manning's Balkan Trilogy was amazing at the time I read it. Can't remember much about it but the atmosphere.

Pantah630 Tue 21-Aug-12 18:40:31

Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome's brilliant, well written and researched. A fictional tale set around historical fact.

bamboostalks Tue 21-Aug-12 18:41:11

All of Sharon Penman gut particularly The Sunne in Splendour. Truly amazing and romantic. Very accurate as far as I would know!

Pantah630 Tue 21-Aug-12 18:41:56

Oops missed the middle ages bit recommendation a fair few years prior!

Milliways Tue 21-Aug-12 19:00:57

Have you read Ken Follet - Pillars of the Earth and it's sequel? I loved those.

lowra Tue 21-Aug-12 19:50:33

Thanks for the recommendations smile

highlandcoo Tue 21-Aug-12 20:17:36

Agree with Hilary Mantel - brilliant - and CJ Sansom, you could also try Karen Maitland for more thriller-ish writing. I enjoyed Company of Liars and just about to read The Owl Killers.

MegBusset Tue 21-Aug-12 20:22:36

Also, The Name Of The Rose by Umberto Eco.

YouBloodyWolf Wed 22-Aug-12 03:52:35

It's possibly a bit later than you asked for, but Sarah Dunant absolutely blew me away with In the Company of the Courtesan and The Birth of the Venus.

CoteDAzur Wed 22-Aug-12 13:57:54

Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco
Trial of the Templars (non-fiction)

If you don't insist on middle ages:
This Thing Of Darkness

PomBearWithAnOFRS Thu 23-Aug-12 00:36:06

My all time favourite historical one has to be Here be Dragons by Sharon Penman.

JRsandCoffee Thu 23-Aug-12 12:34:30

Sorry if you've read the below but thinking.

Katherine - Anya Seton, the Mummy of all historical novels of a romantic variety ;-) If you haven't read it, about Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt

Alison Weir's novel The Lady Elizabeth about Elizabeth 1's coming to the throne was pretty good but the captive queen or whatever it was was drivel I thought and just not worthy of an otherwise great author I felt. Her factual books are very good, have read a few of them and pretty good reads I found. Her other historical novels get pretty good reviews also though haven't read them.

Jean Plaidy - pick an era, any era......and there will be something, written years and years ago but really good stuff although some of the history persepectives are shall we say a bit unfashionable these days.

Second everyone who recommended Wolf Hall and CJ Sansom.

Also, randomly and out of the right times completely the Boudica series by Manda Scott was pretty gripping.

MumPotNoodle Thu 23-Aug-12 18:18:15

JR, completely agree with you about Alison Weir, some are a lot better than others. Innocent Traitor (Lady Jane Grey) is excellent although obviously not medieval. What about the Cadfael mysteries?

thebestnamesaregone Thu 23-Aug-12 18:34:29

I have just recommended on another thread Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond series, the best fictional hero of all time. (IMO of course)

ladymariner Thu 23-Aug-12 18:41:23

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is absolutely brilliant

Allalonenow Thu 23-Aug-12 18:45:26

For adventure with a dash of romance, Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series set during the Napoleonic wars, is hard to beat.

DamnDeDoubtance Thu 23-Aug-12 20:01:50

I second Dorothy Dunnett, truly breathtaking books with enormous attention to detail.

Sharon Penman is great and Legacy by Susan Kay is a cracking read.

AmaraDresden Thu 23-Aug-12 20:26:24

I LOVE historical fiction, and cannot recommend Elizabeth Chadwick enough. The greatest knight is very good, it's about William Marshall if you've heard of him, and I personally love the love knot but it's not her most popular. Seriously, check her out on amazon. Adore her.

24Hours Sat 25-Aug-12 15:59:59

Elizabeth Chadwick...I think I have something upstairs by her that I tried to read. Anglo Saxon times, maybe? Didn't grab me at the time but I might dig it out again on your recommendation AmaraDresden smile

Second everybody mentioning CJ Sansom and Hilary Mantel.

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