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The 18th Century. Fiction or non. Any recommendations?

(23 Posts)
drigon Sat 23-May-15 03:00:27

I have become fascinated with the 18th Century period and have been looking for any good books on the subject. I have already read Perfume,which was brilliant, An Appetite for Violets and The Scarlet Ribbon (about a man-midwife), both of wbich were so-so. Any fans of this period about to give some recommendations? TIA.

YDdraigGoch Sat 23-May-15 05:07:55

I'm reading the Polldark series and loving the books. I can't out them down. Kids are starving/living off pizza and house is going to shit!!

LapinDeBois Sat 23-May-15 07:22:43

What about some things written in the 18th century? Some obviously pretty heavy going, but how about Moll Flanders or some Goethe?

hackmum Sat 23-May-15 11:45:07

Or Tom Jones or Joseph Andrews - both good reads.

iHATEdogfarts Sat 23-May-15 11:53:37

I've just finished a great book called The Silent Boy. Got it from library, it's at home and I'm at work, so can't give author name. It's set in France and England during The Terror in 1790's.

Diana Norman wrote a couple of good historicals set in mid century.

drigon Sat 23-May-15 12:50:39

Thanks for the suggestions! I've read Moll Flanders, which was very good. Amazon didn't yield much in the way of ideas. I'll look some of these up.

MrsHathaway Sat 23-May-15 13:12:04

These Old Shades and then Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer, followed once you're addicted by everything else she ever wrote grin

QueenOfThorns Sat 23-May-15 13:20:53

Have you read The Duchess?

drigon Sat 23-May-15 15:00:50

No, no yet. I seem to remember that it was made into a film. I saw Perfume the other day and was blown away by how good it was-Ben Whishaw(?)is excellent in it and Alan Rickman, of course. It seemed faithful to the spirit of the book too.I read it back in the 80s when it was first published, but lost my copy along the way. I am very interested in the French Rev. period too and will def.look up The Silent Boy.

DuchessofMalfi Sun 24-May-15 05:35:23

Have you read A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel? It's on my tbr list and it may well fit the bill as you say you are interested in the French Revolution.
Apologies for messy link -can't do them properly on phone blush
Check out this book on Goodreads: A Place of Greater Safety http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/101921.A_Place_of_Greater_Safety link here]]

DuchessofMalfi Sun 24-May-15 05:36:45

[[ Check out this book on Goodreads: A Place of Greater Safety http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/101921.A_Place_of_Greater_Safety link here]]

FuzzyWizard Sun 24-May-15 10:38:43

Harriette Wilson's memoirs are a good read- she was a Regency courtesan.

Christabelpankhurst Sun 24-May-15 16:36:32

I second The Silent Boy by Andrew Taylor and A Place of Greater Safety. Also set in France just before the Revolution is Pure by Andrew Miller. All 3 are fantastic reads.

drigon Sun 24-May-15 17:53:31

Yes, just dug out my copy of Pure, which I read 3 years ago-v.good. May re-read. Thanks all for the other suggestions!

zingally Fri 29-May-15 14:35:22

Have a look at the 'Outlander' series by Diana Gabaldon. The first one is 'Cross Stitch'. It's about a nurse from the 1940s who falls back through time to around 1740, set in the Scottish highlands.

It's also just been made into a TV series, which is also very good and available to watch via Amazon.

The series is about 8 books long at the moment!

ancientbuchanan Sat 30-May-15 23:42:56

How about Fanny Hill ? 18th century porn. The real thing. A quick and amusing read.

If short and again the real thing, Rasselas by Johnson, Tristram Shandy by Smollett.

If you want to know who was connected to who, important in that age, Aristocrats.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sun 31-May-15 09:24:23

Fanny by Erica Jong for a feminist reworking of some classic fiction.

For non-fiction try Roy Porter.

IrenetheQuaint Sun 31-May-15 11:10:21

Fanny Burney is fun - the original 18th century chick lit. Cecilia is the best, though pretty long!

drinkscabinet Mon 01-Jun-15 21:57:38

Tristram Shandy is brilliantif insane, might be worth watching a Cock and Bull Story first to prepare yourself.

Tom Jones is probably my favourite from that period, although I've also read some Richardson and Burney.

Just breaking into the 19th century is Mr Norrell and Jonathan Strange which is set during the Napoleonic Wars.

Clayhanger Wed 03-Jun-15 22:32:29

Dangerous Liaisons is fab- cruel, funny, sexy. Agree about Fanny Hill. Joseph Andrews (short) and Tom Jones (long) are a hoot.
Looking forward to trying out the other recommendations on this thread!

Clayhanger Wed 03-Jun-15 22:36:59

Plus if you're after a bit of cultural history try Robert Darnton - his Great Cat Massacre is fascinating.

cdtaylornats Thu 04-Jun-15 11:46:31

Liza Picard has two excellent books on 18th century London, Dr. Johnston's London and Victorian London.

For fiction Edward Marston's Railway Detective series give an interesting view.

drigon Tue 16-Jun-15 15:19:27

Some fab suggestions here-thank you all.
Now will have to save up to buy some!

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