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Historical fiction

Reviews, favourites and suggestions
Eboli
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Historical fiction

#375373

Postby Eboli » January 10th, 2021, 8:09 am

I've a elderly friend who can only listen to audiobooks these days and likes historical fiction. She's been listening to things like the Sampson's Shardlake series, Conn Iggulden's English Civil War series (and Julius Ceasar set) and Bernard Cornwall's Winter King and such like. She's got a birthday looming and I thought a set of audiobooks would hit the mark in current circumstances and wondered if anyone had recent historical fiction series they enjoyed and would recommend. I could then check whether she has it in her audiobooks library.

Many thanks.

Eb.

Urbandreamer
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Re: Historical fiction

#375381

Postby Urbandreamer » January 10th, 2021, 9:14 am

I did try and listen to the award winning "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel, but gave up.

I'm not that into historical fiction so my suggestions won't be perfect, especially if that's the sort of historical fiction she likes.

The "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon is very popular. It has been described as "Scottish time travel romance", by another author,
https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Outlander- ... B0H6DJ1RWZ
Some may have seen the TV series based upon the books.

Another off beat suggestion is the likes of "Just one damned thing after another" by Jody Taylor.
Time travel again, but this time by historians. The trouble is that it's fantastical which some don't like in fiction.
https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Just-One-D ... JDG09BHM7E

I've not read either "Circe" or "The song of Achillies" by Madline Miller but they have such good reviews that Circe is in my "to be read" pile.

Would the Hornblower books be considered Historical Fiction?

77ss
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Re: Historical fiction

#375391

Postby 77ss » January 10th, 2021, 9:40 am

Eboli wrote:I've a elderly friend who can only listen to audiobooks these days and likes historical fiction. She's been listening to things like the Sampson's Shardlake series, Conn Iggulden's English Civil War series (and Julius Ceasar set) and Bernard Cornwall's Winter King and such like. She's got a birthday looming and I thought a set of audiobooks would hit the mark in current circumstances and wondered if anyone had recent historical fiction series they enjoyed and would recommend. I could then check whether she has it in her audiobooks library.

Many thanks.

Eb.


Spoilt for choice. I read quite a bit of historical fiction and would suggest:

Simon Scarrow's novels - Roman period - a bit lightweight perhaps, but good fun
Lindsey Davis - Falco novels - Roman period again. Excellent, with a good dollop of humour. 'and a strong female lead' - as the song has it
Bernard Knight - Crowner John stories - 12th C Devon.

These are all lengthy series by now. As stand alone novels, anything by Gillian Bradshaw (various periods/settings).

Going back in time - Edith Pargeter, Mary Renault (for ancient Greece), Mary Stewart (Arthuriana)......

servodude
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Re: Historical fiction

#375393

Postby servodude » January 10th, 2021, 9:42 am

One that stuck with me was:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Instance_of_the_Fingerpost

Possibly a bit different from traditional historical fiction, but it was a great read

-sd

Urbandreamer
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Re: Historical fiction

#375421

Postby Urbandreamer » January 10th, 2021, 10:48 am

77ss wrote:Lindsey Davis - Falco novels - Roman period again. Excellent, with a good dollop of humour. 'and a strong female lead' - as the song has it


I hadn't thought of them, though I've enjoyed the few I've listened to.
It reminded me of a few more suitable than my earlier suggestions.

Ie the Brother Cadfael books by Ellis Peters. She also wrote a lot under her real name of Edith Pargeter.

Ann Swinfen also comes to mind, though I've only read one of her books.

One issue is, what is Historical fiction? The above are not fictionalised history, but fiction set in a historical setting.

Arborbridge
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Re: Historical fiction

#375429

Postby Arborbridge » January 10th, 2021, 11:12 am

Phillipa Gregory's Plantagenet and Tudor series I believe are available as audio books.

I've read the printed version of most of them and found them thoroughly enjoyable. Amazing how she takes the historical facts and puts the reader inside how people might react and why.

Arb.

BobbyD
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Re: Historical fiction

#375687

Postby BobbyD » January 11th, 2021, 6:59 am

If they are technologically savvy and equipped they'd probably get far better value out of an Audible gift membership, and they'd be guaranteed to get exactly the books they wanted.

GrahamPlatt
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Re: Historical fiction

#375708

Postby GrahamPlatt » January 11th, 2021, 9:09 am

George McDonald Fraser’s Flashman books. Rollicking good fun & detailed historical accuracy in the footnotes, but I don’t know how they’d manage footnotes in an audiobook.

Just read Hamnet. Good, but emotionally harrowing.

Eboli
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Re: Historical fiction

#377350

Postby Eboli » January 15th, 2021, 8:49 am

Many thanks to all the suggestions. it was quite difficult in the end because a number of suggestion were already in the library. In the end I plumped for the recent Ken Follett 'The Evening and the Morning', which I think is a prequel to 'The Pillars of the Earth'. It seems to have been well received as she enjoyed the earlier book.

But, once again, many thanks to all of you who made suggestions.

Eb.

DelianLeague
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Re: Historical fiction

#481048

Postby DelianLeague » February 16th, 2022, 6:22 pm

I find that the iplayer can be useful for Historical fiction.

They have 'Micah Clarke' by Arthur Conan Doyle on there at the moment. Very good book about the Monmouth Rebellion culminating in the Battle of Sedgemoor.

D.L.

JonnyT
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Re: Historical fiction

#645380

Postby JonnyT » February 7th, 2024, 3:40 pm

The Shardlake series by C.J Sampson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shardlake_series
Set in the time of Henry VIII, very good in my opinion

Or the Giordano Bruno series by S.J Parris, set in the reign of Elizabeth I initially.

Charlottesquare
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Re: Historical fiction

#645977

Postby Charlottesquare » February 9th, 2024, 6:32 pm

JonnyT wrote:The Shardlake series by C.J Sampson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shardlake_series
Set in the time of Henry VIII, very good in my opinion

Or the Giordano Bruno series by S.J Parris, set in the reign of Elizabeth I initially.


Both are worth reading imho. I am currently on book three of the Giordano Bruno series (stopped reading to re read a couple of Iain Banks but up to last 10% of The Crow Road so will revert to Bruno this weekend) and have read all the Shardlake series.

stevensfo
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Re: Historical fiction

#646448

Postby stevensfo » February 12th, 2024, 3:49 pm

Urbandreamer wrote:I did try and listen to the award winning "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel, but gave up.

I'm not that into historical fiction so my suggestions won't be perfect, especially if that's the sort of historical fiction she likes.

The "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon is very popular. It has been described as "Scottish time travel romance", by another author,
https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Outlander- ... B0H6DJ1RWZ
Some may have seen the TV series based upon the books.

Another off beat suggestion is the likes of "Just one damned thing after another" by Jody Taylor.
Time travel again, but this time by historians. The trouble is that it's fantastical which some don't like in fiction.
https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Just-One-D ... JDG09BHM7E

I've not read either "Circe" or "The song of Achillies" by Madline Miller but they have such good reviews that Circe is in my "to be read" pile.

Would the Hornblower books be considered Historical Fiction?


I did try and listen to the award winning "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel, but gave up.


Sorry to go off at a tangent, but you may want to read something that she wrote before she became famous with 'Wolf Hall'.

'Beyond Black' is a weird book about a woman who works as a medium, claiming to be able to contact the dead. That's how she makes her living. But the trouble is that she really is in contact, and they're a real pain in the &%!

Steve

Urbandreamer
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Re: Historical fiction

#646457

Postby Urbandreamer » February 12th, 2024, 4:20 pm

stevensfo wrote:Sorry to go off at a tangent, but you may want to read something that she wrote before she became famous with 'Wolf Hall'.

'Beyond Black' is a weird book about a woman who works as a medium, claiming to be able to contact the dead. That's how she makes her living. But the trouble is that she really is in contact, and they're a real pain in the &%!

Steve


Since we are off topic, and defiantly NOT historical, can I recommend "It’s a Wonderful Midlife Crisis" by Robyn Peterman.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Its-Wonderful- ... merReviews
One year later, I’m a widow. My joints are starting to ache. Gram is in the nursing home, and dead people think my home is some kind of supernatural bed-and-breakfast. Gluing body parts onto semi-transparent people has become a side job - deceased people I’m not even sure are actually there. I think they need my help, but since I don’t speak dead, we’re having a few issues.


It's a hoot, but not for anyone who requires "realistic" stories, whatever that might mean to them.

I can't leave it there though, without getting back on topic.

So can I recommend the Magdalene la Batarde series by Roberta Gellis.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mortal-Bane-Ma ... 102&sr=8-1

They are the typical murder mystery in a historical setting. In this case following the madam of the Old Priory Guesthouse in Southwark. Set in the middle ages under the reign of King Stephen.


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