Discussion Forums - Hidden Gems Hidden Gems

Topic: If you like authors from the UK....

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: If you like authors from the UK....
Date Posted: 12/30/2007 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
Posts: 908
Back To Top

I discovered a whole bunch of women authors this year from the UK, who I love. I have read many of their books. They are mostly set in England (in or around London) or Scotland, during or between World Wars I and II, and the story lines contain hardshps of one sort or other. I just got a bundle of some of these authors from a fellow swapper and can't wait to read them! I do have a few of these authors on my bookshelf, and as we get more new members, I'm sure someone else will have them too!

Elizabeth Waite

Josephine Cox

Christine Marion Fraser- I loved all her books

Emma Blair

Helen Forrester

Lyn Andrews

Evelyn Hood

Katie Flynn

Date Posted: 12/30/2007 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 1,478
Back To Top

Thanks.  I'll check them out.

Date Posted: 12/30/2007 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/28/2005
Posts: 226
Back To Top

Elizabeth Jane Howard is another who fits that description.  I especially loved her Cazelet chronicles following a family thru WW2.  Haven't found anything else quite as good.  Elvi Rhodes is another.  Pip Grainger writes based on her childhood in London post ww2 w/ a humorous flair.  Will look forward to finding out how you like the authors you mentioned above.

Date Posted: 12/30/2007 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 3
Back To Top

rosamunde pilcher should also be added to that list.  I feel like I have just returned from the UK after reading one of her books.  I think that i have read most of them!

Date Posted: 12/31/2007 9:10 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
Posts: 908
Back To Top

Thanks Susan for the recommendations! I will check all of them out! :)

Date Posted: 12/31/2007 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2007
Posts: 3,272
Back To Top

Let's not forget about Maeve Binchy.....

Date Posted: 12/31/2007 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2007
Posts: 474
Back To Top

I love British literature but i really like present day stories. Any female authors that write present day stories?


Date Posted: 12/31/2007 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
Back To Top

Marian Keyes writes present day stories.  A lot of chick lit is written by authors from the UK.

Rosamunde Pilcher was one of my favorites.  She has since died.  Her son, Robin Pilcher, is equally as good as his mother.

The shopaholic series's author is from the UK.


Date Posted: 12/31/2007 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 280
Back To Top

Annie Murray  While I was in Aruba last winter I picked up a book that was left in the lobby. I really liked it and hope to find more of hers.

Date Posted: 1/1/2008 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
Back To Top

Brenda, I am going to be watching your bookshelf as I too have discovered these authors, compliments of PBS, this last year... Add Lilian Harry to the list! Love her books!

Date Posted: 1/1/2008 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,773
Back To Top

Elizabeth Goudge - historical and post WW2 fiction, some religious non-fiction

Elizabeth Cadell - early 20th century, mostly romance

Rumer Godden - fiction about Britain/India relations

Mary Stewart - historical fiction, mysteries

Norah Lofts - historical fiction, romance

Paul Gallico - fiction, many different styles - some of his books are great, some are REALLY weird

Nancy Atherton - Aunt Dimity mysteries - modern English setting

Liz Curtis Higgs is an American but has written several great historical fiction novels set in Scotland

Lawana Blackwell - Christian historical fiction

Lori Wick and Catherine Palmer also have some great Christian romances set in historical England

Date Posted: 1/1/2008 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 9/28/2005
Posts: 226
Back To Top

Brenda, I just requested a book off your shelf!  Just one though even though I was tempted to try other authors mentioned in the thread.  Really have to work my way thru the tottering TBR pile!  Looking forward to Kingdom by the Sea so I can learn more about the places where my novels are set!

Date Posted: 1/2/2008 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 5,201
Back To Top

A British author I really like is Elizabeth Chadwick.  Her books are mostly set in the Middle Ages.  However, a note of caution, there is another author with the same name so it can get confusing when searching for her work.  The other Elizaveth Chadwick is American and writes romances, many with the word Bride in the title (Bride Fire is one that I've heard of).  So you need pay close attention when searching for or ordering that you are getting the one you're looking for.

Date Posted: 1/5/2008 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
Posts: 908
Back To Top

I almost forgot! Joanna Trollope is an author I just found too. I like the two books I've read of hers so far, but I guess they would be considered more progressive.... I don't think all of her books are set in the UK either.

Subject: British women authors
Date Posted: 1/5/2008 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2007
Posts: 47
Back To Top

Penelope Fitzgerald   was a wonderful discovery for me.  Her books are short, short, short; but they are packed!   She really knows how tto engage her reader totally.  She is great with detail and her characters are very believable.  There is usually some sort of lesson to be  drawn out  of the reading .  She won the Booker Prize for "Offshore" and the National Book Critics Award for " The Blue Flower", but my favorites are "The Bookshop" and "AT Freddie's".  Aother wonderful  modern-day British writer is Penelope Lively .

Two personal favorites for a long time are: Angela Thikell , writing  from the early 1920's thru the 1960's, her books reflect upperclass British country life in a fictious place called Bartsetshire.  Really nice...same characters interact in different novels (there is quite a wide cast of people involved).  Nothing here boggles the mind...just comfortable pleasant reading.  The trick here is in collecting all of Thirkell's books ( they are progressive in plot)  but some of the books can be hard to find...well, maybe not- PBS members seem to have everything.

Then there is Miss Read ( real name : Dora Saint).  "  whose novels draw on her on memories of living and teaching in a small English village".  Actually, there are two series - one is the Fairacre Village series and the other is the Thrush Green series.  Both are delightful. The kids are wonderful and the little problems and mysteries that arise  are very much like Jan Karon series with the Episcopal priest.

 The last writer I can't quite bring to mind...maybe some one will know the books and writer- an English woman writing about the 40's, I think.  I think her last name is Dederfield, and she wrote in diary form.  Again, the gentry ;and the main character stumbles  and fumbles her way thru managing her  household  as well as what is expected of her as being one of the gentry.  Funny, funny books! If no one think of who the writer is  ( the books were  never that popular in this country, I don't think)  I'll see if I can find  her in my old notes of books to get.

Date Posted: 1/5/2008 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Anne Perry has a wonderful series about a family in England during WWI.  I think they are billed as mysteries but I think, even though there is a murder in each book, that they are more historical fiction. 

Date Posted: 1/7/2008 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
Back To Top

Another vote for Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazalet Family Chronicles series!  I have them all and just love them, esp. the first, "The Light Years".  Neville, one of the kids,  just cracked me up.  Howard was the first English author I read, turned me on to English authors! 

I also enjoy E.F. Benson's "Lucia" books. 

Date Posted: 1/7/2008 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2007
Posts: 188
Back To Top

Annie Sanders - actually two women who teamed up to write Goodbye Jimmy Choo (on my shelf) - a very authentic modern English feel to it.

My main two favorite contemporary Brit writers -

Nick Hornby - About A Boy,  High Fidelity (way better than the movies, and I loved them!)

Iain Banks - Whit, The Business, The Wasp Factory - very unusual plots, often challenging to read, but excellent

Date Posted: 1/8/2008 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 12
Back To Top

I'd have to add Dick Francis, I love his style and the horses, and the mystery....anyone have comments?


Date Posted: 1/9/2008 2:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 1,385
Back To Top
Dorothy, are you referring to RL Delderfield? Excellent author.
Date Posted: 1/9/2008 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
Posts: 908
Back To Top

Dorothy I think I know who you are talking about! Of course my menoapausal mind is refusing to give the name. :(  She writes in diary form, one of the books is about living in London in wartime, one of them is when she travels to Russia and lives for a while so she can write a book about it, and I know in another one she comes to America, but I never read that one. They are very funny.

When I think of who it is, I'll post it. Probably the middle of the night, I'll have to get out of bed!

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 19
Back To Top

2 absolutely wonderful contemporary British authors:  Margaret Drabble and Doris Lessing

Subject: UK authors
Date Posted: 1/11/2008 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2006
Posts: 2,346
Back To Top

I love books by  Rosamunde Pilcher - I read and reread The Shell Seekers, Winter Solstice and Coming Home

I had NOT heard that Rosamunde had passed away-

I believe she is still alive and living in Scotland at age 83

- If someone knows different- please let me know

I have read every book (about 43) by Dick Francis- wonderful mysteries around the theme of horse racing as Dick was a former jockey

I am reading some other authors from the UK: Mary Sheepshanks and Alexandra Raife

Date Posted: 1/13/2008 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
Back To Top

Joanna Trollope is great!  I also love books by Barbara Pym.  Margaret Drabble is also an excellent writer but very different in style from the first two.

Date Posted: 1/21/2008 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,773
Back To Top

I just finished reading The Oxford Chronicles by Melanie Jeschke. She is an American who lived in the UK for several years. The books are absolutely wonderful. They are set in 1940s and 1960s Oxford.

I noticed someone mentioned Joanna Trollope. Don't forget her famous uncle Anthony Trollope, whose books are very similar to Angela Thirkell's (and are indeed set in the same region of England).

Penny Culliford and Veronica Heley are both Christian fiction authors whose books are set in England.