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Topic: ISO new author(s) for HF in Britain

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Subject: ISO new author(s) for HF in Britain
Date Posted: 10/1/2010 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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I'm trying to find some new-to-me authors or series, set in England, Scotland or Ireland (but France or Spain OK too)  from medieval times or earlier, to, say, 1700s.

Not romance, not cutesy. Not Arthurian (I've read most of those). Not ancient Rome, Egypt or Greece.

Epic is fine; I read one about life in an English forest, very much like Michener, that was great. Bernard Cornwell comes close, but for some reason I do not like his books so much, I don't like Patrick O'Brian.. Karen Maitland has two out that are great, but I read them. Ditto for Phillippa Gregory.

Most other suggestions I see are in other countries, or romance. I've read a lot of more recent books, in the last 2-3 years, so I thought there might be some other, older ones out there I do not know about.



Last Edited on: 10/1/10 3:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/1/2010 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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Have you tried Conn Iggulden? I particularly like his Ghengis Khan series. Sharon Kay Penman, the Welsh trilogy, which begins with Here Be Dragons; or any of her books, really. Light years better than PG.

Date Posted: 10/1/2010 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
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Conn is new to me...but I've read every one of Penman's books and loved them all.

Date Posted: 10/1/2010 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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Stephen Lawhead's King Raven Trilogy:  Hood, Scarlet, Tuck  Resetting of the Robin Hood legend in Wales in the 12th century (I think...somebody check me on the date)



Last Edited on: 10/1/10 5:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/1/2010 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Yeah, I second Lawhead. Good suggestion, and 12th century should be right for Robin Hood. I haven't read this series yet.

Date Posted: 10/1/2010 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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This version of Robin Hood is set either one generation ahead or behind the regular Robin Hood. I think it is ahead, so maybe it is 11th century.

Date Posted: 10/2/2010 9:30 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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Edward Rutherford, Morgan Llywelyn, and Cecelia Holland all come to mind.  

Date Posted: 10/2/2010 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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There's Parke Godwin. I liked A Memory of Lions and I hear his Robin Hood books are good as well.

Joan Wolf's Dark ages trilogy (you can skip the first since you are arthur'ed to death). Born of the Sun and The Edge of Light.

Scotland, Lady of the Glen by Jennifer Roberson but it's not medieval. Deals with the massacre at Glencoe (do not let the gawd-awful cover from Kensington scare you-yes there's a love story there but it's much more than a romance).

Elizabeth Chadwick

The Heaven Tree Trilogy by Edith Pargeter

Date Posted: 10/2/2010 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Helen Hollick

Date Posted: 10/2/2010 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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I've got to put my vote in for Dorothy Dunnett's "Lymond Chronicles".  They take place mainly in Scotland with a few side trips.

Date Posted: 10/3/2010 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
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These are great suggestions! But maybe I'm just too weird. I checked out 2 Lawhead books from the library, read about 100 pages of each (which was almost half for one). Just could not do it. 

I do know of one Rutherford book I like, will check for others.

Date Posted: 10/3/2010 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Betty, Check out Elizabeth Chadwick, don't be fooled by the covers these aren't typical romances.  Her research is stellar and though they are stories that revolve around relationships there is more history and period detail than you would expect. 

See Elizabeth's link below.



Last Edited on: 10/14/10 4:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/3/2010 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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Betty...try "Sarum" by Rutherford, or "Princes of Ireland"...both were good!

Date Posted: 10/4/2010 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
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I second the recommendation for Elizabeth Chadwick, her books are fascinating!  I'm reading Shadows and Strongholds right now.  She really makes you feel like you're in the Middle Ages.

Also Jean Plaidy was a very prolific historical fiction writer, the majority of her books are set in Britain.  She's also Victoria Holt (gothic romance) and Phillipa Carr (family saga).  In real life she was Eleanor Hibbert, and she passed away in 1991, so her style is a bit more old fashioned than more contemporary authors.

Subject: Antonia Fraser has some very good Historical Fiction and Histories
Date Posted: 10/4/2010 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2010
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I really enjoyed her books The King's General and her history Cromwell.  Both are set 1500's through 1600s England.   While they aren't historical fiction as such Ellis Peter's Cadfael mystery series is set in 12th Century England around the war between Empress Maude and King Stephen.

Subject: Pillars of the earth
Date Posted: 10/14/2010 5:59 AM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2010
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If you havn't read pillars of the earth yet please do.

It was the book that sparked my interest in historical fiction.

Date Posted: 10/14/2010 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
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I also recommend Elizabeth Chadwick, with the usual caveat that there are 2 authors by that name, and you only want one of them.  Amazon can't seem to keep them straight, and Jerelyn's link does contain some by both.  The "other" EC writes bodice rippers -- nothing wrong with those, but you've said "no romance". The author you do want is here: http://www.elizabethchadwick.com/

You liked Rutherford's "Forest", so give his "London" a try -- I enjoyed both.

I'd also recommend Naomi Novik's Teramire series, the first of which is His Majesty's Dragon in the US and Temeraire in the UK.  It does involve dragons, so there is fantasy as well (but not "cutesy"), but it is set in Napoleonic Britain and is a series I really loved.

I also enjoyed:

Brenda Rickman Vantrease's The Illuminator, which is set in medieval England.

Judith Merkle Riley's works, which are HF and feature strong female characters.  A Vision of Light starts a trilogy and is set in England.

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' Morland Family Dynasty (20+ books), which starts in 15th Century England with The Founding.

Anna Lee Waldo's Circle of Stones, set in medieval Wales.

Tracy Chevalier's The Lady and the Unicorn, set in 15th Century Paris.

Karleen Koen's Through a Glass Darkly (starts another trilogy), set in 18th Century England and France.

Noah Gordon's The Physician (start of yet another trilogy), set in 11th Century England and Persia.

 

Date Posted: 10/16/2010 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
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Ohhhhhh, thanks to Elizabeth! I read one Elizabeth Chadwick book, and was totally puzzled---it was definitely a bodice-ripper---fine for many, but not what I wanted. Thanks for clearing that up.

I tried the Lade of the Glen and The Heaven Tree triloy, but just could not get into either one. THere are several above, though, that look very promising!

Date Posted: 10/27/2010 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
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Thanks for starting this thread.  i now have many more books to look at. ;-P