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Topic: John Jakes readalikes or antebellum fiction

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Subject: John Jakes readalikes or antebellum fiction
Date Posted: 5/1/2010 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2008
Posts: 89
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Hi everyone,

I am currently reading John Jakes North and South trilogy. I have read the first book, North and South and am starting on Love and War (#2). I saw the miniseries, but never had gotten around to reading the books. The first book was wonderful. It has been a really long time since I have enjoyed a book that much. I read the Bastard  (# 1 ) in his Kent Family Chronicles when I was a teen, but that was as far as I got. I have recently collected all the Kent Family chronicles between lilbrary sales and what I could find on this site and I plan to read those. I know I took a long time getting around to what I want to ask . Can anyone please give me any ideas about authors similar to John Jakes or antebellum fiction. I heard that Gwen Bristow was a good one, but WOW her books are REALLY EXPENSIVE! I know this is because they were written long ago. Please give me some ideas....any and all advice is really appreciated. Some of you read so much that I thought you could help me.

Thanks again


Date Posted: 5/1/2010 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
Posts: 1,173
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There's a thread currently on the 'Love and Romance' board entitled "Civil War Romances" that might give you some ideas. 

In my mind, Dana Fuller Ross is very Jakes-ish in the saga aspects but the only series I've read is the wagon train one, not sure if there's a Civil War era series. 

I've read both the Kent Family Chronicles and the North and South saga.  Enjoyed both but the one thing that really I dislike about him is his one dimensional portrayal of his female characters.  The males are all fleshed out with good and bad traits but the women?...not so much.  It's either "white"-like Brett from N & S or "black" like Ashton....

I mentioned both of these authors on the L & R board...Cheryl Reavis-I highly recommend all of her historicals-esp. "The Prisoner"-which is on my keeper shelf and will remain there.  Most are set during the War or in it's aftermath.  Heather Graham-really enjoyed her Civil War series-"One Wore Gray", "One Wore Blue" and "One Rode West".  Again, these are romances set in the period-not sure if that's what you are looking for. 



Date Posted: 5/1/2010 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2006
Posts: 236
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For antebellum I'd recommend the Beulah Land series by Ronnie Coleman, there's three/four? and all very good.  The series are old so should be easy to find.


Cheers, Margaret

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2005
Posts: 714
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My Mom is reading a series by Michael Phillips set in this era. The first one is Dream of Freedom. I haven't read any, but she really likes them.

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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You may enjoy Susan Howatch also. She writes family sagas. Perhaps James Michener also.

I read Homeland by Jakes a year or two ago and really enjoyed it.

Antebellum fiction puts me in mind of Gone With the Wind :-)

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2008
Posts: 89
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Thanks so much for all the suggestions! I really do appreciate it!


Date Posted: 5/4/2010 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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There's a trilogy by Ronald S. Joseph about early Texas: The Kingdom, The Power and The Glory. I haven't read them, but a brief glance at the first book looks like it's along the Jakes line of storytelling (which I love, BTW).

Date Posted: 5/4/2010 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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Robin, since I know you also read some Christian Fiction, you might also check into some Gilbert Morris.  His House of Winslow series is very similar to the Kent Family Chronicles.  He has several different series and I'm not sure if there is one specifically about the Civil War.

On a side note, I read the whole Kent Family Chronicles series as a teen. Over 30 years later, just thinking about the opening scene in The Rebel makes me blush blush  I'm sure it's not as risque as I remember it, but that's the first thing I think of every time someone mentions that series.  I believe the scene involves a privileged son, a milkmaid and a hay loft.

ETA:  Well dang...it's not the opening of the second book.  I went to Amazon to look at the first couple of pages.  Oh well....I know somewhere in the first couple of books there is a scene in the hay loft!

Last Edited on: 5/4/10 6:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/5/2010 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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Robin - You may want to look into author, Eugenia Price, especially if you like Christian fiction.    She wrote quite some time ago so you might find her writing dated, but her novels continue to be reissued,  which tells you something of her continued popularity with readers.   I'll let you be the judge!   She wrote a number of novels that take place in the South during the 18th and 19th centuries.  They are:  The Georgia Trilogy; The Savannah Quartet; The Florida Trilogy, and The  St. Simons Trilogy.


Dana Fuller Ross
William Stuart Long
Donald Clayton Porter (Donald C. Porter)

And I second Lonnie Coleman's Beulah Land series.

Have fun!


Date Posted: 5/6/2010 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2008
Posts: 89
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thanks so much for all the suggestions! My reading list is growing!

Thanks again,


Date Posted: 5/6/2010 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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I second the recommendation of Eugenia Price.  Excellent author, particularly for times and regions (18th and 19th C American southeast) that don't get a lot of HF treatment in the last few decades.  Dated?  Well, she's not PC.  That's for sure.