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Topic: I need to move beyond Philippa Gregory...

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Subject: I need to move beyond Philippa Gregory...
Date Posted: 8/13/2009 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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...and I bet you guys can help me!

Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely LOVED everything I've read by Philippa Gregory so far (still waiting on The Other Queen) but I'm feeling the need to branch out.  Who should I pick up next?  Who else has been able to maintain gorgeous writing, fascinating plots, great attention to detail that I just cannot miss?
And if you've got them on your shelf for a deal, please let me know that as well :D 

Thanks in advance!

Date Posted: 8/13/2009 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I am not sure if you are looking for a specific period in history, but I was directed to Emma Donoghue's Slammerkin by a thread on PBS about prostitutes. It's set in 18th century London and Monmouth (small town on English/Welsh border) and about the fictionalized life of a girl who becomes a prostitute. Well written by a historian. 

Unfortunately my copy is unpostable but it's in the system. 

Good luck finding good reads! 

Date Posted: 8/13/2009 11:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I always recommend the same one's  Sharon Penman, Elizabeth Chadwick (the english one) Diana Gabaldon, Bernard Cornwell, Sandra Worth, Anne Easter-Smith.   That's a good start.  Some of these author are hard to find on this site, mainly because people tend to keep their books.   They are worth search believe me.

Date Posted: 8/14/2009 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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How intuitive of you to know you need to move beyond PG.  You've got some really good recommenations here and I'msue you'll get more. How about Jean Plaidy? or Margarete George?  What time periods are you looking for?  You've come to the right place.

Date Posted: 8/14/2009 2:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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I'm actually not looking for any specific time period -- more so authors who have written a couple of different books that all take place around the time period so each book gives me a new perspective.  I don't know if that quite makes sense...

Thanks for the suggestions!  Adding them to wish list/reminder list now...

Date Posted: 8/14/2009 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,892
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You could also try Robin Maxwell, Carolly Erickson, Dorothy Dunnett, Anya Seton, and Margaret Campbell Barnes.

Date Posted: 8/14/2009 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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I'll second Jean Plaidy and Sharon Kay Penman. I'm just discovering Penman myself, and I'm loving her so far!

Date Posted: 8/14/2009 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Ditto what Jerelyn said, except I don't care for Sandra Worth. Enjoy!

Date Posted: 8/19/2009 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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For medievals no one is better than Penman or Elizabeth Chadwick. Anya Seton is one to check out, her books are set in various periods, both in England and the US. I've been into discovering out of print authors lately instead of the latest and greatest and really enjoyed Gwen Bristow's novels, especially Calico Palace (set during California's gold rush).  My latest discovery is Pamela Belle. Most of her books are set during England's Civil war and restoration period and one called The Lodestar set during the time of Richard III. A great tribute site to her here.

Date Posted: 8/19/2009 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 11
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Michelle Moran is an excellent writer. Her third book Cleopatra's Daughter is coming out.

I have also enjoyed the following books

  • Mr. Emerson's Wife
  • Slammerkin
  • Peony in love
  • Disorder of Longing
  • The Blood of Flowers


I heard Fingersmith was good but I havent read it yet.



Last Edited on: 8/19/09 3:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/19/2009 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Heya, Misfit. Welcome to the forum! I totally agree about Penman and Chadwick. I haven't read Seton yet, although I see her recommended everywhere. I have a gothic by her I'd like to push up the TBR list. I don't have it in front of me, but I think it's called Green Darkness. Have you read it?

My latest discovery is Pamela Belle. Most of her books are set during England's Civil war and restoration period and one called The Lodestar set during the time of Richard III.

I've heard of her, but I didn't know she wrote a Richard III. Off to track it down ...

...

Oops ... Thanks!

Date Posted: 8/20/2009 7:39 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Hi Genie! I am halfway through The Lodestar and enjoying it a great deal. Interesting twist on the Princes, I'm wondering where it's going to go.  I saw one listed by an Amazon seller for under $2, I'd snap it up if you're interested. Belle's books don't come cheap.

**edited** That one is gone. We've been talking about it over at Goodreads and I mentioned the lower priced one yesterday. I guess someone did snap it up. Her books are very cheap in the UK if you're going that way, otherwise there's always Interlibrary Loan. You'd be surprised what they can get for you.



Last Edited on: 8/20/09 7:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/20/2009 7:53 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Yeah, it was gone by the time I got there. S'okay, though, because I thought I'd start with the first 2 books in the series, which I found right here on PBS. Yay, me!

Subject: Pamela Belle
Date Posted: 8/20/2009 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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A couple on Abe Books, 'course nothings guaranteed until you get a ship confirmation. Lodestar is a stand alone, but when you read the trilogy you'll find he's the Heron family founder in Suffolk. I've just finished The Moon in the Water and waiting for Chains of Fate. The last one in the trilogy is Alathea (sp?) and supposedly has a whopping good retelling of the great London fire. That one is on the hold shelf at the library waiting for me. If your library participates in the ILL (interlibrary loan) program you should be able to get it, as King County does participate.

Date Posted: 8/20/2009 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I'd like to hear what you think of Lodestar when you're done. Nothing can ruin a Richard III story more for me than an overly romantic portrayal of the man.

Date Posted: 8/20/2009 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I know what you mean. I'll let you know when I've finished and posted a review on Ammy. Which reminds me, I have a delicious story about one of those authors who writes overly romanticized books about R3. Will drop you a PM shortly.

Date Posted: 8/20/2009 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I'm glad to hear that Pamela Belle is good! I've got four books of her's here to read; the  3 books in the trilogy and "The Lodestar". I actually thought "Lodestar" was part of the series though. It's good to know that it's a stand-alone. Thanks for giving the order of the books! :-)

Date Posted: 8/20/2009 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I am bummed, I have a long weekend ahead and hoped to get the second book in the Belle trilogy going, Chains of Fate. I need more of that story and now! It didn't arrive at the office today, but book #3 is waiting at the library. Something else will have to do (although I have plenty to pick from).

As for Lodestar I foresee some interesting twists in the Perkin Warbeck mystery coming, although I could be mistaken. And no, Richard is not saintly nor is he evil mean and wicked. Nicely balanced.

Date Posted: 8/21/2009 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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So good to hear, Misfit. It sounds like each one of the stories could stand alone. Valli, I think they are part of a 4-book series.

I'm still struggling to read Fingersmith, but I promised Mimi I'd keep going until the end of the first part. Ain't I just the trooper, though!

Date Posted: 9/15/2009 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
Posts: 173
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What do you all thing of Margaret George and  Jeanne Kalogridis?  I am reading the second author's book The Devil's Queen, about Catherine De Medici, and can hardly put it down.  I wasn't familiar with her history, so that's making the storyline that much more interesting for me!

Date Posted: 9/15/2009 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I'm so sorry, Genie, that I'm a taskmaster! Grin. You are a trooper!

Tara - I've read George's Autobiography of Henry VIII and I really liked it. Her Memoirs of Cleopatra is the book I'm going to read for the Bonus Goal, but I have not started it. I've heard of, but not read Kalogridis.

Date Posted: 9/15/2009 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,464
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Margaret George is awesome - I recommend ALL of her books; I especially liked Helen of Troy.

Date Posted: 9/16/2009 7:43 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I'm so sorry, Genie, that I'm a taskmaster! Grin. You are a trooper!


LOL, Mimi! I've never seen you in that role before!

It may have been my mood, but I just didn't have patience with it after the first part. I've been on a dark theme kick, and it really should have fit right in. But it was too slow about it! :)

Date Posted: 9/22/2009 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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I've liked the 2 books by Susan Kay I've read: Phantom (written from Erik's POV) and Legacy (written from Elizabeth I's POV)


Memoirs of Cleopatra was EXCELLENT. Highly recommend. Haven't read anything else by Margaret George although I have them all in the TBR. I'm a sucker for Roman politics, so I think Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series is one of the best things going. The first book is a little dense for the first 100 or so pages, but after that, it's clear sailing. I was totally fangirling Sulla by the end of the book.

Date Posted: 9/22/2009 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,474
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I loved the Masters of Rome series as well.  Don't you think Sulla is every bit if not more memorable than Julius Caesar?  What a life he led!  Memoirs is also a great favorite.  It is the book about ancient Egypt that I measure every other one against.

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