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Topic: New to Historical Fiction-Suggestions for Medieval Welsh fiction?

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T. -
Subject: New to Historical Fiction-Suggestions for Medieval Welsh fiction?
Date Posted: 12/14/2009 5:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 9,989
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Hello everyone!  I am embarking on a quest to find some historical fiction revolving around the Middle Ages in Wales and surrounding areas.  I've been researching my genealogy and a recent discovery led me to Wales.  I have been reading some history, but I thought it might be nice to find some historical fiction.  I know that some authors do quite well with the research.  I kind of want to stay away from the Tudors, unless someone has a great recommendation.  Henry VIII did behead one of my ancestors--Lord Rhys Ap Gruffyd, so anything having to do with the Rhys or Rees or Gruffyd (Griffin) or Powis is greatly appreciated.  Or just point me in the direction.  I tried searching, but I'm not good at weeding out stuff yet.

To date I've only had one experience with historical fiction and that was with Hawaii and I enjoyed it very much.  I didn't know about picture brides and the immigration to Hawaii before reading this novel.

Thanks!

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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The best Welsh HF of which I'm aware is Sharon Kay Penman's trilogy. Here Be Dragons, Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning.

I haven't read it yet, but I love Stephen Lawhood, who has a Robinhood trilogy. The setting is medieval Wales. Hood, Scarlet and Tuck.

You might also try:

  • Circle of Stones by Anna Lee Waldo
  • Porius by John Cowper Powys
  • The Wind from Hastings by Morgan LLywelyn
  • The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • If you like mysteries, the Owen Archer series by Candace Robb
  • The Brothers of Gwynedd by Edith Pargeter
  • Glendower Country by Martha Rofheart
  • Owen Glendower by John Cowper Powys
Date Posted: 12/14/2009 8:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I second the recommendation on Penman - she's the best. I didn't do too well with Brothers of Gwennedd, but I loved Pargeter's Heaven Tree Trilogy (set on the border of Wales if I recall).

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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Penman is one of my favorites, but I also love Edith Pargeter's Brothers of Gwynedd and Heaven Tree Trilogy.  (She also wrote as Ellis Peters, the Brother Cadfael mysteries). 

Maybe we're long lost cousins...My genealogy work has led me to Wales too!   This helped me quite a bit:

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Welsh_pronunciation

 

ETA: Okay, I should say I loved the first book in the Brothers of Gwynedd quartet; I haven't read the other three, but I will...they are on my reading challenge list!



Last Edited on: 12/14/09 8:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/14/2009 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Vicky, I love the pictures in your sig line, especially the dog (I think) lying flat on his back. Too cute!

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 8:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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Genie, thanks.  That little dog picture just cracked me up the first time I saw it.  :)

The German Sheps are my babies, Liebchen (Libbie) and Heidi..they're sisters from the same litter.  The rhododendrons hang over my front deck.

Date Posted: 12/15/2009 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Your babies are adorable and your flowers beautiful!

The strip is very entertaining. :)

T. -
Date Posted: 12/15/2009 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 9,989
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Thanks for the recommendations.  I have added all of those to my RL for now.

Vicky, we may be related ;)  Do you have your family tree online?

Date Posted: 12/15/2009 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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I have some of my tree at Ancestry.com, but I recently bought Family Tree Maker and I've been working on my tree there.  My Welsh line comes down to me from my paternal grandmother.  The family name is (lucky, lucky me)   Jones.   We may have to compare trees!!

Date Posted: 12/15/2009 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 1,932
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Hellooooooooooooo Historical Fiction buddies. Loooooooong time no hear from me. I got a nice PM from T and popped in to say hello and was going to suggest the books Genie already did, so she beat me to it.

I have had a tough year since my Dad's illness and passing so I have been concentrating on my family but hope to get back into personal things again in 2010. I hope you've all been well.

Ironically, in 4 days I leave for the UK and will be in Wales shortly. 

Nadolig llawen a blwyddyn newydd dda  (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year)

xoxo

Marci

Date Posted: 12/16/2009 7:55 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Heya Marci,

Nice to see you dropping in. Have a safe and enjoyable trip to the UK and Wales. We hope to see you around more next year!

Genie

Date Posted: 12/16/2009 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 482
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Welsh is such a weird language.  No freakin vowels.

Date Posted: 12/16/2009 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Nicole Galland has one set in Wales titled "The Fool's Tale". There is a good bit of romance in this one though and I'd think it should more accurately be labeled as Historical Romance. It was a good, fun read for me.

"Awen" by Susan Mayes

"Nectar from A Stone" by Jane Guill

Date Posted: 12/16/2009 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Hi Marci! It's so good to see you again! Both of our Marci's showed back up this week! Did you guys have this planned or can all Marci's read each others minds? :-D

Date Posted: 12/26/2009 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 1
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What a delight to run across this thread!  Thanks for starting it, T.  This is the first time I've looked at the Forums here and I've only recently become interested in historical fiction.  My grandmother's mother came over from Wales as a child around 1900, I believe.  Her family is from Swansea by the Sea.  I'm looking for something new to read and appreciate all the recommendations you all have posted here.

Date Posted: 12/26/2009 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2009
Posts: 181
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Ditto on Sharon Penman,  she breathes life into these distant historical characters.  I just finished Falls the Shadow (I had read Here be Dragons a few months ago) and I  can not wait for my wishlisted The Reckoning to continue the saga.  So to that end,  tonight, I ordered it from bookdiscounts.com.  and took it off my wishlist.   I can't believe that the last third of Falls was one battle scene after another and yet I was still so engrossed in the whole storyline.  It took a while to read but that's because I wanted  to savor every word.  (Wales is more predominant in the first and third book of the trilogy)

Check out this webpage for other books http://www.historicalnovels.info/Medieval-Celts.html#WaCo

I read the Nector from a Stone (Guill) a couple of years ago, don't remember everything about it though.

Enjoy!  and welcome to the wonderful world of historical fiction.

Trish



Last Edited on: 3/7/10 1:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 2