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Topic: Philippa Gregory fans

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Subject: Philippa Gregory fans
Date Posted: 12/3/2008 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2008
Posts: 34
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I posted this on the general forum but I was very nicely pointed in the direction of this one so I'll re-post. I was never a historical fiction fan, but a girlfriend recommended Philppa Gregory's books and I've really enjoyed the ones that I've read so far (The Other Boleyn Girl, The Other Queen (currently reading this one), The Queen's Fool, The Boleyn Inheritance, The Constant Princess and The Virgin's Lover) I'm looking to expand my book horizons and want to read some other HF books in her style. I got some really good recommendations from my post in the general forum, do you guys have any?? Thanks!!

Date Posted: 12/4/2008 1:03 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,820
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i haven't read the other posts........... but I LOVE Jean Plaidy

I love to read Series of books.  It makes the enjoyment last longer, as I am a very fast reader and go thru books like ice cream.

Last Edited on: 12/4/08 1:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/4/2008 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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oh, my goodness, Amber, have you come to the right place. this HF forum is one of the friendliest, most helpful and community-feeling places on PBS. we will have LOTS of suggestions.  and, your experience is pretty typical....the addiction to HF starts by one's reading one of the more popular authors like Gregory, and then you search out others and learn that there are a number of authors within the genre who are even better....and it snowballs from there. We have ladies here who even focus on a single era or time period, there is so much out there to read. Tudor England is perenially popular, as Henry 8 was such a skank.

hello, my name is Colleen and I am addicted to HF.

so, Amber, not to overwhelm you, i'll offer a few humble suggestions.  Wendy's of Jean Plaidy's books is a good one.  She has one called Katharine of Aragon should you want to stay in Tudor England.  I also love anything written by a woman named Margaret George--she has novels about Helen of Troy, Mary Queen of Scots, Cleopatra, Autobiography of Henry VIII, and my favorite, Mary Called Magdalene. Her style is a little more lengthy than Gregory's--she is a committed historian and her books are usually longer and quite correct in their history--a number of us on this forum are addicted to that particular quality in an HF writer.

for someone more similar to Gregory, try Diane Hager's Courtesan  http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9781400051748-Courtesan

I'd also suggest anything by Elizabeth Chadwick, or that you branch out of Tudor England but stay with Gregory by reading her "Wideacre Trilogy"--Wideacre, The Favoured Child and Meridon.

If you do get hooked (we have our fingers crossed that you do!) and think you want to move into towards the 'historically correct, more lengthy treatment' side of HF, come back to us--there is just so much here. Some of us even read ONLY HF! That would not be me, so maybe I am only at the defcon 4 level of HF addiction.

Welcome to the forum!

Date Posted: 12/5/2008 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,757
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Welcome to HF, Amber!  I'm not expert, so I'll defer to Colleen, Valli, Jennifer (where is Jennifer anyway?) and the many other knowledgeable ones around here.  I too recently became addicted to HF thanks to joining PBS, and I too started with Gregory.  The Other Boleyn Girl was the first HF book I read when I came here.  I liked it, but Tudor England is not my favorite time period.  Since then I've just kind of branched out and tried this and that.  Thanks to our "Book of the Month" group (which you would be more than welcome to join!), I've read different authors, about different time periods, etc.  The BOM turned me onto Bernard Cornwell and his "Uhtred" series, which I totally loved. I read all of them now, and am anxiously awiting the latest installment which, I believe is due in 2009. 

I won't make any recommendations in terms of similar writing styles to Gregory's as I'm not yet that well-versed in HF, but I will say I enjoyed the one Margaret George book I read (Mary, Called Magdalene) and have a few more of her books on my TBR pile.  My favorite HF book so far, however, has been An Instance of the Fingerpost, which, IMO, is fabulous, but nothing like Gregory. 

Prior to finding HF, I hadn't read much fiction in the last several years just because I couldn't find anything I liked. I tend to like to "learn something" when I read, so HF is a good genre' for me. 

Good luck. There's so much to choose from!  Let us know what you're reading, and I hope you stick around!

Date Posted: 12/5/2008 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2008
Posts: 34
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Thanks for all the info so far!! Right now I'm reading Gregory's The Other Queen. I'm only a few chapters in, but it's pretty good so far. I just had the first Outlander book sent to me so I think I'll start that one next. I really enjoy series so maybe I'll add the Cornwell series to my pile. I've gotten quite a few recommendations for Jean Plaidy so I'll have to read her too!.. and I'd love to join the book of the month! This is why I love PBS!!

Date Posted: 12/6/2008 7:10 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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Amber, two of my three favorite authors have been mentioned: (1) Elizabeth Chadwick, especially her novels about William Marshall (The Greatest Knight and Scarlet Lion) plus A Place Beyond Courage about William's father John Marshall. (2) Bernard Cornwell - I too enjoyed the Saxon Chronicles, but would also highly recommend his Grail Quest series about the English archers; the first book of that series is Harlequin, aka The Archer's Tale.  And (3) Sharon Kay Penman - I can't believe no one has mentioned her yet - and since you said that you like books in a series, you really must check out her Welsh trilogy, Here Be Dragons, Falls the Shadow, and the Reckoning.

Last Edited on: 5/28/09 11:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/6/2008 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I'm trying to find some for you that are available right now because, if you are anything like me, once you discover a topic that interests you, you'll want to read those books right now!

This is a wonderful series about Josephine and all 3 are available. The reading order: 1. The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. 2. Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, and 3. The Last Great Dance on Earth.


This book, Through A Glass Darkly, is one I bet you would like. It's available, but the other two are not. They are: Now Face to Face and Dark Angels.

Through a Glass Darkly
Author: Karleen Koen
ISBN-13: 9780380704163 - ISBN-10: 0380704161

Jeanne Kalogridis has some good ones - The Borgia Bride
Author: Jeanne Kalogridis
ISBN-13: 9780312341381 - ISBN-10: 0312341385

Susan Holloway Scott - Duchess: A Novel of Sarah Churchill
Author: Susan Holloway Scott

A couple about Anne Boleyn -

The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn
Author: Robin Maxwell

The Queen Of Subtleties: A Novel Of Anne Boleyn
Author: Suzannah Dunn

A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
Author: Laurien Gardner

Here is one about Marie Antoinette - The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette
Author: Carolly Erickson

Queen Elizabeth -

My Enemy The Queen
Author: Victoria Holt

I, Elizabeth
Author: Rosalind Miles

Emma Donoghue has a couple available - loved this one - Slammerkin
Author: Emma Donoghue

Life Mask
Author: Emma Donoghue

Two of Susan Carroll's series are available - The Dark Queen (Cheney of Faire Isle, Bk 1)
Author: Susan Carroll and The Courtesan (Cheney of Faire Isle, Bk 2)
Author: Susan Carroll

Two of Pamela Kaufman's fun series are available - The 1st is: Shield of Three Lions
Author: Pamela Kaufman, the 2nd is: Banners of Gold
Author: Pamela Kaufman

I know a lot of people who started reading Historical Fiction because of this book - The Crimson Petal and the White
Author: Michel Faber


Also, make sure to check out the Historical Fiction tag to get some ideas. You can find it here - http://www.paperbackswap.com/tags/index.php?type_id=1&tag_id=93

There, that should get you started! Enjoy!

Oh, add some books by Sharon Kay Penman to your wishlist. You won't regret it! Starting with her book, The Sunne in Splendour, is probably a good idea because it isn't part of a series - The Sunne in Splendour
Author: Sharon Kay Penman

Last Edited on: 12/6/08 10:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 3