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Topic: Question for HF Readers

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Subject: Question for HF Readers
Date Posted: 11/9/2009 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
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In trying to familiarize myself with this genre I'm seeing an inordinate number of books about British royalty.  I'm wondering what percentage of the books you read are on this subject (or I guess, royalty in general), what percentage are mysteries, and what percentage are part of a series? (approximately, of course).

Although I consider myself an Anglophile, and love most anything British, one thing I haven't been drawn to are the royal family stories.  Maybe this will change if I try some...but I'm wondering how many of these the average HF fan reads?

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
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I myself am not huge into British royalty.  I read the occasional books on the Tudors, etc. but probably less than a quarter of the HF I read is that era.  I like WWII fiction myself (probably over 50% of what I read), as well as historical fiction (WWII or otherwise) set in Asia, Russia, and so on.  I read a couple of mysteries every year (some HF, some not) and I'm not really active in any series at the moment, though I have yet to start Stieg Larsson's series (I have Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but have not read yet).

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 924
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I haven't read many books about British royalty. I've been reading more historical fiction based in the US lately--I like the 1800s in any country, though. And I love, love, LOVE historical mysteries. :)

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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I'm a huge Anglophile, and I confess that I'm one of the "royalty" readers. I'm about Tudor-ed out, but I'm loving the Plantaganets lately.

I wouldn't say that royal stuff- or even British HF- is all I read though. Maybe a good 40% is royal?

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I will read just about anything historical. I don't care about the time-period or the setting, but I particularly enjoy books based on real events. Then, I can find non-fiction books and read more about it. ;-)

I like just about every genre, but historical fiction is my favorite. I do enjoy books about the British royals, but I'd say that right now I'm not reading very many of them. That might change with my mood though.

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,300
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I, like you, Diane, see that there is a lot of conversation in this forum about the royals. That does not prevent anyone from starting a thread about any other topic and those other topics will most likely generate a lot of discussion as well. I sometimes get a little lost with the royals because that is not my area of greatest interest. As other members have mentioned just in this thread, our reading is very diverse. I personally, like a lot of history - WWll, European mainly. I love the HF mystery series: C.S. Harris; Bruce Alexander; Charles Todd to name a few. I also love mysteries (Stephen booth being one of my favorites) and many other genres.

So don't let the topics scare you off! You will have fun here!!!

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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When I started reading HF (with a book on English royalty, The Other Boleyn Girl) I didn't think I'd stick with the English at all. I loved TOBG, but I wanted something more "exotic," I guess is the word, and was thinking I'd spend more time reading HF set in India, Egypt, China, Japan or even other European countries like Spain or Italy.  I've never been big into the English.  However, although I read HF set all over the globe, I do find myself reading more HF set in England (and usually about English royalty) than anyplace else.  Maybe it's because I've found that a lot of books I've really loved and a lot of authors I like write English HF (Bernard Cornwell, Sharon Kay Penman, Arianna Franklin, and others).  Or maybe it's because the more I read English HF, the more I want to know.  For example, I read I, Elizabeth, and after finishing that I am very anxious to get to Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles (although I guess that's not English, but close enough, LOL!) simply because Mary is so frequently mentioned in I, Elizabeth.  Similarly, now that I'm almost done with When Christ and His Saints Slept, I'm leaning toward picking up The Book Of Eleanor from my bookshelf next just to kind of continue the story, although the two books are writen by different authors. It's like I want to keep following the thread, even though I do long to break away from England for awhile, as I've been "reading" there for the last few books I've read. 

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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What's funny about my reading is that while I am a huge, huge Anglophile, when I read HF set in Wales or Scotland, I'm totally thinking, "What is wrong with the freaking English? Why do they think they have to right to take over EVERY darned thing???"  :D

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Arika: "set in Wales or Scotland"  or Ireland.    I wonder if you would like Iris Murdoch's The Red and the Green?  (Red =English; Green=Irish)

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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Bonnie- I'll def. check it out. I don't think I've ever read HF set in Ireland, but I do have a few Morgan Llewelyns in my TBR pile.

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 7:31 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I've read one or two by Morgan Llewelyn. I've liked them.

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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In the past 10 years, I've read probably 60-70% English/Scottish medievals; the rest can be anything from Arthur to Rome to other European countries, Asia, and certainly some American.  Until about the mid 90s, it was 95% American, fiction and non-fiction.  I love series, and the lure of a good series will lead me almost anywhere in history.  But I read no mysteries.  The first ever was for the 2009 challenge and ... eh, I don't see them becoming a regular part of my TBR.



Last Edited on: 11/11/09 9:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/10/2009 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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I looked over my books read in the past year or so and found that I've read a lot of US HF because I've been on a Civil War era kick.

My Historical Fiction breakdown:

US: 30%

England 25%

Russia 15%

Other parts of Europe (Italy, Germany, France, etc) 15%

Other parts of the world (South Pacific, South America, India, etc) 15%

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
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Thank you everyone, for your replies.  I'll be looking up some of the titles mentioned here, and it looks like people are reading a much wider range of books than I might have imagined.  Obviously if historical fiction covers every possible period of history in every region of the world there should be a lot of variety available, I just didn't know if people were writing books about all possible subjects.  It just seemed that at the resale shop, every book I picked up that qualified for historical fiction had an English-looking queen on the cover! LOL  But last week I found 4 books  without the queenly covers, and they looked interesting, so I bought them.  I think I'm going to enjoy trying some books outside of my usual fare, we'll see!

Date Posted: 11/11/2009 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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English-looking queen on the cover ... aye, that's the current publishing fad.  But fear not, there are many more areas and eras available, and it's so much easier to find them now, with the internet. 

Date Posted: 11/11/2009 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Maybe for some odd reason that despite that we all read HF from all over the globe, we just happen to discuss English HF here more than most other countries.  Maybe the 2010 Challenge will get us all out of England from time to time next year! 



Last Edited on: 11/11/09 10:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 1