Discussion Forums - History

Topic: Really Excellent Historical Fiction

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Really Excellent Historical Fiction
Date Posted: 3/16/2012 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,406
Back To Top

Yes, I know there is a forum for Historical Fiction. Still, for those of us who love reading history and novels, having a place for recommendations on excellent historical fiction would be helpful. I currrently read historical fiction series in many areas: including 1st century Roman 'informers,' 11th century monks and 19th century 'independent women.'  And I enjoy all of them. 

However, my most recent book was North Star Conspiracy by Miriam Grace Monfredo. This lady really did her homework.  I felt like I was really in 1854 and Seneca Falls, New York. The novel's plot includes more than the one required murder, but is also closely tied in with the Fugitive Slave Law and the people who supported and opposed it. The Underground Railroad is a strong plot feature and various 1850s African-American and white historical figures make their appearances. I hated for this novel to end.

This is the second book in a series that begins with Seneca Falls Inheritance.

Last Edited on: 12/29/12 9:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 3/16/2012 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
Back To Top

That sounds like a really good book.

Date Posted: 3/26/2012 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2006
Posts: 236
Back To Top

Thomas, you perhaps know this already but there are some very good discussions on this topic in the Amazon forums - some professional historians and all kinds of well informed people weigh in.  I've found some excellent threads and recs there. 

Cheers, Margaret

Date Posted: 12/29/2012 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,406
Back To Top

I finally found another historical novel that I feel rates being mentioned here. It is The White Guns by Douglas Reeman. Reeman served in motor torpedo boats (MTB) in the British Navy during World War II and wrote numerous novels based on his experiences. The ships that figure in his works range from the MTBs to submarines to battleships. While some of his characters seem to reappear in his novels, the plots are always different. Not all of his characters, even his heroes, are likable. And not all of his endings are happy. People died in war, not just physically, but also mentally and morally. Reeman acknowledges this in his novels and so the plots and characters have a sense of realism to them. 

The link is to my review of the book.

Date Posted: 10/12/2014 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

I no longer collect books. I have a very tiny "keeper" shelf. It has Grapes of Wrath and Cold Mountain on it and maybe a copy of Lord of the Flies that I haven't gotten around to donating to the GoodWill. Oh, and Gone with the Wind is there but I don't plan on reading it again. 

That's it. I borrow my reading material from the library and I am happy to turn about 99% of what I borrow. 

But there was one historical fiction book that I had a hard time parting with. It's a Pulitzer winner, if I recall correctly. The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1958) by Robert Lewis Taylor. 

Man, that was an excellent book about a young pup who accompanies his father across the overland trail. Just beautifully written and it achieved the rarest of all reading experiences: it managed to make me laugh. 

Date Posted: 10/12/2014 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,406
Back To Top

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters - never read the book, but I do remember watching the TV series in the 60s.

Date Posted: 3/8/2017 4:09 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,406
Back To Top

Here's another one, about a woman who lived in the southwestern U.S. in the late 19th century.

These is My Words

Date Posted: 4/5/2017 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,032
Back To Top

Truly enjoyed These is My Words.  Always look for what you recommend Thomas.  It is so great that you take time to share what you find.

Last Edited on: 7/10/17 9:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1