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Wow, some I agree with some are downright RUBBISH to use Carolyn's word. SKP and Ms. Chadwick, I totally agree with. I also could make a case for Mr. Cornwell as well as maybe Ms. Gabaldon (except for her last 2 awful books). Ms. Seton and probably Ms. Heyer belong there as well. Weir and Gregory absolutely not and it's too early to make a case for Mr. Gortner. To me the biggest glaring omission is the lack of Dorothy Dunnett on the list. Okay I'll get off my soapbox now.....
Some good choices, but definitely rubbish there as well. I laughed at this comment about PG:
In a presentation to the 2012 Historical Novel Society Conference, Gregory, a former historian, spoke eloquently about her craft. She sees the historical novel as “animation and recreation of a life, the fleshing out of historical bones” to put “life into the skeleton.” In her words, historical fiction “rescues history from the past” and “conquers death and time.”
The historian myth continues
And Alison Weir? Her non-fiction is pretty questionable among true historians, and after reading her fictional novel on Eleanor, I have my doubts she belongs on that list.
I agree with the comments above re: Gregory and Weir and with Cheryl's point about the omission of Dunnett. I also wonder where Patrick O'Brien and Colleen McCullough are well as my all time favorite Mary Renault.
I'm not a fan of Cornwell...and I agree with Donna-McCullough certainly belongs on this list. Totally agree Penman should be #1, and I like Gabaldon despite the ending to Echo in the Bone. I haven't read some of the other authors, so I'm interested in your opinions :)
I SWEAR I posted to this thread already ... oh well, try again.
I think it's a decent list if the criteria were "HF authors CURRENTLY WRITING" (except that would exclude Heyer.) I can see Gregory being farther down in the top 10, if it were exclusive current authors. But if this is overall HF, no -- nowhere near top 10. Nor Follet. And Weir doesn't belong on a top 100 list! Missing is Dunnet, McCullough, and Sutcliff.
I've read some by everyone on that list except for Follet. Some I've liked more than others-and some I absolutely love-but to classify some as "historical" fiction-rather than fiction set in a historical time period is completely inaccurate....
And if they can include an author with a small sampling(Gortner-who I really like), then I say Angus Donald should be in there as well.....
I would agree with Penman, Cornwell, and Follett. The rest can go imho. I would add C.J. Sansom and David Liss. S. J. Parris and C. S. Harris are leagues better than some on this list, ie Gregory. Try reading Newt Gingrich/William R. Forstchen Revolutionary War series; it is outstanding!!! Even though Alex Grecian has only written two books, I would put him above some on the list. Louis Bayard deserves mention.
ETA: Conn Iggulden
Last Edited on: 9/21/13 5:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
I've never read any Alan Furst. What's a good book to start with for those of you who like him? Maybe we should list our own personal favorite top 10 h/f authors for fun and edification!?
Last Edited on: 9/23/13 1:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
@Cheryl - I started with The Foreign Correspondent and I was hooked with his storytelling. Usually I'm a stickler for reading books in the order they were written, but I don't believe that's necessary with Furst. However, if you do read him, make sure you read The World at Night before Red Gold, as that is its sequel.
And I totally think we should start our own list!
thanks for the info Carolyn! I'll be brave and start out with my top 10 h/f authors:
1. Dorothy Dunnett
2. Sharon Kay Penman
3. Colleen McCullough
4. Patrick O'Brian
5. Elizabeth Chadwick
6. Bernard Cornwell
7. Arianna Franklin aka Diana Norman
8. Rosemary Sutcliff
9. Ellis Peters
10. M.M. Kaye
How about everyone else? Who are your 10 favorite h/f authors?
Here's my list so far...in no particular order
1. Sharon Kay Penman
2. Diana Gabaldon
3. Alan Furst
4. CJ Sansom
5. Colleen McCullough
6. Steven Saylor
Many of the authors that others have listed (Dunnett, Chadwick, Parris...) are on my TBR list. And while I've read many historical mysteries that I've enjoyed (Peters, Willig, Frazer) I Don't think I can add them to my all time list.
I'm just going to starrt my list...I'm sure I will have to edit because I've forgotten some.
R. F. Delderfield
Sharon Kay Penman
Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter
C. S. Harris
Last Edited on: 9/24/13 2:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
I'm sure Norah Lofts and Anya Seton also belong on my list. I have read only one book of each so far and they were great. All the rest of their books are on my Mt TBR list.
Also TBR- Will Thomas, Mel Starr, Angus Donald and Margaret Campbell Barnes.
I agree that Weir and Gregory should not be on the list. While I'm not as well read in HF, I have never been able to read their books. And try I have.
I would have to say on my list of favs (in no particular order)
The City of Thieves author (Benoff I think) (but I think thats the only book he's written)
I am amused that some of those authors most noted for historical inaccuracies are the ones quoted as preaching about the need for historical accuracy ...
Perhaps this list would be better renamed as "Bestselling HF Authors of the Last 4 Decades"?