The Lady Soldier Online Party
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
 
Do you buy or avoid historical fiction?
Historical fiction covers a whole variety of styles and genres, from literary to crime to romance and more. You can get a flavour for the diversity by seeing what's being published today in historical fiction at the Historical Novels Society. Where does it fit in your reading mix?

I have to admit that at least 50% of all the fiction I read is historical set, and I read a lot of historical non-fiction too, but that's not surprising because history is one of my major interests and I love escaping into the past.

Discussion point: What kinds of historical fiction books have you read recently and enjoyed? Or do you generally avoid reading historical-set novels? How far does the time period and setting matter?

Comments:
I do love reading Bertrice Small's books which are set in the time of King Henry the 8th and Queen Elisabeth. I also love reading Hannah Howell's Scottish Highlands series, and Catherine Coulter's historical romances. I read a lot. LOL I can't name all of the authors though.
 
I like to read Roman or Anglo-Saxon period set books, mostly because I am so familiar with the era. With other eras, I very much have to go on whether the subject matter appeals.
 
The only historical fiction I have read is Barbara Erskine Lady Of Hay and Anya Seaton's Green Darkness. I was drawn to them both because they had a reincarnation theme and I was fascinated by the way that the past was linked to the present day lives of the main characters. (I can't seem to register on this site so will have to post as anonymous)

Janet
 
I buy historical fiction and read it almost exclusively. The last work I read was C. W. Gortner's "The Secret Lion". I'm reading Seamus Haney's translation of "Beowulf" now. Okay, Beowulf isn't historical fiction. But hey, this translation is fun!
 
I read as much historical fiction as I can get my hands on. I have just read The American Boy by Andrew Taylor which came as a hot recommendation from my daughter. I found it a bit slow and didn't find the end satisfying. Anyone else read it and if so what did you think?
 
I like historical fiction, as long as it is fact like...
 
I haven't read any historical fiction in a while. Not really by design - I've just been caught up in a lot of contemporary and paranormal books. I do have quite a collection of Jude Deverauxs and Sharpe novels though.

Which reminds me: I read a great book a while back that was set in Dark Age Britain, about a relic hunter, and I just can't remember the title or author. I know she's written more books, but if I don't know the names I can't hunt them down! The relic hunter used to be a soldier, I think, and he had a young daughter who lived away from him. The daughter, and the love interest too, had mild psychic powers. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
 
I read both historical fiction and other fiction. With historical fiction, I tend to read mostly about eras or figures I'm interested in. I've enjoyed Sharon Penman's novels, and I'm currently reading Margaret George's novel about Mary, Queen of Scots.
 
I love historical fiction, and always have done. Favourites are Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt, but I like more recent authors as well. At the moment I like Elizabeth Chadwick, and as well as historical romances I enjoy historical detective fiction.

Well done on the book launch, Kate, it's a great idea.
 
I read both historical and contemporary fiction. I grew up reading Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt (although I always prefered Jean Plaidy more!) and still reread Heyer whenever I get the chance.

I love the M&B Historical romance line and am a fan of Julie Garwood's historicals (who is in my opinion the best writer of historical romance in the business!) and also love Amanda Quick, Jessica Benson, Hannah Howell and Jude Deveraux.

I also like to read Elizabeth Chadwick and Cynthia Harrod Eagles's books who I think are amongst the very few British historical writers (although it's great we've now got Jennifer Lindsay too!)

Julie
 
Ok - the last book I read was a historical romance by Kathryn Smith - In the Night. Set in the Regency, it's a wonderful love story - all Kathryn's books are.

Before that I read two Tracy Chevalier books - The Lady and the Unicorn and The Virgin Blue. LOVED both of them as well. I glommed her after reading GWAPE last autumn.

As a reviewer for the HNS, it's kinda hard to avoid HF ;-) But seriously, I've ALWAYS read HF. Even as a child.

My preferred time periods are the Middle Ages and Georgian England, but I'm willing to read pretty much anything if the story piques my interest. For instance, Guy Gavriel Kay's Sailing to Byzantium (HF mixed with some Fantasy) really hooked me last summer.
 
I've just finished reading Anne Herries A Perfect Knight. I like her style and read M&B historicals but not ones with an american setting. My all time favourite is Winston Graham's Poldark novels. I have all thirteen. I guess it's the added visuals of seeing them on TV which is the attraction as reading evokes the memories from the TV series.
 
I love history and blame that love on first encountering RJ Unstead who taught me the basics, and then finding Jean Plaidy as a teenager.For whom I have to thank for my all too fragile understanding of the Hanoverian dynasty. OTOH,my dh was most impressed last night when I reeled off a list of Victoria's uncles courtesy of JP. I must have reread A Royal Road to Fotheringhay about a dozen times as a teenager, and I always wanted it to end differently!

Have to admit as an adult I haven't been as up to date as I should, though I have read and liked a couple of Elizabeth Chadwick's books. I also really enjoy Bernard Cornwell, and liked the one Patrick OBrian I have read. A couple of years ago I also though English Passengers was great, and I love Tracey Chevalier's books.
 
I like Regency and Georgian books the most but I will try most eras from Roman to Victorian, even World War eras if there;s nothing else I fancy at the library. I also like Cynthia Harrod-Eagles Dynasty series and wish there were more series like hers.

My fave regency era books are the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell and the Georgette Heyer boks (some are Georgian rather than regency).

BTW I hear Victoria Holt and Jean Plaidy are the same person.

I also like to write regency stories myself.
 
Hi Kasia,

Apparently i've got a first for my dissertation (on the Decembrists, if you remember!) according to my pissed Head of School. I will try and get a copy back because I thought you might like to read it. Maybe help with research for the next novel?! Home tomorrow and Corfu on Friday. See you soon. X
 
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