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Does anyone read historicals?


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#1 madamecleo

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 09:44 AM

Since we've had a thread about chick lit, I thought I'd ask about historicals. Anyone have favorite historical authors they read?I love Liz Carlye and Eloisa James, and I'm starting to get into Philippa Gregory. Anyone?

#2 Hoyaheel

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 10:03 AM

I love historical novels! I've read a few of Philippa Gregory (think she's been mentioned in the "What are you reading" thread) Queen's Fool is my favorite so far, though the Virgin's Lover was really good as well. The first historical novel I remember reading that was not a trashy romance (which I do still adore!) was The Autobiography of Henry VIII--I've always LOVED Tudor England history (I was a european history major as an undergrad as a result) by Margaret George--I stole it from my dad when it came out (1987, so I was 14) Since then, I've read a few of her other books--most recently Mary Called Magdalene, which I thought--eh. Memoirs of Cleopatra was quite good, as was Mary Queen of Scotland. Checking on Amazon, looks like she has a new one coming out in August about Helen of Troy.I like historical mysteries too. The majority of the mystery authors I read have historical series....

#3 colorine

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 10:46 AM

:lol: Yes! My favorite is The Other Boyeln Girl. I have read The Constant Princess, The Virgin's Lover, The Queen's Fool and Wideacre. I really enjoy that time period, too. Also, I love to watch anything on Masterpiece Theatre.

#4 MMM1

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 03:15 PM

Read "Isolde" by Rosalind Miles. I started the second one and couldn't get into it..still have it...may try it at a later date.

#5 madamecleo

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 05:43 PM

I like historical mysteries too. The majority of the mystery authors I read have historical series....

I just started to read a historical mystery series by Karen Harper--they are called the Elizabeth I mystery series, and Queen Elizabeth is the detective (with her faithful servants, of course). The research is phenomenal in these books! Have you read them? Also, my very very favorite historical mystery series is Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody (I think someone mentioned her, aka Barbara Mertz and Barbara Michaels, on another thread)--she writes historical mysteries in Egypt at the turn of the last century. Very funny and very witty.

#6 Hoyaheel

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 08:54 AM

Yes, I've read all of Karen Harper's books as well as Elizabeth Peters! Other historical series I like are a couple in ancient Rome--Lindsay Davies and Steven Saylor (different time periods of ancient Rome), Sharon Newman (very strong female protagonist, early middle ages), Elliott Roosevelt (mysteries his mother, Eleanor Roosevelt, solves--fictionally, of course :D ), Stephanie Barron, who writes as Jane Austen solving mysteries, and Kathy Lynn Emerson (noble woman, famous herbologist, also Elizabethan times--very popular period for historical novels & mysteries!). Carola Dunn writes cozies in Edwardian England (well, maybe a little later--into the 20s)I just started reading Fiona Buckley--another Queen Elizabeth contemporary.My reading list is 8 pages long, 8pt font, tables & columns, etc. I have to keep track of all the books in a series that I've already read or else I'll pick them up and start reading again--I read so much it's hard for me to remember some books until I'm about 3 chapters in and start to feel a lot of deja vu. And thanks to this board, I've been adding more to the list :unsure: I was a hyperactive kid, and my parents discovered that giving me books was more effective (and cheaper) than putting me on Ritalin :D

#7 madamecleo

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 07:23 AM

Yes, I've read all of Karen Harper's books as well as Elizabeth Peters! Other historical series I like are a couple in ancient Rome--Lindsay Davies and Steven Saylor (different time periods of ancient Rome), Sharon Newman (very strong female protagonist, early middle ages), Elliott Roosevelt (mysteries his mother, Eleanor Roosevelt, solves--fictionally, of course :D ), Stephanie Barron, who writes as Jane Austen solving mysteries, and Kathy Lynn Emerson (noble woman, famous herbologist, also Elizabethan times--very popular period for historical novels & mysteries!). Carola Dunn writes cozies in Edwardian England (well, maybe a little later--into the 20s)

Wow...sounds like we like a lot of the same books. Eliz Peters is my fave--have you read her Vicky Bliss series? Night Train to Memphis is my all-time favorite book ever, followed closely by Trojan Gold.

I haven't read the Kathy Lynn Emerson books...will have to check them out. I read a lot of historical romance, too, like Liz Carlyle (I might have mentioned her) and Eloisa James.

#8 Hoyaheel

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 08:09 AM

Right now, I've read all the books written as Elizabeth Peters (Vicky Bliss, Amelia Peabody, and Jacqueline Kirby) and I'm working my way through the gothic books (not series) written as Barbara Michaels. I like historical romances as well. One of my recent favorites is Julia Quinn (not only because I went to high school with her :P ) I think I've only read a couple Liz Carlyle. A friend of mine got me into the Stephanie Laurens books and Jo Beverly. I also liked the Stella Cameron "Mayfair Square" series.I've been in grad school most of my life, it feels, so what some might consider "trashy romances" or beach reading--it's a nice respite for my brain!! I love 'em!

#9 madamecleo

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 09:07 AM

Right now, I've read all the books written as Elizabeth Peters (Vicky Bliss, Amelia Peabody, and Jacqueline Kirby) and I'm working my way through the gothic books (not series) written as Barbara Michaels. I like historical romances as well. One of my recent favorites is Julia Quinn (not only because I went to high school with her :P ) I think I've only read a couple Liz Carlyle. A friend of mine got me into the Stephanie Laurens books and Jo Beverly. I also liked the Stella Cameron "Mayfair Square" series. I've been in grad school most of my life, it feels, so what some might consider "trashy romances" or beach reading--it's a nice respite for my brain!! I love 'em!

No sh@t on the JQ connection! We must be about the same age, then, b/c Quinn and I are about the same age. Totally cool. I am eagerly awaiting <i>On the Way to the Wedding</i>! I just read my first Jo Beverly (<i>Hazard</i>) and LOVED it. I have some others by her, but haven't read them yet. I didn't get too far into Stephanie Laurens's Cynster series...believe it or not, I thought there was too much sex (unlike the erotica books that I love, I was reading the Laurens books for the stories not the sex!). Have you tried Eloisa James? Or Diane Perkins? Both great Regency romance writers too.

#10 Hoyaheel

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 09:16 AM

I haven't read many of the Cynster novels--2 I think--but read all the Bastion club books. Gee, should we start another thread just for romance? :P Nah, I'm trying to stay on topic and only discuss historical romances.

"Julia Quinn" (it's a pseudonym) graduated in 1987; I graduated in 1990, so I didn't know her, but one of her sisters was a year below me and I knew her very well--we went on Outing Club trips together (um, that's camping, hiking & stuff, nothing to do with outing closeted homosexuals :P ) I actually "discoverd" the novels when she was profiled in our alumni magazine a couple years ago.

#11 madamecleo

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 05:40 PM

Gee, should we start another thread just for romance? :P Nah, I'm trying to stay on topic and only discuss historical romances.

I can talk books forever. I wish this board was more active on this! I'd love to get other peoples' opinions. Do you know of any other boards that are active (not that I wouldn't stay here and hang, too) for books like we're discussing--romance, historicals, etc.?

#12 Leia1912

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 06:06 PM

*peeks into the Books board* I love historical fiction, too. Margaret George rocks. P. Gregory is inconsistent--her early stuff (Wideacre series) is just plain crazy, but her Tudor fiction is pretty good, and I enjoyed her recent take on Catherine of Aragon. If you're looking for a mix of history and fun, check out "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation" and "The Masque of the Black Tulip," both by Lauren Willig. The set-up is that an intrepid grad student is researching her dissertation, which is about female spies in the French Revolution era. (Women working like the Scarlet Pimpernel.) The plot flips back and forth between the present day (our student and the man at the house where she's doing her research--a man who happens to be gorgeous, naturally) and the past (generally involving mystery, adventure, lots of swashbuckling and lots of humor). The books are fluff but I curse the author for writing every female PhD student's dream story--you show up to look at archival documents and Mr. Gorgeous shows up!

#13 madamecleo

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 04:54 AM

*peeks into the Books board* I love historical fiction, too. Margaret George rocks. P. Gregory is inconsistent--her early stuff (Wideacre series) is just plain crazy, but her Tudor fiction is pretty good, and I enjoyed her recent take on Catherine of Aragon.

If you're looking for a mix of history and fun, check out "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation" and "The Masque of the Black Tulip," both by Lauren Willig.

Yayyy!!! Someone else to join the fray! Glad you're here, Leia!

Margaret George also writes as Elizabeth Thornton, right? Or am I confusing her with someone else? I have Gregory's The Queen's Fool and haven't read it yet. (I buy books like some women buy shoes.)

I did buy The Pink Carnation, but I never really finished reading it--I started to skim halfway through. But you're right--it is a grad student's dream (or even a non-grad student's dream). Great premise--I think I just expected more action. (The cover was fabulous, though, wasn't it?)

Anyone here ever read Roberta Gellis's Roselynde Chronicles series? It's like a John Jakes version of England in the middle ages (they are being rereleased I think). Love them. She's my very favorite historical author.

(See--ya'll got me talking books, now you might never shut me up. This is what happens when I come out of lurk! :wacko: )

#14 Silver

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 05:18 AM

I love historical fiction, especially mysteries!Of course I've read the Newman series on Catherine LeVendeur; P.C. Doherty's Hugh Corbett series, and Alys Clare's Hawkenlye series.But- my absolute favorite is a new series by Pat McIntosh set in medieval Glasgow in the early Tudor era. :wub: It's the Gil Cunningham series- only four books published to date and each is better than the preceding one!Another series I enjoy is George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire.It is based on the War of the Roses, anyone read it?It does get frustrating, because there is a lengthy wait between books (seven in the series); but it is so well-written, with remarkable characters.Tracy Chevalier's books are also done well; Girl with a Pearl Earring; The Lady and the Unicorn.Btw, does everyone know that Phillippa Gregory's book, The Other Boleyn girl, will be a film with Natalie Portman as Anne and Eric Bana as Henry?I know they made a television version a few years ago, but this should be better.

Edited by Silver, 07 July 2006 - 05:22 AM.


#15 madamecleo

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 11:23 AM

I love historical fiction, especially mysteries!
But- my absolute favorite is a new series by Pat McIntosh set in medieval Glasgow in the early Tudor era. :wub:
It's the Gil Cunningham series- only four books published to date and each is better than the preceding one!

Oooh, will definitely have to check that out. Thanks for the rec.

Did you read the Karen Harper series about Elizabeth? I just finished my first one and really liked it. I am also near the end of The Queen's Fool and like that too.

And then of course, last weekend I read the new Julia Quinn and really enjoyed it!!

#16 Silver

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 03:37 AM

Did you read the Karen Harper series about Elizabeth? I just finished my first one and really liked it. I am also near the end of The Queen's Fool and like that too.

And then of course, last weekend I read the new Julia Quinn and really enjoyed it!!


You'll like the Cunningham series; I find myself using expressions like "ken" and "bothy."

But I haven't read Harper, and Quinn isn't my cup of tea. I'll check out Harper, though.
I'm always searching for reading material.

Know what I don't like about Elizabeth? It sounds so silly, but I think the clothes from that era were hideous. :lol:

Edited by Silver, 08 July 2006 - 06:02 AM.


#17 MMM1

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 09:09 AM

I love historical fiction, especially mysteries! Of course I've read the Newman series on Catherine LeVendeur; P.C. Doherty's Hugh Corbett series, and Alys Clare's Hawkenlye series. But- my absolute favorite is a new series by Pat McIntosh set in medieval Glasgow in the early Tudor era. :wub: It's the Gil Cunningham series- only four books published to date and each is better than the preceding one! Another series I enjoy is George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. It is based on the War of the Roses, anyone read it? It does get frustrating, because there is a lengthy wait between books (seven in the series); but it is so well-written, with remarkable characters. Tracy Chevalier's books are also done well; Girl with a Pearl Earring; The Lady and the Unicorn. Btw, does everyone know that Phillippa Gregory's book, The Other Boleyn girl, will be a film with Natalie Portman as Anne and Eric Bana as Henry? I know they made a television version a few years ago, but this should be better.

I have't read the book The Other Boleyn Girl but thanks for the info on the movie. Wonder if Bana :P will have to put on extra poundage to play Henry :huh:

#18 Hoyaheel

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 06:38 AM

Wonder if Bana :P will have to put on extra poundage to play Henry :huh:

In the early years, he was quite stunning & a marvelous athlete. I don't think it was until after Jane's death he really started gaining weight (what with the syphilis & gout, etc :P ) With Anne, he was still pretty handsome....But he was a TALL REDHEAD, so Eric Bana seems an odd choice to play him.....

#19 Silver

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 03:44 AM

In the early years, he was quite stunning & a marvelous athlete. I don't think it was until after Jane's death he really started gaining weight (what with the syphilis & gout, etc :P ) With Anne, he was still pretty handsome....But he was a TALL REDHEAD, so Eric Bana seems an odd choice to play him.....

They can just put a few henna streaks in his hair; I'd much rather have an attractive Henry than a historically-accurate one! :D I know I'm shallow. Btw, everyone seems to like the Elizabether Peters series on Amelia Peabody. I did too, until the focus shifted to the younger generation. Am I the only person who can't stand Nefret?? I also enjoy Lindsey Davis and Stephen Saylor; I can't wait for Davis' next book SATURNALIA. But it's not due out until 2007. And the next Gil Cunningham isn't due until November, and the George R.R. Martin isn't due until who knows? Really some of these writers are such lazy bums! ;)

#20 madamecleo

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 05:49 AM

Btw, everyone seems to like the Elizabether Peters series on Amelia Peabody. I did too, until the focus shifted to the younger generation. Am I the only person who can't stand Nefret??

I haven't read any of the Amelia Peabody books since The Lord of the Silent--but I own them all. LOL. Have you read Elizabeth Peters' Vicky Bliss books? They are my all time favorite--not historicals, though (pardon me if I mention it on this thread.) The last one, NIGHT TRAIN TO MEMPHIS, is my favorite book ever, and I read it at least once a year--sometimes twice. But you have to read the ones before it to get why it's the best of the bunch. Anyway, check them out if you haven't and like Eliz Peters.



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