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Historical Fiction Recommendations?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I love Philippa Gregory's historical novels about the various British royal dynasties. I just finished The White Princess and it only came out last week. 


Does anyone have any recommendations for similar series? I've tried reading Alison Weir, but it's just not as engaging. And I'm not looking for historical romances - just not into the one handed reads. But if anyone knows of any other authors in this genre I should check out, that would be great! 

post #2 of 8

I love Elizabeth Goudge. She's not contemporary - she wrote, I dunno, in the 1940s? A lot of her books are historical, and she has the most delightfully whimsical humour. She has a keen insight into human nature - a wee bit Austen, a wee bit Dickens - and she writes children SO well. Every time I reread one of her books I'm surprised she's not more famous. She's one of my favourites.


So, let me think:


Towers in the Mist is set in Oxford in the Renaissance - Sir Philip Sidney comes into it. It's not about famous historical figures or events, it's about a family, but it has a historical backdrop and she really knows her stuff.


The Dean's Watch is another good one, and A City of Bells - can't remember when they're set exactly. 1800s? The Herb of Grace is post-war. Green Dolphin Country is set in colonial New Zealand and in Jersey (and is awesomely melodramatic!)

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks - I'll have to check her out! I am so desperate for something good to read. Everything I've picked up lately has been so lackluster. I feel lost if I'm not engrossed in a good book. 

post #4 of 8

Switch to Game of Thrones, perhaps. It's really based on a great deal of research into the Middle Ages, so it's historical-ish.

post #5 of 8
This isn't about Royalty, but check out anything by Kate Morton. Her books are historical and very very good.
post #6 of 8

These are very different from Philippa Gregory, but check out Priscilla Royal and Oliver Potzsch.

post #7 of 8

When I first saw Philippa Gregory, I was thinking of Philippa Carr which was one of the many pen names of Eleanor Hibbert who also wrote as Victoria Holt and Jean Plaidy. She wrote a some series based on royal families like the Tudors, Marie Antoinette, Queen Victoria, etc.  I've never read Philippa Gregory or Alison Weir, so I have no idea how they compare.  There is also Barbara Tuchman who wrote some medieval stuff, and then Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World Without End which I found engrossing, although World Without End was a little too violent for me. Bernard Cornwell has written a number of historical series too, but I don't know how good they are.  I was trying to read one of his books, but I hate when there are completely nefarious characters, which this one seemed to have. My husband bought a few of his books from the Sharpe series, hoping to find something that was like Patrick O'Brian, but these did not do the trick.  I thought they were fine, but not deep.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone! I'm excited to check out of these recommendations. Though at the moment I shouldn't even be on here - I have tomatoes waiting to get canned, or a weeknight after work, no less. Off I go for now, but I'll let you know how I like them when I get a chance to read a few. 

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