12/10/2011

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY - HISTORICAL FICTION

Wonderful Wednesdays is a meme about spotlighting and recommending some of our most loved books, even if we haven't read them recently.  Each week will have a different genre or theme. It is hosted on Tiny Library by lovely Sam. This week's theme is historical fiction.


I love classic literature so I love reading stories set in the past. I'm really fascinated by the past and would love to time travel not only in my fantasy. I long for a day - yes just one day - in Victorian England or one hour at one of Jane Austen's balls. If only I could ...
However, my fascination for the past is not only an appeal to 19th century England . It is a fondness for every past era and for many different geographical settings. 
The books I want to recommend today are  historical novels I've read in the last year and that I particularly liked.



The first in my "MUST READ IT"  list is Sharon Kay Penman's,  The Sunne in Splendour. It is set in England at the time of the bloody War of the Roses. It is one of the most compelling and gripping novels I’ve ever read and a book I've  added to my “ the unforgettable” shelf . Dickon, its protagonist, Richard III Plantagenet has become  one of my heroes and ... I wear his white rose - a badge - on my favourite jumper, well ... I've got it on right now. This book has signed and changed my view of history and led me to go on an incredible tour in Yorkshire last July on the footsteps of Richard III. I love Shakespeare but I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive what he did to Dickon and how he supported the Tudors' campaign of vilification.

The second book I want to recommend is set in ancient Italy and in ancient times. Australian writer, Elisabeth Storrs, has written an incredibly beautiful tale set in my country and I must thank her for the unforgettable hours she has granted me while reading about the marriage of Cecilia, a Roman,  to Mastarna, an Etruscan,  in The Wedding ShroudYou too will be allured by the magic and beauty of the Etruscan world, just like Cecilia. Ancient history becomes life, love and passion in this novel.

I'd love to hear from you. Do you like reading historical fiction? Which of your latest read would you recommend? What's your favourite historical novel ever? Visit Sam's blog, Tiny Library, to check the other posts in the series Wonderful Wednesday (HERE)


20 comments:

Jack Caldwell said...

My favorite historical novel is actually a series - the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. Fantastic stuff. If you've only seen the movie Master and Commander, you've only seen half of what O'Brian brings to the table. Jack Aubrey is brash and brave, and is devoted to both his Sophie and his dear HMS Surprise, while the brilliant and flawed Stephen Maturin struggles with the love/trial of his life, the bewildering Diana Villiers.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

Thanks for your recommendation, Jack!
This series sounds gripping. I've seen Master and Commander but never read anything by Patrick O'Brian.
Glad you dropped by!

FleurFisher said...

The Sunne in Splendour was the book that started me reading historical novels many years ago, and it changed my view of history too.

I haven't come across The Wedding Shroud before but you make it sound intriguing, so I shall look out for a copy.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@FleurFisher
It's such a beautiful novel. You won't be disappointed.

Susan(Reading World) said...

Sharon Kay Penman is an incredible writer. She is one of the authors responsible for my historical fiction addiction.
I've heard such great reviews of The Wedding Shroud - but I can't get a hold of the book in the US. Even The Book Depository didn't have it in stock anymore the last time I checked. I'm going to have to track it down somehow!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Susan!
Here's the link to all the info to buy the book online from the author's site
http://www.elisabethstorrs.com/buybooks.html

Marg said...

You can buy the Elisabeth Storrs book from Fishpondworld.com which is an Australian website that has free overseas shipping! You will still have to pay our more expensive book prices though.

Sunne in Splendour was my first Penman, and is still my favourite with Sunne in Splendour being a close second!

JoAnn said...

The Sunne in Splendour sounds like a must read for me! The Wedding Shroud sounds very good, too. I enjoyed reading your post.

Anonymous said...

Favourite historical novel - Anya Seton's Katherine. It started me on reading mediaeval history, a decades-long preoccupation by this time!

Also a great reader of historical murder mysteries - Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time inspired a Richard III partisanship. The reconstruction of the murder of the Princes in the Tower, by a 20th C convelescing fictional police detective...

fitzg

Mystica said...

These are two great books. For a series I like the Tudor one of Jean Plaidy and I have enjoyed tremendously the Morland Dynasty series covering more than two centuries of one family.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Marg
Thanks for your suggestion. I want to read other books by Ms Penman. Which one would you suggest to go on with her blissed historical vein?
@JoAnn
I'm sure you'll like both, if you appreciate good, well researched and well written historical fiction.
@fitzg
Never heard of Anya Seton, so thanks for recommending her Katherine. I'll check it out. As for Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time, it is the Richard III book I read soon after The Sunne. Brilliant one!
@Mystica
The Tudor and The Morland Dynasty. Two different series by the same writer, Jean Plaidy. Did I get it right? Must check those ones too!

Thanks you all for contributing all those interesting recommendations!

mesmered said...

I'm 3/4's of the way through Katharine and love it, its hard to believe it was written in 1955... very fresh writing.
If I ever recommend any MUST READ hist.ficts, I always suggest Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolo series (Renaissance) and The Lymond Saga (a generation later)
They quite literally blow my socks off every time I read them... superlative research, amazing characters, convolutions of plot that will have you gasping and a dedication to factual history that is second to none.

mesmered said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MARIA GRAZIA said...

You've been really convincing, Prue. I have to find a Dunnet book and try to start. Thanks for your contribution! :-)

Anonymous said...

Dorothy Dunnet was?is excellent! So was Mary Renault: The Last of the Wine, and The King Must Die.

fitzg

Anonymous said...

Ah! Thank you Prue for supporting my 'Dunnett campaign': MG wasn't convinced by my hearty recommendation alone, but maybe you and me together... who knows? I'm a Lymond fan, BTW.
And speaking of Katherine, I remember having read the whole series when I was very young, but I wasn't really impressed. Probably because it came right after Angélique's saga, which I enjoyed immensely.
K/V

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@K/V
Who's plotting behind my back? :O I'll read Ms Dunnet's books in due time ...ehm ... before it is too late ... for me :-/ Never say never! But there are so many book out there and so little time!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

oops! bookS!!!

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

Thanks for taking part, and I'm glad you got some good discussion in the comment section :)

I've added both to my wishlist, but The Wedding Shroud is something I must read almost immediately!

MARIA GRAZIA said...

Thanks to you for hosting this meme, Sam. I can't wait for your review of The Wedding Shroud!