Hi all. I was wondering if anyone could give me some book recommendations. I love historical fiction–primarily books set in medieval or Renaissance Europe. Know of any good books I could use to feed my medieval obsession?
An historical novel is a book with a picture of a lovely wench on the jacket… and no jacket on the lovely wench.
no, I’m not looking for historical romance. just historical fiction–a story that takes place in the past.
*Trianon *and Madame Royale by Elena Maria Vidal. Its about the life of Marie Antoinette and her daughter (her only child that survived the Revouoution). I heard about it on EWTN, here’s the link:
Right now I am reading Hilaire Belloc’s Marie Antoinette but its not a fictional account.
it’s been years since i read this but for ken follett’s *the pillars of the earth *
it’s about building a cathedral, excellent!!
If you can put up with the occasional squick, Dorothy Dunnett is soul-consumingly wonderful. Lymond Chronicles, not House of Niccolo. House of Niccolo just got stupid in the fourth book and never came out of the stupid.
Also, Philippa Gregory might feed your needs. I’m not a fan, but a lot of people like her.
I love (and have read) everything by Anya Seton. You have to look in the old section of your library.
The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco is really good. It’s a mystery set in a medieval Benedictine monastery. A Franciscan is called in to investigate before the Dominican Inquisitors get there. Likewise, there is scheduled a debate between papal legates of John XXII and some Franciscans who were teaching that the Church could not own any property at all that the monastery is supposed to host.
So you get this mystery as well as deep philosophical and theological discussion in a real historical environment.
I highly recommend the book “Quo Vadis” by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It’s not medieval–it takes place in Rome under Nero–but it is great historical fiction about the early Church
Edith Pargeter’s “Heaven Tree” trilogy. Also about building a church, but it’s more than that. She’s the one who wrote Brother Cadfael, but the Heaven Tree books were under her own name.
Anything by Bernard Cornwell - they are all great (see bernardcornwell.net/)). From the U.S. Civil War to the Napoleonic Wars to the Grail Quest to an Arthur series and on and on.
The Brother Cadfael mystery novels by Ellis Peters.
Jerusalem Delivered by Tasso. Written in 1575 (in verse!) about the First Crusade.
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. (trilogy)
It’s set in medieval Norway. Good for medieval obsession indeed;)
I agree–it’s excellent. I read it a few years ago and my husband just finished it today and loved it and is passing it on to his brother. I loved learning about the kinds of tools they used and the methods to get that cathedral constructed. The characters were wonderful too.
I read this one too and it was made into a movie for anyone who doesn’t have the patience to read as it is quite a thick book.
i love this book. good recommendation for middle age fanatics.
along these same lines is – Mark of the Lion Trilogy - by Francine Rivers
i only read the first 2 books, but they were very good.
I have to second (third?) this book! I loved it, although I do not normally enjoy his style of writing. Great way to kill a rainy afternoon/evening.
Try the works of Irving Stone. He wrote novels about
John Adams - Those who Love
Abraham Lincoln - Love is eternal
Sigmund Freud - The Passions of the Mind
Heinrich Schlieman _ The Greek Treasure (about Troy)
Or go ahead and try Margaret George > She is excellent! Her novels are:
the Autobiography of Henry VIII
Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles
Helen of Troy
The Memoirs of Cleopatra
I highly recommend Hendryk Sienckewic: Quo Vadis?
Louis Wallace Ben Hur
Hope this helps.
Mark Twain’s “Joan of Arc”