Historical Fiction (A History Week Thread)

Gore Vidal’s Lincoln - couldn’t ever work out if was really really tedious or really really interesting.

I’ve started watching this:

S’ok so far. As these things almost always are it is of course a bit superficial and simplified, but that’s due to the limitations of the medium imo. Was yet again shocked and baffled to realise that Aidan Gillen and Barry Ward are in fact not the same person.

Would love something like this about WALES obviously.

Q by Luther Blissett’s very good. An adventure/thriller set during the Protestant reformation in Central Europe (can also be read as an allegory of globalisation destroying 60s radicalism if you’re that way inclined)

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I’m reading Wolf Hall now, might well have to re-watch The Tudors after this to be honest.

…have you seen Wolf Hall?

(The show is a lot more accessible than the book, surprisingly)

uhhhh no!?

yeah the TV adaptation is really good. don’t bother with The Tudors.


CJ Sansom’s Shardlake stuff is trashy but fun Henry VIII historical stuff. (His 20th C stuff I didn’t enjoy.)

The Gallows Pole is good too.

I guess Josephine Tay’s the Daughter of Time although I believe it’s possibly old enough to no longer be accurate.

I’ve read three by Robert Harris. Fatherland is alt history so maybe not what you want, but the Pompeii and Cicero ones were good.

I read this recently - it’s a bit odd. Couldn’t get to grips with the weird hospital bits.

Dunno, not read it in 20 years. A standard framing though, isn’t it, for a slightly different novel in a detective series? I mean The Wench is Dead is the same thing I think.

I thought WR wanted good books though?

It is very good, Theobald.

Yes, Robert Harris is patchy but there are some gems in his back catalogue. There’s a whole trilogy about Cicero (Lustrum, Imperium and Dictator) which are all great. An Officer And A Spy is good too, about the Dreyfus Affair.

My other recommendations would be The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng and The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan - both fantastic books springing from the Far Eastern theatres of WWII.

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Oh I think I must only have read Imperium then. Had no sense it was a middle book