The website of the historical fiction writer.

Read Through History: September – December 2013

Yes, I know, I’ve fallen behind! Sorry! Here’s what I read over the last few months of last year:

1) Theodora by Stella Duffy: The rags to riches story of the sixth century Byzantine Empress

2) Sharpe’s Gold by Bernard Cornwell

3) Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin: A very good example of how historical fiction should be written (in my opinion, anyway)

4) New York by Edward Rutherfurd: Got this signed at a talk Edward gave in Winchester in July. A very nice man and this book was very good for the flights to and from New York in October.

5) Final Whistle: The Great War in Fifteen Players by Steven Cooper: A bit of non-fiction from an author who came to speak at the Portsmouth Bookfest.

6) Medal for Leroy by Michael Morpurgo: A tale based on the story of Walter Tull, the first black officer in the British Army. Another author who appeared at the Bookfest.

7) Sharpe’s Escape by Bernard Cornwell

8) Sharpe’s Fury  by Bernard Cornwell (I fell behind)

9) To Kill a Tsar by Andrew Williams: Read this back in 2010. Very good thriller set in Russia in 1881, a few years before the Revolution.

10) Sharpe’s Battle by Bernard Cornwell

Right. There we are. All up-to-date until next week! I’ll try and keep up in future…

2 responses

  1. Game of Throne is not historical fiction I’m afraid to say and would provide very little benefit for someone wishing to enhance their understanding of history. The plot-lines and characters do hold resemblance to the Wars of the Roses but are by no means an account of the historical events. The series is firmly implanted in fantasy fiction since historical fiction is a genre that requires the author to be writing about a character who did actually exist but creating a fictional narrative around actual events. Alison Weir’s ‘The Captive Queen’ and Philippa Gregory’s ‘The Lady of the Rivers’ being examples where the author has committed significant personal investment in tracking down as much information as they can about their chosen subject and creating a persona around that research. Apologies for the miniature rant but I have read through a number of the books and studied the Wars of the Roses, the links are tenuous at best and somewhat distracting when I see a connection but that is my own run away style of thought pattern.
    Otherwise this list seems like a very interesting read for anyone with an affection for history.

    27/01/2014 at 12:55 am

    • Hello! Thank you for your comment. Although ‘Game of Thrones’ is not strictly historical fiction, more historical fantasy, I included it as the style of writing would appeal to people who enjoy the genre and want to read something a bit different. I also believe the author was inspired by reading straight historical novels as well and this is reflected in the story (politics, family sagas, etc). Basically, this post was just a list of what I had been reading but I will have a list of historical novels that I have read that I will update as I go. I’m not sure where I’ll put Game of Thrones because, as you say, it doesn’t fit in with our world history unlike other sub genres like some Steampunk. But thank you for your comment. I’m glad this has inspired some discussion!

      02/02/2014 at 10:22 am

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