Book Suggestions

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Diana Crabbe 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #15532

    Jamie
    Keymaster

    If you have a suggestion for a Book, add it here!

  • #17866

    Anonymous

    I have a couple of suggestions:1066 and all that An Utterly Impartial History of Britain: (or 2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots inCharge) http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/john+o27farrell/john+o27farrell/an+utterly+impartial+history+of+britain/6095497/

  • #17867

    anonymous
    Participant

    Do you happen to know if either one or both come in audiobook form?

  • #17868

    Anonymous

    An utterly impartial history of Britain is on audible in both abridged and unabridged forms. And 1066 and all that is fairly old, so it came out on cassette tape…

  • #17869

    anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks.  I checked both out and they look like they are humorous and informative.  Let's see if others weigh in on their preference.  I like having an unabridged audio version selection.

  • #17870

    Chris
    Member

    I have picked both of these up (at separate times) in Waterstones to have a quick look, even had a sit down in one of the not-so-comfy chairs but didn't buy either. I like the sound of both though. I might sway towards Utterly Impartial History if I had to choose.

  • #17871

    Anonymous

    Both looked good and found them for a good price on Amazon.  Humor may be the only way to engage my kids in my British history passion  :)

  • #17872

    Anonymous

    Two fiction suggestions :)Jack Whyte - the Camulod Chronicles - deals with the Roman occupation & subsequent departure nb-it was quite exciting listening to the BHP on this era as I had encountered much of it in these books Diana Gabaldon - the Outlander series - deals with the Jacobite Rising thru American Revolution - Her books contain elements of romantic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, adventure, and science fiction - not quite Britain proper but a thumping good read

  • #17873

    anonymous
    Participant

    I loved the Outlander series.  I have not heard of the other series on Roman occupied Britain.Laura

  • #17874

    Anonymous

    I love the Outlander series!!! It touches SO many different things. 1066 and all that was good. I really enjoy that. Here are some suggestions, even if theyre not really british history...if you're interested in American presidential facts, check out "the secret lives of the US presidents" and "the secret lives of the first ladies" by cormac o'brien. His style of writing is really great (to me, at least) and I love his sense of humor. and this is more of a girly book, but "how to marry an english lord" is about the Gilded age and the American heiresses that married into English aristocracy and about the societies and lives in general. and I was recently lead to "Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that cant stop talking" by Susan Cain that Im really getting into. and "Elizabeth the queen: the life of a Modern Monarch" by sally bedell smith was a very interesting read.

  • #17875

    Carolyn Caywood
    Participant

    For those of you into The War of the Roses, check out “When Christ and His Saints Slept: A Novel” by Sharon Kay Penman. It focuses on Stephen and Matilda. “The Sunne in Splendour” by the same author focuses on Richard III and re-casts him in a very different light. Sometimes her books start off a little slowly, at least for me because I don't know this period as well and it's hard for me to follow all the relationships, but she really develops the characters and the books are well-researched.

  • #17876

    Carolyn Caywood
    Participant

    Also loved: “At Home: A Short History of Private Life” by Bill Bryson. Bryson basically goes through each room in the old rectory he is living in in Britain and talks about what this room would have been like through various periods, how the items in there ended up there, etc. and, in so doing, has a number of interesting segue ways into cultural life in general.

  • #17877

    anonymous
    Participant

    E.H.Gombrich's “A Little History Of The World” is a brilliant book.

  • #17878

    Vesta
    Participant

    I agree with Patrushka that the Jack Whyte series is a good read.  But it runs to 6 or 7 books so give yourself plenty of time.I have enjoyed Peter Tremayne's mystery books about a lawyer/nun in 7th century Ireland.  The first one is "Absolution by Murder" and is set at the time of the Synod of Whitby in 664.  It's the only Sister Fidelma mystery set in England.  One of the most interesting things about the books is the author's forward that he calls Sister Fidelma's World.  Even if you don't like mysteries, this 3-4 page overview of the era is well worth a read. I just haven't found that many novels of this time frame, and Bede's "An Ecclesiastical History of the English People" is a real slog.  (just kidding; I've never read it)

  • #17879

    Anonymous

    I particularly enjoyed Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens. http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Mary-Cousins-Rivals-Queens/dp/0375708200

  • #17880

    anonymous
    Participant

    I don't have a suggestion, I am looking for a suggestion.  I am looking for an good overview of the Napoleonic Wars, straight history, not an historical novel.  Looking for facts, dates etc.  I confess I am sort of a nut about facts and dates.  Thanks

  • #17881

    Anonymous

    You may want to try The war of wars by Robert Harvey. It is a bit thick and some important bits are only given a small amount of the book, but it is quite a good overview of the french revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. I hope this helped and if you need something more specific please ask.

  • #17882

    anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks I will give it a try.

  • #17883

    anonymous
    Participant

    Jonny, that must be some read!  Amazon wants nearly 10 grand for a used paperback! 

  • #17884

    Anonymous

    Me and a friend came across a Simon Scarrow series of books in Gainsborough Market. It's based around the second and more successful invasion in Britain. It is fantastic and a very recommended read from a Roman History Professor so it is also as accurate as possible.Happy Reading :)

  • #17885

    jebbens
    Member

    I highly suggest “Conscience of the King” by Alfred Duggan if you are looking for a book that starts around the beginning the british royal line.  Brilliant!

  • #17886

    Anonymous

    I've recently started reading Geoffrey Hindley's A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons: The Beginnings of the English Nation. So far it's quite good, perhaps a little heavy going but that's what you might expect to get if you buy a book with a title like that, I suppose.It could be one to consider for the future.

  • #17887

    anonymous
    Participant

    I second the recommendation of Sharon Kay Penman.  I enjoy her work immensely but in particular When Christ and His Saints Slept which was about “The Anarchy” was great. The rest of the books about Henry and Elenor were also great. And the Welsh princes trilogy. and the…no I'm kidding :).  I'm not a historian so I can't tell if her books are always on pint about the facts of history but they do feel well researched and the big picture is at least more or less correct.And I've just finished what I expect is the penultimate book of Saxon Tales. Though it gets a bit repetitive after book 4 or 5  but the first couple of books in particular were great.

  • #41209

    Diana Crabbe
    Participant

    Hi everyone. I’m Diana and I’m new. I’ve just made it to the Sutton Hoo podcast so I have a comfortingly large back-log of podcasts still left to hear!

    I am a big fan of detective fiction set in Sub-Roman Britain and Rome. I know. It’s a weird genre and you might think your options would be limited in this very narrow-sounding genre, but, in fact, I have read and loved four very prolific authors and know of at least a dozen more. Here are the four:
    Ruth Downie, Lindsey Davis, Steven Saylor and Rosemary Rowe.

    I like Ruth Downie novels even though Gaius Petreius Ruso is dry and grumpy and is more of an anti hero – Tilla is the real hero in her books. I also like that Ruth Downie goes on actual Roman dig sites in Britain. She has a passion for finding and touching and understanding the past, not just writing about it. She is also very connected to her fanbase, attending festivals and meet-and-greets. My kind of author! Here’s her blog about the most recent dig she has been on, Alderney Nunnery: https://ruthdownie.com/blog/ Her Ruso character is a medicus for the 20th Legion living in Deva (Chester) in the time of Hadrian.

    Lindsey Davis created the Sam Spade of Ancient Rome, Marcus Didius Falco. Her novels are set in the time of the Emperor Vespasian. The first book in this series (and my favorite) is The Silver Pigs.
    “The Silver Pigs is a 1989 historical mystery crime novel by Lindsey Davis and the first book in the Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries series. Set in Rome and Britannia during AD 70, just after the year of the four emperors, the novel stars Marcus Didius Falco, informer and imperial agent. “Pigs” is a term by which ingots are known, and the book’s title refers to 200-pound lead ingots filled with silver ore and stolen from Roman Britain,[1] which feature prominently in the plot.[2]” – Wikipedia
    Davis has recently started a new series of novels featuring Falco’s daughter, Albia, who also lives within this genre. The Albia series deals with a lot of issues a Roman woman might encounter living in a world ruled by paterfamilias and while trying to work in a males-only profession.
    http://www.lindseydavis.co.uk/publications/

    Steven Saylor’s character is Gordianus the Finder. His novels are set around the time of Sulla and Julius Caesar. I think the first book in this series is Roman Blood.
    “Gordianus the Finder (c. 110 BC – ??) is the fictional protagonist of Steven Saylor’s Roma Sub Rosa series of historical mystery novels set in Republican Rome. He lives by his wits, investigating crimes and other cases for Roman advocates such as Marcus Tullius Cicero. Initially, he lives in a rambling house on the Esquiline Hill in Rome with his family; but he later inherits a farm in Etruria, then exchanges it for a house on the Palatine Hill, giving his older house to his son Eco.” – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Saylor

    Rosemary Rowe a.k.a. Rosemary Aitken has a very different hero. Libertus is a freed slave who makes mosaics. He is under the patronage of Marcus Septimus, who usually forces an unwilling Libertus into investigating the mystery. Septimus also manages to take all the credit after Libertus solves it. Libertus and Septimus live in Glevum in the time of the Emperor Augustus.
    https://www.fantasticfiction.com/r/rosemary-rowe/

    Hmmm…I think I could make a living writing the back covers of books. Where do I apply?

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