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BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??

Claire M 03 Apr 14 - 02:36 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Apr 14 - 03:05 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Apr 14 - 03:18 PM
BrendanB 03 Apr 14 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,JotSC 03 Apr 14 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Stu in the ether 03 Apr 14 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,J 03 Apr 14 - 06:45 PM
GUEST,JotSC 03 Apr 14 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Hilary 03 Apr 14 - 08:09 PM
Jack Campin 03 Apr 14 - 08:39 PM
Padre 03 Apr 14 - 08:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Apr 14 - 09:13 PM
Rapparee 03 Apr 14 - 10:08 PM
Jack Blandiver 04 Apr 14 - 05:32 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Apr 14 - 06:08 AM
GUEST 04 Apr 14 - 07:33 AM
GUEST 04 Apr 14 - 07:41 AM
GUEST 04 Apr 14 - 07:42 AM
Penny S. 04 Apr 14 - 09:22 AM
Rapparee 04 Apr 14 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 04 Apr 14 - 10:28 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Apr 14 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,JotSC 04 Apr 14 - 01:48 PM
Jack Campin 04 Apr 14 - 02:23 PM
Jim Carroll 04 Apr 14 - 02:46 PM
LadyJean 04 Apr 14 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,JotSC 04 Apr 14 - 06:34 PM
GUEST 04 Apr 14 - 08:05 PM
Neil D 05 Apr 14 - 12:07 AM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 05 Apr 14 - 03:34 AM
Jack Campin 05 Apr 14 - 05:45 AM
GUEST,JotSC 05 Apr 14 - 07:53 PM
Susan of DT 05 Apr 14 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Hilary 06 Apr 14 - 04:43 PM
Penny S. 06 Apr 14 - 05:54 PM
ChanteyLass 06 Apr 14 - 09:02 PM
Will Fly 07 Apr 14 - 02:14 PM
Jack Campin 07 Apr 14 - 02:45 PM
ChanteyLass 07 Apr 14 - 04:03 PM
Anne Lister 07 Apr 14 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Mrr at work 07 Apr 14 - 05:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Apr 14 - 08:10 PM
Susan of DT 08 Apr 14 - 08:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Apr 14 - 07:33 AM
GUEST 10 Apr 14 - 03:08 AM
GUEST 10 Apr 14 - 03:10 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Apr 14 - 10:51 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Apr 14 - 10:51 AM

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Subject: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Claire M
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 02:36 PM

Hiya!

I love it. Had Philipa Gregory rec'd about 1000x. finally read some. Fav. character Jacquetta Rivers (= why aren't you real??!!)

Best book to date not PG's; re woman who is modern but likes mediaeval stuff a lil bit too much.

Special place in my
(¯`v´¯)
`·.¸.·´    that 1 – you'll never guess what her name is …….


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 03:05 PM

Bit later than Ms Gregory's books but the books about the Tudor lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, by C J Sansom are pretty good. In my opinion anyway.

Amazon Link

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 03:18 PM

I'd second Shardlake - though I wish he'd get on with writing the next one.
Sansome does some good modern fiction with Winter in Madrid (Spanish Civil War) and Dominion (W.W.2. story set in a Britain that had conceded defeat after Dunkirk).
If you're interested in Scotland, I'd heartily recommend Nigel Tranter (about 60 plus of them I think), ranging from Macbeath through to 19th century.
If you're hooked, it might be preferable to read them chronologically rather than the order they were written - wish I had.
If not - trilogies like 'The Bruce' are superb appetite whetters.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: BrendanB
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 04:11 PM

Dorothy Dunnett. Series starting with The Game of Kings. All about a Scottish Tudor (super) hero called Francis Crawford of Lymond. Wonderfully swashbuckling, grandiose in scale, and sometimes in language, but deeply fab if you like that sort of thing. There is another series called the Niccolo series set earlier. I really enjoyed that as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST,JotSC
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 05:09 PM

For fans of Shardlake, some alleged good news. One is supposed to be published about now in the Mother Country. Whilst I disremember the title, it is such that this could be the concluding adventure. Six, I think, is about right for a series.

Another series set in the same general era is by S.J. Parris. The protagonist is a defrocked Italian monk resident in England, and a crony of Sir Philip Sidney. This series has only one drawback for me: except for the first book, the stories are told in the first person 'historic present", rather than in first person past. I found that a bit annoying.

I like the Shardklakes better of the series because of the historic detail, and the feeling of time and place that gives the reader. The Parrises,though, are not far behind.

Another series set in the same Tudor era is by Imogen Robertson. While I don't think the series as compelling as either of the the others mentioned above, it does have dual protagonists, one of whom is a high-born widowed lady. Her growth through each succeeding novel adds to the interest in the series.

Enjoy them all, and do it in order if possible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST,Stu in the ether
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 05:57 PM

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco is brilliant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST,J
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 06:45 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: Boy didI Goof
From: GUEST,JotSC
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 06:58 PM

The Robertson mysteries do not take place in Tudor England...they are placed in reign of George III. In fact, the widow Westerman's late husband had fought the rebelleous colonials in America.

While I may have had a brain fa_tin remembering the period, the series is worth your time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 08:09 PM

Two great mystery series:
first book- A Shrine of Murders by CL Grace (especially interesting if you have read the Canterbury Tales)
and
first book- Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Unfortunately the author of that second series died before she could finish her series so its last book kind of leaves you hanging.
Also:
Maid Marian by Elsa Watson
The Kings Persons by Joanna Greenberg
Child of the Northern Spring and subsequent novels in the trilogy by Persia Woolley
And I definitely second The Name of the Rose


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 08:39 PM

"Sweeney Astray", translator Seamus Heaney.

Unlike the other suggestions here it was actually written in the Middle Ages.

And it's a wonderful story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Padre
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 08:52 PM

The Brother Cadfael series is very good, as is the Saxon Tales series by Bernard Cornwell


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 09:13 PM

There are many.

Martin Jensen, "The King's Hounds." Detection in time of Cnut (Canute). Other titles in series.

Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose," mentioned above, is classic. The first part is heavy on theology and church history. Eco said it is 'penance' for the story that follows.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Apr 14 - 10:08 PM

The Sister Fidelma series.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 05:32 AM

"Sweeney Astray", translator Seamus Heaney.

For an interesting take on Sweeney, see Flann O'Brien's masterpiece At Swim Two Birds. Otherwise, there's a splendid e-text of Buile Suibhne (not the Heaney version) HERE.

*

Also in the realms of real medieval fiction, I've just bought a copy of the Penguin Classics edition of Rabelais' Gargantua & Pantagruel which is shaping up to be a right old rollicking read.

Also for those interested in the real thing, I can also recommend Bocaccio's The Decameron, as well as the Pasolini film of it.

Likewise amazing is Pasolini's masterful take on The Canterbury Tales which is the perfect spring film with a folk soundtrack to simply die for. And you get a full frontal scene featuring a young Tom Baker!

I hear the book's pretty good too..


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 06:08 AM

"Another series set in the same general era is by S.J. Parris."
I enjoyed the frit of her novels, but was struck by the spooky similarity (almost to the point of plagiarism) of the appearance, titles and content of the Sansome books.
A brief glance at them could confuse you into thinking they were part of the Shardlake series
A bit off period to medieval, but could I recommend the riveting Cicero (hopefully) trilogy by Robert Harris.
Waiting for that last in the series is a little like waiting for the other shoe to fall.
An excellent peep into Ancient Roman politics and intrigue.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 07:33 AM

The Rose by umber to Eco, or the filmof the same wi Sean Connery

Anything by Ellis peters medieval who'd units


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 07:41 AM

Gawain and the Green Night
Decameron
Dante's Inferno


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 07:42 AM

Bugger, I hit enter just as I noticed the typo.
Gawain and the Green Knight obviously


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Penny S.
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 09:22 AM

And non-detective books by Ellis Peters under her real name of Edith Pargeter.

I think I agree about Parris - name dropping all over the place. I'm just about to reread the first and then catch up, though. The monk is Giordano Bruno, who was, in real life, an absolute idiot to go back to Italy, where he was burned in the Campi di Fiori - hinted at at the beginning of the first book.

He was, I think, the first to sensibly propose the existence of habitable planets around other stars. Not much science in the books, though.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 10:14 AM

Any of the fabliaux. The "Morte d'Artur." "Chanson de Rolande." "Monte Python et la Graille Sacre." Robin Hood.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 10:28 AM

Definitely anything by Ellis Peters or Edith Pargeter (same person).
Then there's the rather more astringent Sister Frevisse mystery series by Margaret Frazer.
And if time-slip is of interest, check out the Languedoc series by Kate Mosse (#1 is Labrynth, the rest I can't recall).
The grand dame of timeslip IMO is Diana Gabaldon, but her Outlander series is 18th century, not Medieval.
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 01:45 PM

Jeri Westerson, "Shadow of the Alchemist," is one I have read recently. Set in the 14th C. Part of a series (6 so far).

"Divine Comedy," Dante, in translation by Dorothy Sayers.
Wonderful translation.
Same woman who gave us Lord Peter Wimsey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST,JotSC
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 01:48 PM

Jim Carroll--Your comment regarding the Sansom and Parris series is nearly spot on. I guess that the former has staked out the Henry period, while Parris moved the time period a generation later to the late Elizabethan, and they could be read as a whole...which I did. At any rate, I think the Shardlake series is better overall as to characterization, plot, and a sense of time and place.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 02:23 PM

Another great mediaeval story: Farid ud-Din Attar's "Conference of the Birds", written around 1200. It has some odd parallels to "Sweeney", though it's a Sufi parable rather than a Christian one.

The Icelandic sagas are great stuff too. "Njal's Saga" has the world's first courtroom drama and "Grettir the Strong" is probably the last literary expression of paganism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 02:46 PM

"I think the Shardlake series is better overall as to characterization,"
I agree; I think Sansome is a much better writer as well.
I got hooked on him because of his writing style in Winter in Madrid.
"In real life, an absolute idiot to go back to Italy, where he was burned in the Campi di Fiori"
I do hope you haven't give away the climax of the last of the trilogy, which haven't got round to yet.
If you have, I'll tell the Taliban where you live!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: LadyJean
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 06:26 PM

I can recommend the Mabinogion, if you can find a good translation.

I can also recommend two novels by a lady named Janice Widgery. The first is called Horn at the Gates. I don't remember what the other was called. I would recommend them even if I hadn't taken her creative writing course in high school.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST,JotSC
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 06:34 PM

Well now, I didn't realize there was a real life 'Bruno Giordano. I hope Parris quits before he goes back. The only spoiler alert - you may not know the series is now a tetralogy, a fourth title, TREACHERY, having been published this year. I recommend it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 14 - 08:05 PM

Giordano Bruno was on the sticky end of a scam by Ficino, whose translation of the Corpus Hermeticum was a load of nonsense (http://wouterjhanegraaff.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/butchering-corpus-hermeticum-breaking.html). And therefrom descends the entire heap of BS known as modern esotericism. So no wonder the Vatican had a bonfire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Neil D
Date: 05 Apr 14 - 12:07 AM

Paul C Doherty is very good. I especially like The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan and the Hugh Corbett medieval mysteries.

Also, Bernard Knight's Crowner John mysteries.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 05 Apr 14 - 03:34 AM

I read some brother caedfael after enjoying the tv series


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Apr 14 - 05:45 AM

GUEST up there is misrepresenting what that blog about Ficino was saying, and any connection with what happened to Bruno is pretty tenuous.

Interesting link anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST,JotSC
Date: 05 Apr 14 - 07:53 PM

I was clearing my older android and came across a series I had clean forgot. This is the John Shakespeare series by Rory Clements. Shakespeare is 'an older brother' of the playwright/poet/actor so this series, like the the Giordono series set in late 16th century England. There are six novels of which I've read three. As I had forgotten them, my guess is I did not particularly like them...or I am reaching senility. It might be fun if Clements and Parris combined the talents their contemporaneous Elizabethan colleagues into one grand story. As if!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Susan of DT
Date: 05 Apr 14 - 08:09 PM

I love Katherine by Anya Seton, about John of Gaunt's third wife, 1300s.

There have been a large number of mysteries set in medieval times. Some authors are with approximate years:
Maureen Ashe (1300s)
Simon Beaufort (Knight in Holy Land, 1100s)
Fiona Buckley (Eliz I)
Alys Clare (1200s)
Sara Conway (1200s)
Kathy Lynn Emerson (woman apothecary, 1500s)
Margaret Frazer (2 intersecting series, nun & actor, 1400)
Alan Gordon (Fool's guild, strange)
CL Grace (Dougherty pseud) 1400s)
Susanna Gregory (2 series, 1600s adnnd 1300s)
Paul Harding (1300s)
Karen Harper (Eliz I)
Michael Jecks (exTemplar, 1300s)
Bernard Knight (Crowner, 1100s)
Edward Marston (2 series: player, 1500s, also 1100s)
Pat McIntosh (Scotland, 1400s)
Candace Robb (Archer, 1300s)
Priscilla Royal (monk, 1200s)
Kate Sedley (Packman, 1400s)
Judith Tarr (fantasy with elves in 1100s, Rich I in some)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 06 Apr 14 - 04:43 PM

Also anything by Sharon Kay Penman is good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Penny S.
Date: 06 Apr 14 - 05:54 PM

Odd, I thought I'd posted about Philip Rickman who's done a couple about John Dee, "The Bones of Avalon" and "The Heresy of Dr Dee", in which our hero works with Robert Dudley. Walsingham in involved.

I got irritated with Alys Clare, whose Weald began to be inhabited by well organised pagans, and whose nun got on well with them. I feel that suggestions about the untrackable nature of parts of the country which are accounted for in Domesday, being parts of estates expected to contribute financially to their owners, as well as being involved in industry are specious, and the evidence for the survival of organised paganism as opposed to folk beliefs is slim. It irritates me even more when the spirituality of said pagans is described with respect but that of the Christian religious is not given any weight. I want to know the evidence for any details the writer chooses to include, what sources there are, earlier than the 1920s, for any odd information that seems unusual.

Peter Tremayne manages religion more historically, and, not a mystery, and somewhat later, Elizabeth Goudge's "White Witch" is more convincing about the survival of old beliefs and knowledge.

Along with Pat McIntosh, I would include Shirley McKay for Scottish mysteries, a bit later, post-Reformation with kirk difficulties.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 06 Apr 14 - 09:02 PM

Anything about Katherine of Valois, especially In a Dark Wood Wandering by Ella S. Haasse and Royal Blood by Vanora Bennett.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Apr 14 - 02:14 PM

Let me second the recommendation of the Saxon Tales series by Bernard Cornwell.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Apr 14 - 02:45 PM

Probably the most-read piece of fiction in Europe in the Middle Ages: the Golden Legend. Easy to find free on line.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 07 Apr 14 - 04:03 PM

In the category of "You might also enjoy . . . "

T. H. White's The Once and Future King. This long King Arthur fantasy was the basis for the Lerner and Loewe musical Camelot and the Disney animated feature The Sword in the Stone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Anne Lister
Date: 07 Apr 14 - 05:01 PM

As has already been suggested, Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond series is not to be missed ... she also has a brilliant novel about the real MacBeth, "King Hereafter". I'm not as fond as the House of Niccolo series, but some prefer it.
Edith Pargeter and Ellis Peters.
For a different take, try Guy Gavriel Kay's fantasy version of Byzantium and Spain (although for the moment the titles slip my mind).

These, as with most of the titles already recommended, are fiction about medieval times rather than medieval fiction. If you're looking for medieval fiction, there's Chretien de Troyes, Marie de France and numerous anonymous writers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST,Mrr at work
Date: 07 Apr 14 - 05:54 PM

There is something very good in French right now on PBS... no idea what it is, and it's more renaissance than midieval (sp?) or are they the same?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Apr 14 - 08:10 PM

Renaissance Period- 1400-1600 C. E.

If the author knows the history of a period and can weave it into a good story, I don't much care what the time period was-
Pre-Christian to 19th C.

The Tale of Genji, a Japanese story written about 1000 AD, is excellent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Susan of DT
Date: 08 Apr 14 - 08:21 AM

ChanteyLass - Arthurian could be a whole separate thread. I have a whole bookcase of King Arthur books, from Penguin copies of Bede and Wace to modern fiction to The Age of Arthur (history) to The Quest for Merlin to the Evolution of Arthurian Romance.

Anne - I agree. I loved Dunnett's Lymond series and the MacBeth book, but could never get into the Niccolo books.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 07:33 AM

I really enjoyed the first 3 of Cornwell's Saxon saga but I think he is running out of steam on it sadly. Similarly with the Archer tales. Still, even at worse he is far better than me :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 03:08 AM

Actually, Jack, I'm a member of the Warburg Institute's Esoteric Studies Reading Group, which is probably the world's top academic forum in the subject. I was present at Wouter Haanegraaff's recent presentation, and had a long chat afterwards, before we all went boozing.
So please be careful about what you say, true what I said was dumbed down, which is why I gave you the link, but this is where the thinking is.
Guest


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 03:10 AM

Mrr at work
Probably Les Rois Maudits, the dramatised history of the fall of the Capetians and rise of the Valois, which became the foundation for Game of Thrones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 10:51 AM

Any opinions on Robyn Young before I embark on 'Insurrection' (The Bruce) as an antidote to Val McDairmid's latest bloodbuster Cross and Burn ?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Mediaeval Fiction: any rec's??
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 10:51 AM

Any opinions on Robyn Young before I embark on 'Insurrection' (The Bruce) as an antidote to Val McDairmid's latest bloodbuster Cross and Burn ?
Jim Carroll


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