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  1. #1

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    Historical England

    I just finished reading The White Queen (after owning it since it's release ). It took a bit for me to get into it but when I did, I couldn't put it down.

    I am now on a mission to read more about the War of The Roses and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions?

    I am also looking to read more about the earlier Plantagenet era (pre Black Prince Edward) any suggestions for that too?

    Also, kind of on topic *but not* . I read on another thread about Showtime doing a new series on the Borgia's. They are quite an interesting bunch too so was wondering if anyone had some suggestions on that.

    I am on a big historical reading kick so would love a ton of suggestions.
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

  2. #2

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    One of my favorite Plantagenet books is Katherine by Anya Seton. Great love story between John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford. She was actually Geoffrey Chaucer's sister-in-law.

    Katherine

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    I have read both, but I didn't really like The White Queen. The heroine was too unlikeable and I kept dreading the "boys in the tower." Maybe because I had just read The Boleyn Inheritance and I loved that.

    If you want another book about the Wars of the Roses, try "The Reluctant Queen" by Victoria Holt/Jean Plaidy. I don't remember which nom de plume she wrote that one under.

  4. #4

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    For earlier times, I enjoy Sharon Kay Penman
    post Henry I, Simon de Montfort, Welsh, and Eleanor of Aquitaine...
    The King's Daughter by Sandra Worth - about Elizabeth Tudor
    other authors: Alison Weir, Margaret George

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    I have read a couple of Penman's novels Falls The Shadow and The Sunne in Splendour. I find Penman's books drag horribly...but then so does Gregory's at times lol.

    I have been looking up various books on Amazon and Sandra Worth comes up a lot.
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

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    An early-ish Plantagent book is the First Princess of Wales, by Karen Harper. It's about Joan of Kent, and her life leading up to her marriage to Edward, the Black Prince. It's been a while since I read it, and while I liked it, it was more like a romance than a well-written historical fiction.

    Anne Easter Smith has written a few books that I found enjoyable.

    First one is A Rose for the Crown. It's centered on a girl who would become mistress to Richard of Gloucester (later Richard III).

    The second one is Daughter of York. It's centered on Margaret of York, sister to Edward IV and Richard III, and who would later become the Duchess of Burgundy.

    The third one, The King's Grace, I haven't read yet. But it's centered on Grace Plantagent, an illegitimate daughter of Edward IV, and it focuses on the Princes in the Tower.

  7. #7
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    I grew up reading books by Thomas B. Costain.

    He has a whole series of novelised historys of the Plantagenets which I remember devouring as a teenager. I especially liked The Last Plantagenets.. It's really common to find his books at yard sales and library book sales, so I have a nice collection of hardcovers of his works.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

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    Miri Rubin's book, The Hollow Crown, covers 1307-1485. It's a pretty good read.
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”– MLK

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    I love this one about Lucrezia Borgia by Jean Plaidy:

    http://www.amazon.com/Light-Lucrezia.../dp/0399117237

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    I asked a freind of mine who is a english lit and history proffessor and these are what she says you should read

    "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century" by Barbara Tuchman

    "Shakespeare's Kings: The The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485" by John Julius Norwich

    "Richard III: England's Black Legend" by Desmond Seward

    "The Hundred Years War: The English in France 1337-1453" by Desmond Seward

    "The Wars of the Roses" by Alison Weir

    "The Wars of the Roses" by J. R. Lander

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I am interested in fact or fiction...as long as the fiction is based more on fact lol.

    I am wishlisting books and going to narrow down the books I get. I want to get a really good book(s) on Edward 1-3.

    I have both the Weir and Lander books wishlisted and I am really looking forward to "The Red Queen" coming out by Gregory.

    I found a good one on Anne of Cleves that I think I am going to scoop up too even though I originally wasn't aiming for the Tudor era.

    I am definitely going to scoop that one up on Lucrezia Borgia. Would like to find one on Cesare too though I imagine this one on Lucrezia will touch on him a great deal lol!!
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight1 View Post
    I found a good one on Anne of Cleves that I think I am going to scoop up too even though I originally wasn't aiming for the Tudor era.
    Name of the book and the author please and thank you?

    I have three gift cards for Chapters/Indigo/Coles from Christmas that will be used while down in Toronto for CSOI this weekend and I'd love to learn more about Anne of Cleves. There's really not a heck of a lot out there on her, so...

    One thing that will be leaving w/me will be a replacement for my copy of The Constant Princess by Gregory. I *know* someone borrowed it and that someone swears she sent it back to me, but if she had, then it would have been on my bookcase and it's not there. I hate it when people do that.

    Thanks to one and all for all of the reccomendations from this English Royalty History geek!!

  13. #13
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    I loved the Costain books as a teenager- they are long out of print, but libraries may have them. I remember his daughter wrote historical novels too- and I remember in particular liking "The Lady Royal" about Edward 111's daughter Isabella (who married Enguerrand de Coucy of "the Distant Mirror"). I think the author was Molly Costain Haycraft or something like that. It might be a bit simplistic and dated now, but then I haven't read it for many years.

    I'm not a fan of Philippa Gregory- but YMMV. I read almost all of Jean Plaidy when I was a teenager, but I find most her books a bit basic- they cover the story, but not much else. But they are a good start.

    Another author I have recently discovered is Vanora Bennett- I recently read "Blood Royal" about Henry V's Queen Katherine de Valois (who founded the Tudor dynasty through her second (possible) marriage to Owen Tudor.) Another book on the same subject, but a few years older is "Crown in Candlelight" by Rosemary Jarman. Both give a pretty good depiction of the horrors of the French court at the time when the French Crown was descending into madness.

    Edit- Apparently the Bennett book has been retitled "the Queen's Lover" in the US.

    If you want an interesting take on Edward 111's family- try Susan Howatch's "Wheel of Fortune" which rewrites the Plantagenets as an early 20th century family saga in Wales. Excellent storytelling, but maybe not what you are looking for.
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  14. #14
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    my daughter is a huge reader of historical fiction since she was about 12 years old and when we go over the England (we are dual citizens) she gets a huge kick going to many of the places she has read about in her books. We have all the Philippa Gregory books - must admit I've become addicted too now. But our favourite of all time was the fictional historical books on Eyam, Derbyshire - the plague village.. to read about this place in novels and then actually go and visit was really memorable..
    Thanks to PI .. I discovered I'm actually a Nontheist

    "Love is better than Anger, Hope is better than fear" Jack Layton 1950-2011

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    I had a historical fiction book around here somewhere- I think it was called The House of Tudor, but I'm not sure. I like reading that type of book, but haven't read many.

    I did, however, watch the movie 'The Young Victoria' last night. I liked it. It made me think about how strong she must have been, both emotionally and physically. (The physical part because she managed to have 9 children in that time period and still live to her 80s!! Wow!)

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by AragornElessar View Post
    Name of the book and the author please and thank you?
    My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves by Margaret Campbell Barnes

    I found it by browsing around on amazon.

    I have a few books coming in the mail and am looking forward to reading them.

    I have a few smut novels from Virginia Henley set back in the Pantagenet era that were good...but not quite historically accurate.

    Off to look up that book by Bennett and also Plaidy.
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

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