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Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Discussion: Death Bracket Preparation--Historical Fiction

First, for those who missed last week, click here for an explanation of what I will be doing with the Monday Discussion for the next several weeks. Also, feel free to go back any week and add more authors to the pool of candidates.  Now back to today's discussion.

On my upcoming vacation I will be visiting some Revolutionary War sites so I thought, why not bring Historical Fiction up for discussion today.

Again, like last week, I will offer one male and one female author.

The very first female historical fiction writer who came to my mind is Jacqueline Winspear.  Here is the author blurb I wrote for her on NoveList:
Jacqueline Winspear and her enchanting protagonist, Maisie Dobbs, rise to the top among Historical British Mysteries. Maisie is a plucky and intelligent young woman who began as a servant and now runs her own private investigation firm. While these are technically cozy mysteries with their well-drawn characters and setting, the plots are complex and well-crafted, and the series has a darker tone due to Maisie's experiences as a nurse during World War I, described through flashbacks. These are well plotted and compelling mysteries that also highlight the human costs of war. Start with: Maisie Dobbs.
In terms of men, I can think of many, but I want to point out the work of Edward Rutherfurd.  Again, from NoveList (but this time not written by me):
Edward Rutherfurd's multi-period Historical Fiction/Family Sagas strive to capture an entire culture's story through its individuals and their ancestral connections to place (often the British Isles). A typical novel may span two millennia (and 500+ pages), following characters' descendants from pre-history to present day. A smooth writing style speeds these detail-laden stories along quite briskly; the larger story remains easy to follow, although multiple plot strands are interwoven. Characters are often "types" (ambitious Russian peasants, humble merchants, fierce Irish revolutionaries, etc.), yet with sufficient personality to engage readers. Start with: Sarum.
Rutherfurd's very long novels read surprisingly fast. You get wrapped up in the characters and the place and are compulsively turning the pages to see what happens next.  Also the long time frame gives you a wonderful perspective of a place over time.  He is a modern day Michener; also good for fans of Follet's Century Trilogy.

Okay, now it is your turn.  For today's Monday Discussion, help up out and give me some of your favorite Historical Fiction authors.

Click here for past Monday Discussions.

5 comments:

Betty said...

My first favorite (and unfortunately dead, author is Thomas B. Costain. I think I learned most of my European history from him.

The next has to be (also dead) Dorothy Dunnett. Her two series are so meticulously researched and respectful of the period she's writing that it's stunning.

I love historical fiction. Maybe I'm just comfortable in another time. I don't like a lot of pop culture today.

John said...

Patrick Rambaud is my favorite historical fiction author. His novels dealing with the Napoleonic Wars are the best. I agree with you about Jacqueline Winspear. I love Maisie Dobbs.

Kimberly said...

I'm running behind, but may I suggest James Michener and Philippa Gregory? Not one thing similar about their works, but to every reader a book. . .

Kimberly said...

Oh dear, I initially missed the instruction that the authors needed to be alive and publishing, which, unfortunately does not include James Michener or Patrick O'Brian or the majority of male historical fiction authors I enjoy. Could we change my suggestion, then, to Philippa Gregory and Ken Follett?

Becky said...

Kim, it's hard to kill em off if they are already dead. Lol.