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    Hi,

    I was looking for some good novels which interweaves history throughout it. Something set in the past? American civil rights? World Wars? Medieval Times? Suffragettes? Egypt? The Ancient Greeks? - anything!

    I've read quite a few of the historically based 'My Story' books, which were really interesting even if the characters were fictional.

    So... Any ideas?
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    You mean modern literature? I think you'd find literature written in the past more interesting...

    Having said that, Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic literature is notoriously hard to get into. Egypt-wise, Christian Jacq's Ramses series. Or anecdotal historians, particularly Bob Brier's The Murder of Tutankhamun (now pretty much discredited, but oh well...).

    For the World Wars (particularly the first) just see any thread on WW1 synoptic exams (Barker, Susan Hill, Faulks are all excellent modern retrospectives).

    Civil Rights - you must have done To Kill a Mockingbird... Not neccessarily on civil rights but of the earlier contemporary period is all the beat generations stuff. Anything by Kerouac (On the Road, Big Sur) and Naked Lunch by Burroughs. Amazing American lit.

    If you just stroll through the fiction section of a bookshop you'll find a lot of modern fiction is set in the past anyway.

    Muchly jealous you're going to Edinburgh btw.
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    Yeah. I know - Tons of novels set in the past! Just wondered if anyone knew the best of the best.

    At the moment I just started reading this book called 'The Historian' by Elizabeth Kostova. It caught my attention in Waterstones because of the title but it's not exactly what you might think it is.
    It's absolutely brilliant so far and appeals very much so to both my historical leanings and my love of gothic literature. All throughout the book you are given an insight into the life of Vlad the Impaler and the discussion of the myth of Dracula.

    Any to be or present history student should read it. It blends fact and fantasy so well together.
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    The 'Sharpe...' books, set in the Napoleonic wars, are worth a try. The TV adaptions are also of a good quality.
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    (Original post by Axiom)
    The 'Sharpe...' books, set in the Napoleonic wars, are worth a try. The TV adaptions are also of a good quality.
    Yup - anything by Bernard Cornwall. Also, the Aubreyad (beginning with Master & Commander) by Patrick O'Brian is also set in the Napoleonic Wars. It's all about Jack Aubrey, Stephen Maturin and Co. You may have seen the film based on a conglomeration of his novels (Master & Commander: The Far Side Of The World).

    I wouldn't necessarily recommend Jacques' Ramses series... I found his writing too stilted and stale. That might be because I read the German translation of them, and found it horrific.

    I'd also recommend the highly amazing superb great brilliant Circle of Dawn series, but unfortunately it's only available in German, meh. Called Kreis der Dämmerung, if anyone's interested and can read German. By Ralf Isau. Takes you through the 20th century (1900-2000) in an amazing 100 year story of David Camden. Isau says that the english book market's too full up at the moment to have it translated, bah.
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    Anya Seton - Katherine! It's really good and set in the late Medieval period. I love historical biographies, right now reading one of Queen Christina of Sweden by Veronica Buckley which is v. interesting.
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    war and peace?
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    (Original post by Axiom)
    The 'Sharpe...' books, set in the Napoleonic wars, are worth a try. The TV adaptions are also of a good quality.
    :ditto:

    His grail Quest series is also good for mediaeval history. And Sharpe just rocks.

    Other than that, try the Flashman series by *checks* George MacDonald Fraser, they're good. "Romps" might well be the best way to describe them- although there are a HUGE number of endnotes explaining historical detail.

    *Checks Bookshelves*

    Erm... I've not got any others. Patrick O'Brian/Dougas Reeman (They're one and the same person) write good books. Reeman is very god for Second World War stuff.

    Oh, I've just remembered... Cafael series, I can't remember the author, is supposed to be good. It's one of those I never got round to reading...

    also The name of the Rose by Umberto Eco is a modern classic.
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    the best thing to do is to actually read some classics in translation; once you get going they're not that hard at all.

    virgil's aeneid is a very good book, although it is an epic, it's still about the length of a standard novel. i never actually saw the film troy, but from what i gather it would start chronologically where the film ended, perhaps with a slight overlap. i would suggest reading homer (iliad and odyssey) but i didn't find them as rich in terms of plot and characterisation as the aeneid.
 
 
 
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