Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Question from Olivia - Fiction book recommendations

i am in 8th grade and i have seriously been obsessed with Tudor England for a long time (long time for a 13 year old, anyway)
and i really enjoy reading as much about the tudors and any english royal house in general.
although i do enjoy the straight information books, i love more than anything the ficton ones
like "Innocent Traitor" by Alison Weir, and "the Lady Elizabeth" also by Alison Weir
but i've been having a real problem finding books like that lately
does anyone have any suggestions as to what books like those i could find that are availible in the US? thank you!


Anonymous said...

Margaret Campbell Brown and Norah Lofts are the authors for you, Olivia.

MCB's novel "Brief Gaudy Hour" introduced me to Anne Boleyn when I was a young girl. Follow that with her novel about Anne of Cleves, "My Lady of Cleves" and then "The Kings Fool", about William Somers and his involvement with all of Henry's wives, and you'll be hooked on this author forever.

Thankfully, Ms Barnes novels are being re-issued so you shouldn't have a problem finding them in any bookstore.

Another good novel about Anne Boleyn is"The Concubine", by Norah Lofts. She also wrote "The Lute Player", a novelization of Richard the Lionheart, his wife Berengaria, and Eleanor of Acquitane.

There are two good novelizations on Elizabeth. Susan Kay wrote "Legacy", which can be difficult to find, while "I, Elizabeth" by Rosalind Miles is easy to spot.

Colleen Kelley said...

"I, Elizabeth" is FANTASTIC. I brought it on my honeymoon and my husband was a little neglected, to say the least!

Carolly Erickson, who wrote a very good biography on "Bloody" Mary Tudor, has a novel I enjoyed called "The Last Wife of Henry VIII" written from Katherine Parr's perspective. Not many novelists, at least that I'm aware of, focus on that particular queen so I thought it was a refreshing change from all the Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn (even though Anne is my favorite).

Bearded Lady said...

I highly recommend Margaret Campbell Brown’s novels. My favorite was The King’s Fool. You really don’t need to read them in order.

Also, I am just getting a copy of Alisa Libby’s new book. We will be speaking together at an author event in a few months and from what I know of her she has spent a lot of time and research into historical accuracy.

I like the whole Royal Diary series. They are very well done. – Doomed Queen Anne, Elizabeth I etc etc. They are probably a bit young for you, but are a good beach read.

If you are looking to expand beyond Tudor history, I just finished Duchessina by Carolyn Meyer. (about Catherine de Medici) Meyer is one of my favorite authors for YA fiction.

And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my own book – The Raucous Royals. It’s nonfiction YA and covers Henry VIII and his wives, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and some lesser known royals and also got....a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. ok done bragging. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bearded Lady, Carolyn Meyer's "Mary, Bloody, Mary" was the book that got me into Tudor history. All of her books are great for introducing you to the Tudors!

Good luck Olivia!

Anonymous said...

I so agree with Tracey. I loved Margaret Campbell Barnes and Norah Lofts when I was your age. I also read Jean Plaidy. She has tons of books covering many different historical periods, and I think those are getting re-issued too. Margaret George "Autobiography of Henry VIII" is a fun read too.

I hadn't thought about these for a while. I wonder if I can find my old yellow copies somewhere...

Anonymous said...

So what is with all these headless pictures of Tudor women on fiction covers??? I just checked to see the reissues of Margaret Campbell Barnes and these covers are following the trend.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...Jean Plaidy! To my embarassment, I forgot about her :(

Hilda Lewis has been reissued. "The Harlot Queen" focuses on Edward II's wife, and "Wife to the Bastard" is about William the Conqueror's wife, Matilda.

The best novel on Mary, Queen of Scots? Yes, Margaret George did an excellent job, but I heartily recommend "Fatal Majesty" by Reay Tannahill.

Gosh, this question has sure brought back a lot of fond memories of reading about English history. Thanks, Olivia!! Hope you can let us know what you're currently reading :)

Colleen Kelley said...

There's a woman in my writer's critique group whose parents were good friends of Reay Tannahill. She let me borrow a copy of Tannahill's "The Seventh Son" about Richard III. Again, not a Tudor, but as he immediately preceded them it might be of some interest. You've got a pretty good list going here!

Anonymous said...

thank you all so much for answering so quickly!
i have been farmilliar with jean plaidy, and own many of her books, but my favorite is the one about Margaret Tudor, (i can't exactly remember the title though...)
i have also read Mary, Bloody Mary, Beware Princess Elizabeth, Paitence Princess Catherine, and Doomed Queen Anne. they were actually the books that started my interest in english history.
thanks again everyone, and bearded lady your book sounds really interesting, thank you!
i've never heard of Margaret Campbell Brown and Norah Lofts, i can't wait to look for thier books, thank you all!!

Bearded Lady said...

“So what is with all these headless pictures of Tudor women on fiction covers???”

Oh don’t get me started. If one more publisher decapitates an innocent queen, I am going to boycott Tudor fiction.

I forgot about Plaidy too!

Jacks-A-Million said...

Hi Olivia,
i'm also a young fan of the Tudors and have been for a while. i suggest looking into a series by Caroly Meyer. As far as I know she has four book, one about Anne, Elizabeth, Mary, and Catherine. They are more Historical fiction but are really good. Also the books by Carolly Erickson are very good. I've read the one on Elizabeth, Mary, and Catherine. But if you just go to your local library you'll be surprised how many books there are about the Tudors!

Merlin said...

I absolutely agree about Nora Lofts. Its a pity her novels seem to be out of print now but you can pick them up at second hand bookshops fairly easily. 'The Concubine' is a good read as is 'The Kings Pleasure' (about Katherine of Aragon). 'The Lute Player' is super. I also second the recommendation of Hilda Lewis- her Mary Tudor trilogy is excellent.

Merlin said...

..Oh yes- I forgot to mention CJ Sansom's Tudor detective books ('Sovereign' is my favorite). They're well researched and a gripping read. Also, try Sharon Penman- set in medieval times rather than Tudor, but 'The Sun in Splendour' (about the wars of the roses) is good for Tudor background history.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Carolyn Meyer writes awesome books.
I loved the book "Nine days a Queen" by Ann Rinaldi. It's about Lady Jane Grey, it got me into the Tudor period. Also "Katherine Howard" by Joanna Denny was interesting to read.

Anonymous said...

I never realised there were so many Tudor fiction books out there - in terms of non-fiction the two books I would recommend on Elizabeth are John Guy's Elizabeth I and Margaret COllinson's Elizabeth both of which lay out here reign quite brilliantly. I'll be checking out some of these Tudor tales soon though!