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History novels anyone? (1 Viewer)


Ok i'm in the middle of reading War and Peace because it's ridiculously long and I enjoy the writing style but I am writing this now to ask if their are any other historical books out there written in whatever era pre-industrialistaion or even historically interesting enough to read. I don't see many people reading history books so I'm wondering and hoping i'm not just a big fool for reading them because i'm the only one that does.. anyone else?


Senior Member
There are, of course, plenty of historical novels. In fact, there's even a Historical Novel Society dedicated to them

I read a great book about Eleanor of Aquitain, which is a true historical story, but written in the form of a novel. It's won a stack of awards and critical acclaim, and I'd heavily recommended for anyone with even the vaguest interest in medieval history. Here's a link to it..

If you want something more fictional, and set further in the past, you could try Stonehenge, A novel of 2000BC or Sarum: The novel of England, both of which are entirely fictional novels set against the backdrop of the famous stone circle.

Anyway, I hope those links give you a starting point. There's some good books out there in this category, so you'll never be short of something to read. :)


Senior Member
As Joseph Conrad once said, "fiction is truer than history."

I believe that was the introduction to Heart of Darkness.

Other good historically based fiction:
Dr. Faustus by Thomas Mann
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway

And any number of books actually written in the period of history in which you're interested.


Senior Member
I suppose Bernard Cornwells "Sharpe" and "Grail" series count as historical fiction, even if the truth is bent to fit the story.

The Sharp books are great, set in the Nepolionic (not spelt right) wars. However there are about 20X 350 page books :shock:

If you like that kind of thing.

Ben M


Bernard is the best historical fiction writer out there know. He has a whole list of books and serios. The best one in my oppoin is Stonehenge.


Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles are absolutely amazing!!
But if you want more factual stuff, check out The Killer Angels by Michael Sharra. It's about Gettysberg. :)



London, the novel
By: Edward Rutherfurd

Some very good historical fiction.


OK I am drooling here. I LOVE historical novels, especially if they have an interesting twist to them. I recomend anything by Margaret George, Sharon Kay Penman, or Diana Gabaldon. Sadly they have moved Diana Gabaldon's books to the romance section which will deter may of the male species from reading them :x . But she is an amazingly awesome writer with unique ideas and her books are NOT romance novels. If you are looking for interesting non fiction try Carolly Erickson, Antonia Fraser, or Alison Weir.

Kimberly Bird

Senior Member
Hi Druid. I used to belong to the Portfolio Society, when I could afford to buy the books, now I just sigh when they send me catalogs. Anyhow, there are some fantastic history books they offer every year. Heck, I even read about my one ancestor from over two hundred and fifty years back in a book called A Georgian Rake by William Hickey. It was funny reading that my ancestor was taking Mercury for the clap so he couldn't drink with Wellington and the boys. I wonder if Mercury ever did cure this?

Anyhow, best of luck, have fun.



Senior Member
Hello druid,

Glad to see you are intersted in history.

I have a few books on the top of my mind that were not written pre-industrialism but occur in times prior to that.

John Jakes: many books by him, I will list a few....

Charleston-about south carolina in the civil war

The lawyer- The accounts of Abe Lincoln

The Bastard-The Revolutionary from the perspective of a fictional character.

Jeff Shaara

The killer Angels-totally factual read about the Civil War

Gods and Generals- total factual book about the Civil War particularly in the perspective of the south in the eyes of Thomas "Stonewall" jackson and Robert E. Lee.

upton Sinclair (brillant man)

The jungle-takes place in 188-? about immigration to America and what it is like to assimliate into a "free" society while working in a crude meat factory, prior to food inspection.


Senior Member
I finished reading The Outsiders. I guess it's not rich with wars or finding new land or that kind of history. It's set around the 1950's, about "greasers" and what hard times they have. It's sort of like "West Side Story."