- In the past year or two, the books I have picked up have been almost
exclusively historical fiction, reading almost anything I can find having
to do with British history - but written as fiction. I have gotten mixed
results in just picking up books off of the shelves. The best reads have
come from suggestions from friends who had similar tastes as myself, which
is why I wanted to join this list. I thought I should at least pass along
the suggestions, though.
I would suggest that anyone should read the Outlander series by Diana
Gabaldon. They are well-written, funny, sad, historically true, with good
romance, good adventure, and an all-around good time. There is the added
element of time travel, but that, according to Ms Gabaldon, was a fluke.
She meant to keep it all in the 18th century, but Claire (the lead female)
kept saying things that were completely anachronistic. These books take
place in Scotland, France, and America in the 17th Century. As well as
Scotland and America in the 20th.
For some fantastically written books having to do with the British Isles, I
would recommend anything written by Sharon Kay Penman. She takes true life
stories, but often with a perspective uncommon in the history books. The
first one I read by her was about Richard III - from his perspective, not
that of the winners (the Tudors). This book, The Sunne in Splendour, gives
much more sympathy to Richard's story than you will generally find
elsewhere. She has a set of three books, as well, that chronicle the Welsh
in their heyday - in the 12th and 13th centuries. These books are all
long, but very well worth it.
Those are my very best ideas.