My All Time Favorite Historical Fiction
Imagine all the King Arthur legends. Now strip out all of the magical and supernatural aspects of the story. What could have really happened to inspire those stories?
I love this series! It starts with two men, veterans of the Roman legions, who retire to Britain. They realize that Rome will be retreating from the area eventually. In order to protect their lands they start a colony that can be self sustaining and self protecting. They call it Camulod.
Over the series you see the development of Camulod through several generations of these two families – ending with Merlin and Arthur. I reread the early books in the series often but I’ve never reread anything with Arthur. I hate him so much for destroying everyone else’s work.
This series ruined all other King Arthur stories for me too. This is the definitive Arthur in my mind.
You can pick whatever book you like to start reading the Gears but if you are in the U.S. I recommend picking the one set near where you live. The Gears are archeologists and write stories start with a controversy in archeology and then move into pre-Columbian historical fiction imagining the history of that archeological site or artifact.
This story of Catherine the Great was amazing. She was a young girl when she came from Poland to Russia. Her growth into a powerful leader is very interesting.
I didn’t know anything about her before I read this book. She was fascinating. What happened to her during the Revolution was scary. She isn’t just the person behind the cheesy wax museums.
This is a wonderful historical novel about the life of Antonio Vivaldi, the composer best known for writing The Four Seasons. He was a priest who worked in a home for abandoned children in Venice. He wrote many of his works to be performed by the female musicians there. These women were talented musicians who signed a promise never to perform again if they left the home to marry. In this book, he takes a private student from a prominent family who is wonderful violinist. As he teaches her they fall in love and begin an affair. When the truth of this comes out, her family is scandalized. The book follows both Vivaldi and his student, Adriana over the next thirty years to see what this affair cost them both.
This book is the story of an upper class girl kidnapped in a raid on Jamaica. She is sold into slavery and eventually gets her freedom just in time for the American Revolution to turn her world upside down again.
Sarah Grimke was a southern woman who became an abolitionist. She was given a slave child, Hetty, for her birthday when she was 11. This is the story of the next 35 years of their lives.
Mary Sutter wanted to be a doctor but that wasn’t allowed in the mid-1800s. She helped out with nursing during the Civil War. This book teaches a lot about battlefield medicine or the lack thereof during the war.
Native Americans also had black slaves. This is the story of several generations of a family that was enslaved by the Creeks and then earned their freedom.
You can’t forget the classics. My favorite is Valley of the Horses.