Category Archives: Historical Fiction

New Historical Fiction Novel from Bernard Cornwell 2017

I’m a big fan of historical fiction (as you might guess from the stories that I write and the content of this blog!) So I was interested to hear that there will be a new Bernard Cornwell book later in this year – and one that’s not part of his normal series – or on a subject that he would normally write about.

I really enjoy Cornwell’s action stories–he writes well and creates strong stories. You could argue that the books are a bit formulaic after a while, but they’re good reads nevertheless.

His latest is set in Elizabethan England and follows the life of one Richard Shakespeare – it’s not out until October and there’s not a great deal of information on it – not even a cover image at the moment – but it sounds intriguing – probably the most notable difference from most of his work is that it does not involve military matters.

Here’s what I have from the Amazon website:

Fools and Mortals Kindle
by Bernard Cornwell

A dramatic new departure for international bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, FOOLS AND MORTALS takes us into the heart of the Elizabethan era, long one of his favourite periods of British history.

Fools and Mortals follows the young Richard Shakespeare, an actor struggling to make his way in a company dominated by his estranged older brother, William. As the growth of theatre blooms, their rivalry – and that of the playhouses, playwrights and actors vying for acclaim and glory – propels a high-stakes story of conflict and betrayal.

And the link to it on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk for pre-orders.

 

The Best Historical Fiction of All Time – have you read them all?

I was doing some research recently into which historical fiction novels are recognized as being the best of all time – the books that every budding historical fiction author and reader should have read. Of course there is no definitive list – such a thing can and should only ever be a matter of opinion. I found lists on the Telegraph site, Publisher’s Weekly, and of course Goodreads has several reader-curated list- as well.

The most reference one however seemed to be a list published by the Guardian/Observer back in 2012. Here’s what they have:

  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • Romola by George Eliot
  • The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
  • Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
  • Pure by Andrew Miller
  • The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
  • I, Claudius by Robert Graves
  • Property by Valerie Martin
  • The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker

I have to confess that I have only read War and Peace, Wolf Hall, I, Claudius and the first of The Regeneration Trilogy – so no idea about the others. I think given that this is the Guardian its quite a literary fiction based list. I’d agree with these 4 titles that I know being on the list for sure, but I think for pure entertainment value I would have to add The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas well. But also what about Tale of Two Cities by Dickens?

What about you? What else should be on the list – please comment below – I’d love to hear what you think.