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Old 02-21-2012, 03:55 PM
AnnabelAndrews AnnabelAndrews is offline
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Default What's your favourite novel set in the past?

Hello,
What's your favourite novel set in the past? Why? Has any novel helped in your family tree researched or helped you imagine how your ancestors lived?

We want your mini-reviews of your favourite historical fiction. It can be a book written now and set in the past or a book written in the time it's set. You can write them here in the forum or email them to me at annabel.andrews@futurenet.com. The best will appear in a future issue of Your Family Tree, along with the YFT team's selection.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:46 PM
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Anne L Anne L is offline
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Hi Annabel

Anything written by Elizabeth Chadwick! Being set in medieval times, they're beyond the scope of most family historians, but they cannot be beaten for historical and social history details. She used to write fictional historical novels but for the past few years has concentrated on writing about real people and how they influenced history. I've just read 'Lady of the English' about Matilda, daughter of Henry I, mother of Henry II and famous for fighting a civil war with her cousin, Stephen. Wonderful atmospheric stuff! Her latest project is writing about Henry II who married Eleanor of Aquitaine. Should be another good one!

Anne L
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:08 PM
bcbrit bcbrit is offline
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Hi Annabel,

My all time favourite historical novel is by Josephine Tey.

It is called "The Daughter Of Time " and I think should be read by family researchers as it shows the importance of using contemporary records.

Set in the 1950's Inspector Grant is in flat on his broken back in hospital . A portrait postcard of Richard III sets him off to work out whether he did murder this two nephews - the Princes in the Tower. He uses a young researcher who spends a lot of time reading old documents.written at that time.

A really excellent read !

bcbrit
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:53 PM
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Suec Suec is offline
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I think Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks is very high on my list. I read it soon after I became interested in FH and it brought WW1 to life for me.
I read Helen Carey's WW2 trilogy a few years ago. (Lavendar Rd, Some Sunny Day and a Wing and a Prayer,) They are set in a street in South London, very close to where I had family. They're full of detail on the lives of ordinary folk in wartime London - especially women. It's well researched and every character - the aspiring actress, the struggling mother, have their own mini drama. Very believable and evocative. I've lost my copies because I've lent it to so many people, so happy to see it's just out on Kindle.
I also love everything by Evelyn Waugh but will go for Brideshead Revisted.
So not very far back in history for 'favourites' , though I have read my Dickens! I tend to read biography, pre 20th Century.
Suec
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Last edited by Suec; 02-24-2012 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:49 PM
AnnabelAndrews AnnabelAndrews is offline
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Great suggestions everyone! We'll be sure to use some of these reviews in a future issue - they don't have to be just historical fiction, any book related to family or social history!
@Suec - Birdsong is one of my very favourites. I didn't manage to get into the TV series as much though - what did you think?
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:11 PM
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Suec Suec is offline
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I thought the TV version of Birdsong was good, as a piece of television. It worked as a love story, but there is so much more in the book, inevitably. The lives of the men who dug the London Underground - and the trenches - are fascinating.
Glad it's one of your favourites, Annabel.
Suec
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:09 AM
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Jolly Roger Jolly Roger is offline
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Well not really any book.

But any about the building of the Settle Carlisle railway about life in the shanty towns and working conditions.

And also any book about Hannah Hauxwell life in her farm in Teesdale, on what life must have been like living in the dales in years gone by. This area is where most of my farming ancestors lived.

JR
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:57 AM
Mellie Mellie is offline
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What about the Railway Detective series by Edward Marston all about the early days of the railway, or The Morland Dynasty by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles a series of books following the fortunes of the Morland family from 1434 to the 1920's.

Margaret
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:52 PM
AnnabelAndrews AnnabelAndrews is offline
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Thanks so much everyone for your book reviews! You can see them in the latest issue or on our website here: http://www.yourfamilytreemag.co.uk/2...-books-lately/
- would anyone like to write a book review for this month's issue?
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