Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Feature: HT Recommends

A little while ago we were asked by one of our readers about historical fiction recommendations set in Rome or Florence, Italy. This was the starting point for us to create a new feature for Historical Tapestry. From now on if you want any historical fiction recommendations, be them of a specific setting, period, character, just drop us a line and we will see what we come up with. Better yet we will post your request here so that anyone can add to the titles recommended.

Our first request is from Maire who says:

In a couple of months, I'm traveling to Rome and Florence. Beforehand, I'd really like to read some good historical fiction set in those cities. Since you all seem to know a lot about the genre, I was wondering if you could recommend some good reads? I'm specifically thinking about either the Renaissance or Medieval time periods.

So far, I've thought about these:
Laurie Albanese - The Miracles of Prato
Diane Haeger - The Ruby Ring

Susan Vreeland - The Passion of Artemisia

But I'm just not sure if they'd be good. Any advice that any of you can give me would be very appreciated!

The titles we recommend are:

David Blixt - Master of Verona
Lindsey Davis - Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries
Sarah Dunant - In the Company of The Courtesan
Sarah Dunant - The Birth of Venus
Robin Maxwell - Signora DaVinci
Susan Vreeland - The Passion of Artemisia, that Maire mentioned

Does anyone have other titles to recommend?


  1. I've just finished I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis. I wasn't sure about it when I started it but I really loved it by the time I finished.

    I really like this feature -- I'll be referring to it often, I know!!

  2. When thinking of Rome, for me, there is one series that shines above all others: THE MASTERS OF ROME by Colleen McCullough. The series starts with the historical events leading to the birth of Julius Caesar, and ends with the deaths of Antony and Cleopatra. The first book is THE FIRST MAN IN ROME. Daunting in size, but man, are they good!

  3. I enjoyed Miracles of Prato and can recommend it. For Rome, Steven Saylor's Roma sub Rosa mysteries are terrific: Roman Blood is the first in the series. Irving Stone's Agony and the Ecstasy would be a perfect choice, as Michelangelo's career takes him to both Florence and Rome, and presumably Maire will be seeing David & the Sistine Chapel.

    Ruby Ring is just ok, I thought. It wasn't really to my taste.