Friday, September 11, 2009

HT Recommends

During Elizabeth Chadwick week, one of our commenters, Terry, sent an email asking the following:

I have devoured all of EC's books and absolutely adored them, so now I am looking for suggestions as to what to read next. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

It seemed like an ideal time to have another post in our new feature HT Recommends. We also thought we would ask Misfit for her input given her great guest posts during EC Week. So Terry, here are our recommendations:

Sharon Penman - If you are looking for historical fiction set during the medieval period, it is extremely hard to go past Sharon Penman, especially if you love chunky, meaty and really enjoyable reads!

Roberta Gellis - Way back when we started this blog, Ana named Roberta Gellis as one of her favourite authors, and her name was pretty quickly raised when this question was asked! Personally I haven't read her yet, but a quick look at her website today makes me think that there are definitely some of her medieval novels that I really want to read!

Edith Pargeter - especially The Heaven Tree Trilogy which is set in the 13th century.

Valerie Anand - the Gildenford books (Gildenford, The Norman Pretender, The Disputed Crown and King of the Wood. Misfit also says don't let the Amazon price of Gildenford scare you off, it can be found for much less).

Susan Higganbotham - I recently read Hugh and Bess and really enjoyed it, so if you are looking for an author with a short and accessible backlist, this might be a good choice.

Brian Wainwright's Within the Fetterlock - it is a later medieval period but very well written. Not an easy read but very rewarding.

Thomas Costain - Below the Salt. Misfit has read and enjoyed this book. He also has a series on the Plantagenet Kings.

Helen Hollick - The only Hollick I have read so far is set earlier than Elizabeth Chadwick's books, but was very enjoyable, and extremely readable.

Susan Howatch - Wrote three books that while being set in 19/20 C mirror the Plantagenets. It's fun to spot who is who.

Penmarric, Henry II Eleanor and the devil's brood.
Cashelmara, Edward I and II along with Piers Gaveston and Hugh Despenser
Wheel of Fortune covers Edward III through I believe Henry Bolingbroke. I believe one of the POV's is from "John of Gaunt" and his Katherine.

So readers, is there an author that we have missed that we should have mentioned?


  1. How will I ever read all of these books I keep adding to my pile before I die? Which, according to a Facebook quiz, is in three years...

  2. So many books, so little time. Gellis has a good knowledge of the medieval period and customs, but just don't read too many too close together. Sometimes she get a bit carried away being *explainatory*. The first three of the Roselynde books are her best IMHO.

  3. I tried posting a comment but it seems to have disappeared so I will try again. Thanks for your wonderful recommendations on what to read after Elizabeth Chadwick. I have read quite a few of them, have some of them on my TBR pile and will add the rest to my wish list. Also have To Defy a King from Elizabeth Chadwick to look forward to next year along with Susan Higginbotham's The Stolen Crown! I really appreciate you taking the time to come up with a great list in answer to my question. Thanks again to you all!

  4. I thnk Jean Plaidy is a must for lovers of historical fiction. I wouldn't read them all in one sitting but I do read one every now and again.

    Great list so I'm going to check some of them out.

  5. Well, both of my suggestions are historical mystery series authors: Peter Tremayne for Sister Fidelma, set in dark ages Ireland and Laura Joh Rowland for the Sano Ichiro series set in feudal Japan (16th or 17th century). Also The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber. It's set in 1870's Britain with a prostitute protagonist who wants to climb out of the gutter. Excellent stuff all. :)

    ~Happy Reading All


  6. Many thanks Marg for your kind words and prayers following my FIL's death.

  7. Terry, thanks for asking this question but yikes, nore books to add to my TBR!