Dynasties in Fiction
Novels centering on the fate of a family, regardless whether real or invented.

Please note: Only novels actually placing the family in question center stage, and following the fates of its members, typically over the course of several generations. (I.e., NO novels merely interconnected by individually featuring certain characters belonging to the same family -- such as Emile Zola's "Rougeon-Macquart" series -- nor novels whose central character is, in turn, merely linked to a given family, even if by marriage, as is the case in "Twilight").

1 War and Peace
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2 The Godfather
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3 One Hundred Years of Solitude
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4 The Forsyte Saga (The Forsy...
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5 East of Eden
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6 When Christ and His Saints ...
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7 Buddenbrooks: The Decline o...
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8 Here be Dragons (Welsh Prin...
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9 Kristin Lavransdatter (Kris...
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10 Time and Chance (Henry II &...
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11 Fall of Giants (The Century...
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12 Devil's Brood  (Henry II & ...
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13 Falls the Shadow  (Welsh Pr...
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14 The Reckoning  (Welsh Princ...
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15 Midnight's Children
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16 The Thorn Birds
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 196,144 ratings
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17 The Cairo Trilogy: Palace W...
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18 The Leopard
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 8,340 ratings
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19 The History of Tom Jones, a...
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 18,176 ratings
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20 The Greatest Knight (Willia...
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 4,491 ratings
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21 The House of the Seven Gables
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22 The Red Tent
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23 The Rainbow (Brangwen Famil...
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23 Ottoman
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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 26 ratings
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25 I, Claudius
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 28,321 ratings
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26 The Sound and the Fury
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 97,803 ratings
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26 Roots: The Saga of an Ameri...
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4.39 of 5 stars 4.39 avg rating — 89,966 ratings
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28 A Falcon Flies (The Ballant...
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29 To Defy a King (William Mar...
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30 The Time of Singing (Willia...
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31 The Palliser Novels: 6-Volu...
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32 The House of the Spirits
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32 A Place Beyond Courage (Wil...
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34 The Scarlet Lion (William M...
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35 God Is an Englishman (Swann...
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36 Lionheart
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37 Winter of the World (The Ce...
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38 North and South (North and ...
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39 A Rose for Emily
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40 Absalom, Absalom!
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 24,171 ratings
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41 The Magnificent Ambersons (...
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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 5,119 ratings
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41 Joseph Knight
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 110 ratings
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43 The Mallen Trilogy: Three M...
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 182 ratings
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44 Things Fall Apart (The Afri...
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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55 avg rating — 149,756 ratings
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45 James Clavell Library: Gai-...
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4.68 of 5 stars 4.68 avg rating — 94 ratings
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46 The Bridal Wreath (Kristin ...
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47 Master of the Game
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48 The Heaven Tree Trilogy
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49 Wild Swans: Three Daughters...
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50 The Last Lord of Paradise-G...
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51 No Longer at Ease
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51 Hungry Hill
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53 The Leopard Hunts in Darkne...
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53 Men of Men (The Ballantyne ...
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55 The Angels Weep (The Ballan...
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56 No Great Mischief
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57 Castle Rackrent
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3.15 of 5 stars 3.15 avg rating — 1,224 ratings
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58 The Painted Drum
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 4,107 ratings
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59 We Were the Mulvaneys
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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 59,906 ratings
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60 The Master of Hestviken
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60 Rape of the Fair Country
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 115 ratings
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62 The Four Horsemen of the Ap...
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62 London
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64 As I Lay Dying
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 75,710 ratings
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64 Hosts Of Rebecca
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66 Song of the Earth
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67 The Bastard of Istanbul
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68 Rich Man, Poor Man
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 17,681 ratings
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69 Ross Poldark (Poldark, #1)
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70 Anna's Book
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71 Autumn Bridge
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71 Meridon
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 6,532 ratings
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73 The Oppermanns
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 182 ratings
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73 The Emigrants (The Emigrant...
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73 A Legacy
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73 La straniera (La straniera,...
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73 The Favored Child (The Wide...
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78 From the Terrace
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79 A Favourite of the Gods
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80 The Moor's Last Sigh
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 8,200 ratings
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81 Collected Stories
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82 The Last of the Just
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83 Give Us This Day (Swann Sag...
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84 God Knows
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 2,155 ratings
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84 Theirs Was the Kingdom (Swa...
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86 Requiem for a Lost Empire
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 214 ratings
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87 The Time of Our Singing
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 1,464 ratings
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88 Famine
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 225 ratings
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89 The Slow Natives
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90 Love Medicine
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90 The Miller's Dance (Poldark...
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92 The Stranger From The Sea (...
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93 The Angry Tide (Poldark, #7)
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94 Of Marriageable Age
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94 Warleggan (Poldark, #4)
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96 Desirable Daughters
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96 The Four Swans (Poldark, #6)
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 452 ratings
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98 The Black Moon (Poldark, #5)
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 485 ratings
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98 Sarum: The Novel of England
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 25,618 ratings
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100 Jeremy Poldark (Poldark, #3)
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106 books · 42 voters · list created November 18th, 2009 by Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) (votes) .
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) So the bible is a novel, Thom? :)


message 2: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Themis-Athena wrote: "So the bible is a novel, Thom? :)"

I wouldn't say so, but Lord knows there are many novels set within the framework of Biblical literature and lore. Certainly novels which center on descent from Abraham should make the cut. I'd love to add books within the Book of Mormon which are based on the "Twig of Jesse" theme, but fear I'd get my head handed to me on a salver. If "Jacob Have I Loved" doesn't make this list, I want to be informed for I certainly DON'T know what I'm doing.


message 3: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Themis-Athena wrote: "So the bible is a novel, Thom? :)"

I'm all kerfluffled here: "East of Eden" is at the very top of this list...that would allude to THE Ur-Biblical family, yes ?


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Allude to, but "East of Eden" is fiction by common consent -- whereas the bible arguably is fiction only to atheists. (The list is intended to be limited to novels.)

I must admit I haven't read any of the books entitled "Jacob Have I Loved," but from what I gather, two of the three seem to be dealing with the relationship between siblings, which would at least be stretching the definition (in any event, the books' descriptions/ editorial summaries don't sound particularly "dynastic" to me).

FWIW, I thought hard whether to include Thomas Mann's "Joseph" tetralogy, but ultimately decided against it, because "dynasty" isn't the one overarching word I'd use to describe that tetralogy's core focus, either. To the extent an actual dynasty comes into play, it's more the ruling pharaonic dynasty of Egypt (to which Joseph becomes an advisor), and even the "family" aspect of the novels is mainly concerned with the relationship between Joseph and his brothers, which doesn't make it a dynastic set of novels, either, in my book.

Your call, though, of course ...


message 5: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Themis-Athena wrote: "Allude to, but "East of Eden" is fiction by common consent -- whereas the bible arguably is fiction only to atheists. (The list is intended to be limited to novels.)

I must admit I haven't read a..."


"Jacob have I loved, but Esau I have hated"...hence the split between the Israelites and the Moabites (I think)....but, yeah, the only one I would keep is The Red Tent, Biblical fiction....Oh ! "No Longer at Ease" and "Things Fall Apart"
In these two novels, Achebe gives us 4 generations of Okonkwo's family as a microcosm of the destruction wrought by the arrival of the colonizers.



message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura great list TA!!!


message 9: by Laura (new)

Laura Do you think the Poldgark saga applies to this list?


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Hmmm. I have to admit I haven't read it (yet), but isn't it chiefly concerned with Ross Poldark and his own generation?


message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura Yes it is. I just read the ninth book where the main characters belong to the 2nd generation of the Poldgark's.


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Why don't we do books 1 and 9 then -- that would at least cover two generations ... :)


message 13: by Laura (new)

Laura Great idea Themis, I'll add them.


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