Writing Historical Fiction discussion

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Roman fiction

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message 1: by Lois (new)

Lois (loisbennett) | 2 comments I've been considering writing some Roman fiction... it's quite a leap from my usual Victorian stuff, though, so I have a fair bit of research to do before I begin...


message 2: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Lewis | 19 comments I have started an Anglo/Romano set story but I don't know where it is going to go yet. It is a long way from my normal early Briton Celt era that I usually like to write.


message 3: by Scott (new)

Scott Hunter | 2 comments Hi Lois and Valerie! There is definitely a lot of research involved! But there are some great resources out there - I use a book by Peter Salway called 'Roman Britain' - it's really good; plenty of detail and fascinating facts. Keep me posted with your progress!


message 4: by Lois (new)

Lois (loisbennett) | 2 comments Thanks for the research book recommendation!


message 5: by Mark (new)

Mark Patton (mark_patton) | 6 comments Yes, my second novel, An Accidental King, is set in the early years of Roman Britain (43-80 AD) and is all about the relationships between Romans and Britons. My central character is a pro-Roman Briton, and my story looks at the ways in which he becomes compromised by his own vision.


message 6: by Hazel (last edited Jun 12, 2012 07:25PM) (new)

Hazel West | 16 comments I'm planning an upcoming Roman novel. Does anyone know of good reference material on the Romans in Britain or gladiators or just every day Roman life?


message 7: by Mark (new)

Mark Patton (mark_patton) | 6 comments Hazel: J.Carcopino's Daily Life in Ancient Rome is great for details of things like the structure of the Roman day, Roman households etc. Gladiators didn't feature much in my research, but there's probably a case for going back to the primary sources. For Roman Britain, some of the best material is site-specific (London, Colchester etc.). Where will your novel be set, and during what part of the Roman period?


message 8: by Mark (new)

Mark Patton (mark_patton) | 6 comments Among the primary sources for gladiators, perhaps the most useful is Livy's History of Rome.


message 9: by Hazel (new)

Hazel West | 16 comments Thanks Mark. As the story is still in its preliminary stages I'm really not sure what time I want it. I need to do a bit of research first. Only the first part is set in Britain as well and one of my characters is a Celt from either Lowland Scotland or Northern England. Again, I need to do research to figure out all the details.


message 10: by Mark (new)

Mark Patton (mark_patton) | 6 comments In that case, you might like to include, in your research, Tacitus's Agricola and Nicki Howarth's biography of Cartimandua, both of which provide context for Lowland Scotland and Northern England. Of course, there are also the Vindolanda Letters, which provide wonderful human detail, as well as named individuals who could feature as major/minor characters.


message 11: by Hazel (new)

Hazel West | 16 comments Thanks again! I'll add those to my list of books to look for.


message 12: by Elaine M. (new)

Elaine M. (brookibrik) | 5 comments Robert Graves books 'I Claudius'
and 'Claudius the God' are well
written and researched and there is a television series / video
etc. An interesting titbit, I once heard of a story of Pontius Pilots
stint in Britian contained a visit quite farther north still apparently he visited a. famous Yew tree in Aberfeldy which was a record age. circa 40-20 BC.
Perhaps this is well known, it was
new to me.


message 13: by James (new)

James Hockey (goodreadscomTriton) | 16 comments Scott wrote: "Hi all - I am writing a sequel to my historical novel 'The Serpent & the Slave' -- set in Britannia, 369AD, it follows the progress of Count Theodosius as he clears the Barbarian raiders out of the..."

My second novel The Axe the Shield and the Halig Rood which is the sequel to the first is set in Britannia in 462 AD. It is written from the POV of migrants driven from their home in Holstein by famine and invasion. My 'barbarians' do not come as raiders and become confederates of the Dux of Durnovaria. My Britannia, fifty years after the Romans left is broken into tiny competing city states at war with each other.


message 14: by Scott (new)

Scott Hunter | 2 comments Anyone read Harry Sidebottom's 'The Caspian Gates?' What did you think?


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