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").

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107 books · 58 voters · list created November 18th, 2009 by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (votes) .
26 likes · 
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Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 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 (Lioness at Large) 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.



Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Yes -- indeed!


message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura great list TA!!!


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Thank you! :)


message 9: by Laura (new)

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


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 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 (Lioness at Large) 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.


message 14: by Elyse (new)

Elyse I was going to add A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth's Castle by Liza Campbell but it is a memoir. I read in the description above "Novels centering on the fate of a family, regardless whether REAL (my capitalization) or invented." The Campbell's are a real family with a lonnnggg history. This book is non-fiction.

Since novels are always fiction did you mean to say, Themis-Athena, "BOOKS centering on the fate of a family, regardless whether real or invented."? Or do you want historical fiction based on real characters?


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