European Royalty discussion

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message 1: by Sera (new)

Sera I'm really glad that you started this discussion topic. It's going to be fun to talk about British history in the context of historical fiction. Go Tudors!


message 2: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments OMG, thanks for joining my group! I absolutely love reading about British history (both fiction and non-fiction). I'm definitely a big fan of the Tudors - who could not be fascinated by Henry VIII and all of his wives? That's how I fell in love with Jean Plaidy. I've been working my way through her books chronologically starting with The Bastard King (William the Conqueror). I've gotten through her books on Queen Elizabeth I so far. What other authors do you like? I've just bought The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory to try out. I've never read a book by her yet. I've also read one or two by Norah Lofts (in addition to a ton of non-fiction by writers whose names are escaping me right now).


message 3: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments I'm putting the general English royal houses up as topics just to give some order to any discussions (and maybe to spark discussions as more people join).


message 4: by Sera (new)

Sera I love your idea about posting by English royal house.

I read The Other Boleyn Girl and found it to be way over the top. It's an interesting, but it is unlikely that I would read her again. I bought a couple of Carolyn Erickson books on Henry VIII, which I would like to read. I have read Alison Wier, An Innocent Traitor. Although this novel is historical fiction, she generally writes non-fiction about Henry VIII.

I also have a Queen Victoria biography that I have been dying to check. I read The King, the Kaiser and the Czar, which is about the chilhoods of these three men and how their familial ties had an impact on WWI. Queen Victoria was their grandmother so I'd like to know more about her. Also, Nicholas II and his family, the Romanovs, are my favorite royal family to study.


message 5: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments I've talked to some other people about The Other Boleyn Girl, and I've gotten the feeling that some liberties have been taken with the historical accuracy. Someone tried to tell me that Mary Boleyn had two kids by Henry VIII, and I got the feeling this information came from that book (I haven't read it yet, so I'm not sure if that's correct it came from that book). If that's the case, I may end up throwing the book across the room! I understand that historical fiction is fiction, but I enjoy it much better when it's as historically accurate as possible and the authors mainly use fiction to fill in the blanks.

I like Alison Wier and Carolyn Erickson. Antonia Fraser and David Starkey are also good non-fiction historians. I have books by all of these authors which are pretty good.

I just read a couple of books on the Romanovs within the past year. I'd like to read some more. I didn't realize how intertwined they were with the rest of Europe's royal families. I really enjoyed The Flight of the Romanovs by John Perry and Constantine Pleshakov. It described how the family scattered throughout Europe and beyond after 1917. If you haven't read this book you should add it as a "to read" (especially since you like the Romanovs a lot).


message 6: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments I decided to broaden the group name to better reflect the direction this group seems to be heading! Why limit ourselves to Jean Plaidy and the British? It also may be more appealing to other people and easier for them to find. I know there's a lot more royalty lovers out there!


message 7: by Sera (new)

Sera Great idea, Sara! I really like that you broadened the discussion to include other European families.

I'm going to put the Romanov book that you recommended on "to read" list. There is also a great biography on Peter the Great if you are interested. He was a fascinating man, but the book is a tome. Well worth the effort though.

I'm also going to look into Antonia Fraser. I saw books on clearance by her on B&N.com, but I didn't order them. I did get The Kitchen Boy, which looks very interesting.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Hello, all! To clarify on The Other Boleyn Girl, Mary does not have any children by Henry in the book, but I believe she has some by her lover and eventually husband.


message 9: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Thanks Sidhegirl! I haven't gotten to read it yet, but the person I spoke to who thought Henry had kids by Mary must have gotten that idea from something else. I knew she had read that book, so I thought it might have come from there.

Welcome to the group!


message 10: by Kim (new)

Kim hi there...new to the group....but after I had read The Other Boleyn.(2004)..I went on line and was reading about Henry and all of his wives...and they do elude to Henry having at least one child with Mary...her oldest son was also named Henry...however there were lots of Henry's named for the King but not necessarily sired by him...anyway...Henry..mary's son died quite young...so when there was questions on inheriting the throne...little henry was already dead anyway...that is what I had read on one of the websites...not saying that it is completely accurate..


message 11: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Hi Kim, welcome to the group! Thanks for the information. It probably wouldn't be surprising if Mary had a child by Henry. It may be one of those things that's never known for sure, especially if the child died young. I read a book about Henry VIII's children that discussed Edward, Mary, Elizabeth and Henry Fitzroy (illegitimate son by Bessie Blount) - all of these kids lived to be at least teenagers though, so if he had any other kids that died very young, I can understand why they weren't mentioned in the book.


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