All Things Medieval discussion

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How did you get hooked?

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message 1: by Nona, compulsive reader (new)

Nona (goodreadscomnona) | 151 comments Mod
Most everyone here loves history or a period in history that draws them into it. I thought it would be neat to share how we dicovered it and why we enjoy it so much.


message 2: by Susan C (new)

Susan C (somersetpurplegmailcom) | 70 comments The covers caught my eyes first. Book covers are very important to me, I have an office/library and I want my shelves to look nice.

Once I started reading a few of the books I became more and more interested in the genre. I'm addicted to buying all royalty books from the different eras.

I really need to look at and study a good European Royalty timeline, so I will know where to start when my new books arrive.


message 3: by Nona, compulsive reader (new)

Nona (goodreadscomnona) | 151 comments Mod
here is a neat timeline I like

http://www.britannia.com/history/h6f....

it's got really good information on each ruler and the time frame of when they assumed the throne to the next ruler.


message 4: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments I have to fess up to reading true crime for years and I was first hooked on historical romances (especially medievals) and eventually I moved into historical fiction. I did love those romances (Garwood for the most part) but I'm guessing I'd never be able to go back again.

At some point at Amazon, whether it was on my recommended or on a Listmania I discovered Elizabeth Chadwick. Falcons of Montabard was my first and I've never looked back since. Had to have them all. After that it was Penman. And the search continues for more and more.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I suppose I first got interested in the medieval era when my class went on a schooltrip to the Tower of London. I remember it overwhelmed me, the sheer age of everything, and I kept thinking how people had stood exactly where I stood, so many centuries ago, and I was astonished by the scratchings on the dungeon walls.


message 6: by Nona, compulsive reader (new)

Nona (goodreadscomnona) | 151 comments Mod
oh I envy you Lauren I would so love to see the Tower of London, the history of that place!


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan (boswellbaxter) I became interested in the Wars of the Roses through Shakespeare's plays. A few years ago, I became interested in Edward II after re-reading Marlowe's play about him. I started doing some researching myself and reading some medieval-set fiction, and it ballooned from there!


message 8: by Susan C (new)

Susan C (somersetpurplegmailcom) | 70 comments Nona wrote: "here is a neat timeline I like

http://www.britannia.com/history/h6f....

it's got really good information on each ruler and the time frame of when they assumed the throne to the next ruler."


Thank you so much Nona!


message 9: by Susan C (new)

Susan C (somersetpurplegmailcom) | 70 comments Nona, which kings were during the medieval time?


message 10: by Susan C (new)

Susan C (somersetpurplegmailcom) | 70 comments Does anyone have book suggestions on Edward I-III, Henry I-III or Richard I?


message 11: by Tanzanite (new)

Tanzanite | 10 comments I got hooked by reading two books while on vacation 3 years ago: The Dark Queen by Susan Carroll and The Other Boleyn Girl. Then I discovered there were a lot more books out there like those (historical in nature) and found the original Historical Fiction Forum. We planned our vacation this year to London and focused on historical sites (The Tower, Hampton Court, Westminster and some Welsh castles).


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

That's cool, Tanzanite. You should visit Leeds Castle in Kent, too! It's absolutely stunning and is fully furnished inside. Also, Heaver Castle, also in Kent, is you liked 'The Other Boleyn Girl'.
The castle in my profile pic is of Bodium Castle, in Kent too(!), which is pretty but a ruin, and they charge you to go in, even though it's basically a shell.


message 13: by Susan C (new)

Susan C (somersetpurplegmailcom) | 70 comments Tanzanite wrote: "I got hooked by reading two books while on vacation 3 years ago: The Dark Queen by Susan Carroll and The Other Boleyn Girl. Then I discovered there were a lot more books out there like those (his..."

Good for you!! Enjoy the trip for all of us !


message 14: by Tanzanite (new)

Tanzanite | 10 comments Oh, we already went in May - I wish I was going back! You can read about our trip on my travel blog: uk-mindthegap.blogspot.com. I have one more major post to do about the last castle we visited which I'm hoping to get done this weekend.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh :) Well it sounds like you had a great time! I hope it didn't rain too much?


message 16: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Misfit, thank you for inviting me, and hi to everyone else. Groups have been total failures for me until I found the great group European Royalty and the wonderful people there. Thank you all of you. Misfit should I know about another related group you highly recommend? So, what started me - well having lived in several countries I think that history is very important in understanding why cultures are different. Tuckman is in my to-read list, but well I haven't gotten around to it and it seems dry? Maybe this is wrong, I haven't read it yet. I guess the Last Queen by Gortner hooked me! And the great people in the group makes it fun and easy to learn more and be introduced to good authors.


message 17: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 42 comments I got hooked on the period when I watched a children's TV programme called Desert Crusader - set in the Holy Land in the 12thC. That started me writing about the MA, so then I had to start researching it, and that made me even more interested. Around the same time, I picked up my first Roberta Gellis novels - Bond of Blood, Knight's Honour, The Sword and the Swan. And I was hooked!


message 18: by Nona, compulsive reader (new)

Nona (goodreadscomnona) | 151 comments Mod
Elizabeth do they have that out on video or dvd? I keep hearing about them and I'm curious.


message 19: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 42 comments They do, but you have to get it through Amazon France and it's all in French with no dubbing. Also it's a bit like 'men in tights' I loved it as a teenager because the hero was hot, but I'm not sure it's worth the money to a non-fan who's just curious. It's called Thibaud ou les Croisades in French.


message 20: by Susan C (new)

Susan C (somersetpurplegmailcom) | 70 comments I have also bought Jack Whyte's series on Britain. It starts in 410 A.D. and moves forward. He's a very good storyteller, with history mixed in. He also has a three part series about the Templars, of which I own the fist 2.


message 21: by Brian (new)

Brian (brianwainwright) | 12 comments As with Elizabeth I think a lot of it had to do with the TV diet when I were a lad in Gorton. Robin Hood, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, William Tell, Richard The Lionheart, etc., etc. Plus films such as El Cid, The Vikings, and the Black Shield of Falworth. (Janet Leigh was my first love!)

Then we were in Wales more often than not for holidays so I was for ever climbing over the castles. There was also a book we read at school 'The Woolpack' by Cynthia Hartnett, which open my eyes to the possibility of historical fiction. The rest is (literally) history...


message 22: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I got hooked on the period when I watched a children's TV programme called Desert Crusader - set in the Holy Land in the 12thC. That started me writing about the MA, so then I had to start researc..."

EC, you must share the link to your blog post about that series. That was one of my favorites :)




message 23: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 42 comments Here it is Misfit
http://livingthehistoryelizabethchadw...

Brian - yes, I confess that films such as you mention had their influence on me too - specifically The War Lord. I remember The Woolpack too - excellent book.


message 24: by M. (new)

M. (ludmirermoyd) | 3 comments Bumping this one up....

I got hooked on the Middle Ages in the summer before 7th grade, when I played the Summoner in a staged adaption of The Canterbury Tales. After that I read books about medieval monasteries and ended up writing little short stories about my own monk characters. Umberto Eco's novels (Baudolino and The Name of the Rose specifically) and Ellis Peters' brilliant Brother Cadfael series have gotten me even more interested in the period. The stories of the saints are also a good source of inspiration. :)


message 25: by Bibliophile (new)

Bibliophile | 22 comments Ellis Peters' brilliant Brother Cadfael series have gotten me even more interested in the period.


Miranda, I adore those! And I love her novels as Edith Pargeter too - The Heaven Tree Trilogy and the ones about Llewellyn ap Griffith. (or however that's spelled.) I have to thank my parents who used to borrow the Cadfael books from the Boston Public Library and who never really cared if I read things that were supposedly "for adults." So I got hooked on those fairly early in life!



message 26: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments I haven't read the Cadfael books (I'm not huge on mysteries) but The Heaven Tree trilogy is awesome, beautifully written. Funny how it's about a master stone mason building a great cathedral. And written long before that other one.


message 27: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 42 comments Misfit, you need to read One Corpse Too Many. Never mind the monk, I dare you not to fall in love with Hugh Berenger. Okay, it's a msytery, but that's incidental. It's a darned good little historical novel. Give it a go.


message 28: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Thanks EC, another one for the pile. It will be a while things are out of control again and Gabaldon's is due in a couple of weeks.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 79 comments Yes, and in that one the "mystery" is almost incidental to the horde of other interesting things going on.


message 30: by Bibliophile (new)

Bibliophile | 22 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Misfit, you need to read One Corpse Too Many. Never mind the monk, I dare you not to fall in love with Hugh Berenger."

Heh! Yes, truthfully, it's the characters and the way Peters gives you so much history on the conflict between Maud and Stephen that really draw me into those books (plus, there is almost always some kind of very satisfying romance). I have re-read them many times and even knowing the resolution doesn't affect my enjoyment of the book, which means it is much more than just a mystery. Indeed, Brother Cadfael's Penance is only tenuously a mystery - mostly it's a really good piece of historical fiction.

(You mention Hugh Beringar, and I love him, but my all-time favorite in the Cadfael series is Olivier de Bretagne. Even the descriptions make me swoon :P)



message 31: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (sharonk) | 59 comments Olivier de Bretagne is one of my favorites, too. I can thank him for getting me hooked on the Brother Cadfael series long ago and far away. I was on my way into Wales, and stopped off in Shrewsbury, where I found Virgin in the Ice in a bookshop. I'd never read or even heard of Ellis Peters, but it looked interesting. Once I read it, I had to read more, but couldn't find any of her mysteries in Bangor--this was before Brother Cadfael became a resident of best-seller lists. I actually ended up driving all the way back to Shrewsbury, where I snatched up all the Brother Cadfael books I could find. Virgin in the Ice still remains my favorite, but I agree with Elizabeth about One Corpse Too Many and Hugh Berenger.


message 32: by Jan (new)

Jan (beadyjan) I just love escapism and reading a book about another era is like a little bit of time travel just for me!
I began by enjoying books set in Victorian England, then journeyed back to Tudor times and finally arrived in Medieval times via "The Marsh Kings Daughter" by Elizabeth Chadwick which a friend on another book forum recommended.
When I began to look up some of the fascinating medieval terms like hauberk and pottage I realised that history, a subject I didn't do well in at school was being made fun and accessible via enjoyable fiction.
I just had to join this group to hopefully share this enjoyment and discover more great reads.


message 33: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Careful, Goodreads is dangerous to the pocketboook :)


message 34: by Nona, compulsive reader (new)

Nona (goodreadscomnona) | 151 comments Mod
I love The Marsh Kings Daughter! watch out EC & SKP can suck you in and you'll suddenly find other authors falling short.


message 35: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Oct 20, 2009 10:08AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 79 comments I think I first got hooked by the Medieval when I was 11 - my parents took me to The Cloisters, which I loved, and got me Made in the Middle Ages at the gift shop.

My mother then gave me a great YA historical novel about Eleanor of Aquitaine when I was twelve - A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, by E.L. Konigsburg.

When I was 13, my Civil War Summer, I took a break from the 1860s with Thomas Costain's books from the 50s about the Plantagenets. Loved those, too.

P.S.: One Corpse Too Many is, I think, my favorite Brother Cadfael.


message 36: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (sharonk) | 59 comments For anyone who is not yet "hooked" on historical fiction, drop by the Historical Fiction on-line forum, where there is a hilarious spoof of time-travel occurring at the Angevin court. http://www.historicalfictiononline.co...

After you read about Eleanor musing that it would be kinder to drown younger sons like kittens since they have no lands or read about our intrepid heroine's encounter with "Richard Date-Rape Lionheart" who offers to show her his swords, you'll be burning to know more about history's most dysfunctional family.






message 37: by Nona, compulsive reader (new)

Nona (goodreadscomnona) | 151 comments Mod
lmao! so witty and sadly I could see them saying some of it though slightly different.


message 38: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Miss Moppet sure out did herself didn't she?


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