Historical Fictionistas discussion

681 views
Recommendations? > Historical fiction by women, about women?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 185 (185 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4

message 1: by Jyotsna (new)

Jyotsna Sreenivasan | 10 comments I recently started a historical fiction blog devoted to books written by women, about women: HerStoryNovels.com

I'm focusing on classic and "literary" titles. I'm trying to be comprehensive with my book lists (see sidebar) which may be impossible, but that's the goal. If you have suggestions for titles I am missing -- especially neglected classics -- I'd love to hear them. Thanks!


message 2: by Irene (new)

Irene Kessler | 39 comments Will try to, getting ready to travel. I am writing a novel for women, about women, so thanks for your blog.


message 3: by Tytti (new)

Tytti Well here is one: Purge. It has won some prizes, too.


message 4: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie  | 574 comments Not sure about classics, but Stephanie Thornton has some fantastic books dealing with historical women.


message 5: by Alice (last edited Jul 16, 2016 11:30AM) (new)

Alice Poon (alice_poon) Here are a few offhand:-

Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (on my to-read list)
In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant (on my to-read list)

I've written a biographical historical novel set in 17th century China about Qing Dynasty's first Empress Dowager - a Mongolian who was descended from Genghis Khan's clan.


message 6: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 542 comments I know so many awesome ladies writing wonderful HF about more awesome ladies.

Sophie Perinot's The Sister Queens and Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois--literary, insightful, and female oriented.

Stephanie Dray's trilogy on Cleopatra's daughter, starting with Lily of the Nile--female themes in the ancient world, struggling under a legacy of an infamous mother. Also her book about Thomas Jefferson's daughter, America's First Daughter, a Founding Father's daughter growing alongside a new nation.

Anything Stephanie Thornton writes. All her heroines are badass, not a Mary Sue in the bunch, and yet they are very much of their time and not transplanted 21st century PC heroines.

Libbie Hawker is another author who writes morally complicated, interesting women. She's a self-pubbed star, and wonderful.


message 7: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie  | 574 comments ^ Kate Quinn also writes badass historical ladies.


message 8: by Sanne (new)

Sanne (sanneennas) | 27 comments I just went through my selves for suggestions, but the conclusion is that most hf by women about women hasn´t been translated into English.... Which is an interesting conclusion, as plenty of those books have been translated into other languages.

Though I can suggest I, Jacqueline (1500's Netherlands), Half of a Yellow Sun (1960's Nigeria / Biafra) and Lavinia (ancient Greece).

It's an interesting project! I'll be using your lists to discover new books.


message 9: by Sanne (last edited Jul 16, 2016 01:15PM) (new)

Sanne (sanneennas) | 27 comments oh and Toni Morrison's Jazz, which I'm reading right now. I see it's not in your lists yet. It so good!

EDIT: and there's The End of Days (20th century Europe) and The Cauliflower: A Novel (19th century India).


message 11: by Jan (last edited Jul 16, 2016 01:34PM) (new)

Jan | 1804 comments Mary Crow Dog/Mary Brave Bird: Lakota Woman, Civilize Them with a Stick, Ohitika Woman (different nom de plume, same author)


message 12: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 686 comments Here’s another Revolutionary era one: Patriot Hearts: A Novel of the Founding Mothers by Barbara Hambly. Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, et al.


message 13: by Irene (new)

Irene Kessler | 39 comments The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - almost a classic!


message 14: by C.P. (last edited Jul 16, 2016 03:47PM) (new)

C.P. Lesley (cplesley) | 646 comments All my novels are about women, by a woman–starting with The Not Exactly Scarlet Pimpernel. But note, too, that Kate Quinn's novels—and many others—are also HF about women by a woman.

For some others, see Courtney J. Hall, Joan Schweighardt, and Liza Perrat. Also https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/....


message 15: by Jyotsna (new)

Jyotsna Sreenivasan | 10 comments Thank you! Keep the suggestions coming! This is great!


message 16: by Beth (new)

Beth Sponzilli (bethsponzilli) | 79 comments Michelle Moran's books: Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen, Madame Tussaud, Cleopatra's Daughter, Rebel Queen


message 17: by Beth (new)

Beth Sponzilli (bethsponzilli) | 79 comments The Tea Rose Trilogy- by Jennifer Donnelly. Great books!!


message 18: by Beth (new)

Beth Sponzilli (bethsponzilli) | 79 comments Just looked at your website-- love it and great suggestions!


message 20: by Nevine (new)

Nevine | 24 comments Beth, I totally agree with you about The Tea Rose trilogy. Superb books!!


message 21: by Nevine (new)

Nevine | 24 comments If you happen to come across another trilogy, please let me know:))


message 22: by Beth (new)

Beth Sponzilli (bethsponzilli) | 79 comments Sara Donati's Wilderness series is great too-- 6 books...


message 23: by Alice (new)

Alice Poon (alice_poon) Recent historical fiction set in China:-

The Moon in the Palace (duology) by Weina Dai Randel

Three Souls by Janie Chang


message 24: by Brina (new)

Brina Some of my favorites are Latina amigas:
Isabel Allende
Julia Alvarez
Cristina Garcia

I've recently read/heard about these books coming out in 2016:
Absalom's Daughters by Suzanne Feldman
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
Monterey Bay by Lindsay Hatton
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


message 25: by Brina (new)

Brina @ Nadine- Rashi's Daughters series and Rav Hisda's Daughter by Maggie Anton


message 26: by Nevine (new)

Nevine | 24 comments Thank you so much Brina. I will definitely check the book you recommended
:))


message 27: by Nevine (new)

Nevine | 24 comments Beth, thank you for recommendation regarding Sara Donati's series. I read them awhile back and they were great :))


message 28: by Beth (new)

Beth Sponzilli (bethsponzilli) | 79 comments Nadine - have you read the Discovery of Witches trilogy? Great story, some time travel, history, big romance.. Recommend!


message 29: by Linda (new)

Linda Bridges (lindajoyb) | 759 comments Lucinda Riley has a great new series out about seven adopted sisters who are researching their past. The first one is called The Seven Sisters; book 2, about the second sister is also out (The Storm Sister. The third is in progress. There is fascinating historical fiction in each, but based on real people. The first is set in Rio and features the designer of Christ the Redeemer statue, the second in Norway around the musician Grieg.


message 30: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie  | 574 comments A few more as I cruise through my shelves:

Allison Pataki writes about historical women

Maryse Conde's I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

Sarah Miller's Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller

India Edghill's Game of Queens: A Novel of Vashti and Esther

Tosca Lee's Havah: The Story of Eve

Mary Sharratt's Daughters of the Witching Hill


message 31: by Diane (last edited Jul 18, 2016 07:14AM) (new)

Diane | 1 comments Vanessa and Her Sister about the Woolf family

With Violets about Impressionist Berthe Morisot

Clara and Mr. Tiffany about Clara Driscoll, head of the women's division of Louis Comfort Tiffany's workshop

Loving Frank about Mamah Borthwick Cheney

Stealing Athena about Lady Elgin and the Elgin marbles


message 32: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 686 comments I second Ashley’s recco of I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem. Excellent!


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)


message 34: by Karen (new)

Karen | 18 comments Kristin Lavransdatter! If you haven't read it, begin today. Sigrid Undset won the Nobel Prize for this book and it is one of the best works of historical fiction I've ever read. It's a trilogy, so it's a long, but delicious read, and I can't praise it highly enough.


message 35: by Alice (new)

Alice Poon (alice_poon) Karen wrote: "Kristin Lavransdatter! If you haven't read it, begin today. Sigrid Undset won the Nobel Prize for this book and it is one of the best works of historical fiction I've ever read. It's a trilogy, so ..."

Karen, nice to know that you loved Kristin Lavransdatter. This has been on my to-read list for quite a while. I must nudge it up :)


message 36: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie  | 574 comments Oh wow and I forgot Burial Rites by Hannah Kent!


message 37: by Jyotsna (new)

Jyotsna Sreenivasan | 10 comments Some of these are on my list already, but not all. Thank you so much! I just reviewed Burial Rites and I've previously reviewed Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath


message 38: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Anton | 210 comments Brina wrote: "@ Nadine- Rashi's Daughters series and Rav Hisda's Daughter by Maggie Anton"

Thanks for the recommendation. For the sake of more info for this group, here are the Goodreads links:

1. Rashi's Daughters, Book I: Joheved: A Novel of Love and the Talmud in Medieval France
2. Rashi's Daughters, Book II: Miriam
3. Rashi's Daughters, Book III: Rachel
4. Apprentice: A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery
5. Enchantress: A Novel of Rav Hisda's Daughter

Maggie Anton


message 39: by Brina (new)

Brina Maggie I have read the Rashi series probably five times and recommended to all my real life friends. It's getting to be time for another reread.


message 40: by Alice (new)

Alice Poon (alice_poon) Jyotsna wrote: "Some of these are on my list already, but not all. Thank you so much! I just reviewed Burial Rites and I've previously reviewed Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath"

Jyotsna, I've enjoyed reading your review of "The Wreath". I've only read one novel by Sigrid Undset and it is Jenny, which I found haunting. Here's my review if anyone is interested:-

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 41: by Jyotsna (new)

Jyotsna Sreenivasan | 10 comments Alice, I would like to read Jenny. I glanced at your review and it sounds like something I'd like.


message 42: by Nevine (new)

Nevine | 24 comments Thanks Beth for recommending "discovery of witches" trilogy.
I'll check into these books.
Appreciate it :))


message 43: by Amy (new)

Amy I love that Maggie Anton is one of our HF'ers. I too have read all of your works except the last, and loved every single on of them. Brava! My favorite? The Enchantress. You might have spotted my rave review. Who knows if it transferred from Shelfari. Anyway, you are brilliant and thoughtful and thank you. Keep at it - Amy Friedman


message 44: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Hurley (fiona_hurley) | 249 comments Daphne du Maurier wrote two classics set in 17th century England: The King's General and Frenchman's Creek.

Anita Amirrezvani writes about women in 16th/17th century Iran: The Blood of Flowers and Equal of the Sun.


message 45: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Anton | 210 comments Amy wrote: "I love that Maggie Anton is one of our HF'ers. I too have read all of your works except the last, and loved every single on of them. Brava! My favorite? Enchantress: A Novel of Rav Hisda's Daughter. ..."

Thanks, Amy. I didn't start writing until I was 50, and as a long time voracious reader of fiction, my goal was to write the book I wanted to read. I didn't think anyone but me would read it, and certainly never imagined that it would be published.

I still prefer fiction and greatly appreciate this HF group. Lots of interesting discussions and great recommendations. I consider myself a reader first and an author second.


message 46: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 686 comments I'm with you, Maggie! I think it's crucial to write the kind of book you'd like to read and not try to write to a supposed audience. Readers seem to pick up on it when they’re being manipulated or managed, and the love of the words and scenes shines through when an author is writing something he/she loves. Agents and editors often interfere with this organic process, unfortunately, and try to force changes that rarely work out.


message 47: by D.B. (new)

D.B. Woodling I learn so much from this group. Today's lesson (thank you, Abigail) : I need to hug my publisher. Never once was my content questioned, character syntax, or plot progression. Thankfully, readers seem to agree because a sequel to Shannon's Land is in the works!


message 48: by Joseph (last edited Jul 22, 2016 03:49PM) (new)

Joseph  (bluemanticore) | 94 comments I recommend one of my favorite HF authors: Melanie Benjamim. I've given five stars to everything I've read of hers: Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, The Aviator's Wife, The Swans of Fifth Avenue, and my favorite Alice I Have Been.

You might also like these other 5-star works by women about women in history:
Blue Nude by Elizabeth Rosner
Witch Child and Sorceress by Celia Rees
The Woman Who Heard Color by Kelly Jones
The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones
Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Witch of Cologne by Tobsha Learner
Blood Secret and Beyond the Burning Time by Kathryn Lasky


message 49: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 686 comments Hey, Joseph, I see our tastes run along similar lines! I wandered over to your Witchcraft shelf and perused—nice collection. I am not familiar with the Circle of Three series, which you seem to like a lot; will check it out, along with Corrag. I dunno if you’ve read Ronald Hutton’s Triumph of the Moon (one you didn’t rate); he kind of has an ax to grind, namely trying to “prove” that the Craft did not exist in Britain before it was “invented” in the 1950s. Hmm.


message 50: by Penny (new)

Penny Ingham | 4 comments One of my favourite authors is the late Arianna Franklin who wrote the marvellous mistress of the art of death series of novels about a female coroner in medieval England. They have mystery, adventure, romance and humour - would highly recommend. You might also want to check out my own novel The King's Daughter by Penny Ingham which tells the true story of Elflaede, the daughter of King Alfred the Great. She ruled kingdoms and led armies into battle but was written out of the history books by her jealous younger brother. My latest novel The Saxon Wolves, to be published in August, is the story of Anya, a Druid priestess exiled from her homeland in Germania for daring to speak out against the high priest's barbaric human sacrifices. She sails to Britannia, to an island sinking into war and anarchy as rival warlords fight to fill the power vacuum the Romans have left behind.


« previous 1 3 4
back to top