Ancient & Medieval Historical Fiction discussion

Looking For a Book About.. > Books set in what is now Germany and Belgium

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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura (ljbott1) | 10 comments Hi, everyone. I'm planning to travel to Germany and Belgium in 2018 (from the US), and in preparation would like to read ancient and medieval fiction set in those geographic areas. This is my preferred method of learning history! Of course, these regions have changed names and governmental oversight many times before taking these names. I'm interested in anything prior to the World Wars, so it doesn't necessarily have to be medieval.

I typically stick to books set in what is now the UK, so I'm at a loss of where to start. Thanks so much for any recommendations you can provide!

message 2: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie (laurielynette) | 53 comments Are you familiar with the group

You might want to check it out since they have a list of books for almost every country.

Here's the link to books set in Belgium and Germany.

Enjoy your trip!

message 3: by Sanne (last edited May 21, 2017 07:32AM) (new)

Sanne (sanneennas) | 79 comments hi Laura,
that sounds like a great trip! Here are some books I've found in my to-read list which cover that geographical area. Also, you might want to ask this question in the Dutch/Flemish reading group. People there might have more and different recommendations for fiction set in historical Belgium.

I, Jacqueline is about Jacqueline of Hainaut, who ruled large parts of what is nowadays Belgium and the Netherlands.
A Sword in Her Hand is about another fascinating woman: Margeret III, countess of Flanders.
Niccolò Rising is the first book in a series, which is partially set in Bruges (which is a beautiful medieval town, so I do hope you have time to visit it!).
The Lion of Flanders is about the Guldensporenslag (the Battle of the Golden Spurs), which was a battle between the army of the French king and troops from Flanders. Hendrik Conscience was a Belgian writer who wrote more historical fiction, so if you like his style, you might want to find out which other books of his are available in English.
EDIT: How could I forget Marguerite Yourcenar? She's also one of Belgium's authors who wrote plenty of HF. For HF set in Belgium see for example The Abyss or her memoirs, which covers her family history spanning several centuries: How Many Years: A Memoir.

I don't have that many recs for Germany. I've only heard of this one: The Hangman's Daughter. I think it was also a group read for this group a long time ago?

message 4: by Jane (new)

Jane | 3455 comments The Boat of Fate is set partially in Roman Germania.

message 5: by happy (last edited May 22, 2017 02:46PM) (new)

happy (happyone) | 2671 comments I mentioned Christopher Buckley's

The Relic Master by Christopher Buckley

in another thread, but it would definitely apply here.

Most of it is set in early 16th Century Germany/Switzerland/Savoy. The artist Albrecht Durer is a main character. Most of the background characters are actual people, including the Archbishop of Mainz and the Elector of Saxony - Frederick III. Martin Luther's, while not a character in the novel, presence is throughout the novel.

message 6: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 37 comments If you're looking for something in the Dark Ages, you might consider one of my favorite books of all times, Pope Joan. It's set in the Holy Roman Empire around the time of Charlemagne, a lot of which turned into what is now Germany and Belgium. So if you want a slightly older perspective than most of these books, I'd definitely recommend this one.

message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura (ljbott1) | 10 comments Thank you!

message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura Libricz (lauralibricz) | 59 comments Hi Laura,

I write historical novels set in Germany, 17th century, during the Thirty Years War. Historical novels written in English are so hard to come by, especially in this time period. The Hangman's Daughter series is good too, but a lot gets lost in the translation. They're better in German. There's some other good German language novels too. Do you read German?

message 9: by Carolien (new)

Carolien (carolien_s) You may enjoy A Dog of Flanders. The art works described were subsequently stolen by the Nazis and their recovery is described in The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.

It may not be obvious, but it's worth taking a look at The Guns of August. Belgium did not exist as a country until the mid 1800's and this book describes why it was created. It also has lots of German history.

message 10: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Spader | 4 comments If medieval stories based in real German history and mythological beliefs capture your imagination, you may enjoy the award winning Wulfhedinn series. I would also highly recommend visiting the Externsteine (pictured on the cover of the first book) It's off the beaten track from tourists and steeped in ancient and medieval legend.

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