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message 1: by C.C.Webb (new)

C.C.Webb | 18 comments Hey everyone!
I'm looking for some non-fiction books to aid in research for my novel. Preferably ones that are well-written, up-to-date and understandable/accessible to someone who occasionally has trouble digesting meaty text.


What I'm looking for are books about Vlad the Impaler, the Ottoman Empire and Europe in general during the 1400s. I'm also curious about the middle East during this time, as well as the early evolution of science/alchemy.

I know there probably won't be one single book that incorporates all of this but if anything I've asked for rings a bell with you, please let me know!
Particularly about Vlad. Thank you!


message 2: by Ken (new)

Ken Czech | 36 comments Hi C.C.,
A few books I'm familiar with are Radu Florescu's DRACULA: A BIOGRAPHY OF VLAD THE IMPALER; Nicolai Stoicescu's VLAD TEPES, PRINCE OF WALLACHIA; and Matei Cazacu's DRACULA. I think the last one is the most recent. Hope this helps


message 3: by Jeffrey (last edited Mar 20, 2018 10:15AM) (new)

Jeffrey Walker (jkwalkerauthor) For Europe, you absolutely need to become very familiar with the amazing volume "A Distant Mirror" by the incomparable historian, Barbara Tuchman. It's 40 yrs old, but that matters not a bit. It also focuses on the 14th century rather than the 15th, but close enough.

I began my research for my First World War/1920s trilogy by (re)reading Tuchman's "The Guns of August." If she has work on point, always start with Ms Tuchman.


message 4: by C.C.Webb (new)

C.C.Webb | 18 comments Jeffrey wrote: "For Europe, you absolutely need to become very familiar with the amazing volume "A Distant Mirror" by the incomparable historian, Barbara Tuchman. It's 40 yrs old, but that matters not a bit. It al..."

Thanks! I'll look into her stuff.


message 5: by C.C.Webb (new)

C.C.Webb | 18 comments Ken wrote: "Hi C.C.,
A few books I'm familiar with are Radu Florescu's DRACULA: A BIOGRAPHY OF VLAD THE IMPALER; Nicolai Stoicescu's VLAD TEPES, PRINCE OF WALLACHIA; and Matei Cazacu's DRACULA. I think the las..."


Oh wow, this is great! Thanks a lot!


message 6: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Sowards | 76 comments Here are a few ideas, C.C.,

Dracula's Wars Vlad the Impaler and His Rivals by James Waterson Dracula's Wars: Vlad the Impaler and His Rivals by James Waterson. I thought of the chapters were more readable than others, but it did a good job of explaining the world Dracula was born into.

I'll second the recommendation for A Distant Mirror The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman. Her focus is on western Europe, but she does have a good account of the battle of Nicopolis.

This one reads like a textbook, but it covers a wide range: The Late Medieval Balkans A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest by John V.A. Fine The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest by John V.A. Fine

And a few others ideas:

Cross and Crescent in the Balkans The Ottoman Conquest of Southeastern Europe (14th-15th Centuries) by David Nicolle Cross and Crescent in the Balkans: The Ottoman Conquest of Southeastern Europe by David Nicolle

Subjects of the Sultan Culture and Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire by Suraiya Faroqhi Subjects of the Sultan: Culture and Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire by Suraiya Faroqhi

Osman's Dream The History of the Ottoman Empire by Caroline Finkel Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire by Caroline Finkel

Daily Life in the Byzantine Empire by Marcus Rautman Daily Life in the Byzantine Empire by Marcus Rautman

Byzantium The Decline and Fall by John Julius Norwich Byzantium: The Decline and Fall by John Julius Norwich

I'd also recommend checking out the Osprey Men-at-arms series for relevant titles. They're really helpful

You should also keep in mind that much of this time period wasn't all that well documented. The history of the early Ottomans, for example, was largely written much later. So it's as much legend as fact.


message 7: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Iciek | 472 comments I know you specifically asked for non-fiction, but I did recently read a novel about Vlad, The Sultan, the Vampyr and the Soothsayer by Lucille Turner which I enjoyed a lot!

My own interest is in the Byzantine Empire so this novel gave a birds eye view of what was going on just before Mehmet II conquered Constantinople. Before reading it I really had no idea that Vlad was part of all the turmoil of that period. The fact that he spent more than a few years in close contact with Mehmet explains a lot about what he did to keep the Turks out of his country.

The novel was nicely written too.


message 8: by C.C.Webb (new)

C.C.Webb | 18 comments Wow...this is all fantastic, I will definitely look into these! You guys are so helpful, thank you.


message 9: by C.C.Webb (new)

C.C.Webb | 18 comments Hi everyone: I'm back after a hundred years. Got a new research ask if you're up for it!

This time around I'm looking for a book/a few books about Saint Nicholas, along with any about Europe during the time he lived.

Also, if anyone knows of a decent history of the Santa Claus legend (as in not a children's book) I'd appreciate that as well.

I prefer text that isn't too meaty as it can be a little difficult to digest but any recommendations are welcome!


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