Ancient & Medieval Historical Fiction discussion

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message 1: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Oct 30, 2011 04:06PM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I enjoyed this book. It had its faults, but overall I thought it was well done.
The Last English King by Julian Rathbone
The Last English King

And I have had this on my tbr for a while. Still haven't gotten to it;
Harold the King by Helen Hollick
Harold the King

which is also published under the name
I Am the Chosen King (The Saxon Series #1) by Helen Hollick
I Am the Chosen King


message 2: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Terri wrote: "I enjoyed this book. It had its faults, but overall I thought it was well done.
The Last English King by Julian Rathbone
The Last English King

And I have had this on my tbr for a whi..."


I wasn't such a fan of The Last English King. I read it on holiday and it was OK as a holiday read, but it lacked something to truly engage me.


message 3: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Too much (view spoiler)


message 4: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Terri wrote: "Too much [spoilers removed]"

lol. I'm afraid I have no memory of that at all. I do remember learning the origin of the word "Bulgars/Bulgaria". I think that was in this book. But can't remember that at all. Kind of my point I guess, it just failed to make much of an impact on me.


message 5: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 01, 2011 12:53AM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I don't remember the Bulgaria/Bulgars thing...I only remember it for all the(view spoiler). *blush*


message 6: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 01, 2011 01:36AM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I've actually been thinking about it and I do recall there was far too much (view spoiler) for my liking. It was quite offputting.
Sometimes I felt as if Rathbone was intentionally trying to push boundaries and shock conservatives.
I don't regard myself as conservative, not by a long shot, but at times even I was discomfited.


message 7: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Terri wrote: "I've actually been thinking about it and I do recall there was far too much [spoilers removed] for my liking. It was quite offputting.
Sometimes I felt as if Rathbone was intentionally trying to p..."


Well. Odd how I don't recall it. Oh well, can't say I'm that bothered by my failure to recall it!


message 8: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Maybe your brain did you a favour and blacked it out of your memory.


message 9: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Terri wrote: "Maybe your brain did you a favour and blacked it out of your memory."

Could be.


message 10: by Iset (new)

Iset I read The Needle in the Blood recently. It was kind of a mixed bag. There were moments I loved... but equally moments I felt so frustrated!


message 11: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments The book blurb makes it sound a bit like Days of Our Lives. :)


message 12: by Iset (new)

Iset Lol, Terri! It's not that bad. It's pretty enjoyable... again, apart from certain moments of sheer frustration!


message 13: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I wonder if the author knew she was toying with a paradox of pretty enjoyable sheer frustration. :D


message 14: by Iset (new)

Iset Probably not. But her other book, about the Borgias, is the same! In some ways really rather good, in other ways annoying.


message 15: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Lol. Seems she sticks to a formula.


message 16: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments This one hasn't been mentioned in this thread yet I don't think. It may be mentioned in the Norman or the Saxon thread, but not this one.

Conquest by Stewart Binns
Conquest


message 17: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I know this series was mentioned in either the Norman or Saxon thread. Not here though..

Hereward (Hereward #1) by James Wilde Hereward The Devil's Army (Hereward #2) by James Wilde

If anyone is wondering who this series is based on, here is a non fiction on Hereward,
Hereward The Last Englishman by Peter Rex
Hereward: The Last Englishman


message 18: by Chris F (new)

Chris F | 419 comments Terri wrote: "This one hasn't been mentioned in this thread yet I don't think. It may be mentioned in the Norman or the Saxon thread, but not this one.

Conquest by Stewart Binns
Conquest"


I found it very average and only gave it 3 stars, which was possibly a little generous. To me the writing wasn't great and I found the way the author simply seems to provide a rehash of stories about Hereward without seeming to try to create a believable character annoying.


message 19: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments That seems a shame. I fancy the cover and had high hopes for it. Although I don't think my high hopes were justified as it rates poorly on GR.


message 20: by Chris F (new)

Chris F | 419 comments Terri wrote: "That seems a shame. I fancy the cover and had high hopes for it. Although I don't think my high hopes were justified as it rates poorly on GR."

Yeah I liked the cover, but found it promised more than the book delivered.
I really like the cover of James Wilde's Hereward too, but I'm not so sure now that Chris from the Netherlands (sorry Chris don't know your last name)gave it only one star. Although that seems to be for inaccurate geography, rather than bad writing.


message 21: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Chris F wrote: "Terri wrote: "That seems a shame. I fancy the cover and had high hopes for it. Although I don't think my high hopes were justified as it rates poorly on GR."

Yeah I liked the cover, but found it p..."


I seem to remember looking at the Hereward books on Amazon UK last year and noticing that they got some bad reviews on there. Anything that gets bad reviews on Amazon I'm wary of - that seems to be pretty difficult...


message 22: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I just noticed that the Hereward series (the one by James Wilde) has a different cover and name now.

From this;
Hereward (Hereward #1) by James Wilde

to this;
The Time of the Wolf A Novel of Medieval England (Hereward #1) by James Wilde The Time of the Wolf: A Novel of Medieval England


message 23: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Terri wrote: "I just noticed that the Hereward series (the one by James Wilde) has a different cover and name now.

From this;
Hereward (Hereward #1) by James Wilde

to this;
[bookcover:The Time of the Wolf: A Novel of ..."


Seems we can't avoid talking about name changes just now! I guess maybe not many people in the US have heard of Hereward? Maybe Disney could make a film like they did for Robin Hood and King Arthur...


message 24: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments lol. maybe....:D


message 25: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments You have to admit that considering the history between America and England....why would they care about English history. History starts with the War for Independence. :)
That said I know very few people who know any history unless they like it enough to learn on their own, not even our own. We learn about Native American history, with a chapter on the Vikings, in school.


message 26: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Wellll, I don't know. A huge percentage of Americans have British ancestry and they seem proud of that.
Genealogy services and websites catering to Americans and American tourists in Britain is big business.

Do you learn much about Scottish or French history in school Dawn?


message 27: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments Nope, I doubt even Quebec learns any French history. Our history is almost exclusively about North America, nothing from across the pond. So if the war was fought here I would know about it but not about the English or French politics that made it happen. Maybe some Scottish history in Atlantic Canada but not on the West Coast.

I agree that they have the ancestry but the fact that they didn't leave peacefully and that the Americans thought the English tyrants, still affects their history. Wanting to learn your genealogy doesn't translate into learning other countries history, just your personal history.
To me they are far more proud of being independent Americans anything else. British heritage or not.


message 28: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Interesting discussion. I completely understand Dawn's point about not learning about other nations: there's almost constant debate in Britain about learning (mainly) English (as opposed to British) history versus learning world history. I also accept that any starting point for learning history is pretty arbitrary unless you strictly adhere to the beginning of writing as the beginning of history (and let's face it, just doing a couple of hundred years has got to be easier, right?).

That said, I also get Terri's point: if you're dealing with the history of N. America (as opposed to prehistory) then that begins in Europe.

As an aside, I was shocked by one of our students in Mongolia this year who had taken a university module in 'World History'. Having done this, she knew nothing about any of the various European wars that I could think of or (even more alarmingly for me) had ever heard of apartheid. There's certainly something wrong with history teaching in at least one institution in N. America.


message 29: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I wonder if it is a Commonwealth Schools thing to learn World History as opposed to largely National History.
We had to do (it was compulsory) two history subjects in school, Ancient History and Modern History.
Two different subjects to have to learn and do exams on..and for me, just two more classes to fail at...:0)


message 30: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Maybe. We've spoken about my history classes at school somewhere in this group before: all of it was English and after the age of 13 all of it was dull.


message 31: by Margaret, Sherlockian Sheila (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 3295 comments Terri wrote: "I wonder if it is a Commonwealth Schools thing to learn World History as opposed to largely National History.
We had to do (it was compulsory) two history subjects in school, Ancient History and Mo..."


Different again in NZ. Not taught at primary (elementary) except as part of Social Studies. At high school it was an elective! And then taught in modules, which were fairly random. I remember studying The Russian revolution, the Napoleonic Wars on the world front...and NZ's involvement in World Wars I & II. No ancient history. Actually, nothing before about 1800.


message 32: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments That's amazing. Why then did I have to suffer through two subjects of history at highschool! Lol.
I suppose maybe I learned something.....there's that....


message 33: by Margaret, Sherlockian Sheila (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 3295 comments It is interesting that the periods of history I studied at school are the periods I have zero interest in now.


message 34: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments School does that to a person. :-)


message 35: by Chris F (new)

Chris F | 419 comments Yeah the lack of a symtematic history programme in New Zealand schools drives most of us who teach history up the wall. However, on a more positive note the freedom to teach whatever is relevant to our students in senior high school has led to more New Zealand history being taught than ever before and the ability to pick aspects of history that we think our students will like. Yesterday my head of departmant and I wrote a whole new course for year 13 (our last year of high school) to study next year. It has the following: the arrival of the ancestors of the Maori (imcluding where they came from, how they got here and the development of their history and culture up to the arrive of the first Europeans; early interactions and conflicts between Maori and Europeans up to the 1830s; a study of New Zealand involvement and the general campaigns at Galipoli and on the Western Front during WWI (with a case study of the historical debate about the quality of leadership during those campaigns); a comparative study of the battle for womens suffrage, prohibition and the depression in both NZ and the US. We also have a research project where students get to choose any significant historical event that they want to study. Hopefully they will enjoy this.

In NZ the ancient history comes under classical studies, which is treated as a seperate optional subject at senior high school level and includes literature, art and architechture as well as history.


message 36: by Margaret, Sherlockian Sheila (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 3295 comments They're still teaching Classical studies? Excellent. I was one of the experimental class of 1981. They didn't appear sure if it would take off or not. Though we learned more about Homer and Virgil's writings than actual history.


message 37: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Chris F wrote: "Yeah the lack of a symtematic history programme in New Zealand schools drives most of us who teach history up the wall. However, on a more positive note the freedom to teach whatever is relevant to..."

That sounds great. I think World History is very important, but if any history is emphasized with the kids it should definitely be your own countries history. It helps to nurture pride in National heritage and culture.

So no 1066 then?


message 38: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Margaret wrote: "They're still teaching Classical studies? Excellent. I was one of the experimental class of 1981. They didn't appear sure if it would take off or not. Though we learned more about Homer and Vir..."

I don't know if Classical Studies was ever studied in Queensland schools. I had not heard of it until some of you mention it here.
I do not have any idea what is being taught in schools these days. I must ask my nephews.
I know that at my nephew's school the later grades in primary school have a class trip overseas to battlefields each year. eg Grade 6 & 7 of each year get to go or something, so there appears to be emphasis on modern history.
They go to battlefields in France and other countries. Where Australians fought in the two World Wars.
My nephews will be going with their class to Gallipoli (Turkey for those who don't know where that is) and my brother keeps whining about how much money it is going to cost him.
He's a moneybags, he can afford it. :)


message 39: by Lee (last edited Nov 14, 2012 01:18PM) (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Chris F wrote: "Yeah the lack of a symtematic history programme in New Zealand schools drives most of us who teach history up the wall. However, on a more positive note the freedom to teach whatever is relevant to..."

That sounds like a great class, I'm sure (at least some) of your students will enjoy it!

Terri wrote: "Margaret wrote: "They're still teaching Classical studies? Excellent. I was one of the experimental class of 1981. They didn't appear sure if it would take off or not. Though we learned more ab..."

I had one year of classics, aged eight. It's more usually something studied at university here.


message 40: by Margaret, Sherlockian Sheila (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 3295 comments Terri wrote: "Margaret wrote: "They're still teaching Classical studies? Excellent. I was one of the experimental class of 1981. They didn't appear sure if it would take off or not. Though we learned more ab..."

The ones who can afford something are usually the ones who whine about the costs. :p


message 41: by Margaret, Sherlockian Sheila (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 3295 comments Lee wrote: "Chris F wrote: "Yeah the lack of a symtematic history programme in New Zealand schools drives most of us who teach history up the wall. However, on a more positive note the freedom to teach whateve..."

The idea of Classical Studies in New Zealand high schools (back in the early 80s) was to speed up progress through university. The NZ university system was then very much a twin of the UK one, with heavy emphasis on the classics and English literature. I was heading down that stream until my dad died...and university was no longer an option for me.


message 42: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Margaret wrote: "The ones who can afford something are usually the ones who whine about the costs. :p..."

Boy, ain't that the truth. :]


message 43: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Margaret wrote: "Lee wrote: "Chris F wrote: "Yeah the lack of a symtematic history programme in New Zealand schools drives most of us who teach history up the wall. However, on a more positive note the freedom to t..."

I actually meant as a degree option. I didn't study any classics or English Lit at university. My best friend and my ex-wife both studied English Lit., but they're the only people I know. No-one I know studied classics. The UK education system is very narrow, encouraging specialisation at a young age.


message 44: by ~Brandy~ (new)

~Brandy~ | 8 comments From what I remember, I did take a world history class in middle school. But it mainly focused on WWI and WWII. All that I know about world history I learned after I was out of school. Even in college the only requied history course was american history.

But I am returning to college this year and am getting a history degree with a minor in humanitis. All of the history classes that I will be taking are world history. No more boring american history for me!!

Also to start off my education with a bang, I am taking a month and visiting Europe this fall. I am so excited!!


message 45: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Congratulations, Brandy! What a great change of life direction. Back to college to learn world history and a month visiting Europe. I envy you and would like to do the same.

Hopefully you'll get to see some of the sites that you will learn more intimate details on during your degree.


message 46: by Chris F (new)

Chris F | 419 comments Hi Brandy hope it really goes well for you. As a history graduate and high school history teacher I am a little biased, but your plans sound like a fantastic choice.


message 47: by ~Brandy~ (new)

~Brandy~ | 8 comments Thanks Terri and Chris! I have always wanted to travel and this is just the beginning (hopefully). When I get back I will be sure to share some tales from my travels.

Chris, what history subject do you teach?


message 48: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments ~Brandy~ wrote: "When I get back I will be sure to share some tales from my travels.

..."


I hope so! We like to live vicariously through our members holidays. :)


message 49: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I haven't read any excerpts, but by golly the cover and blurb whets my appetite.

The Last Conquest by Berwick Coates
The Last Conquest


message 50: by Chris F (new)

Chris F | 419 comments ~Brandy~ wrote: "Thanks Terri and Chris! I have always wanted to travel and this is just the beginning (hopefully). When I get back I will be sure to share some tales from my travels.

Chris, what history subject d..."


Hi Brandy. Sorry but for some reason I didn't see that you had asked me a question until now. I've taught lots of different history topics over the years, everything from early New Zealand to the Vietnam War. This year my colleague and I are teaching a new programme to students in their final year of high school which covers; the origins of the Maori, early Maori European contacts, the historical dispute over the quality of Allied generals on the Western Front during WWI, and then comparative studies of women's suffrage, prohibition and the Great Depression in NZ and the US. I also teach classical studies, which has some Greek and Roman history, literature and art. So to keep up I'm always learning about new things, which is just how I like it.


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