I find history fascinating and am happy to read books set in any historical period, but there are some I seem to be drawn to more than others. While it’s good to discover new eras and new subjects, it can also be very rewarding to read several novels set during the same period, each one adding to your knowledge and helping to build up a bigger picture. It’s interesting to see how different authors approach the same topics, interpret the same historical sources and portray the same historical figures.
At the moment my favourite historical period, without a doubt, is the Wars of the Roses. My interest in this period is relatively recent. It began five years ago when I read The White Queen by Philippa Gregory and since then I’ve been reading everything I can find on the subject, from the better known books such as The Sunne in Splendour and The Daughter of Time to the more obscure ones such as The Adventures of Alianore Audley. A list of the Wars of the Roses books I’ve reviewed on this blog is available here and I still have lots of others waiting to be read!
Other time periods I love reading about are:
* Renaissance Italy
* The 19th Century
* Plantagenet England (the period before the Wars of the Roses)
* The First and Second World Wars
* The French Revolution
* The English Civil War and Restoration
* The Tudor and Elizabethan periods
I’m starting to develop an interest in Anglo-Saxon England as well, but I think I’ll need to read a few more books set in this era before I can decide whether it is a ‘favourite’. I also enjoy reading historical fiction set in Scotland and in India, China and Russia, to name just a few other countries, but not necessarily during any particular period which is why I haven’t listed them above. And then, of course, there are authors like Edward Rutherfurd who write novels that span centuries and other authors – Susanna Kearsley and Kate Morton, for example, whose books are often set in dual or multiple time periods.
As I mentioned in my Historical Musings post a couple of months ago, the historical periods I struggle with tend to be the Ancient ones – Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt. I’m hoping it’s just a case of finding the right books to spark my enthusiasm for these subjects.
What about you? Which periods of history do you like – or not like – to read about? Can you recommend any good books set in your favourite period?