History and Historical Fiction

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One of my favorite genres is history and historical fiction, the more realistic, the better. My version of history includes mythology, current events, politics, and religion in its historical sense. Two of my absolutely favorite authors in historical fiction are Sharon Kay Penman and Bernard Cornwell.

The first book I read of Penman’s was Here Be Dragons. Not only did it feed my love of medieval history it started my life long infatuation with Wales, the homeland of my soul. The one thing that amazes me about Penman was the amount of research she does. When I did my own research I was stunned at what was true, like the Princess of Wales being kidnapped by pirates, and Prince of Wales, Llywelyn Fawr’s firstborn son as part of the Magna Carta.

Bernard Cornwell’s The Winter King was recommended to me years before I actually read it. I was afraid it would change my outlook on King Arthur, and it did, but it was well worth it. The guest series I read if his were the Sharpe books. Sharpe takes place during the Napoleonic wars, a time period I was never interested in until Cornwell.

For history, I’d encourage you to read Jon Meacham, Ken Burns, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Douglas Brinkley, and Isabel Wilkerson.

I’d also add these to the list that I’ve read recently:

The Presidents’ War: Six Presidents and the Civil War that Divided Them by Chris DeRose
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
The Man Who Would Not Be Washington: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War and His Decision That Changed American History by Jonathan Horn
Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
The Jet Sex: Airline Stewardesses and the Making of an American Icon by Victoria Vantoch

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