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Elizabeth Chadwick's picture

Elizabeth Chadwick


UK

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick has written over 20 historical novels sold in 18 languages worldwide. Her first novel, The Wild Hunt, won a Betty Trask Award, and The Scarlet Lion was nominated by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society, as one of the top ten historical novels of the last decade. Elizabeth's nineteenth novel, To Defy a King, won the RNA Historical Novel Prize in 2011.
 
Elizabeth Chadwick recommends
Katherine
Katherine (1954)
Anya Seton
"Katherine was recently featured as one of the top 100 novels in the BBC's Big Read competition. Set in the 14th century and covering a little known period of English history, it's the story of Katherine Roet, royal mistress and ancestress of kings. Anya Seton has a way of bringing the past so vividly to life that the characters walk off her pages and joined the reader in the room. "
The Game of Kings
The Game of Kings (1961)
(Lymond Chronicles, book 1)
Dorothy Dunnett
"The first in a sweeping six-part series of Renaissance mystery dramas featuring the charismatic and troubled Francis Crawford of Lymond. Dorothy Dunnett well deserved her MBE for services to English literature for her rich and fabulous work and her poetic command of language. "
Hammer for Princes
Hammer for Princes (1972)
Cecelia Holland
"Compared with Dunnett, Cecelia Holland writes in a sparse, muscular style. But the raw power of the prose lends itself perfectly to the vicious times of England's 12th-century civil war as King Stephen and Empress Matilda battle for the throne and Fulke, the ageing Earl of Stafford, must try to weather the storm. "
Hanta Yo: An American Saga
Hanta Yo: An American Saga (1979)
Ruth Beebe Hill
"The story of a tribe of Lakotah Sioux on the eve of the coming of the white man. The author spent 25 years writing this profoundly spiritual novel, translating it from English into Sioux and then back into English to obtain the correct feel for the language of her characters. This beautifully written, moving novel is both deeply saddening and wholly uplifting. "
Here Be Dragons
Here Be Dragons (1985)
(Welsh Princes, book 1)
Sharon Kay Penman
"The story of Joanna, illegitimate daughter of King John, and her marriage to Llewellyn Fawr, Prince of North Wales. Sharon Kay Penman has a particular skill for explaining medieval politics without boring or losing the reader. Her characters are always well-rounded, their motivations plausible, and she manages to convey the richness and complexity of 13th-century life with deceptive ease. She also incorporates a beautiful, wistful love story into the novel and explores the complex relationships between fathers and daughters."
A Respectable Trade
A Respectable Trade (1992)
Philippa Gregory
"A tale of the slave trade set in 18th-century Bristol, seen through the eyes of a merchant dealing in African slaves, the slaves themselves, and the merchant's wife whose task it is to prepare her husband's investment for a life of servitude in the drawing rooms of wealthy Bristolians. Philippa Gregory gives a fully rounded view of the dilemmas facing all the characters without moralising."
The Adventures of Alianore Audley
The Adventures of Alianore Audley (1995)
Brian Wainwright
"A wonderful romp set in 15th-century England. The machinations of the Wars of the Roses and life at the court of Richard III are seen through the eyes of royal spy Alianore Audeley. Told with zest, a deep love and knowledge of the period, not to say a wicked sense of humour and plenty of tongue in cheek, Brian Wainwright deserves far greater recognition than he currently gets."
Queen of Swords
Queen of Swords (1997)
Judith Tarr
"Although primarily a fantasy writer, Judith Tarr does occasionally stray into the arena of historical fiction and she produces some superb work. Queen of Swords details the life of the 12th-century Queen Melisande of Jerusalem and her struggle to be politically recognised in a world dominated by men. The feel of a great medieval court poised between the Middle East and Europe and its attendant danger and tension are captured in Tarr's opulent, lyrical prose."
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Girl with a Pearl Earring (1999)
Tracy Chevalier
"Griet goes to work as a servant for the painter Vermeer and through gradual stages of intimacy becomes his model. This is a beautifully observed novel - a painting in words, deep with tension and subtle shadows and a surface of wonderful colour."
The Private Matter
The Private Matter (2003)
(Lord John, book 1)
Diana Gabaldon
"Diana Gabaldon brings the seamy side of 18th-century London into powerful focus in a hugely enjoyable novel with a somewhat unconventional hero. A murder investigation coupled with a pressing personal matter lead Lord John Grey from the drawing rooms of the high society and into London's hidden gay and transvestite community. Gabaldon's wit, attention to detail and sheer talent as a storyteller make this novel a joy from start to finish."
A Hollow Crown: The Story of Emma, Queen of Saxon England
A Hollow Crown: The Story of Emma, Queen of Saxon England (2004)
Helen Hollick
"Helen Hollick has a powerful talent for bringing the past vividly to life."
The Master of Bruges
The Master of Bruges (2010)
Terence Morgan
"A terrific historical page-turner. An engaging absorbing read."
Ravenscliffe
Ravenscliffe (2012)
(Netherwood, book 2)
Jane Sanderson
"A juicy, absorbing story rich in period detail and peopled with memorable characters."



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