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Can anybody suggest some good historical novels about France to get me in the mood?

Can anybody suggest some good historical novels about France to get me in the mood?

Jul 26th, 2006, 01:46 PM
  #1  
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Can anybody suggest some good historical novels about France to get me in the mood?

I am going to France for the first time in October and want to start getting in the mood. Anybody have any good historical novels to suggest? Any other books that you really think would be good? I already read "The Other Boylen Girl" and loved it!
Thanks in advance!
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Jul 26th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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The Count of Monte Cristo.
lobo_mau is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 01:53 PM
  #3  
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That was a GREAT one!!!! I LOVED it. Any other suggestion????

Thanks LOBO!!!
gchizz1 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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Les Miserables

A Tale of Two Cities
everittp is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 02:11 PM
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Anything by Maurice Druon
semiramis is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 02:11 PM
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Two good ones thanks alot!!!!

Any others?
gchizz1 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 02:23 PM
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How about "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens?
MollyB is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 02:27 PM
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Depths of Glory by Irving Stone, a biography about Camille Pissarro. And while it's not historical, A Year in Provence is a fun read.
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Jul 26th, 2006, 02:30 PM
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Not a novel, but the Antonia Fraser biography of Marie-Antoinette is a good read.

Also, Americans in Paris, an anthology by Adam Gopnik (much less egocentric than Paris to the Moon).
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Jul 26th, 2006, 03:40 PM
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I also liked the Antonia Fraser book. Another one about Marie Antoinette that I enjoyed was "To the Scaffold" by Carolly Erickson.

I think I read that Versailles is opening some additional rooms that were Marie Antoinette's to the general tours. I'm not sure where I read that but I'm going to Paris in Sept and was going to re-read the Fraser book before I visit Versailles again.
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Jul 26th, 2006, 04:31 PM
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Three Musketeers by Dumas
The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland
The Catherine Le Vendeur mystery series by Sharan Newman
Innocents Abroad (there are just two or three chapters about France, but they are funny) by Mark Twain

Lighter historical fiction:
Came a Cavalier by Frances Parkinson Keyes
Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt
To Dance with Kings by Rosalind Laker

Fiction for the countryside (you didn't say where you would be):
The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden
Madam Will You Talk by Mary Stewart
The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier

Not fiction, but still good read:
Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation by Noel Riley Fitch
rine1967 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 05:43 PM
  #12  
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Can't thank you enough for the recommendations. You gave me just what I was looking for. Enough choices in a few different categories. I am an avid reader, will surely read a number of your suggestions.
Thanks for the heads up about Versailles also!!
You guys are great.
Gayle
gchizz1 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 05:48 PM
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History that reads like novels:

The Guns of August
A Distant Mirror


Both by Barbara Tuchman
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 05:52 PM
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The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
The Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt
Kris629 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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Two non-fiction suggestions:
60 Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong
Paris in the Fifties
ps1111 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 06:01 PM
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Agree with ps111.

Paricluarly: 60 Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: Why we Love France But not the French isn't as damning as it sounds. It is written by journalists/scholars who were originally assigned to research how France was adapting to globalization. They found that the more intriguing story was to explain why French society, customes, and insitutions are what they are (warts and all), why it works for them (and sometimes doens't), given their history and cultural norms. It is more than glib anecdotes, but not the heavy plodding of an academic treatise.
madameX is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 06:04 PM
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60 Million Frenchman - Hands down best book to understand French culture.
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Jul 26th, 2006, 06:14 PM
  #18  
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Can't wait to get to Barnes & Noble tomorrow.

60 Million Frenchmen great idea for my husband to read.... as well as myself..

Thanks again!
gchizz1 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 06:18 PM
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Alison Weir's Eleanor of Aquitaine--you will think you are reading fiction
Amart is offline  
Jul 26th, 2006, 07:57 PM
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There is a series of books set in the reign of the Sun king King Louis XIV that are fabulous. It is the Angelique series. This website has info on them: http://www.worldofangelique.com/mota.htm You should read them in the correct order.

Another fantastic series (set in France & Scotland) during the time that Mary Queen of Scots was a child living in France is the Francis Crawford of Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnett. http://www.dorothydunnett.co.uk/

You could easily become addicted to them.
IrishEyes is offline  

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