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What are your favorite European history books?

What are your favorite European history books?

Old Jul 20th, 2001, 05:14 AM
  #1  
Paige
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What are your favorite European history books?

I really enjoy reading factual historical novels and I'm always looking for tips on good books. What are your favorites? Here are mine:
"I Claudius"
"Claudius the God" both by Robert Graves
"The House of Medici: It's Rise and Fall"
"The Days of the French Revolution" both by Christopher Hibbert
"The Agony and the Ecstasy" by Irving Stone
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 06:58 AM
  #2  
Betty
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I would love to be able to find a series of books that I read years ago called, I believe, The Accursed Kings. I cannot remember the author's name or the names of the individual books, but they told the story of Jacques de Molay's cursing of Philip the Fair and his descendants and how that curse affected the subsequent kings of France. It was fascinating reading and based on historical facts. I think I would appreciate them even more now. Does anyone know the name of the author or individual titles or where I might find them?
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 07:23 AM
  #3  
wes fowler
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"Europe" and "The Isles", both by Norman Davies; the first an eccentric history with a disproportionate emphasis on Eastern Europe's influence on Europe's history; the latter a history of Great Britain. "The Civilizaton of Europe in the Renaissance" by John Hale; "London at War" by Philip Ziegler capturing the travails of the average Londoner during WWII; "Empire" by Dennis Judd tracing Great Britain's history from the early 1700's to the present. "A History of Britain" by Simon Schama as well as his "The Embarassment of Riches" addressing the Netherlands of the 16th and 17th centuries. Finally, Schama's "Citizen", a brilliant history of the French Revolution.
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 07:29 AM
  #4  
Book Chick
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Betty,
The books you're talking of were authored by Maurice Druon & translated by Humphrey Hare. The original books in the series are (not necessarily in order): The Iron King, The Poisoned Crown, The Lily & The Lion, The Strangled Queen, The Royal Succession, The She-Wolf of France.

You might be able to locate them through a book-search service, like harvest or BookLook. Both of these companies look for out-of-print books, locate them, phone or e-mail you with a detailed description of the condition & price of the book. I know that Borders.com uses Harvest, & I have phoned BookLook before, they were extremely helpful. Their toll-free# is 800-223-0540. Also on the Barnes & Noble website, you may have luck, as they link up directly also with a book search service. Hope this helps.
BC
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 09:12 AM
  #5  
Annette
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Gore Vidal's novel of the later Roman Emperor, "Julian" is a good one - telling the other side of the spread of Christianity.

"The King's Way" by Francoise Chandernagor was a can't put down for me. About "Madam de Maintenon - Uncrowned Queen of France's Golden Age"

"The Stones of the Abby" by Fernand Pouillon about 12th century Cicertercian order in France.

"Disraeli in Love" by Maurice Edelman

"A Nervour Splendor" by Frederic Morton. A novel set in Vienna 1888/1889, weaving historical figures into plot

"The Girl With The Pearl Earrings" Vermeer's maid speaks, by Tracy Chevalier.

Thanks for the thread, Paige. Hopefully hear from others for more historical novel ideas.
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 09:37 AM
  #6  
Thyra
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A Distant Mirror by Barbara Tuschman... this is one brillian book, it's an in depth study on the 14th Century, and she is able to draw some amazing parallels between then and now...I've read it 3 times and never get tired of it.
Napoleon and Josephine: An improbable marriage, is another great book especially if you are travelling to Paris.

Biography of Charles the 2nd by Antonia Fraser is another one I couldn't put down... it made seeing Chas. 2nd death mask and clothing at Westminster abby absolutely incredible.. I could have stood there all day!
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 10:09 AM
  #7  
carol
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Great thread. The Volcano Lover by Susan Sontag is a fascinating novel about Nelson, Lady Emma, and most of all, Sir Charles Hamilton, Emma's husband; The Sunne in Splendor, is a contrarian and sympathetic novel about Richard III; Dorothy Dunnett's "Nicolo Rising" series of novels is a remarkably rich rendering of Renaissance Europe, set variously in Burgundy, Venice, Constantinople, the steppes of Russia, Trebizond, Cyprus.
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 10:23 AM
  #8  
Betty
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Yes, Book Chick, those are the books I was talking about. I had tried B&N and Amazon with no luck. I'll try your other suggestions and, since you say they were translated (I assume from French) I may try to get them in French from BOL.fr.

From one BC to another - Merci beaucoup!
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 10:31 AM
  #9  
Capo
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These aren't novels, but two of my favorites are The Road From the Past: Traveling Through History in France by Ina Caro, and Barcelona by Robert Hughes.
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 10:49 AM
  #10  
Book Chick
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Betty,
You're ever so welcome. I love a good book challenge almost as much as a good book!
Best Regards,
BC
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 10:55 AM
  #11  
kk
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I've recently found a wonderful novelist, Alan Furst, who only writes about people caught up in the Europe of 1934-1945. I swear you would believe you were right there with him--in the French resistance, the commies fighting during the Spanish civil war, a Jew caught in Hitler's Germany. These are ostensibly spy stories but they are really more stories of what it was like being/trying to just live in Europe at that time. The main characters ALWAYS end up in Paris, so you francophiles will love that.
Here are some of the titles...
Dark Star
Night Soldiers
The Polish Officer
The World at Night
Red Gold
...I've read these back to back and I swear that my clothes now stink of all the Galoise cigarettes that their heroes and I have been smoking, in order to get us through the tough times in Europe! You will love these! You get lots of history...the Hitler-Stalin Non-agression Pact, lots of emphasis on the various secret services, even the British. Great stuff.
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 11:06 AM
  #12  
Ann
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Not a novel, but a very balanced overview of the Northern Ireland situation: Too Long a Sacrifice by Jack Holland. Hope he's put out a new edition in recent years. The copy I have came out in the mid 90s.
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 04:29 PM
  #13  
up
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up
 
Old Jul 21st, 2001, 05:51 PM
  #14  
MaureenGP
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Before my recent trip to England I read "London" by Edward Rutherford. I didn't think it was the greatest book when I was reading it, but when I got to London, I found that the book had really cemented the chronological and human side of many things in my mind, such as the Roman origins, or the building of St. Paul's or the Globe Theatre, etc. It was just a great overview of the history of this great city.
Some of the people on our tour had read Rutherford's book "Sarum," and they commented that it made them appreciate our visits to Stonehenge and Salisbury better. (I haven't read that one, however.)
I have only just begun to read "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett, about the building of a cathedral, but I can already tell it will be a real favorite and would have been a good read before visiting all those cathedrals on our trip (St. Paul's, Salisbury, Canterbury, Rouen, Chartres, Notre Dame, etc.).

 

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