title says it all
Anything by Bernard Cornwell
The Difference Engine By William Gibson and Bruce Stirling
In a related vein (that is, cyberpunk authors), there is Neil Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, and his Baroque Cycle books, Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World are also good reads, though of course it would take longer to read a trilogy than a standalone.
the best historical book i ever read is Pillars of the Earth by ken follet.
it is one of the best books ken follet ever wrote in my opinion. it is such an epic and it made me fall in love with gothic cathedrals and the architecture behind it. it is very well written and the characters are fantastic.....check it out.
one of my favorites..Emma
by Jane Austen
Colleen McCullough's Master of Rome series (7 books) is really great historical fiction and my absolute favorite. Wilbur Smith's Egyptian series is pretty good too. Below is a list of authors you can check out:
C J Sansom
Erich Maria Remarque
Jean M Auel
Laura Joh Rowland
Sharon K Penman
Sir Walter Scott
Valerio Massimo Manfredi
I cannot overlook Nicholas Guild who is a master story teller. His two book series The Assyrian and The Blood Star are excellent reads.
Not fiction but a fantastic read:
"The Histories" by Herodotus
You can see where a lot of fiction writers got there stuff. 'Real history' is just as weird as make believe
Of course, some of that real history is more fictional than anything you see in historical fiction...
How about Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks - absolutely awesome novel about WW1 (kind of appropriate given next year is the centenary of the start of the War to End All Wars). Actually, anything by Sebastian Faulks is great. He has a books set in various key periods from the late 19th century on - I'm currently reading one set in 1959 touching on the Nixon / Kennedy election.
For 19th century, you just have got to read the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser. These are not only absolutely hilarious, rip-roaring tales but also remarkably accurate historically, covering a huge swathe of the most icon events of Victorian world history - the Charge of Light Bridage, the Anglo-Afghan Wars, the Indian Mutiny, Custer's Last Stand, John Brown's attack on Harper's Ferry, the American Civil War, the Boxer War and much, much more.
Then there's I, Claudius and Claudius the God by Robert Graves which are an entertaining - if somewhat sensationalised - portrayal of Rome in the immediate post-Republic days, from Julius Caesar's assasination all the way through to the death of Claudius.
Of course, if you want real historical stuff, why not just read books from those time? Many of the more recent writers are extraordinarily readable - Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Wilkie Collins, Jack London, Jerome K. Jerome, Edgar Allan Poe, Dickens, Joseph Conrad and going back a touch further, the Bront
Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels.
A wonderful piece of historical fiction detailing the four days at Gettysburg during the Civil War. The movie adaption, Gettysburg, is actually fairly well done and faithful to the novel. I've read this book about 5 times over the past 10 years. Beautifully written with clear and flowing prose.
If you are a fan of the middle ages, give Sharon Kay Penman a try. She has a number of books and series with my favorite being When Christ and His Saints Slept. A huge cast of characters with multiple plot lines and very detailed. Her books give historical fiction a good name.
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