Sunday, 5 June 2016

I Nominate by Joan Lennon

I would like to introduce a new category - Honorary (Dead) History Girls.  And to start the ball rolling, I'd like to nominate four (I know, it's a bit greedy, but it's not as if we'll ever have to find chairs for them all) - four writers of historical fiction who have loomed large in my life and my understanding of and delight in the past.  They are also writers I revisit and re-enjoy - that could be a criterion.

And here they are, my nominations for H(D)HG - in no particular order.  (I'd thought to put them alphabetically, but with three of them sporting so many names, it just wasn't possible.)

1.  Edith Pargeter aka Ellis Peters aka John Redfern aka Joylon Carr aka Peter Benedict (1913-1995)


(image from Mysterious Press site)



2. Barbara Mertz aka Elizabeth Peters aka Barbara Michaels (1927 - 2013)




(image from Amelia Peabody website)



3. Rosemary Sutcliff (1920 - 1992)





(image from Rosemary Sutcliff blog)




4. Eileen Mary Challans aka Mary Renault (1905 - 1983)




(image from Wikipedia site)

What do you think?  Any seconders?  And who would you nominate as Honorary (Dead) History Girl(s)?


Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.
Silver Skin.


12 comments:

Sue Bursztynski said...

No, I think you've caught my favourites right there. (If we could have a Dead History Boy I'd nominate Parke Godwin, the American writer who did such a good job of bringing legendary British heroes such as Arthur and Robin Hood to believable life.)

Sue Purkiss said...

Would definitely second Elizabeth Peters - her Amelia Peabody books are such fun! It's a very long time since I read Rosemary Sutcliff or Mary Renault, but I remember enjoying them both very much as a gel.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Excellent choices! I would put Dorothy Dunnett at the top of my list - she has an MBE for services to literature. Hilary Mantle slightly reminds me of her style but Mantle is the apprentice working in the corner and Dunnett is the master of the canvas.

Also, sadly, of a few weeks ago, Roberta Gellis, who was utterly brilliant at the art of historical romance. Her research was superb, her characters always vibrant and of their time, and she always left this reader with an ache for more.

Caroline Lawrence said...

My vote would have to be for Mary Renault; her book, The Last of the Wine, literally changed my life! My top history boy is Patrick O'Brian, who is her equal but in the Napoleonic period at sea!

Leslie Wilson said...

I love Sutcliffe, Peters (I have ALL the books) and Renault. How about Margaret Irwin, anyone remember her?

Catherine Johnson said...

Great post Joan! And I was thinking of writing about Peters this month! x

Joan Lennon said...

Thanks for secondings and nominatings - and Catherine, I'm really looking forward to your Peters post!

Helen C said...

Another vote for Dorothy Dunnett, and for Margaret Irwin, who was responsible for my teenage infatuations with Robert Dudley and Prince Rupert. And Diana Norman (aka Ariana Franklin), Anya Seton, Georgette Heyer .....

Leslie Wilson said...

Georgette Heyer, of course! How could I leave her off! As a teenager, I adored The Scarlet Pimpernel; though now - having read Hilary Mantel's A Place of Greater Safety- I find her interpretation of the French Revolution rather loathesome.. and Marguerite Blakeney, divinely tall, with her tiny feet, must have been somewhat out of proportion!

Leslie Wilson said...

What I wanted to say about Irwin is how well she writes. I learned a lot about style from her.

madwippitt said...

Second all of those, and would like to nominate Cynthia Harnett who also did marvellous illustrations for her books. I loved The Woolpack, and especially The Load of Unicorn :-)

Marie-Louise Jensen said...

I'm with Leslie for Georgette Heyer! Though I have read and enjoyed the others too.