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I've been a long fan of Alison Weir for nonfiction for years.  Now that Alison Weir is writing historical fiction, do you prefer Alison Weir or Phillippa Gregory?  Do you have a favorite book?  Do the Phillippa Gregory books have to be read in order?  Thanks!
 

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Phillippa Gregory's books set in the Tudor-era do not have to be read in order, they are very much stand-alone books. I haven't read her other books, but I think she has at least one series (the one I'm thinking of gets some scathing reviews on Amazon), and I would assume that they would need to be read in order.

I've only read one of Alison Weir's books (the one about Lady Jane Grey), and if you like her books, I would imagine you would like Phillippa Gregory's books. However I do think Gregory takes more "liberties" with historical facts than Weir does.
 

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I have read The Sixth Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir. It was good, but that's the only one of hers I have read.

As for Gregory, I have read The Other Boleyn Girl, The Constant Princess and The Boleyn Inheritance. Of the three, I liked The Boleyn Inheritance best.

Try Sharon Kay Penman for historical fiction. She's excellent, but be prepared for very weighty (literally) tomes.
 

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Of Gregory's books, I've read The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, and The Queen's Fool. I thought the first two were very good, but the third only OK. Haven't read good enough reviews of the others to plan on reading them.

I've always meant to read some of Alison Weir's books.

I've read a couple of Penman's mysteries and Here Be Dragons, which I enjoyed very much. 3 more Penman books are sitting on my shelf. I keep starting them, then getting distracted and having to start them again a year or so later. Someday....

N :)
 

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Weir for the real stuff -- Gregory for the Historical Fiction. At least so far as that's how I know each of them. I will read the fictional endeavors of Weir at some point.

I lent out The Constant Princess (Gregory) to someone. When we discussed it, it was clear that she took the more fictional or fill in the blank stuff as fact. I had to keep reminding her that the part about Arthur and Catalina
having consummated the marriage, and often,
was an interest concept, but not at all proved or even likely. It made me wonder how common that was -- that people would take it all as Gospel -- and made me rethink the thought that fans of The Tudors (Showtime Series) would be able to easily tell the more soap opera-y plot contrivances.
 

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I love historical fiction but I have a really hard time finding any historical fiction that is actually good writing. I find a lot of this: "Whoa," Jan said breathlessly. "That's nuts!" Tim replied excitedly. 

I am really fond of Ken Follett's historical fiction though. Pillars and World Without End are both awesome.
 

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cjpatrick said:
I am really fond of Ken Follett's historical fiction though. Pillars and World Without End are both awesome.
I second the recommendation for Ken Follett and his historical fiction. I just finished World without End and I am currently reading Pillars of the Earth. Both are excellent. I read many of Phillippa Gregory's books. I enjoyed the Boleyn books. I thought some of the others were only okay.
 

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MichelleR said:
I lent out The Constant Princess (Gregory) to someone. When we discussed it, it was clear that she took the more fictional or fill in the blank stuff as fact. I had to keep reminding her that the part about Arthur and Catalina
having consummated the marriage, and often,
was an interest concept, but not at all proved or even likely.
The Big Lie. Yes, you have to take Gregory with a dose of salt. If you know the history of the times, you know where she has filled in with a plausible theory.

All that aside, I didn't like the book very much. I found Catalina's early history interesting, but really knew all the rest. That's okay; I expect to know a lot. My big objection was that she spent too much time with Catherine and Arthur and it took until the middle of the book for him to die.

It made me wonder how common that was -- that people would take it all as Gospel -- and made me rethink the thought that fans of The Tudors (Showtime Series) would be able to easily tell the more soap opera-y plot contrivances.
That has always been my objection, and why I won't watch The Tudors or Merlin or any of those. Sheesh, they wiped out the whole Stuart line. Val d'Or? That has nothing to do with the Field of the Cloth of Gold. The King of Portugal? No, it was Louis of France, Frances' father. Then you have movies like Braveheart. I watched that with a friend of my daughter and she took every word as historical gospel. I was compelled to run to the computer and print out the real facts.

Time for another shameless plug for my favorite historical fiction author. Susan Howatch. She takes historical families, gives them new identities and places them in a different setting. She's done Julius Cesear (The Rich are Different and Sins of the Fathers), Edward I (Cashelmara), Edward III (Wheel of Fortune), and Henry II (Panmarric). She's a fantastic writer and I never get tired of reading her books. Unfortunately, none of these are available for Kindle.
 

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Susan M said:
I second the recommendation for Ken Follett and his historical fiction. I just finished World without End and I am currently reading Pillars of the Earth. Both are excellent. I read many of Phillippa Gregory's books. I enjoyed the Boleyn books. I thought some of the others were only okay.
Wow, you're reading the Follett books backwards! That might be an interesting take on it, I would imagine World Without End may have been confusing without the Pillars as background? I absolutely loved both of those books, and actually sparked a newfound interest in Historical Fiction. I was never a big history buff but those two books got me interested! I'm plowing through the Outlander series, but plan on reading some of both Gregory and Weir's books next.
 

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those who enjoyed the premise of Follett's two books might want to check out Cathedral of the Sea. couldn't get the kindle link, but did get the HB link below. this novel is set in 1300 Barcelona Spain....

 
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