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06 August 2012 @ 03:44 pm
historical fiction query  
Does anyone have any recommendations for historical fiction about married people falling in love with each other? I feel like there must be some out there, but I'm not well-versed enough in the genre to really know where to look. [ETA: I mean two people who are married first and then subsequently fall in love with each other, not people who are married and then fall in love with other people. If that makes sense.]
Magistrix Texan: Medieval Canon Heterstwhiletexan on August 6th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
I feel compelled to recommend Anya Seton's Katherine if you haven't read it. It's about two married medieval people's 30-year affair (and eventual marriage) BUT I AM COMPLETELY BIASED SINCE JOHN OF GAUNT IS MY MEDIEVAL BOYFRIEND.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 6th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
Do you know, I never have read it? I've been meaning to for ages, but always seem to forget about it when I'm casting about aimlessly for something to read.
Magistrix Texan: John of Gaunterstwhiletexan on August 6th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
It has its faults, certainly, (chief amongst them the fact that everyone seems to think it's a credible source of information for the lives of John of Gaunt and Kat Swynford I AM LOOKING AT YOU ALISON WEIR) but it's really quite charming and it has a very special place in my heart. <3
La Reine Noire: Wimminz!lareinenoire on August 6th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I have to second this. :) I recently reread Katherine and it still holds up really well. A few eyeroll-inducing moments, but I still love it.

Edited at 2012-08-06 10:25 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 6th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
For reasons I can no longer remember, I'd vaguely thought I might start reading Anya Seton with The Winthrop Woman... (Maybe I was taking a class on colonial North America at the time?) But I think I'm over being contrary now.
La Reine Noire: Wimminz!lareinenoire on August 7th, 2012 12:22 am (UTC)
Also, Green Darkness is completely on crack (and I mean, on SERIOUS crack) but I was absolutely enthralled both times I read it.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 7th, 2012 02:22 am (UTC)
Sounds promising! :)
tempestsarekind: very few dates in this historytempestsarekind on August 6th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, dear. Fiction is...well, fictional. I guess not everyone got the memo. :)
Magistrix Texan: John of Gaunt gives no fuckserstwhiletexan on August 6th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
I don't know what it is, but TOO MANY PEOPLE do it with regards to John of Gaunt/Katherine Swynford. Like, I own at least three biographies of either or both of them that use interpretations of Chaucer's poetry as FACTS and I am like "... okay I thought that method of writing biographies went out of fashion 100 years ago?"
tempestsarekind: viola giggletempestsarekind on August 6th, 2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
Hee! I guess people still kind of do that with Shakespeare, too... Just because he liked to write about certain things, that does not mean that he was secretly encoding his direct personal experience in his plays.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on August 6th, 2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
OMG--I wore out at least three copies of this book.

Poor Katherine having to wed Hugh who nearly rapes her. I think I've read all of Anya Seton's books.

But Katherine and John Of Gaunt are in love before they marry.

Faults, well, if you read one of Anya Seton's books, you just about know all of phrasings.

Edited at 2012-08-06 10:08 pm (UTC)
the cold genius: anne of bohemiaangevin2 on August 6th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
I didn't actually like it -- I have way too much headcanon about these two in the way -- but Margaret Campbell Barnes's Within the Hollow Crown (about Richard II and Anne of Bohemia) certainly fits your qualifications.

Edited at 2012-08-06 09:13 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 6th, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
Hee, I can imagine! Perhaps I'll take a peek.
the cold genius: big gay historyangevin2 on August 6th, 2012 10:01 pm (UTC)
Problem #1: Richard is straight. Problem #2: Robert de Vere is straight!

...Someday I will write my big squishy RII historical novel that will have no market unless there suddenly ends up being a market for sexy histfic with a bisexual protagonist. ;)
tempestsarekind: your strange behavior puzzles marthatempestsarekind on August 6th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
...oh dear.

Wait, are you saying there *isn't* already a market for that? D: I would certainly read it. A lot.
the cold genius: i <3 my dead gay kingsangevin2 on August 6th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
Well, I know there are lots of het historical romances, and actually quite a few gay ones! But actually my plan is to put in a lot of obscure references and unpleasant details of medieval life, use a gender-neutral pseudonym, and pass it off as literary histfic along the lines of Hilary Mantel's work. ;)
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 6th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
That is a stellar plan! You could write one of those historical novels that everybody says transcends the genre (which is a generally silly thing to say, but usually good for the author about whom it's said)! :)
Magistrix Texan: THAT'S HOTerstwhiletexan on August 6th, 2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
If you put some vampires and werewolves in it, I bet it will sell really well right now.
the cold genius: robert's tongueangevin2 on August 6th, 2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekind: danielle laugh [ever after]tempestsarekind on August 6th, 2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
Richard II: Fabulous Vampire!
the cold genius: richard ii is fabulous.angevin2 on August 6th, 2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
He's got the sparkly part down, after all...
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on August 6th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
Very true!
Magistrix Texan: LOLerstwhiletexan on August 7th, 2012 01:08 am (UTC)
brb crying laughing
viomisehuntviomisehunt on August 6th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
I'm laughing because my mind went blank. Most of the historical fiction I have read has been about people who have had extra-marital affairs. Period erotic literature and romance is filled with these images. However, I would imagine from any culture, any tale of a romantic pre-arraigned marriage would have that element.
tempestsarekind: palm to palm is holy palmers' kisstempestsarekind on August 6th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's the thing - I couldn't think of any, either. It's something that comes up in historical sources, and documentaries often mention that this or that couple grew to love each other, but I don't see it very much when I'm reading summaries of historical fiction, or in the novels. I think there are a fair number of historical romances that use the "marriage of convenience" plot, but I haven't read any of those.
Magistrix Texanerstwhiletexan on August 7th, 2012 01:14 am (UTC)
omg I totally misread what you were looking for. ._. I AM SO SORRY, Katherine is not applicable at all. D: But if you like the sexy sex type romance novel historical fiction, check out some of Katheleen E. Woodiwiss' earlier works like A Rose in Winter and The Wolf and the Dove. They both use the "arranged/forced marriage, later: TRU LUV" plot, BUT THEY ARE COMPLETELY TERRIBLE IN MANY MANY WAYS but I still kind of love them.

Edited at 2012-08-07 01:14 am (UTC)
tempestsarekind: austentempestsarekind on August 7th, 2012 02:21 am (UTC)
Not to worry! I realized that my post was totally unclear! Language is hard, oops. :)

I was thinking about how actually, I'd love to see a costume drama that started from this premise, rather than the "protagonist trapped in a loveless marriage, seeking comfort in another's arms!" plot... But I definitely don't know of anything that fits that description, so I thought I might have better luck with books!
the real kwon: wine and booksbookelfe on August 7th, 2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
Georgette Heyer has a few that fit this trope! The one I have read is The Convenient Marriage, which is a more traditionally-shaped romance novel Hijinks And Misunderstandings! book -- the beginning starts out with an earl proposing to a lady who is tragic about it but Feels She Must Marry Him For Her Family, and then her younger sister pops up and is like "or . . . you could marry me! :D I don't mind marrying for convenience, that's cool as long as you're fine with my stammer and enormous eyebrows!" and then they get married and then fall in love.

A Civil Contract, which I have not read yet, is apparently much quieter and all about the process of falling in love with your spouse-of-convenience over time. It's generally considered to be one of her best, so consider this a recommendation-by-proxy!
tempestsarekind: not supposed to be a heroine [NA]tempestsarekind on August 7th, 2012 03:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Those sound like just the thing.