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16th Century India

Currently I'm reading The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan. It's based on accounts written by contemporary poets, and is the story of Mehrunissa, the daughter of an Imperial Accountant, who falls in love with the Crown Prince and eventually becomes a powerful political figure despite being the 20th wife and confined to the Imperial Harem. It's written in a very easy going manner, and you don't have to know anything about India to enjoy this novel.
So, has anyone read any good history-related books lately?

(I've been too busy myself to complete any books, though I'm still working on A Perfect Red!)

"In the Company of the Courtesan"

Someone asked that I post after I finished reading this book by Sarah Dunant.  I thought it was a good book.......seemed to move a bit slow at times, but that happens.  It may seem that it took me a while to read it.....yes, it did, *way* too may other things going on right now and didn't have time to read during the day so only time I had to read was just before going to sleep, and I fell asleep reading this one way too many times.  Finished the book Sunday night. 

Now I've started "Leonardo's Swans" by Karen Essex, another Italian based novel.  This is about the sisters, Isabella and Beatrice d'Este, daughters of the Duke of Ferrara, circa late 1400's.  From the cover flaps, Beatrice weds Ludovico Sforza, Isabella the Marquis of Mantua.  Both become muses to Leonardo da Vinci.  We'll see how this one goes.  So far, after reading only a few pages last night in bed and, once again, falling asleep with the book in my hands, it's a fairly easy read.  Maybe, once I get some of these projects out of the way, I'll be able to get some more reading time in.......but I have a feeling that will be a while.  :)

Lyonnete recomends...

Hi all. As everyone I'm making my intro and first tenative recomendations.

I'm Lyonnete Vibert, of the Barony of the Cleftlands in the glorious Midrealm!

My favorite history book is probably Maurice Keen's Chivalry . It is a lively book, a great introduction to Chivalry as a subject matter and frankly inspiring. And to think I originally bought it just because of an illumination reproduced in the edition!!

I liked it much more than Richard Kaeuper's Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe. Probably because Keen had a simple thesis to put forth and stuck to it, whereas Kaeuper just felt unfocused to me. Plus Keen's prose style is more engaging. It's a shame that so many skilled academics are overlooked simply because they lack a fluid style. In that vein, I do like Kaeuper's edition of Geoffroi de Charny's book. It's a great little edition with the original text alongside so you can compare and see the choices the translator made. I've seen other editions/translations and I do like this one best.

Another of my favorites is the collection of Chretien De Troyes' works in translation. I mean, you gotta have a background in Arthurian legend, right? And we all know Mallory was just a poser. :P

Seriously. OMG. The stories do stand the test of time, full of sex and violence! And there's something... haunting about the unfinished grail quest.

I dunno. Is this a good post? Is this what people are looking for?

Favorite places to find books

So where do you find your books?

I do most of my shopping online. My two favorite places to look for new and used books are:

Addall.com - They search all of the major bookstores, like Borders, Amazon, Powells, etc, as well as some of the group small seller sites like ABEbooks. They sort the price by cost PLUS shipping, so you dont have to do the math as to where it would be cheaper to have a book sent from.

Half.com - They have a large population of small bookstores scattered around the country. Ive found some awesome deals here.

Fiction Recommendations & Paperbackswap

Hello all :)
I recently asked the sca lj community for a list of recommended historical fiction and got this List of 31 Books. It's a good starting place and they've been great so far! My favorites from the list are Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (won the nobel prize!), and God Against the Gods by Allen Drury. My interests include historical fiction and the history of jewelry.

And is anyone a member of paperbackswap.com? It's an easy way to get free books (not just paperbacks) and get rid of the books you don't think you'll read again. If you're not familiar with it, the premise is basically this: everyone lists the books they don't want anymore. When someone wants one of your books, you mail it to them for free, paying the postage yourself (averages $2.33). When you search the site for a book you want, the person who has it sends it to you for free. You receive two free book points when you sign up. It requires that you give away as many books as you get, and list 10 books to start. As of right now there are 2,384,252 books available. I signed up a couple weeks ago and have received four books already, and I really like it so far :)

Quick intro.

Hello all. My name is Kimiko, and I live in Fresno, CA (Nordwache, Caid). I've only been in the SCA a couple of years, and lightly at that. I go by the name Joan Silvertoppe in society. I have been involved with renaissance faires for the past 20 years this October. I am happily married, with 3 children, age 20, 6 and almost 3.

I enjoy both historical fact, and fiction books, and am focused mainly on Tudor England, tho I enjoy forays into other times and periods if the writing is good, or gets my interest. I also enjoy good fantasy and sci-fi books, tho my library is older and not so much the newer books. My costume book collection is large, and I need to update my LibraryThing to show all of my books (but that will take a long while).

My main focus is costuming, but my passion has always been a good book. I've even found my not yet 3yo daughter already has my passion, as I caught her looking at her books while she's supposed to be sleeping, even with the lights dimmed.

I look forward to chatting books with you all.


I'm so glad to have discovered this community!

My name is Arianna Chiara Fiorucci, I currently live in the Canton of the Towers in the Barony of Carolingia in the East Kingdom (aka northeast Massachusetts), but I have also lived in the Midrealm and Northshield.

My primary interest is Florence up to about 1500, but I'll pick up almost anything about the Italian peninsula from 1200-1550, and will gladly share whatever resources I have access to with other book-minded folks. I especially enjoy books like The Memoirs of Marco Parenti, which interweaves the discussion of one well-connected person in Florence with more general information and context or Brunelleschi's Dome.

Pleased to make your acquaintance!


Very happy to see this. I read historical fiction on airplanes and trips in general or when I go to an event where I actually have nothing to do but sit and relax. (Stop laughing! It can happen.)

But most of all, I love finding reference books in my field of study, gloves. I have started a biblio on my website of what I have and what i want to collect. Now realize, I do not read the whole book, only the portions that have to do with gloves. :)

I look forward to commentary on both kinds of books, the historical fiction ones that everyone seems to be listing their love for and the historical reference books. :)

I am Chiara Francesca from An Tir, recently from Ansteorra. :)


Me too!

Hi everyone! Wanted to add my introduction to the list. My name is Griele vanden Burghr, or Angel whichever you prefer. I live in the northern part of Atlantia.

I love reading and LOVE historical fiction so I look forward to lots of reviews and suggestions.