Historical Fiction Novels – The Ancient World

The standard of writers in this genre make these novels some of the top fiction books you can read….. simply as reading for pleasure or to learn more of times past in a fun way… which is reading books-4fun!

As you would guess from my previous article “Historical Fiction”, historical novels are some of my best loved books – I have always found them a good read นิยายอีโรติก. The authors are usually on my must read list when I check out bookstores.

Browsing bookstores to discover that ‘gem’ or finding the latest from a favourite author is a pleasurable way to spend time. And, now that most good bookstores are also online bookstores, it is easier to obtain books – especially if one cannot access them physically – like me because of where I live.

Of the ancient world – up to the Fall of the Roman Empire – possibly 3 main characters have had more historical novels written about them than any others:

  • Alexander the Great
  • Cleopatra
  • Julius Caesar

The immortal story of Troy perhaps being up there with them., although how historical the characters were is left to your imagination.

Such is immortality!

Of them all, it’s perhaps Alexander the Great who is the most fascinating, enigmatic and complex character of them all – even if more is known about Caesar and Cleopatra…. though not much more unfortunately.

We can add to this list novels about the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. – particularly Ramses 11 and Hatshepsut. Of course there are other yarns about other pharaohs, but these two seem to feature a lot more.

Fascination with ancient Egypt has been bubbling away since Napoleon visited and Belzoni excavated. It of course became fully fledged with the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb and treasure.

Despite this the boy king is not an exciting focal point for many historical novelists – when appearing, it is usually transitional or a by-line almost.

The first historical novel I remember reading as a boy is “The Egyptian” by Mika Waltari – it is the story of Sinuhe the (fictional) royal physician to Akhenaten. Essentially a story of reign of Akhenaten – it also features his predecessors on the throne, Nefertiti his Queen, and his successors Tutankhamun, Ay and Horemheb.

It came more alive when I eventually saw the movie starring Victor Mature, Gene Tierney, Jean Simmons with Edmund Purdom as Sinuhe.

I must admit I loved all those old epics by film makers such as Cecil B DeMille, Samuel Bronston et al. They haven’t all aged well – in light of today’s filmic realism, but when I was younger they were fresh and vivified in me a love of the ancient world.

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