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Dorothy Dunnett!

Dunnett's historical fiction: two huge-ranging series, set in 15th&16th c. Europe, Russia, Africa - the Francis Lymond series & the Niccolo. Ranks in the best hist. fic. ever.

Posted by
33 posts

I've been a huge fan of her books since I accidently picked up Game of Kings...these series are absolutely superb! I've learned far far more history through her books than I ever learned in college.

They aren't easy reads but become addicting once you get into the rhythm and realize not only Google is your mentor but you also benefit from buying Elizabeth Morrison's two companion guides that cover
both series.

Posted by
2989 posts

Norma, the Butler Dunnett.

Stewart, thank you. I will be reading some of her books right away. I was interested to learn, in an online article about her, that Dorothy Dunnett was originally a professional portrait painter, and exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy. Two of her subjects especially appeal to me. She also wrote a novel about the real Macbeth called "King Hereafter", and a series of mystery novels about Johnson Johnson, a portrait painter/spy. Thank you for making us aware of this author!

Posted by
809 posts

Thanks for the mention of the companion guides. I own the whole Lymond series but bogged down partway through the second book. I didn't think about Google - that's a great idea too. I'll have to give them another try. I love learning my history from fiction!

Posted by
18 posts

Heck, yes!! I hooked my sister on them by reading Niccolo Rising out loud while in Bruges where the book is set. Love all of Dunnett's books. I was just thinking a couple of days ago it's time for a big reread.

Posted by
6511 posts

For those who have read these books, do you think it's best to read them in order or doesn't it matter? I would like to start reading them but don't know if I should start with the first ones or just pick one up at random.

Posted by
33 posts

Oops, the Dorothy Dunnett Companion books author is Elsbeth Morrison.

Although the Niccolo and Lymond series are complete entities and can be read independently,
your reading life will be more manageable if you start with Lymond and then progress with Niccolo -
the ultimate prequel, hehe.

If you want a succinct synopsis of the Lymond Chronicles go to the Idle Woman blog...but there are
spoilers. Even after rereading these annually for over 40 Years I've still been brought up to speed by
information in the Companion guides.

Posted by
18 posts

Nancy, you definitely need to read the books in the individual series in order. Opinions vary on whether you should read the Lymond or the Niccolo series first - she wrote the Lymond series first but the Niccolo series is set first chronologically.
In my opinion you should read the Lymond series first.

Posted by
6511 posts

Thanks guys. Will start from the beginning and hopefully be able to find them all and read them in the order she wrote them.