Recently, I noticed the obituary of Sharon Kay Penman in the New York Times. I was rather shocked. Somehow, in my mind, I thought (hoped) she would be with us, writing excellent novels about the Middle Ages, forever. The breadth of historical fiction is what I love to read or watch. Romantic lightweights help me relax, action-adventure gets me fired up with ideas for storylines. Often, these take (many) liberties with the historical facts. Not so Sharon Kay Penman. She stuck to them like glue. Not mindlessly though, for she would adapt when new insights emerged. The way she managed to build and weave her story with the facts and the surrounding void, and still make the actors and settings come alive, is nothing short of phenomenal. To me, she is so high on that pedestal with the likes of Bernard Cornwell and Nigel Tranter. She wrote about the medieval period after the Viking Age, and that’s why this isn’t a full essay on this site. But if you are interested after reading this, check …
The first book in a new series on Olaf Tryggvason by Eric Schumacher.
Are you a big fan of Bernard Cornwell and his Saxon Stories now famous for The Last Kingdom tv-series? Here is an interview with the master of battle descriptions, and a link to an older podcast (2018) with him on History Extra.
Book review of the Hakon’s Saga Trilogy by Eric Schumacher.
Enter the literary history circle!