From the list on getting right inside the minds of historical people.
Who am I?
I am the author of the Byzantine Trilogy (in 4 parts). These books depict the difficult beginning, decadent apogee, and sad end of the Byzantine empire. I think it is important to make historical fiction vivid, to immerse the reader in a distant time and place, with all its sights, smells, sounds, and tastes, as experienced by someone who was really there. I am also interested in what people believed, and why. For that reason, my historical novels are all first-person narratives, stories told by the people who lived through them. Here are some of the fictional memoirs that inspired me to start writing.
Christopher's book list on getting right inside the minds of historical people
Discover why each book is one of Christopher's favorite books.
Why did Christopher love this book?
This amazing novel gets right inside the mind of Hadrian, a great emperor who ruled wisely over Rome’s Golden Age. In public, a statesman and soldier, in private he was thoughtful, cultured, and philosophical. He tells us much about his life, and about the empire he ruled. He is both credulous and sceptical, indifferent to and curious about pleasure, both eager and reluctant to rule. He muses about power, war, the arts, love, friendship, and much else. Perhaps the most moving episode is Hadrian’s grief at the death of Antinous, his beautiful young boyfriend, who he later deified.
This memoir, in contemplative, narrative form, is utterly believable, and reminds us that the inner life is as important, and as interesting, as events and actions.
Memoirs of Hadrian
Why should I read it?
4 authors picked Memoirs of Hadrian as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
Framed as a letter from the Roman Emperor Hadrian to his successor, Marcus Aurelius, Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian is translated from the French by Grace Frick with an introduction by Paul Bailey in Penguin Modern Classics.
In her magnificent novel, Marguerite Yourcenor recreates the life and death of one of the great rulers of the ancient world. The Emperor Hadrian, aware his demise is imminent, writes a long valedictory letter to Marcus Aurelius, his future successor. The Emperor meditates on his past, describing his accession, military triumphs, love of poetry and music, and the philosophy that informed his powerful…