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Maurice Druon, RIP

French novelist, historian, and World War II resistance fighter Maurice Druon has died at 90. He lived a pretty extraordinary life. You can read his obit here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/world/europe/16druon.html

I never had the honor of meeting M. Druon, and I have not even read all of his work (yet). But I am a huge fan of his best known novels, the wonderful "Accursed Kings" series of historical novels. I have often said that my own SONG OF ICE AND FIRE was inspired as much by historical fiction as by fantasy, and Druon's series was one of my major inspirations (along with the work of other favorites like Thomas B. Costain, Mika Waltari, Bernard Cornwell, and many more). The ACCURSED KINGS is great stuff. Philip the Fair, the Curse of the Templars, the end of the Capetians and the roots of the Hundred Years War... I don't read French, but even in translation these are great reads. (Although I don't believe the last volume has ever been published in English, which some publisher should rectify).

Every writer hopes that he will still be read after his death. Here's your chance to make M. Druon's dream come true, and do yourself a favor at the same time. Go off to ebay or ABE books and find yourself a copy of THE IRON KING, the first volume of the series. You won't regret it.

Comments

lmnca
Apr. 17th, 2009 09:38 am (UTC)
Druon
Yes, Druon's books are top-of-the-range - and I agree with Arthegarn: the last volume is much weaker, not at all in the same style of writing and not as riveting, in my humble opinion.
If you liked Druon's "The accursed Kings" series, you will probably also love "Fortune de France" by Robert Merle. Don't know if it's been translated in English. This is also a series that tells the adventures of a young impoverished noble during the fall of the last of the Valois dynasty and the advent of the Bourbons, during the civil wars between the Protestants and the Catholics. An absolute treat! This web article seems to imply it hasn't been translated: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Merle ... too bad!

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