Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish.
Today’s topic is a freebie, so I thought I’d address a topic that I missed last year–my favorite historical periods to read and learn about. But it turned out to be very difficult to narrow these down, and I really like to read about almost everything. But these are the eras that I have a harder time reading, especially in historical fiction (but not including fantasy). Here they are in chronological order:
- Classical era–Ancient Greece and Rome:
This is an interesting one for me–a really interesting time to read about in nonfiction contexts, but in fictional ones it becomes a little difficult. I think part of the problem is being so removed from the time frame. I can picture what somebody might speak like in the Renaissance or even the Middle Ages because we have the documentation, but with the separation of time and the language barrier, something about this fiction doesn’t quite ring true.
- Middle Ages/Dark Ages
The problem with the dismantling of art and the limited spread of information during this period is that it’s all very…dark. On the whole, I find this era to be oppressive and brutish, at least in Europe. So much was lost during this time that would have to be rediscovered hundreds of years later. The extreme piety and religiosity of this time is also a little outside of my comfort zone.
- War of the Roses
Don’t get me wrong–there are some very interesting moments before England descends into the hands of the Tudor family, but by and large I just don’t care about keeping it all straight.
- World War I
The periods directly before and after this (the Belle Epoque/Victorian era on one hand and the Jazz age on the other) are some of my absolute favorites, but in general the movements of troops and armies is not all that fun for me, and combined with new advancements in warfare this war was absolutely brutal–so much suffering and loss of life.
- Recent Past: 1970s-1990s
Suez Canal? Watergate? Gulf War? I just…don’t want to read about it. Now the early 70s are interesting enough, but let’s be real, as soon as the decade hit, Mad Men got weird, and everything got grimy and dirty. Not that history isn’t grimy–it’s just that the 1960s polished everything up and hid it under all that nice chrome and those pastel colors. I don’t know what it is–it just puts me to sleep.
Of course every time period has exceptions–especially when it’s fantasy we’re talking about. After all, most of Harry Potter is set in the 1980s, and Game of Thrones is Medieval with some War of the Roses inspiration. There are periods that I love that have produced books I hate and vice versa.
What are your least favorite time periods? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you have a book that you think will challenge my feelings about an era, let me know! I’d love to give it a try.
3 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: 5 of My Least Favorite Historical Periods”
Great point about the 70’s-90’s. with some exceptions I’m not crazy about reading that time frame either. And same with Classical- it’s SO long ago I don’t know how you can make it authentic, although I guess maybe if you research the heck out of it. Nice list!
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The only classical era books I read were The Roman Mysteries when I was a kid, but I really liked those, I guess they were more accessible because they’re for kids though. Still I think I’d like to read more classical era historical fiction, it seems to be a rather unexplored area.
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/top-ten-tuesday-93/
Hi! I like recent past, too. I also am a big fan of WWII settings. 🙂