Historical Novels/ Movies - 21 recommendations throughout history

List created by Van Sloan of vansloan@yahoo.com

This list coordinates with Sloan's leading civilizations list at http://sq.4mg.com/AppA.htm

Good Historical Fiction (as in the books/ movies below) connects with you: “You can't miss the drama because 'you are there.' You feel the pain. You grieve the losses. . . . And you understand and remember. Maybe not the exact dates.” ( quote from http://www.sonlight.com/textbooks-vs-historical-fiction.html )

Items below are listed in historical period order, showing Civilization and Author in first box. Date shown is publication date of the novel.

Ancient Egypt: Mika Waltari

The Egyptian 1949..... also a movie

Babylon: Brad Geagley

Day of the False King 2006....no movie

Ancient Persia fights Greece: Mary Renault (for middle school)

The Lion in the Gateway 1964..... 2 Spartans movies

Rome and Alexandria: William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar play 1599...... Cleopatra movie

later Alexandria: Michael Deakin

Hypatia of Alexandria: Mathematician and Martyr (2007)...... 2009 movie Agora where Hypatia is seen investigating the heliocentric model of the solar system proposed c. 280 BC by Aristarchus of Samos

Early Christianity: Lloyd C. Douglas

The Robe 1942..... also a movie

India's golden age: Kalidasa (great poet)

The Recognition of Shakuntala (play) c400 AD.....TV episodes..see http://apni.tv/serials/shakuntala.html

Byzantine Empire 700AD: H.N. Turteltaub

Justinian 1998 (the 2nd, less famous Justinian).. DVD “Byzantium: The Lost Empire” 1st part

Tang Dynasty: Robert van Gulik

Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (translation of 18th century novel based on Tang person ) 1949...Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders (1974) TV Movie - 100 min

Islamic Caliphate: Penguin Classics books

The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1,001 Nights c800 ... DVD Arabian Nights

Byzantine Empire and Vikings 1040's: Michael Ennis

Byzantium 1990..... DVD “Byzantium: The Lost Empire” 2nd part

Asia of Kublai Khan: Marco Polo

The Travels of Marco Polo 1300..... TV mini-series

Michelangelo and Renaissance: Irving Stone

The Agony and the Ecstasy 1961..... also a movie

Mexico/ Spain: Gary Jennings

Aztec 1980 .....Spanish DVD "The Other Conquest" English subtitles

Tudor England and Reformation: Robert Bolt

A Man for All Seasons (1960 play)..... movie won Best Picture

Japan and Dutch traders: James Clavell

Shogun 1975..... also a movie

French Revolution: Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities 1859..... 1935 movie

Napoleon in Russia: Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace 1872..... also a movie

Austrian Empire: Peter Shaffer

Amadeus (1979 play about Mozart)..... movie won Best Picture

British founding Hong Kong: James Clavell

Tai-Pan 1966..... also a movie

British in India: Rudyard Kipling

The Man Who Would Be King 1885..... 1975 movie

USA Civil War: Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind 1936..... movie won Best Picture

World War II: Herman Wouk

The Winds of War 1971..... TV mini-series 1983

For Van Sloan's ideas on how the above novels and movies could help in high school education, see http://sq.4mg.com/dropouts.htm - as in the sample below:

A core high school curriculum for all

All students in a democracy can benefit from the critical thinking skills that are emphasized in pre-college courses. Unfortunately, many students are discouraged from taking such classes. Their counselors consider the work in them too difficult. But suppose teachers found ways to make their pre-college courses accessible to all students.

For example, those who can't deal with the language in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet might discuss a simplified version in class. Every student at the same grade level could watch a movie of Romeo and Juliet. Afterwards, students across campus would likely discuss the social pressures in medieval Italy, just as they now discuss current movie releases. The important concept is that all students at the high school would have a Romeo and Juliet experience. The opinions of every student would be focused on the same social issues, and each should be given equal consideration, as in elections.