Category: Historical Fiction

Gather Around the Fire: Here Are the Best Books Set in the Prehistoric Era

Prehistory is a fascinating era for the human race, telling of a world that had no civilization, merely humans trying to survive in a hostile land filled with hungry creatures and unfriendly elements. Its a world ripe for the imagination and many authors over the years have had their own take on the dawn of mankind. Let’s go back, way back, and see what treasures the past has for your bookshelf.

 

 

5. ‘Beyond the Sea of Ice’ By William Sarabande

 

image via Amazon

 

Beyond the Sea of Ice by William Sarabane details a clan living in medieval Siberia and the various dangers they have to deal with. After a natural disaster plagues the nomadic tribe their leader Torka is forced to lead his people over the Bering land bridge to what would become the Americas. Full of painstaking details about nomadic life, this series is full of adventure and lots of historically accurate details about the world 40,000 years ago.

 

4. ‘The Inheritors’ by William Golding 

 

Image via Amazon

 

The Inheritors by William Golding is a violent and cynical work, detailing the conflict between the gentle, spiritual neanderthals and the rise of the violent but sophisticated humans. With Neanderthals often being demonized as monsters, this is a different tacks that casts our own rise in a dark light. And at the book’s end, its clear that the best species didn’t win the conflict. But the strongest one did.

 

 

3. ‘Daughter of kura’ by Debra Austin

 

Image via Amazon

 

Daughter of Kura by Debra Austin takes place in the Old Stone Age, nearly half a million years ago. It centers on a girl called Snap, who lives in prehistoric Africa in a powerful matriarchal society. She begins to fight against the ideals her tribes hold dear but finds herself an outcast in the wild and is forced to survive on her own. Both imaginative and detailed, this is an excellent work offering a tantalizing, politically charged glimpse into the ancient world.

 

2. ‘Wolf Brother’ by Michelle Paver

 

image via Amazon

 

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver is a fantasy series that is nevertheless accurate to primeval history. The author spent time in Finland using neolithic tools and clothing and sleeping in era-appropriate accommodations. She even studied wolves at a reserve in order to more accurately characterize their behavior. The series tells of Torak, a young man from the Wolf Clan, as he discovers his world; Renn, a girl from a neighboring clan; and his wolf friend. Together, they’re forced into conflict with the evil clan of mages called Soul Eaters. Despite the fantasy elements, Paver’s books get high marks for historical accuracy.

 

1. ‘Clan of the cave bear’ by Jean M. Auel

 

image via amazon

 

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel is THE prehistoric novel and an epic one at that. Auel’s book was applauded for its use of modern research in developing the world of its characters, but also for the compelling (and juicy) drama in the chronicling of the life of Ayla, a Cro-Magnon girl taken to live with Neanderthals when she becomes separated from her tribe. Over time, Ayla’s differences put her at odds with her adopted family and lead to a self-discovery that occurs over the rest of the series. Subsequent research has poked holes in Auel’s imagined past, but it was accurate at the time, and remains captivating today. Do yourself a favor and check it out!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon

Eight Spicy Hamlet Memes

Alright, so you know we’re obsessed with SparkNotes’ twitter. Or, I am at least.  The memes are so dank. And now there’s a master list of everything they’ve posted about Hamlet, or at least a lot of it, and it’s all iconic. Here we go.

 

When Your Dad Tells You to Do Something

 

Clean my room? Murder your killer? Totally, I’ll do that right now. Just let me finish this chapter. Level. Book. I’ll TOTALLY remember the stabbing stuff after that. I’ll even clean up the blood. When I get to it. No one’s perfect, you know?

 

 

When You’re Totally Not Jealous

 

Hamlet might have been the first emo. Maybe. Certainly he was pretty early. Like, I get it man, intellectual and philosophical despair or whatever, your stepdad SUCKS, but maybe go outside. Get some sun. Maybe some soft serve. Commit a murder. Whatever works?

 

 

The Roulette Wheel of Murder Excuses

 

No, I totally didn’t kill my brother, it was, um… *turns around and furiously spins visible wheel* … a snake! Yeah. It was a snake. You know how it is. So many venomous snakes here in Denmark, it was bound to happen sometime. Totally innocent.

 

 

Ignoring the Obvious

 

Look. Your father died in a mysterious snake accident. Your uncle MARRIED YOUR MOM. That’s a yikes in any context, but it’s a super yikes here. Go and get all philosophical about it if you must, but Claudius is barely even trying to hide his misdeeds. Get to the decision, man.

 

 

Did You Ever Feel Like a Vine Could See You?

 

Look, Claudius, if you’re going to pull off a murderous coup, you’ve gotta have just like, a little tiny bit of chill. I’m not asking for a lot. This is like a vampire freaking out and running from the room every time you mention the sun. If you’re going to murder your brother, at least own it.

 

 

When the Paper is Due Tomorrow

 

Maybe just do to him whatever you did to Ophelia. Too soon? #opheliadeservedbetter Seriously though, you live with the guy. Literally just stand there and kill him when he STOPS praying. Kill him in his sleep. Do something. Honestly, Lettie, kill or do not kill, there is no try.

 

 

Absolutely No One

 

Formally. Informally. Hamlet had the emotions of a Romantic, about a hundred years too early. I feel like the romantics would have really Gotten him. (Or like, four hundred years before his time. Imagine Hamlet with a floppy fringe. I digress). Either way, he’s an emotional mess, but mostly valid. #opheliadeseRVEDBETTER

 

 

All images via Spark Notes

 

Quiz – Which Midsummer Night’s Dream Character Are You?

 

 

Featured image via NY Daily News 

Happy Birthday Leo Tolstoy, Author of ‘War And Peace’!

Happy birthday to one of the most acclaimed classic writers of the world: Leo Tolstoy. The Russian writer wrote numerous novels that have become literary mainstays, such as Anna Karenina, The Death of Ivan Ilyichand War And PeaceSurely you’ve heard of at least one of them, although you may not have actually read them.

 

 

Tolstoy was born in Tula Province, Russia in 1828. In the 1860s, he wrote his most famous novel, which we’ve already mentioned: War And Peace. Initially published serially, later collected into a single volume, spanning the period of 1805 to 1820. Since its publication, it has been regarded as Tolstoy’s finest achievement and a huge high mark of literature in general.

 

Image via Amazon

 

Tolstoy continued to write fiction throughout the 1880s and 1890s, until his death in 1910. But War And Peace remains his most famous achievement, understandably so. He spent the better of the 1860s toiling over his epic masterpiece. Portions of it were first published in The Russian Messenger, where it was first titled “The Year of 1805.” More chapters were released, until Tolstoy eventually finished in 1868. Both critics and the public were buzzing about the novel’s historical accounts of the Napoleonic Wars, combined with its thoughtful development of realistic yet fictional characters. The novel also uniquely incorporated three long essays satirizing the laws of history. Among the ideas that Tolstoy extols in War and Peace is the belief that the quality and meaning of one’s life is mainly derived from his day-to-day activities.

 

Image via Wikipedia

 

After War And Peace, Tolstoy followed it with Anna Karenina, where the first line is among his most famous quotes. It said:

 

 

‘All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’

 

This book was published in installments from 1873 to 1877. The royalties earned from both novels made Tolstoy rich, contributing to his growing status as a beloved author. However, after Anna Karenina, Tolstoy grew depressed and suffered a spiritual crisis. He attempted to find answers in the Russian Orthodox Church but they did not have any answers that satisfied him. He wound up developing his own system of beliefs and expressed them in further books he wrote in the 1880s. However, this cost him to be ousted from the Church and watched by the secret police. This perhaps contributed to his dwindling popularity, with the exception of The Death of Ivan Illyich, which found acclaim and popularity.

Despite this, Tolstoy established himself as a moral and spiritual leader, influencing the likes of Ghandi among others. Also during his later years, Tolstoy reaped the rewards of international acclaim. Yet he still struggled to reconcile his spiritual beliefs with the tensions they created in his home life. His wife not only disagreed with his teachings, she disapproved of his disciples, who regularly visited Tolstoy at the family estate. Their troubled marriage took on an air of notoriety in the press. Anxious to escape his wife’s growing resentment, in October 1910, Tolstoy, his daughter, Aleksandra, and his physician, Dr. Dushan P. Makovitski, embarked on a pilgrimage. Valuing their privacy, they traveled incognito, hoping to dodge the press, to no avail.

He died in November in 1910, where he was buried in the family estate following his passing. He was survived by his wife and his 8 children he had with it. Today, Tolstoy is remembered as a masterpiece of a writer, with a gift for describing a character’s motives and remembering to focus on their everyday actions to describe their overall purpose.

Happy birthday, Tolstoy! Maybe crack open one of his novels and check him out today.

 

 

Featured Image Via The Guardian

Top Three Frankenstein Memes

Did you ever drop out of school to create unnatural life? No? Then live vicariously through Victor Frankenstein, a totally real and not unethical doctor!

Treat the invention of science fiction with exactly none of the reverence it deserves, and feast your eyes (stolen or not) on these Frankenstein memes.

 

1. For the Pedant in Your Life

 

 Image via Know Your Meme

 

Oh, so the ‘Doctor’ didn’t give his child his name? Sure, a first name would have been polite, but at the very least, can’t we call him Monster Frankenstein, son of Victor Frankenstein? I’m just saying, just because Vicky doesn’t bother, doesn’t mean they’re not both Frankensteins. And as the ever quotable John Mulaney says, “just because you’re accurate doesn’t mean you’re interesting”. Next time someone tells you the monster’s name wasn’t Frankenstein, tell them any of this. Or strangle them. (Don’t do that).

 

 

2. When You Misunderstand the Instructions… Pretty Badly

 

Image via ImgFlip

 

I mean, sure. He definitely didn’t do what they had in mind. Definitely. But can he really be disqualified? He definitely built a stronger body, no one said it had to be his own. Somebody check the fine print. Anyone who’s ever had their homework handed back because they did the assignment just completely wrong will relate. Do we think this is the secret reason he left school? They told him to write an essay on human organs and he brought in a bunch of organs with writing on them? I’m just saying, maybe take it easy, man.

 

 

3. An Actual John Mulaney Meme This Time

Image via Tumblr

 

I swear I didn’t plan this. But  we’ve had a lot of these no/yes, broke/woke meme formats, and I consider this a good addition to the art form. And I mean… it’s true. I’m not a parent, so maybe I shouldn’t be shaming anyone for their methods, but I think in this case foresight is as accurate as hindsight would be. Like…Do not follow the doctor’s lead on this. Plus, have you ever tried to learn French? The hyphens alone make ME have nervous fevers, and he did it in one year. Whether he’s a monster may be in question, but either way he’s an absolute beast.

 

 

 

Featured image via Memebase