Classic historical fiction
At the age of eight, I read Eagle of the Ninth, my first encounter with historical fiction. I became hooked. Since then, I have been read Nigel Tranter, John Prebble, Conn Igguden, Simon Scarrow, Ruth Downie, and many others.
Forty-four years later, re-reading this classic is no less exciting for me. My view is that it should be compulsory reading in primary school as it really does bring Roman Britain to life. It is an exciting adventure that could possibly have been reality. It is certainly tinged with historic fact.
This book had an amazing positive effect on my life in that it gave me an enormous appetite for books, not just historical fiction. However, it did have a slightly negative effect on my life. I was always in trouble with my history teachers for doubting what they told me. After all, when they were teaching me current affairs, I was guided not to believe everything that the papers say. My challenge was always that the contemporary commentators, or historians, that they expected me to believe were no less than the journalists of their time. Why couldn’t the historical fiction of which I was so fond be nearer to the truth than their history text books?
Eagle of the Ninth is a fantastic read. Whatever your age, if you haven’t read this book already, read it now!