Don’t Know Much ‘bout History

Posted on: 13 March, 09

The Known World by Edward P Jones


Normally, I stay far, far away from historical fiction.  History was not a favorite subject of mine when I was in school.  I had no logical reason for picking up this book, except that it was a book and I wanted something to read. 

The book looks at slavery from a different perspective, former slaves who become slave owners.  There were slaves who managed to buy their own freedom.  Some even amassed enough wealth to buy their own slaves.  One would think after living in slavery, one human being could never do that to another.  Jones helps the reader understand this little known part of American history. 

Typically, I do not like historical fiction because it focuses too much on the history part.  I like more character development.  The Known World is full of very believable and engaging characters. 

This was not one of my favorite books ever, but it was definitely interesting and thought provoking. 


2 Responses to "Don’t Know Much ‘bout History"

When I was going to school, I *hated* History with a passion. Now I’m a total history junkie and I could kick myself. I’ve read some great historical fiction lately and the book you show above is one of them. I also just finished a book about Richard the III which dispels the some of the myths that Shakespeare puts out there in his play Richard III. And it’s too bad that history has to be reconstructed from few contemporary sources that remain. The Tudor King destroyed anything that documents Richard III’s reign in positive terms.
I also happened along a wonderful biography of Abe Lincoln that was a stunningly good read. If anyone has any good recommendations for historical fiction that is well researched, I’d love to hear from you.
I also wanted to mention that you and I have similar reading tastes. I have 12-15 bankers boxes full right now that have to go to the used book store. Lots of them are books you mention here.

DH read this book, reccommended by a friend, and enjoyed it… much the same as you. Not his favorite read, but interesting and dealing with a topic not often mentioned.
But he IS a big history buff so all that would appeal to him. His most recent favorite read was a biiography of Admiral Nelson, written in the 1930’s.

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