Is Iceland magical to you? It is for a lot of others, as well! I went in 2015 and came back enchanted with the land. I set part of my book, Past Storm and Fire, in this mystical landscape.
List of Historical and Quasi-Historical Movies
by Christy Nicholas
- Troy – Has Peter O’Toole, Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom – flashy but interesting.
- Alexander the Great – Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer
- Vercingetorix(Druids – UK title) – Christopher Lambert, about Celts vs. Romans
- Gladiator – Russell Crowe, Roman empire
- Boudicca – Alex Kingston, Dr. Corday from ER – a Celtic Queen who sacked London in Roman times
- Mists of Avalon – miniseries about King Arthur times, mostly from the female/pagan viewpoint
- First Knight – Sean Connery/Richard Gere/Julia Ormond – King Arthur tale, lots of Hollywood on this one
- Kingdom of Heaven – Orlando Bloom – About the Crusades, and fall of Jerusalem to the Muslims
- Thirteenth Warrior – Antonio Banderas is a Muslim who goes and helps Beowulf kill the dragon
- Braveheart – Mel Gibson in 12th century Scotland
- Henry V – Kenneth Brannagh is the English King who wins at Agincourt against the French
- The Messenger – Joan of Arc
- The Lion in Winter – my favorite – Katherine Hepburn/Peter O’Toole/Anthony Hopkins – Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, parents of Richard the Lionheart, play political games with their children as pawns
- The Agony and the Ecstasy – Michelangelo = Charlton Heston, with Rex Harrison as the Pope
- Anne of a Thousand Days – Richard Burton as Henry VIII, story of Anne Boleyn
- All the Mornings of the World – Gerard Depardieu – a sad story of a cellist in Provence, France
- Dangerous Beauty – courtesans in 15th Century Venice, a true story
- Victoria and Albert – about Queen Victoria’s life
- Lady Jane – about Jane Grey, who was queen for a few days before Mary took over (daughter of Henry VIII)
- A Man for All Seasons – About Thomas More, who dared to say No to Henry VIII.
- Mary, Queen of Scots – about Elizabeth I’s cousin, unhappy in love.
- The Count de Monte Cristo – Not really historical, but based in 17th C. France, and a well-done movie
- Brother Cadfael – great medieval mystery series, with Derek Jacobi, set in 12th century England.
- Gypsy (Natalie Wood as a young girl, who ends up as a stripper)
- Mississippi Masala (Denzel Washington – Indian girl falls in love with black man in Mississippi)
- Memoirs of a Geisha – set in Japan before WWII
- Mrs. Brown (Judi Dench plays Queen Victoria, depressed after the death of her husband)
- Valmont (Annette Benning, Colin Firth, 18th century French nobles playing games)
- Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth)
- Rob Roy (Liam Neeson – historical character in the 17th C. Scottish highlands)
- Last of the Mohicans (Daniel Day-Lewis plays a white man raised by Indians after the French/Indian wars)
- John Adams (excellent miniseries on the birth of the US)
- The Queen (Helen Mirrim, about Elizabeth II during Princess Diana’s death)
- Les Miserables (Liam Neeson)
- Sharpe’s Rifles (first in a series of 14 BBC episodes with Sean Bean, about the Napoleonic wars)
- Horatio Hornblower (another series, with Iain Gryffud, life on the high seas with the British Navy)
- Master and Commander (Russell Crowe on the high seas with the British Navy)
- Becoming Jane (life of Jane Austen)
- Emma (a Jane Austen book)
- Sense and Sensibility (another Jane Austen)
- Tess of the D’Urbevilles (depressing story set in England in 19th C.)
- Ivanhoe – set in 12th C. England, about crusaders returning from the wars
- Ladyhawke – Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Broderick, set in medieval times, with magic and revenge.
- Outlander – a British WWII nurse gets sent back in time to 1743 Scotland, thrust into the heart of the Jacobite rising. (based on a series of bestselling books)
- Frontier – Jason Mamoa as a trader in the American French/Indian war time.
- The Crown – An in-depth look at Queen Elizabeth I
- Victoria – Queen Victoria done well
- The Last Kingdom – Based on Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon series, a decent take, though they do take liberties with both the books and history. Great portrayal of King Alfred.
- Poldark – Dark, gothic tale of mining in 18th century Cornwall
- Princess Bride (a requirement!)
- Willow – very early Val Kilmer
- Ballykissangel – not really historical, but set in a small town in Ireland, great funny series
- Monarch of the Glen – again, not really historical, but set in the highlands of Scotland, and my favorite TV series, period.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (silliness and fun)
- Princess Caraboo (exotic girl found in Edwardian England)
- Black Adder (more silliness and fun, 4 series – each a different era. Has Hugh Laurie in the later seasons, and Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) is the main character)
- Shakespeare in Love (Gwyneth Paltrow) – Fun in life meets art
- Amadeus – Funny/tragic account of Mozart’s life
- Beau Brummell (James Purefoy, who was Marc Anthony in the above Rome, plays the man who turns the Prince Regent from a fop to a dandy, both fashions of the time)
- Gritty/heavy/serious/not for kids:
- 300 (Spartans make a stand against the Persions)
- Rome (HBO series) – excellent series with Ciaran Hinds, James Purefoy. Lots of violence/sex, but great historical accuracy and acting.
- I, Claudius (BBC Series) – 1970s series with Derek Jacobi of late Roman empire
- Excalibur – King Arthur story
- The Name of the Rose (Sean Connery, Christian Slater) – A 12th century monk tries to solve a murder mystery
- Elizabeth – Queen Elizabeth I first days in power
- The King’s Whore (Timothy Dalton) – gritty and violent, but very well done
- Immortal Beloved (Gary Oldman as Beethoven)
- Queen Margot (16th century Catholic marries protestant prince)
- Water (the tragedy of widowhood in India)
- The Madness of King George (the king that lost the US)
- My Left Foot (Daniel Day-Lewis plays a Irish painter quadriplegic)
- In the Name of the Father (Daniel Day-Lewis, accused of bombing in Northern Ireland)
- Kama Sutra (Indian love story)
- Michael Collins (Liam Neeson/Alan Rickman) About Ireland’s revolution
- The Wind that Shakes the Barley – Also Ireland’s revolution
- Quills (about the Marquis de Sade, with Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix and Geoffrey Rush)
- The Tudors – series by Showtime about Henry VIII and his wives
- Game of Thrones – while more fantasy than historical, the storylines are based on several incidents in history, such as the War of the Roses and the Glencoe Massacre, among others.
- Brittania – More on the fantasy side than historical, it still shows an interesting take on the Roman invasion of Britain.
The Druid’s Brooch is a family legacy, handed down through countless generations, granting each holder a specific magical power, unique to them. Follow the stories of these generations.
Ireland was no garden spot in 1846. People were dying from the potato blight. But Valentia McDowell didn’t realize that when she traveled in search of her grandmother’s family and a mythical family heirloom.
Gifted with a magical brooch, passed down in her family for generations, Esme finds herself isolated and ill in an unfamiliar land. Her sister plots to steal the family heirloom from her in order to exploit the magical powers for her own gain, and Esme must battle for survival of herself and those she loves.
Irish Traveler Éamonn loves gambling, women, and drinking, not necessarily in that order. But he’s entangled in a true mess when he falls for fiery redhead, Katie. When she’s married to a Scottish Traveler, Éamonn travels to Scotland to find her, with the help of Katie’s sister and cousin, and the magical brooch gifted by his father. Their quest takes them across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Skye, encountering war, betrayal, death. In the end, Éamonn must make his own luck.
Prophecy can be dangerous
In 12th century Ireland, Orlagh has been Seer to her king for forty years. He doesn’t want to hear her prophecies of war and destruction, and dismisses her efforts to warn him. Therefore, she is determined to fulfill her own quest: to find a worthy heir for her magical brooch.
In the course of events, she must pass judgment on a thief, escape a Norman war camp, and battle wits with a Fae lord. She receives some prophecy of her own and enlists the help of a grizzled old warrior, who happens to be a long–time friend.
Even a soldier cannot fight love
In 12th century Ireland, all Maelan wants is to do his duty to his Chief and maintain his family’s good name. However, his granddaughter Orlagh, is hell bent on wreaking havoc, with no care for the consequences.
When Orlagh falls in love with an itinerant bard, Maelan must rule with an iron fist to keep her from running away. However, her rebellion against his strictures results in disaster and he almost loses her in the same way he lost his beloved wife.
Maelan must make some difficult decisions and bargains with the Fae to save his granddaughter’s life and future. Can he save her happiness as well?
In 11th century Ireland, Étaín must hide her pagan magic from her pious Christian priest husband, Airtre. She wants to escape his physical abuse, but she must stay to protect their grandson, Maelan. Over many lifetimes, she has learned how to endure her own pain, but Maelan is young and vulnerable.
When Airtre’s paranoia and jealousy spiral out of control, Étaín has no choice but to escape in the night with little more than the clothing on her back, leaving a trusted friend to protect Maelan.
This is not the first lifetime Étaín has fled, and she knows how to survive. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she must make decisions that may result in disaster for her, her grandson, and everyone she loves.
A daring escape, a brother’s duty, and a tragic mistake.
When Conall’s father died, he made his son promise always to take care of his little sister, Lainn.
Lainn could sing the bees from their hives, and make the morning sun sparkle in the winter with her laughter. Conall loved his sister with all his heart, and would do anything to protect her, even without a promise to his father.
Between an abusive step-father, a powerful Faerie Queen, and a maddened Fae Lord, every decision Conall made seemed to be the wrong one. Starvation, imprisonment, madness, and disfigurement plagued them. Even when he tried to follow his heart, it turned to disaster.
Can Conall correct his mistakes and save Lainn’s life and soul? Would it cost him his own?