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Rich and immersive, transporting and informative, good historical fiction is a sumptuous treat. Sign up for our free emails and stay up-to-date with past.

Books of the Month

The Girl in the Glass Tower by Elizabeth Fremantle
The Girl in the Glass Tower
Elizabeth Fremantle
June 2016 Book of the Month. Another gorgeously readable and oh so captivating slice of historical fiction from Elizabeth Freemantle. Arbella Stuart, with her impressive lineage was a Queen in the making. As Elizabeth I dominated...
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/06/2016
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
Barkskins
Annie Proulx
June 2016 Book of the Month. For the Wolf Hall readership, this is a huge historical novel to immerse yourself in. A dramatic, violent, absorbing, long read for which you need to put aside serious...
Format: Hardback - Released: 16/06/2016
Black Water by Louise Doughty
Black Water
Louise Doughty
June 2016 Book of the Month. Fluctuating between the riots and massacre in Indonesia in 1965 and the second coup in 1997 with the unrest of 1998, this is a powerful tale of espionage and love. ...
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/06/2016
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
The Essex Serpent
Sarah Perry
June 2016 Book of the Month and eBook of the Month. A gorgeously eloquent and powerfully expressive novel, ‘The Essex Serpent’ explores an unusual relationship in the 1890’s. This isn't exactly a love story, it is...
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/06/2016

Other Featured Books this Month

Fire and Sword by Harry Sidebottom
Fire and Sword
Harry Sidebottom
‘Fire and Sword’ is a powerful addition to the epic ‘Throne of the Caesars’ series. The Year of the Six Emperors continues in bloody and back stabbing style, covering three months of battle, both in the field and the senate....
Format: Hardback - Released: 19/05/2016
A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter
A Quiet Life
Natasha Walter
June 2016 Debut of the Month. Wife. Mother. Spy. The publisher’s blurb tells us. Now Laura just wants a ‘a quiet life’ and so we follow her to that conclusion. As a young American woman just...
Format: Hardback - Released: 16/06/2016
The Art of Waiting by Christopher Jory
The Art of Waiting
Christopher Jory
June 2016 Debut of the Month. A captivating and very human tale that transports you to the heart of what really matters. Although set before, during and after the Second World War, this is by no...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/05/2016
A Hero in France by Alan Furst
A Hero in France
Alan Furst
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Still set against Furst's familiar background of the dark years of WW2, this new offering full of treachery and intrigue for once eschews the tropes of espionage and restricts itself to...
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/06/2016
Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell
Warriors of the Storm
Bernard Cornwell
The ninth novel in ‘The Last Kingdom Series' is as completely compelling and absolutely wonderful as the first. Bernard Cornwell is a master weaver of stories, the threads join seamlessly together to create an epic tale of history in...
Format: Paperback - Released: 21/04/2016
Golden Lion by Wilbur Smith, Giles Kristian
Golden Lion
Wilbur Smith, Giles Kristian
A full on rollicking adventure set on the high seas and coast of east Africa during 1670. If you’ve read all of the sequences in the Courtney series then you are in for a treat as Giles Kristian has joined...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/05/2016
Hearts of Stone by Simon Scarrow
Hearts of Stone
Simon Scarrow
With a foray into more recent history than Simon Scarrow’s previous novels, the Greek Resistance in World War Two is brought vividly and violently to life in ‘Hearts of Stone’. The prologue set in 1938 highlights three young friends (two...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/06/2016
Skin by Ilka Tampke
Skin
Ilka Tampke
It is easy to think of the Celts as savages and the Romans as the bringers of civilisation when in fact Celtic society was complex and well-structured. Skin captures the flavour of that ancient time beautifully. The people feel a...
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/06/2016
Daughter of the House by Rosie Thomas
Daughter of the House
Rosie Thomas
A heartfelt, lovely, interesting story set between 1910 and 1931, where a family with a difference, face everyday and extraordinary difficulties and conflicts. Daughter of the House follows on from The Illusionists however you don't need to read these...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/05/2016
Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh
Flood of Fire
Amitav Ghosh
A thrillingly realised and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of place and plotted with verve. It is difficult to know if this huge, sprawling novel would have quite the same appeal...
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/06/2016
The Printer's Coffin by M. J. Carter
The Printer's Coffin
M. J. Carter
Another impressive and enthralling investigation by the newest and most original investigating team in town. It’s a bit of a shock to find Blake and Avery back in England after their first case in India; however the underbelly and political...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/06/2016
In the Month of the Midnight Sun by Cecilia Ekback
In the Month of the Midnight Sun
Cecilia Ekback
From the acclaimed author of Wolf Winter comes a second brilliantly written and gripping historical Nordic Noir thriller with all the intrigue and atmosphere of Burial Rites, the pent-up passion of The Piano and the suspense of The Tenderness...
Format: Hardback - Released: 16/06/2016
Versailles Sweeping. Sexy. Dramatic. the Most Captivating Historical Novel You'll Read This Year by Elizabeth Massie
Versailles Sweeping. Sexy. Dramatic. the Most Captivating Historical Novel You'll Read This Year
Elizabeth Massie
The novelization of a forthcoming 10-part lavish BBC2 drama series of the same name about a young Louis XIV and the creation of the Versailles palace; sweeping, sexy, utterly addictive. Versailles is not the paradise it appears to be; instead,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/06/2016
The Tower by Alessandro Gallenzi
The Tower
Alessandro Gallenzi
In the near present day a British and an Italian researcher are offered more money than they can refuse to travel to Jordan and investigate some manuscripts that have gone missing along with the priest who was studying them all...
Format: Paperback - Released: 21/05/2016
Rembrandt's Mirror by Kim Devereux
Rembrandt's Mirror
Kim Devereux
Longlisted for the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown Award Longlist 2016. This is such a stimulating, penetrating and truly beautiful novel, Kim Devereux obviously has a deeply emotional connection to Rembrandt’s work and she opens up and breathes life into his...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/06/2016
The Queen's Choice by Anne O'Brien
The Queen's Choice
Anne O'Brien
‘The Queen’s Choice’ is a wonderfully effortless read, where historical fact blends with romance, scheming and subterfuge. Covering a period between 1396 and 1422 the story revolves around Joanna of Navarre who married King Henry IV in a time where...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/05/2016

Last Month's Featured Books

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Reader Reviewed Everyone Brave is Forgiven
Chris Cleave
May 2016 Book of the Month. 'War was declared at 11.15 and Mary North signed up at noon.' With these words begins the most breathtaking novel...

The French Lesson by Hallie Rubenhold

Reader Reviewed The French Lesson
Hallie Rubenhold
May 2016 Book of the Month. This wonderful, bawdy, fictional memoir began with Mistress of My Fate which eventually saw Henrietta Lightfoot fall for the...

The Seeker by S. G. MacLean

The Seeker
S. G. MacLean
A complicated, thrilling tale with many threads all leading to a Royalist plot to assassinate Oliver Cromwell. Our hero, Damien Seeker, is the leader of a group of soldiers fiercely...

Eden Gardens by Louise Brown

Reader Reviewed Eden Gardens
Louise Brown
Longlisted for the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown Award Longlist 2016. A vividly striking and entirely captivating debut novel set in Calcutta, covering both the Second World War and Indian Independence...

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Reader Reviewed The Summer Before the War
Helen Simonson
Despite the title – The Summer Before the War – which this terrific novel does indeed trace, it also spills into the horrors of the war years and eventually releases...

Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen by Alison Weir

Reader Reviewed Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen
Alison Weir
May 2016 Book of the Month. When you settle into an Alison Weir you settle into history itself. She is thorough, detailed and hugely knowledgeable. Here...

King of the Wood by Valerie Anand

King of the Wood
Valerie Anand
An arresting historical novel where fact and fiction blend together until one fascinating story emerges. Set between 1068 and 1100, travelling between France and England, with an occasional foray into...

Ravenspur by Conn Iggulden

Reader Reviewed Ravenspur
Conn Iggulden
May 2016 Book of the Month. A stunning conclusion to ‘The Wars of the Roses’ series, ‘Ravenspur’ launches Henry Tudor, while around him Kings battle for...

Mrs Engels by Gavin McCrea

Mrs Engels
Gavin McCrea
Shorlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016. Longlisted for the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown Award Longlist 2016. ‘Mrs...

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton

Reader Reviewed A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding
Jackie Copleton
May 2016 Debut of the Month. Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016. A bittersweet, page-turning love story which jumps back and forth in...

The Butchers of Berlin by Chris Petit

Reader Reviewed The Butchers of Berlin
Chris Petit
May 2016 eBook of the Month. This is a tough, violent thriller which illustrates the chaos in Germany in 1943. Suffering setbacks in the war and...

Early One Morning by Virginia Baily

Early One Morning
Virginia Baily
This epic novel is an unforgettably powerful, suspenseful, heartbreaking and inspiring tale of love, loss and war's reverberations down the years.

The Butcher Bird by S. D. Sykes

Reader Reviewed The Butcher Bird
S. D. Sykes
A captivating and wonderfully evocative historical crime novel based in 1351, this is the second in the series, set after ‘Plague Land’. While it’s best to start at the...

The Accidental Agent by Andrew Rosenheim

The Accidental Agent
Andrew Rosenheim
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The third novel to feature FBI agent Jimmy Nessheim, of German origin who has been manipulated to...

Candlemas by Shirley McKay

Candlemas
Shirley McKay
On Candlemas eve an apprentice candle maker finds his master, John Blair dead in his workshop, and the evidence points to the surgeon Sam Sturrock. Enlisted by Sturrock's desperate apprentice,...

Fire by C. C. Humphreys

Fire
C. C. Humphreys
First came Plague, now comes Fire. The epic tale of the hunt for a serial killer threatening London's rich and poor during the Great Fire of London. Perfect for...

The Month Before's Featured Books

The Madagaskar Plan by Guy Saville

The Madagaskar Plan
Guy Saville
Drawing on the Nazis' original plans for the Jews, Guy Saville has meticulously imagined a world-that-nearly-was to tell an epic tale of love, revenge and survival. 1953 and there has...

The Brilliant & Forever by Kevin MacNeil

Reader Reviewed The Brilliant & Forever
Kevin MacNeil
A delightfully unique and quirky novel that is able to provoke a sledgehammer of emotions into action. Three friends are due to take part in the annual Brilliant and Forever...

Bloodline by Conn Iggulden

Reader Reviewed Bloodline
Conn Iggulden
Wonderfully captivating and so very readable, this is historical fiction at its best. ‘Bloodline’ is the third in ‘The War of the Roses’ series, Henry VI is prisoner, his Queen...

Hunting the Eagles Eagles of Rome by Ben Kane

Reader Reviewed Hunting the Eagles Eagles of Rome
Ben Kane
April 2016 Book of the Month. A truly wonderful and ferocious slice of historical fiction, this is the second in the ‘Eagles of Rome’ series and...

The Silk Merchant's Daughter by Dinah Jefferies

Reader Reviewed The Silk Merchant's Daughter
Dinah Jefferies
Dinah Jefferies has presented another beautifully told and vividly stunning tale, this time set in 1950’s Vietnam. The story revolves around 18 year old Nicole, half French and half Vietnamese,...

Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor

Ashes of London
Andrew Taylor
April 2016 eBook of the Month. An enthralling and quite, quite wonderful historical thriller,...

The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons

Reader Reviewed The Song Collector
Natasha Solomons
‘The Song Collector’ subtly tiptoes under your skin, the first few sentences call to you, draw you in, envelop you… and then it doesn't let you go until the very...

The Dressmaker of Dachau by Mary Chamberlain

The Dressmaker of Dachau
Mary Chamberlain
Spanning the intense years of war, The Dressmaker of Dachau is a dramatic tale of love, conflict, betrayal and survival. It is the compelling story of one young woman's resolve...

Britannia by Simon Scarrow

Britannia
Simon Scarrow
Marching straight into action, Simon Scarrow has created a wonderfully evocative and energetic addition to the ‘Eagles of the Empire’ series. You could read this as a standalone, however I...

The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader

The Anchoress
Robyn Cadwallader
A quietly, deep and fascinating debut novel proving that communication doesn't have to be a nonsense of chatter or commotion. The author explores friendship, faith, desire, retreat and the gentle...

Noonday by Pat Barker

Reader Reviewed Noonday
Pat Barker
An atmospheric, touching and compassionate story based in London during the Second World War, where living on the edge and in the moment occurred on a daily basis. We seem...

Queen & Country A Hew Cullan Mystery by Shirley McKay

Queen & Country A Hew Cullan Mystery
Shirley McKay
Another wonderfully readable mystery plunging you into the final years of Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots. This is the fifth in the ‘Hew Cullan Mystery’ series, beginning in 1586, it...

The Strawberry Girl by Lisa Stromme

The Strawberry Girl
Lisa Stromme
Lisa Stromme brings alive the tumultuous love affair that inspired one of the most famous paintings of all time, in a vivid and bewitching story of innocence, creativity and desire.

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With authors like the two-time Man Booker Prize winning Hilary Mantel among its illuminati, it’s no wonder that Historical Fiction is arguably more popular than ever. Follow the lives, loves, betrayals, deaths, trials-and-tribulations of those that went before us.

Whether you follow Sebastian Faulks and P.S Duffy to the hell and displacement of the Front in WWI, Philippa Gregory to the intrigue, immorality and perils of the court of Henry VIII, or get rocked on the high seas of the King’s Navy in Patrick O’Brien’s Master and Commander, there is a wealth of exceptional storytelling to dive headfirst into. Where will you let our time machine take you today?

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