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Read the opening extract of the brand new Dr. A. Warren Dockter book before its publication on 28/05/2015

Historical Fiction Historical Fiction Books

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

Shoes for Anthony
Emma Kennedy
May 2015 Book of the Month. A gloriously evocative and touching read, capable of chattering with energy one minute and settling into an expressive silence the next. It feels as though the...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/05/2015
     
Reader Reviewed All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr
May 2015 Book of the Month. Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. A big book in every way, powerful, intensely moving and awe inspiring. It traces the lives of blind...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/04/2015
     
The Illusionists
Rosie Thomas
May 2015 Book of the Month. A bit of a diversion for Rosie Thomas for this is a period novel of the late Victorian theatre world. It revolves around an illusionist who...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/04/2015
     
Reader Reviewed Eagles at War: (Eagles of Rome 1)
Ben Kane
May 2015 Book of the Month. Having given us Hannibal and Spartacus, this excellent historical adventure author now features an experienced Roman centurion, Lucius Tullus, and places him against the German tribesmen...
Format: Hardback - Released: 23/04/2015
     

Other Featured Books this Month

Reader Reviewed Plague Land
S. D. Sykes
May 2015 Debut of the Month. The fourteenth century is widely believed to be a terrible time in which to live. Here, in 1350,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 21/05/2015
     
British Bulldog A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery
Sara Sheridan
May 2015 eBook of the Month. The ‘Mirabelle Bevan Mystery’ series continues to maintain the same convincing atmosphere and assured quality, yet with each book the author skilfully delivers a refreshingly different...
Format: Hardback - Released: 20/04/2015
     
The Infidel Stain
M. J. Carter
May 2015 eBook of the Month. 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...
Format: Hardback - Released: 30/04/2015
     
Reader Reviewed Without a Trace
Lesley Pearse
May 2015 eBook of the Month. An enjoyable, comforting read, even with murder, intrigue and abuse, sneaking and scheming their way through the pages. Set after the Second World War in 1953,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/05/2015
     
Sister Noon
Karen Joy Fowler
An enticing and quite beguiling historical tale containing a strange but perfectly balanced blend of quirky fiction and political and social commentary. Set in San Francisco in the late 19th century you will find some of these characters are based...
Format: Paperback - Released: 14/05/2015
     
The Strangler Vine
M. J. Carter
Absolutely riveting and fascinating in equal measure, the author seamlessly merges a fictional thrilling quest within the history of India and the East India Company during the mid 19th century. It’s a joy to read the interplay between the two...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/09/2014
     
Labyrinth
Kate Mosse
I was privileged to visit Kate in her Carcassonne retreat and be shown the numerous locations she used throughout this novel; the exact tower, steps, house, street etc that feature in the action in this exciting tale. It’s a time-slip...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/05/2015
     
Dodger of the Dials
James Benmore
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The Artful Dodger is back! London streets' most vivacious thief, leaping through sewers onto roofs and down foggy streets, finds the metropolis a different place after some...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
The Fifth Heart
Dan Simmons
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Another mighty impressive doorstopper from American author Dan Simmons who seems as adept at large canvas galactic SF opera as he is in pulling the strings of...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
Reader Reviewed Edwin: High King of Britain
Edoardo Albert
Travel back to a time where fact weaves freely with fiction, to a land of warring kings and battling religions in this completely captivating slice of historical fiction. It really doesn't feel as though the author has overly embellished this...
Format: Paperback - Released: 21/03/2014
     
Reader Reviewed Oswald: Return of the King
Edoardo Albert
A triumphant continuation of the ‘Northumbrian Thrones’ trilogy; these tales are bringing to life a forgotten time, when being a King was a dangerously unpredictable job to hold. The story now races ahead to Oswald who witnessed the death of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 22/05/2015
     
A Cruel Necessity
L. C. Tyler
Len Tyler has, until now, been best known for his humorous Ethelred and Elsie series, in which a mid-list crime writer and his intrepid agent solved perky crimes with aplomb. This, however, is another kettle of fish, the debut volume...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/05/2015
     
Reader Reviewed Blood and Steel
Harry Sidebottom
A fabulous foray into the past, AD238 is the Year of the Six Emperors and makes for a fascinating and compelling tale. This is the second in the ‘Throne of the Caesars’ series, it’s best to start at the beginning...
Format: Hardback - Released: 21/05/2015
     
Reader Reviewed The Lost Garden
Katharine Swartz
A charming, warm and evocative tale, told in two time frames, this is the second in theTales from Goswell’ series set in Cumbria. Eleanor’s story starts in 1918, while Marin’s although not dated, feels as though it is set...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/05/2015
     
The Wake
Paul Kingsnorth
Winner of the The Bookseller's Book of the Year 2015. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2015. Longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, this critically acclaimed novel was the first crowdfunded novel to appear on the longlist. The Wake...
Format: Paperback - Released: 30/04/2015
     
Far from the Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy
Far From The Madding Crowd is a tale of loyalty, obsession and tragedy from a storytelling master. 2015 sees a major film release of probably Thomas Hardy's best novel, starring Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen and Tom Sturridge. The film...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/04/2015
     
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
A very special book indeed, magical in all its senses, which won the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award for best book. Slow to get into and long, it is written in the style of the period in which...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/04/2015
     
Reader Reviewed Iron and Rust
Harry Sidebottom
AD235, a year in Rome when six emperors each killed off his predecessor along with his family and supporters so claiming power himself. It was a frightening, uncertain time with threats from outside Rome too. The story hinges round a...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
Reader Reviewed After Flodden
Rosemary Goring
Meticulous research and superlative writing brings to life the little known but important Battle of Flodden in 1513 and the consequences to Scotland and its people. Combining political intrigue and romance it is told through the eyes of several characters...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/02/2014
     
Reader Reviewed River of Smoke
Amitav Ghosh
You really should read the first in this trilogy, The Sea of Poppies, before embarking upon this huge, sprawling epic history for, although not all the characters of that first book are followed here, you will appreciate this so...
Format: Paperback - Released: 10/05/2012
     
Jam and Roses
Mary Gibson
Three different sisters, a drunken wife-beating father who also beat them when he could catch them and a very tough life in the back streets of London’s East End in the 1920s. The girls certainly had some stories to tell,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 21/05/2015
     
Reader Reviewed Sea of Poppies
Amitav Ghosh
The first in the breathtaking trilogy on the history of the opium wars. This starts just before in a time of colonial upheaval, the 1830s. Full of minutiae, strong characters and vivid images, this sweeps you through a fascinating period...
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/04/2009
     
The Miniaturist
Jessie Burton
Shortlisted for the The Bookseller Book of the Year 2015. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2015. A superlative debut novel that combines the complexity and atmosphere of the best historical tales with a touching meditation on the nature of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/01/2015
     
Lamentation
C. J. Sansom
Shortlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger 2015. This magnificent series continues with one of the best. New readers will miss out a little on the character development but still be captivated by the tale … then read the rest....
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/05/2015
     
A King's Ransom
Sharon Penman
Picking up from Lionheart, this continues the story of Richard I as he leaves the Holy Land in 1192 and is captured on the way home. Do read that first if you can then come to this magnificent work....
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/05/2015
     
Hunting Season
Andrea Camilleri
Camilleri turns away from his famed Detective Inspector Montalbano series and gives us a tongue-in-cheek historical romp in 1880 Sicily. Don Filippo wants a son, his eccentric noble friends all give him suggestions as to the best sexual ploys to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/05/2015
     
Gwendolen
Diana Souhami
Set in the middle of the 19th century, this is the story of Gwendolen Harleth from her early twenties on. It is always from her point of view and told as if she were writing to Daniel Deronda, the recipient...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/05/2015
     
Desert God
Wilbur Smith
It started with the magnificent River God in 1993. Now we have its sequel. Wilbur Smith has gone back to the start of his Egyptian series but you do not have to have read any of them to revel in...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/05/2015
     
Written in My Own Heart's Blood
Diana Gabaldon
This is an incredible series which began with Cross Stitch in 1994. Back then Claire stepped through a stone circle in Scotland in 1945 and found herself in the Jacobean Rebellion in 1743. She fell for a highlander, an...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/04/2015
     
The Empty Throne
Bernard Cornwell
The latest novel to feature Uhtred of Bebbonburg, surely one of historical fiction’s most charismatic characters. Uhtred is getting old now so Bernard Cornwell has the prologue narrated by his son, also called Uhtred. A clever ploy. Perhaps the series...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/04/2015
     
The Seeker
S. G. MacLean
Shortlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger 2015. 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 loyal to...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/05/2015
     
Brothers' Fury
Giles Kristian
The second book in a new English Civil War series, you shouldn’t read this unless you’ve read book one, The Bleeding Land, but only because this is such a brilliant series it should be savoured! It follows the brothers...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/04/2015
     

Last Month's Featured Books


The Paying Guests
Sarah Waters
Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015. London 1922. Frances and her mother lost all their male relatives in the war and are left struggling with a big...
 
 

Crooked Heart
Lissa Evans
Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015. A touching tale of an educated, free thinking lad and his relationship with an unscrupulous family upon whom he is billeted...
 
 

The Lady from Zagreb
Philip Kerr
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Cynical Berlin cop Bernie Gunther who has, through a series of captivating novels, engineered his way through...
 
 

Reader Reviewed The Misbegotten
Katherine Webb
Unusual for Katherine Webb, this new novel of hers is placed in one time only, the early 1800s. It starts slowly but soon you fall for her characters and their...
 
 

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...
 
 

The Taxidermist's Daughter
Kate Mosse
Shortlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger 2015. This is magnificent. It’s a gothic tale of murder, superstition and mystery that will really keep you glued to your seat. Four...
 
 

Reader Reviewed A Place Called Winter
Patrick Gale
April 2015 Book of the Month. A slight departure for this highly regarded author being an historical tale of Edwardian London and...
 
 

Reader Reviewed The Art of Waiting
Christopher Jory
April 2015 eBook of the Month. A captivating and very human tale that transports you to the heart of what really matters....
 
 

Havana Sleeping
Martin Davies
Shortlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger 2015. A tale of early espionage and skulduggery that spills over from London to Cuba. George Blackhouse is immensely flattered when promoted and...
 
 

The Night Falling
Katherine Webb
The devastating effect of the First World War in rural Italy is portrayed here in Puglia in 1921. The absentee landowners left their farms to be run by fascist black...
 
 

Plague
C. C. Humphreys
A horrific tale not only of the plague (1665) but also of the crimes taking place under its cover. Gruesome and bloody, it tells of a series of murders...
 
 

The Storms of War
Kate Williams
A wealthy English family suffers the effects of World War I. The hook here is that the father is of German extraction and imprisoned once the war starts. Naturally...
 
 

Theft of Life
Imogen Robertson
London 1785. The effects and cruelty of the slave trade appals many but there are those who will kill to protect their reputation. This is the heart of this wonderful...
 
 

The White Russian
Vanora Bennett
A great story, a great read and a fascinating period. This is Paris 1937 set mostly among the Russian émigré community. Twenty-one year old Evie, an American girl, goes to...
 
 

Reader Reviewed The Iron Necklace
Giles Waterfield
April 2015 Book of the Month. 1910 and a successful German architect, Thomas, marries an up-and-coming British artist, Irene. This is the...
 
 

Direct Hit
Mike Hollow
April 2015 Debut of the Month. A wonderfully uncomplicated and somehow charming read about...
 
 

Reader Reviewed The Cavendon Women
Barbara Taylor Bradford
April 2015 Book of the Month. This follows on from Cavendon Hall and is a projected series of novels set around...
 
 

Reader Reviewed I Can't Begin to Tell You
Elizabeth Buchan
April 2015 Book of the Month. A major departure for Elizabeth Buchan for this is an espionage tale set mostly in Denmark...
 
 

Child 44
Tom Rob Smith
This is a brilliant first novel from an exceptional writer. Set in Stalinist Russia, it is a tight and gripping tale of an MGB officer who starts to question his...
 
 

The Heroes' Welcome
Louisa Young
The sequel to My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You which was set during World War I. This is 1919 and Riley has returned from the front with part...
 
 

The Repercussions
Catherine Hall
A heartbreaking story of war contrasting two women, one a nurse during World War I who is based in the Brighton Pavilion nursing injured Indian soldiers but only in a...
 
 

The Month Before's Featured Books


Reader Reviewed The King's Sister
Anne O'Brien
March 2015 Book of the Month. A passionate, all-consuming yet very sad love story in violent times, that of Elizabeth of Lancaster,...
 
 

Reader Reviewed Holy Spy
Rory Clements
A galloping good yarn, stuffed full to the brim with double crossing intrigue, yet intelligently braced against historical fact and figures. The mostly cool, calm and collected spy John Shakespeare...
 
 

The Leopards of Normandy: Devil
David Churchill
The first in a trilogy of William the Conqueror. With four pages of Personnae and over 500 pages of story you really do get a huge slice of history which,...
 
 

Frost in the Sun
Claire Lorrimer
A daughter of a Spanish aristocrat is sent to a boarding school in England, becomes friendly with a quiet girl and embraced by her family. But this is the 1930s...
 
 

The General
C. S. Forester, Sir Max Hastings
Forester is now best known for his Hornblower series but this gem is a vivid and visceral depiction of the First World War. Born in 1899 Forester tried to enlist...
 
 

The Whispering City
Sara Moliner
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Since the deserved worldwide success of Zafon's cultured thrillers, Barcelona has been the place to go...
 
 

Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims
Toby Clements
A novel of the Wars of the Roses which is becoming the new Tudors, if you get my meaning, i.e. the new favourite period for historical novelists. This is the...
 
 

Last Year's Nightingale
Claire Lorrimer
First published in 1984 Hodder are bringing this lovely author’s work back for a new audience. Being historical novels they don’t date. Claire is a prolific and passionate writer who...
 
 

The Munitions Girls
Rosie Archer
A Glasgow-based, wartime saga about the importance of friendship. Three girls work in the munitions factory and help each other in their different ways. Of course when the factory blows...
 
 

Reckless
William Nicholson
From Hiroshima to the Cuban Crisis, a novel that centres on the fear of the nuclear bomb, bringing in the Profumo affair, the Cold War and the threat of the...
 
 

The Silent Boy
Andrew Taylor
Shortlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger 2015. In the Scent of Death Andrew Taylor introduced us to Edward Savill, a young English clerk in British controlled Manhattan at the...
 
 

Tell the Girl
Sandra Howard
A glamorous novel geared towards the older woman coming to terms with age and all it entails … wrinkles etc! With fascinating detail on the modelling life in America in...
 
 

Reader Reviewed Rome's Lost Son Vespasian VI
Robert Fabbri
The sixth in this magnificent series. Claudius’ actions and behaviour worsen, his wife is plotting for her son Nero to succeed him, Vespasian is sent to Britain when Caractacus is...
 
 

Reader Reviewed The Raven's Head
Karen Maitland
March 2015 Book of the Month. The quest for eternal life; a tale of alchemy and skulduggery in the thirteenth century. Starting...
 
 

The Darkest Hour
Barbara Erskine
March 2015 Book of the Month. What can I say about this fabulous book? That it is classic Erskine time-slip drama of...
 
 

Reader Reviewed A Perfect Heritage
Penny Vincenzi
March 2015 Book of the Month. An author renowned for big books has surpassed herself and written a huge, 939 page, tome....
 
 

Reader Reviewed Kingdom
Robyn Young
Fans of Robyn Young will know of her superb research for this is the concluding volume of an epic trilogy of Robert the Bruce, so the first half of the...
 
 

The Vanishing Witch
Karen Maitland
Set against the Peasants’ Revolt and the poll tax (yes, they had one in the 1380s), this is an involved, long, medieval drama of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary...
 
 

Agnes Sorel: Mistress of Beauty
HRH Princess Michael of Kent
The second in a trilogy chronicling the dynasty of Anjou in 15th century France. It follows the life and fortune of a handmaiden to the Queen and eventual mistress to...
 
 

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion
Fannie Flagg
Just sit down and wallow in the glorious comfort of this book. It is small-town America which Fannie Flagg is so good at. It stars Sookie, a sweet, slightly dippy,...
 
 

Ashes in the Wind
Christopher Bland
Successful businessman and former chairman of the BBC writes his first novel aged 75. It is a huge history of the 20th century from 1908 as seen through the eyes...
 
 

Frog Music
Emma Donoghue
Emma Donoghue has done it again, produced another novel totally unlike anything she has written so far. This one is a light, easy read of the tangled relationships of colourful...
 
 

The King's Curse
Philippa Gregory
A big detailed account of Henry VIII’s life from pre-throne to courting Jane Seymour, only all seen through the life of Margaret Pole, née Plantagenet, the family displaced by Henry...
 
 

A Man Lies Dreaming
Lavie Tidhar
There have been many alternate histories with a crime setting before but this new novel by a young Israeli author writing in English is one of the most challenging and...
 
 

The Royalist
S. J. Deas
The 1640s, the Royalists have lost, dragoon officer Falkland awaits execution but is offered his freedom in return for sorting out some strange goings on in Cromwell’s New Model Army...
 
 

Turning the Stones
Debra Daley
The story opens in Ireland in 1766 where a mystical woman is turning stones to influence events and so “bring the child home …” We then move to London and...
 
 

The Cartographer of No Man's Land
P. S. Duffy
Moving, convincing and superbly written, The Cartographer of No Man’s Land is a novel you feel privileged to have read. From the stormy turbulent ocean off of Nova Scotia,...
 
 

Desert God
Wilbur Smith
It started with the magnificent River God in 1993. Now we have its sequel. Wilbur Smith has gone back to the start of his Egyptian series but you do not...
 
 
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Once Upon a Time… __________________________

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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A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include:

Lindsey Davis 
Peter Ackroyd 
Michael Wood 
Simon Sebag Montefiore 
Umberto Eco 
Pat Barker 
Tracy Chevalier 
Michael Jecks 
Rose Tremain