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My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith Read the opening extract of the brand new Alexander McCall Smith book before its publication on 2016-05-19

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

The French Lesson by Hallie Rubenhold
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...
Format: Hardback - Released: 21/04/2016
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
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...
Format: Hardback - Released: 21/04/2016
Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen by Alison Weir
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...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/05/2016

Other Featured Books this Month

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton
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...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/05/2016
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
The Butchers of Berlin by Chris Petit
The Butchers of Berlin
Chris Petit
May 2016 eBook of the Month. 'Conjuring a wartime Berlin where atrocities get lost against a ground of escalating Holocaust and crumbling rationales, Chris...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/05/2016
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 loyal to Cromwell and detailed to hunt Royalists. He is...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/05/2016
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 infiltrate Nazi spy rings in the USA during WW2. Having...
Format: Hardback - Released: 24/03/2016
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
The Art of Waiting by Christopher Jory
The Art of Waiting
Christopher Jory
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 means a novel just about war, it is rather, an...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/05/2016
Ravenspur by Conn Iggulden
Ravenspur
Conn Iggulden
A stunning conclusion to ‘The Wars of the Roses’ series, ‘Ravenspur’ launches Henry Tudor, while around him Kings battle for survival. This series is absolutely fascinating and even more compelling knowing it is based on some of the most bloody...
Format: Hardback - Released: 19/05/2016
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 Scotland, this is a tale that looks beyond the known....
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/01/2016
The Butcher Bird by S. D. Sykes
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 beginning, ‘The Butcher Bird’ can actually be read as a...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/04/2016
Eden Gardens by Louise Brown
Eden Gardens
Louise Brown
A vividly striking and entirely captivating debut novel set in Calcutta, covering both the Second World War and Indian Independence during the 1940’s. Beautiful adventurous Maisy and loyal, knowing ayah Pushpa tell their own tales, which are inextricably linked to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 21/04/2016
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, Hew Cullen, together with his friend and physician Giles Locke,...
Format: eBook - Released: 19/02/2016
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.
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/04/2016

Last Month'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...

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Reader Reviewed The Summer Before the War
Helen Simonson
April 2016 Book of the Month. Despite the title – The Summer...

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.

The Month Before's Featured Books

After Flodden by Rosemary Goring

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...

Direct Hit by Mike Hollow

Reader Reviewed Direct Hit
Mike Hollow
March 2016 Debut of the Month. A wonderfully uncomplicated and somehow charming read about...

The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan

The Shadow Hour
Kate Riordan
March 2016 Reading Group Book of the Month. Kate Riordan has written...

The Butcher's Hook by Janet Ellis

Reader Reviewed The Butcher's Hook
Janet Ellis
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016. March

The Revenant by Michael Punke

The Revenant
Michael Punke
Based on a true story, The Revenant is an epic tale of revenge set in the Rocky Mountains and soon to be a major motion picture, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. A...

Blood and Steel by Harry Sidebottom

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 Ballroom by Anna Hope

The Ballroom
Anna Hope
A striking, eloquent and desperately beautiful novel, set during 1911 in a Yorkshire asylum. John, Ella and Charles find themselves at the edge of an impossible future, each decision they...

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

Reader Reviewed At the Edge of the Orchard
Tracy Chevalier
March 2016 Book of the Month. In her last novel, The...

Dacre's War by Rosemary Goring

Reader Reviewed Dacre's War
Rosemary Goring
Historical fiction with a punch of realism and a twist of scheming political intrigue, several characters have returned in this commanding sequel to ‘After Flodden’. This is the tale...

British Bulldog by Sara Sheridan

British Bulldog
Sara Sheridan
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 read. ‘British Bulldog’ is...

England Expects by Sara Sheridan

England Expects
Sara Sheridan
A classically arresting mystery, overflowing with good old fashioned pluck, courage and perseverance. The third in the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries, this can also be read as a vintage standalone novel....

The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

The Taming of the Queen
Philippa Gregory
Who was Kateryn Parr, Henry VIII's last wife? Faithful wife and scholarly queen, or a heretic and disloyal, faithless citizen before the Tudor court? From an author who has described...

Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg

Reader Reviewed Saint Mazie
Jami Attenberg
An astonishing, stimulating, and quite quite wonderful novel based on the life of the indomitable Mazie Phillips who lived in New York through some of the most interesting times of...

Nelly Dean by Alison Case

Reader Reviewed Nelly Dean
Alison Case
A wonderful and fascinating insight into hidden happenings at Wuthering Heights, from the perspective of Nelly Dean. Focusing on Nelly, a tantalising new world is opened up for the reader,...

London Calling by Sara Sheridan

London Calling
Sara Sheridan
We loved the first in this post WW2 series, Brighton Belle, and the second adventure is even better with a satisfyingly complex plot bubbling over with period detail. Mirabelle...

Fifth Column by Mike Hollow

Reader Reviewed Fifth Column
Mike Hollow
A fascinating and captivating trip into the bomb damaged (and occasionally crime-ridden) streets of London during the Second World War. ‘Fifth Column’ is the second in ‘The Blitz Detective’ series...

The Lie Tree Special Edition Book of the Year by Frances Hardinge

Reader Reviewed The Lie Tree Special Edition Book of the Year
Frances Hardinge
Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2015. Award-winning Frances Hardinge is spellbinding in this hugely entertaining and dramatic Victorian thriller. When Faith’s father dies suddenly she knows she...

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Once Upon a Time…

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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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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

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