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Read the opening extract of the brand new Andy Jones book before its publication on 07/05/2015



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

The Temporary Gentleman
Sebastian Barry
February 2015 Book of the Month. Like Roddy Doyle, Sebastian Barry is one of those great Irish writers whose characters get under your skin and whose stories stay with you forever. The Temporary...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/02/2015
     
Reader Reviewed Sisters of Treason
Elizabeth Fremantle
February 2015 Book of the Month. This is indeed a novel for obviously all the conversations are imagined but it is so bound in fact it might easily be non-fiction. A huge amount...
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/01/2015
     

Other Featured Books this Month

Reader Reviewed Wolf Winter
Cecilia Ekback
February 2015 Debut of the Month. The most impressive thing about this extraordinary book is its atmosphere. You can feel the cold and the desperation...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
Reader Reviewed Masters of Rome : Vespasian V
Robert Fabbri
This is the fifth in Fabbri’s excellent series charting the life of Vespasian, an ordinary Roman soldier who rose through the ranks of the army and society to ultimately become emperor. The series is half swords and sandals adventure and...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/02/2015
     
The Anchoress
Robyn Cadwallader
February 2015 Debut of the Month. A quietly, deep and fascinating debut novel proving that communication doesn't have to be a nonsense of chatter or...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/02/2015
     
Reader Reviewed The Book of Lost and Found
Lucy Foley
February 2015 Debut of the Month. One of those involved family dramas of uncertain parentage, mystery and secrets. Wonderful stuff. It concerns a young woman,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 15/01/2015
     
Reader Reviewed Vespasian: Tribune of Rome
Robert Fabbri
First in a red-blooded historical adventure series charting the rise of Vespasian from rural obscurity to Emperor of Rome. A seamless blend of imperial politics, chariot races, sex and sword fights, it can only be described as: ROMAN HISTORY AS...
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/11/2011
     
A Study in Murder
Robert Ryan
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A third solo case for Doctor Watson (following Dead Man's Land and The Dead Can Wait). Holmes' sidekick's life away from Sherlock sees him as a...
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/01/2015
     
Nunslinger: The Complete Series
Stark Holborn
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. When was the last time you read a western? Well, the time has come. Following the Booker-nominated success of Patrick DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers, the pseudonymous Stark...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/12/2014
     
Herring Girl
Debbie Taylor
A surprising and hauntingly insightful story, that takes you gently by the hand on an intimate journey; emotionally, reflectively and in time. The author has the ability to weave the past, present and place in a beautiful, heartfelt dance. The...
Format: Paperback - Released: 22/01/2015
     
Friend & Foe A Hew Cullan Mystery
Shirley Mckay
The fourth in the ‘Hew Cullan Mystery’ series spins a crooked web of devious plotting and deceit. It comes as no surprise to discover the author studied linguistics at the University of St Andrews, as a lot of love, care...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2015
     
The Hourglass Factory
Lucy Ribchester
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A splendid debut for a new Scottish author until now best known for her short stories, this is a bracing tale of teeming 1912 London set in the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/01/2015
     
Reader Reviewed Rome's Executioner
Robert Fabbri
Rome's Executioner: the second instalment in the epic Vespasian series that chronicles the rise from humble origins of one man to fulfil his destiny as one of Rome's greatest Emperors. The Vespasian series:1. Tribune of Rome2. Rome's...
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/11/2012
     
Reader Reviewed False God of Rome
Robert Fabbri
Action, adventure and battle in the third instalment of Robert Fabbri's bestselling Vespasian series: rebellions in the provinces, murders and political manoeuvrings in the Eternal City - and a mission to steal one of the greatest artefacts of the ancient...
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/08/2013
     
The Secret of Magic
Deborah Johnson
This story is amazing as indeed is its lyrical writing. From the Southern American dialect to Mr Willie Willie’s made up words to wonderful descriptions of the country, forest and close-knit community full of secrets, this terrific tale is based...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
Voyager
Diana Gabaldon
The third in Gabaldon’s Outlander series. At the start of the book Jamie and Claire are separated by centuries. Jamie’s survived Culloden but pretty much wishes he hadn’t and his life is certainly far from the one he imagined. Claire...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/02/2015
     
The Fiery Cross
Diana Gabaldon
The fifth in Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Claire and Jamie are happily helping Brianna and Roger settle into their new life – and family – in pre-independence America. But trouble is brewing and Jamie’s soon called upon to lead a local...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/02/2015
     
Dragonfly in Amber
Diana Gabaldon
The second in Gabaldon’s Outlander series starts in 1968 with Claire and her daughter Brianna having gone to visit an old family friend following Frank’s death as Claire hopes to uncover a little more of her time travelling mystery and...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/02/2015
     
Drums of Autumn
Diana Gabaldon
The fourth in Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Jamie and Claire seem likely to finally have a happy life in Georgia but two hundred years in the future their daughter, Brianna, must come to terms with her mother’s return to the past...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/02/2015
     
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
Diana Gabaldon
The sixth in Gabaldon’s Outlander series. As the sparks of revolution threaten to ignite into a full blown war all of Jamie’s beliefs and morals are to be tested as his loyalties are pulled between the oath he swore to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/02/2015
     
Cross Stitch
Diana Gabaldon
The first in Gabaldon’s Outlander series which has now been made into a TV series. Claire is a nurse whose service in the Second World War has kept her and her husband Frank apart so they take a second honeymoon...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/02/2015
     
The Care and Management of Lies
Jacqueline Winspear
A new stand-alone novel from NY Times bestselling author Jacqueline Winspear.Ties between Kezia & Thea, friends since girlhood, have become strained - by Thea's embrace of women's suffrage & the marriage of Kezia to Thea's brother, Tom, who runs the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 22/01/2015
     
Neverhome
Laird Hunt
This is the story of Gallant Ash during two hard years of war. Married to a quiet, weak man she decides to take his place when he’s called up to defend the American Republic and goes off to war dressed...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/02/2015
     
Winter Siege
Ariana Franklin
The sad loss of this lovely author brought a fine medieval series featuring Adelia Aguilar to a close but this stand-alone, unfinished manuscript was left. Her daughter, Samantha, decided to finish it. It is impossible to know where Ariana finishes...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
The Boston Girl
Anita Diamant
A beautifully drawn story of Abbie, an 85-year old daughter of Russian immigrants who relates her entire life to her granddaughter, Ava. We go back to Abbie’s school days, learn of her siblings, her parents, her education, her first love...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
The Lovers of Amherst
William Nicholson
An affair between Mabel Todd and Austin Dickinson in 1881 is at the centre of this lovely dual-time tale. It is being researched in 2013 by Alice Dickinson, attracted to the tale as she shares a surname. Austin is the...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/02/2015
     
The Strings of Murder
Oscar de Muriel
A locked room murder and more which has the Victorian detective fearing the supernatural. It begins a series to star London detective Frey pairing up with Scottish McGray whose first case is Edinburgh based and concerns a cursed violin. It...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
Ross Poldark
Winston Graham
Winston Graham started writing his famous Poldark series in the 40s and 50s, eventually spinning them into twelve novels (the last published in 2002) a gripping saga of Ross Poldark and his family spanning 1783-1820. The first seven books were...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
The Last Kind Words Saloon
Larry McMurtry
The publishers dub this a ‘ballad in prose’ and that’s exactly how it feels. We meet ageing Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday outside the Last Kind Words Saloon in Long Grass as an English lord is buying a rancher’s cattle...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
The May Bride
Suzannah Dunn
The life of the young Seymour family, of Jane whom we meet aged 15, of Edward and his spirited wife Elizabeth, both 21, and young Thomas, plus of course Seymour senior. The relationship between the girls becomes close. Edward has...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
Master of War: Defiant Unto Death
David Gilman
Thomas Blackstone takes to the battlefied once more as the Black Prince takes the fight to the French.
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
The Longest Fight
Emily Bullock
A grim and gritty tale of life, death and boxing in post war London. The squalid atmosphere of Camberwell and our protagonist, Jack’s desperation for a better life are powerfully conveyed. Jack trains Frank whom he believes will one day...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
Gretel and the Dark
Eliza Granville
Vienna, 1899. Josef Breuer - celebrated psychoanalyst - is about to encounter his strangest case yet. Found by the lunatic asylum, thin, head shaved, she claims to have no name, no feelings - to be, in fact, not even human....
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
The Road to Samarcand Includes Noughts and Crosses, Two's Company and No Pirates Nowadays
Patrick O'Brian
Published to celebrate what would have been Patrick O’Brian’s 100th birthday, this reissue of his first sea-faring novel also includes three short stories which haven’t been in print since they were first written in the 1930s. Published originally in the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/02/2015
     
Everland
Rebecca Hunt
1913: Dinners, Millet-Bass, and Napps - three men bound not by friendship, but by an intense dependence founded on survival - will be immortalised by their decision to volunteer to scout out a series of uncharted and unknown islands in...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     

Last Month's Featured Books

Her Grace's Passion
M. C. Beaton
Matilda, Duchess of Hadshire is terribly unhappily married to a man more interested in his collection of beautiful artefacts and his new mistress than his pretty, headstrong wife. At...
 
 
Winter
Christopher Nicholson
An exquisite retelling of Thomas Hardy’s latter life with his patient and loving second wife Florence. Into their sphere comes Gertrude Bugler, the beautiful woman who is to play Tess...
 
 
The King's List
Peter Ransley
If read alone, this conclusion to the Tom Neave trilogy will seem muddled and disjointed. As it rounds off the story it is fine. Tom, now adopting his father’s name...
 
 
An Appetite for Violets
Martine Bailey
An enticing and irresistible 18th century mystery, stuffed full of historical treats. The first chapter jumps six months ahead of the main story and hints at the spicy intrigue to...
 
 
A Season of Secrets
Margaret Pemberton
A glorious, sprawling family saga spanning both world wars and following a Yorkshire aristocratic family, Lord Gilbert, Lady Blanche and their three daughters. It is very Downton Abbey-esque, only the...
 
 
Reader Reviewed The Girl in the Photograph
Kate Riordan
The suppression of women dominates this sad, dual-time tale. Alice, a disgraced pregnant girl, is sent to the country by her mother in 1933. She is fascinated by the history...
 
 
No Man's Land Writings from a World at War
Pete Ayrton
The Great War gave birth to some of the twentieth century's most celebrated writing; from Brooke to Sassoon, the poetry generated by the war is etched into collective memory. But...
 
 
In the Light of Morning
Tim Pears
Tim Pears, a chronicler of our land, who has given us beautiful prose reminiscent of Thomas Hardy, now turns his attention to the Slovenian partisans of the Second World War....
 
 
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 Miniaturist
Jessie Burton
A superlative debut novel that combines the complexity and atmosphere of the best historical tales with a touching meditation on the nature of art and its organic relationship with the...
 
 
Reader Reviewed War at the Edge of the World
Ian Ross
January 2015 Debut of the Month. A well-written and interesting account of the Romans in...
 
 
Son of the Morning
Mark Alder
It is the height of the Hundred Years War, England versus France, Edward III versus Philippe de Valois, but this isn’t quite the same as the history we’re taught in...
 
 
Reader Reviewed The Spring of Kasper Meier
Ben Fergusson
A highly descriptive literary thriller of post-war Berlin which brilliantly illustrates the terrible aftermath of war. People live hand-to-mouth like rats scavenging for food and essentials in a constant state...
 
 
The Story of Land and Sea
Katy Simpson Smith
A big, lush, three-generational, historical novel in three parts from 1771 to 1793. Sad, moving and poignant, it is a beautifully written story of love and loss, of hope and...
 
 
The Tournament
Matthew Reilly
The game in question is chess, the board Constantinople and the prize, a broader education for Elizabeth I! This imagines Princess Elizabeth, aged 13 (1546) being accompanied by her tutor,...
 
 
A Cruel Necessity
L. C. Tyler
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Len Tyler has, until now, been best known for his humorous Ethelred and Elsie series, in which a...
 
 
The Visitors
Sally Beauman
Egypt in the 1920s and a glorious sweeping tale of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb seen from the point of view of an English girl, Lucy, sent to Egypt with...
 
 
Wake
Anna Hope
A story set just after the First World War and revolving around half a dozen people, the choosing of the body that became ‘the unknown soldier’, its journey to London...
 
 
The Blooding
James Mcgee
Hawkwood goes to America! Or rather, returns, as he was born there. He’s trapped in an odd corner of the north east with enemies on all sides, just trying to...
 
 
As the Earth Turns Silver
Alison Wong
Set in New Zealand at the turn of the twentieth century this is a, practically forbidden, love story between a widowed mother and an immigrant Chinese shopkeeper. Exploring tensions around...
 
 
Wolf Hall
Hilary Mantel
The greatest literary sensation of recent times - and now the inspiration for a major BBC series, starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis and directed by Peter Kosminsky.
 
 

The Month Before's Featured Books

Reader Reviewed Lucia on Holiday A Mapp & Lucia Novel
Guy Fraser-Sampson
Lucia on Holiday is a new addition to the Mapp and Lucia canon, based on the immortal characters first created by E.F. Benson. Perfect reading for followers of Benson's original...
 
 
Reader Reviewed The Ruby Slippers
Keir Alexander
One of our Books of the Year 2014. A remarkable and thought-provoking debut novel, which immediately becomes a compulsive read. Written with great eloquence, the tale transports you into an everyday...
 
 
Reader Reviewed The King's Sister
Anne O'Brien
A passionate, all-consuming yet very sad love story in violent times, that of Elizabeth of Lancaster, a Plantagenet, for John Holland, Duke of Exeter. We are in the 1380s and...
 
 
Reader Reviewed Honeyville
Daisy Waugh
December 2014 Book of the Month. Set in 1913 and 1933 in Colorado and Hollywood amid the miners’ strike and unrest and later...
 
 
Reader Reviewed The Queen's Man
Rory Clements
December 2014 Book of the Month. It is 1582 and John Shakespeare, brother of William, spy for Walsingham, is sent with his loyal...
 
 
The Balloonist
James Long
Captain William Fraser, Scottish laird, womaniser and insubordinate officer resigned his commission and got roped into the Belgium army as special adviser to the King! Partnering up with Lieutenant Claude...
 
 
Reader Reviewed Hide Her Name
Nadine Dorries
December 2014 Book of the Month. A moving and at times harrowing read, the second in the trilogy drops you straight back into...
 
 
The Final Testimony of Raphael Ignatius Phoenix
Paul Sussman
Fans of Sussman’s tremendous historical adventures will be very surprised by this. It was his first novel and yet the last to be published. Sadly he died recently aged only...
 
 
Force of Kings
Christian Cameron
Christian Cameron has created an incredible searing, sweeping version of the end of Alexander the Great’s empire in his Tyrant series and Force of Kings brings it powerfully to its...
 
 
Goodbye, Piccadilly War at Home, 1914
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
The first in a new series set against the backdrop of World War One from the author of the delightful and compelling Morland dynasty series. We’re introduced to the well...
 
 
Larkswood
Valerie Mendes
On becoming unwell, London society girl, Louisa, is packed off to her grandfather, Edward, in the country and well attended by his staff. She builds a relationship with the old...
 
 
Red Rose, White Rose
Joanna Hickson
There are three family trees at the start of this to attempt to keep you straight for this is the Wars of the Roses, a complicated and confusing time. Here...
 
 
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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