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Read the opening extract of the brand new Denzil Meyrick book before its publication on 14/05/2015



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

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, a Plantagenet, for John Holland, Duke of Exeter. We are...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
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. It is long, it is big, it is brilliant, perhaps...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
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 passion and incident; that it covers the war years and...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
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 in France our young hero, Philippe, in the employment of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
Reader Reviewed A Place Called Winter
Patrick Gale
A slight departure for this highly regarded author being an historical tale of Edwardian London and Canada based on a true story from his family history. Harry Case, a gentleman in suburban London, marries and has a daughter. Unexpectedly he...
Format: Hardback - Released: 24/03/2015
     

Other Featured Books this Month

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 defeated. All that is history. This brings the period to...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
Direct Hit
Mike Hollow
A wonderfully uncomplicated and somehow charming read about a murder investigation during the Second World War. This isn't a gore-fest, even though death is afoot and there are a sack full of motivations for murder. Jago, ‘The Blitz Detective’ is...
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/03/2015
     
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 times. We are in Lincoln in the family of a...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
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 book concentrates on Robert running for his life in the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
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 for elegant mysteries shrouded in shades of darkness. And why...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/02/2015
     
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 rewarding. It's 1939 in London and the Nazis never came...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
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 up the explosion is huge and for anyone to escape...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
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, to the tormented seas of mud that make up No...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2015
     
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 is surrounded by a writhing vibrant cast of often unscrupulous...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
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: 12/03/2015
     
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 Em, a girl of about 17, who wakes uncertain of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
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 this really does shatter the family. We see the whole...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
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 stationed in Crediton, Devon. He has a reputation for solving...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
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 VII. It is wonderful stuff. It is of course quality...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
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 people in San Francisco in 1876 where a heat wave...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
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 of an Irish family. We meet two boys, one protestant,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
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, 59-year old who discovers she is not only adopted but...
Format: Paperback - Released: 12/03/2015
     
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 Charles VII. She is pure, kind and virtuous! The history...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
     
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 the sixties and meeting the famous. It is probably semi-autobiographical...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
The Silent Boy
Andrew Taylor
In the Scent of Death Andrew Taylor introduced us to Edward Savill, a young English clerk in British controlled Manhattan at the height of the American War of Independence in 1778. 14 years later as the French Revolution rages he...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
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 Cuban missile strike, alongside a carefree London full of young...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
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 knows full well how to pull at your heartstrings. Here...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
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 first in a series which follows an expelled young monk...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
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
     
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, although fiction, is undoubtedly very much based on fact. We...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
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 but failed his medical so never saw the horrors of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     
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 and danger and heartache resound across Europe. Headstrong and passionate,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/02/2015
     

Last Month's Featured Books

Reader Reviewed The Book of Lost and Found
Lucy Foley
February 2015 Debut of the Month. One of those involved family dramas of uncertain...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
The Anchoress
Robyn Cadwallader
February 2015 Debut of the Month. A quietly, deep and fascinating debut novel proving...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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,...
 
 
Reader Reviewed Wolf Winter
Cecilia Ekback
February 2015 Debut of the Month. The most impressive thing about this extraordinary book...
 
 
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...
 
 
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.
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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 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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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....
 
 
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...
 
 

The Month Before'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...
 
 
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...
 
 
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 King Without a Kingdom
Maurice Druon
The world of fiction and fact merge in this feast of historical intrigue, bloody battle and cankerous corruption. Translated from French, visit the beginning of the Hundred Years War; with...
 
 
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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