LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Around the World in 80+ Historical Novels.

The very best historical novels not only bring a vibrant sense of place, they also encourage the reader to further research and explore. With the novels we have chosen here, you step back in time and also set off on an expedition to other countries and continents. Choose just a short sail across the waters to France, or you can travel right round to the other side of the world. From times still alive in some people's memories, through to several thousand years ago, this collection gives you access to Roman centurions, Russian counts, and American abolitionists. It allows you to fully immerse yourself in another time and place, to step foot on one of the world's tallest mountains, into a city plunged in civil war, and off a boat straight into a penal colony.

A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville is glorious! A novel of such startling sincerity, clarity and eloquence it feels as though the narrator herself is stamped onto every page. This book was inspired by letters and comments on a pioneer and his wife who left England in 1788 for New South Wales in Australia. This is a unique and beautiful novel that allows you to read between the lines of history.

Editorial Expert Joanne Owen adored NICK by Michael Farris Smith, she describes it as: “a darkly absorbing, brilliantly accomplished literary undertaking provoked by the author’s complex relationship with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece". From Paris to Frenchtown, New Orleans, this explores who Nick Carraway was before he stepped into the world of The Great Gatsby

Kiran Millwood Hargrave has created the most beautifully written historical relationship tale with real bite in The Mercies. A work of fiction inspired by history the story begins in northern Norway on Christmas Eve in 1617 when the lives of forty fishermen were taken in a storm. The descriptions are truly breathtaking. While there are some savage shocks in store, The Mercies is still a warm, thoughtful and touching read.

Debut novel Fortune Favours the Dead by Stephen Spotswood is a fabulously entertaining absolute romp of a murder mystery set in 1940’s New York. A private detective and her assistant are hired to track down the murderer of a wealthy young widow. The first in a new series, this locked-room mystery, wonderfully diverse central characters, and a cracking storyline ensure an absolute dream of a read.

By weaving fact and fiction, Jerome Charyn creates a heart-rending yet fascinating read in Cesare: A Novel of War Torn Berlin. Using real life Chief of the Abwehr, spymaster Wilhelm Canaris meant at times I struggled to remember this was fiction as it felt all too real. There is a raw, almost brutal quality to the all-consuming storyline. This is a haunting, traumatic, yet enthralling read and encouraged me to research the history of Canaris.

There are novels here that will encourage your emotions to fly, to open your thoughts to huge world events, or allow a glimpse of the most intimate of personal stories. From beautiful to brutal, from rip-roaring to exquisitely gentle, there are some simply wonderful stories on this list that we wholeheartedly recommend.

Before the Rains

Before the Rains

Author: Dinah Jefferies Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/05/2017

A gorgeously expressive and captivating novel, set in 1930’s India at the height of the struggle for independence against British rule. 28 year old photographer Eliza agrees to document the royal family and subjects of one of the princely states. Eliza spends time with Jay, brother of the prince, and as they become closer they open their minds to new ideas, however their relationship comes under scrutiny. Dinah Jefferies always transports thoughts, feelings, and senses, not only to the place, but also the time, so completely, it’s a shock when you look up from page and come back to reality. For me, there was an additional quality to this novel, the land is important, the descriptions are striking, and the history of this time absolutely fascinating; yet the relationship here feels vital, pronounced, and completely essential to the storyline. It is the relationship, with the different customs and cultures, and how it affects the people surrounding Eliza and Jay, that really provoked my feelings. With the issues affecting women taking centre stage, ‘Before the Rains’ is a beautiful novel, subtle yet striking, full of impact, and full of love.

ebook of the month
War and Peace

War and Peace

Author: Leo Tolstoy Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2016

It's 1805 and St Petersburg, Russia is overwhelmed by terror and uncertainty as Napoleon marches on the country and war breaks out.  Focusing on three characters whose lives are transformed, War and Peace is about people trying to find their place in a world completely changed by war, social, political and spiritual upheaval. Timeless themes that resonate today while also offering an insight into a moment in history. A fantastic classic recommended by us. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

ebook of the month
Les Miserables

Les Miserables

Author: Victor Hugo, Norman Denny Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/03/1982

I first saw the musical, then read the book, and let me just put this out there, Les Miserables is long, and even with a relatively simple plot, not a particularly easy read. Having said that, I am glad that I read it, but am going to whisper this... I prefer the musical (and now I’m ducking). Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

ebook of the month
The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/09/2016

A 2012 World Book Night selection.   Voted 3rd in the Books of the Decade by Lovereading readers.   Shortlisted for the Newcomer of the Year Award at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2008.   This is the story of a street of ordinary German people living in the horrors of the Nazi regime.  Interestingly it is narrated by Death but the central character is an 11-year old girl who steals a gravedigger’s handbook and gets hooked on reading.  It’s grim yet uplifting, immensely sad yet light in style and touch.  A very interesting view of World War II and an unforgettable book, it’s aimed at both children and adults and should be read by both.   Larry Finlay, Managing Director of the Publisher of The Book Thief said:  “It is a great, great book, one that calls out to your head and your heart whatever your age.  Its success is due almost entirely to word-of-mouth for unlike many bestsellers it has not been made into a film (yet), nor was it picked by a Book Club such as Richard and Judy.”   A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... ‘The Book Thief is one of those word-of-mouth bestsellers that has made its way into reader’s hearts entirely on its own merits. When this book came to me by way of the Children’s Division, my heart took that legendary leap. I met for the first time the delightful Liesel, Rudy and of course Death, the narrator, all of whom have joined the galaxy of best-loved characters in world literature. Rare is the reader who doesn’t close this book with a tear in their eye.' Jane Lawson, Editorial Director at Transworld    

ebook of the month
The King Without a Kingdom

The King Without a Kingdom

Author: Maurice Druon Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/05/2015

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 ‘narration’ by Cardinal Perigord, helping to draw you in, to settle at his feet and  become a part of these times. This is the seventh and final book in the ‘Accursed Kings’ series and will have you hunting down the first six. You really do feel as though you are in the midst of the most wonderful history lesson.  If it were fiction, you would call the author fanciful, knowing it has a solid base in history adds to the superb storytelling, making this well worth a read.

ebook of the month

Comments (0)


Leave A Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.