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Historical fiction

See below for a selection of the latest books from Historical fiction category. Presented with a red border are the Historical fiction books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Historical fiction books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

The Illness Lesson

The Illness Lesson

Author: Clare Beams Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/02/2020

__________ Brilliant, suspenseful, beautifully-executed. With power, subtlety, and keen intelligence, Clare Beams has somehow crafted a tale that feels like both classical ghost story and like a modern (and very timely) scream of female outrage. A masterpiece. Elizabeth Gilbert It is 1871. At the farm of Samuel Hood and his daughter, Caroline, a mysterious flock of red birds has descended. Samuel, whose fame as a philosopher is waning, takes the birds' appearance as an omen that the time is ripe for his newest venture. He will start a school for young women, guiding their intellectual development as he has so carefully guided his daughter's. Despite Caroline's misgivings, Samuel's vision - revolutionary, as always; noble, as always; full of holes, as always - takes shape. It's not long before the students begin to manifest bizarre symptoms: rashes, seizures, verbal tics, night wanderings. In desperate, the school turns to the ministering of a sinister physician - just as Caroline's body, too, begins its betrayal. As the girls' condition worsens, Caroline must confront the all-male, all-knowing authorities of her world, the ones who insist the voices of the sufferers are unreliable. Written in intensely vivid prose and brimming with insight, The Illness Lesson is a powerful exploration of women's bodies, women's minds and the time-honoured tradition of doubting both.

All the Flowers in Paris

All the Flowers in Paris

Author: Sarah Jio Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

One mother's desperate hope for survival. 1943: In occupied Paris, Celine creates bespoke bouquets at her father's flower shop on rue Cler, whilst trying to shield her young daughter from the brutal reality of war. But when an SS officer takes an interest in Celine and her family, all their lives are put in jeopardy... One woman's search for the truth... 2009: Caroline wakes in Paris with no memory of her previous life. Hunting for clues to her identity in her apartment on the rue Cler, she discovers a bundle of letters written by a young widow during the Second World War. As she peels back the layers of the past, Caroline finds new purpose - but Celine's story is unfinished. Desperate to find out the truth, Caroline digs deeper, uncovering dark and dangerous secrets... Can learning the truth about Celine help Caroline unlock the mystery of her past? The compelling and evocative new historical novel from the international bestselling author Sarah Jio. Perfect for fans of The Key by Kathryn Hughes, The Parisians by Marius Gabriel and The Paris Secret by Lily Graham.

The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant

The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant

Author: Kayte Nunn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

A forgotten woman... 1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an isolated mental asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther's prison but soon becomes her refuge. A cache of unsent love letters... 2018. When free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker is forced to take shelter on a far-flung island off the Cornish Coast during a research posting, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel is determined to find the intended recipient. A dangerous secret... Meanwhile, in London, Eve is helping her grandmother, a renowned mountaineer, write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years. This beautifully haunting and atmospheric novel, will sweep fans of Kate Morton, Elizabeth Gilbert and Emily Gunnis away this summer. Praise for Katye Nunn's The Botanist's Daughter: 'A sweeping and exotic read. I was completely swept away. Perfect for readers of Kate Morton.' Lorna Cook, bestselling author of 'The Forgotten Village' 'The whole book is a delight... Perfect reading whilst sipping a g & t in a beautiful garden somewhere in the sun!' Rosanna Ley, bestselling author of 'The Lemon Tree Hotel' 'I loved this book and really look forward to reading the next book by Kayte Nunn; perfect for reading in the garden with a glass of something cold.' Bookliterat 'Fast-moving and full of surprises...while delivering a poignant and heart-warming story of romance and new beginnings ' Kate Forsyth 'The Botanist's Daughter is a quick paced but mysterious read, which transports you across time and place and is filled with an abundance of flowers.' Foreword Books 'The Botanist's Daughter is an intriguing story about the strength of women who, for their own reasons, are willing to travel halfway across the world and end up with the same goal. It's also a family mystery that slowly reveals its secrets, just like a blooming flower.' The Bookish Gurl 5/5 stars

The Mystery of Love

The Mystery of Love

Author: Andrew Meehan Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/02/2020

Constance Wilde's marriage has ended. Oscar is in prison and she has fled to Italy with their children to escape London gossip and public disapproval. Here she reflects on her marriage to Oscar, the confusing difference between his private and public self, and whether she always knew that their marriage was founded on a different kind of love. Despite her family's warnings, her frustration with her impossible husband's spending and drinking, his affairs and his prison sentence, Constance remains loyal and loving. Their story is told from Constance's perspective, with Oscar's interjections presented as footnotes. In this witty and unsentimental reimagining, Meehan gives a voice to a woman often forgotten and explores the pain and frustration of living in the shadow of a complex man.

Tidelands HER NEW SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER

Tidelands HER NEW SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER

Author: Philippa Gregory Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

THE BRAND NEW SERIES FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR England 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different . . . Midsummer's Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands - the marshy landscape of the south coast. Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life. Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor's ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands. The unmissable read for Summer 2019. Praise for Philippa Gregory: 'Popular historical fiction at its finest, immaculately researched and superbly told' The Times 'Philippa Gregory is truly the mistress of the historical novel. It would be hard to make history more entertaining, lively or engaging' Sunday Express 'Gregory has popularised Tudor history perhaps more than any other living fiction writer . . . All of her books feature strong, complex women, doing their best to improve their lives in worlds dominated by men' Sunday Times 'Immaculate research, pacy narratives and a stubborn insistence that history is not only about men . . . a powerful reminder of how precarious the lives of the Tudor women could be' Daily Mail

The Secret Letter

The Secret Letter

Author: Kerry Barrett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

I signed the letter with a flourish. I wouldn't send it. There was no need. But I wanted to keep it somewhere safe, somewhere I could find it if I ever needed to remember why I'd done what I'd done. The fight goes on, I told myself. The fight goes on... London, 1910. Twenty-one-year-old Esther Watkins would do anything for the Suffragette cause. Imprisoned, force-fed and beaten, she is determined to fight for what she believes is right - no matter what it costs her. With new love Joseph by her side, will she get the better future she dreams of? Kent, 2019. With her marriage in tatters, school teacher Lizzie Armstrong moves to sleepy Elm Heath for a fresh start, and her pupils and the community soon steal her heart. So when the school is threatened with closure Lizzie knows she has to fight, and she looks to the school's founder for inspiration. What makes Esther, born and bred in London, a proud Suffragette, suddenly leave the city and escape to Elm Heath? And when Lizzie uncovers Esther's heartbreaking secret, could it give her the strength she needs to save not just the school, but her new beginning too? A heart-wrenching and uplifting novel for fans of Emily Gunnis, Kathleen McGurl and Kathryn Hughes. Readers love Kerry Barrett: 'All Kerry Barrett's books are brilliant' 'I'd highly recommend this: detective fiction, historical fiction, powerful, moving, thrilling, sometimes comic, always very human.' 'A beautiful story which kept me hooked' 'I would definitely recommend this read, but be warned, you won't want to put it down.' 'Loved the whole story, couldn't put it down' 'Will definitely read more from this author'

A Tapestry of Treason

A Tapestry of Treason

Author: Anne O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

'Gripping' The Times 'Fans of Philippa Gregory and other historical fiction writers will love Anne O'Brien's A Tapestry of Treason' Yours Her actions could make history - but at what price? 1399: Constance of York, Lady Despenser, proves herself more than a mere observer in the devious intrigues of her magnificently dysfunctional family, The House of York. Surrounded by power-hungry men, including her aggressively self-centred husband Thomas and ruthless siblings Edward and Richard, Constance places herself at the heart of two treasonous plots against King Henry IV. Will it be possible for this Plantagenet family to safeguard its own political power by restoring either King Richard II to the throne, or the precarious Mortimer claimant? Although the execution of these conspiracies will place them all in jeopardy, Constance is not deterred, even when the cost of her ambition threatens to overwhelm her. Even when it endangers her new-found happiness. With treason, tragedy, heartbreak and betrayal, this is the story of a woman ahead of her time, fighting for herself and what she believes to be right in a world of men. Praise for A Tapestry of Treason 'O'Brien's page-turner vividly brings to life the restriction of women, and the compassion and strength of this real-life figure from medieval times' Woman 'Anne O'Brien does not disappoint . . . there are so many twists and turns . . . If you love Philippa Gregory or Alison Weir, you will love Anne O'Brien too' My Weekly 'A wonderful novel . . . a rich, gripping, enchanting read. Anne's vivid writing took me straight to the year 1400 and kept me wonderfully lost there throughout' Joanna Courtney 'A detailed portrayal of a fascinating character' Woman's Weekly 'An engaging novel of political intrigue' Choice Praise for Anne O'Brien 'O'Brien cleverly intertwines the personal and political in this enjoyable, gripping tale' The Times 'O'Brien is a terrific storyteller' Daily Telegraph 'A gripping story of love, heartache and political intrigue' Woman & Home 'Packed with drama, danger, romance and history ... the perfect reading choice for the long winter nights' The Press Association 'A gripping historical drama' Bella

The Daughters Of Red Hill Hall

The Daughters Of Red Hill Hall

Author: Kathleen McGurl Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

'The Daughters of Red Hill Hall ...[has] all the intrigue, mystery, relationship drama and edge of your seat secret reveals any reader could want.' - Books and Boardies When Gemma discovers a pair of ancient duelling pistols encrusted with rubies in the basement of the local museum, she is immediately intrigued... On a fateful night in 1838 two sisters were found shot in the cellars of Red Hill Hall. And when Gemma begins to delve deeper into their history she begins to realise that the secrets of that night are darker than anyone had ever imagined. As the shocking events of the past begin to unravel, Gemma's own life starts to fall apart. Loyalties are tested and suddenly it seems as if history is repeating itself, as Gemma learns that female friendships can be deadly... Perfect for fans of The Emerald Comb, The Pearl Locket, Rachel Hore and Kate Morton. What reviewers are saying about Kathleen McGurl's The Daughters of Red Hill Hall 'Mystery, danger, intrigue and heart-pounding drama are deliciously interwoven' - Julie (Goodreads) 'I devoured The Daughters of Red Hill Hall in two sittings...it showed off the many talents of Kathleen McGurl to perfection.' - Emma Crowley on Shaz's Book Blog 'This book grabbed me from its opening pages' - Being Anne... 'a great summer read!' - A Home in the Country 'if you like historical mysteries, murder and romance, this is a must read for you.' - Violet Fields (NetGalley) 'This is the first of Kathleen McGurl's books that I have read but it certainly won't be the last' - Karen O'Hare (Goodreads) 'For fans of Katherine Webb or Kate Riordan' - Sheila's Review (Goodreads) 'McGurl focuses on the relationships and emotional turmoil... As always a spirited read.' - Cheryl M-M

The Mercies

The Mercies

Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/02/2020

'A gripping novel inspired by a real-life witch hunt . . . Beautiful and chilling' Madeline Miller, author of Circe On Christmas Eve, 1617, the sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardo is thrown into a reckless storm. As Maren Magnusdatter watches, forty fishermen, including her father and brother, are lost to the waves, the menfolk of Vardo wiped out in an instant. Now the women must fend for themselves. Eighteen months later, a sinister figure arrives. Summoned from Scotland to take control of a place at the edge of the civilized world, Absalom Cornet knows what he needs to do to bring the women of Vardo to heel. With him travels his young wife, Ursa. In Vardo, and in Maren, Ursa finds something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God and flooded with a mighty and terrible evil, one he must root out at all costs. Inspired by the real events of the Vardo storm and the 1621 witch trials, Kiran Millwood Hargrave's The Mercies is a story about how suspicion can twist its way through a community, and a love that may prove as dangerous as it is powerful.

The Mystery of Love

The Mystery of Love

Author: Andrew Meehan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

Constance Wilde's marriage has ended. Oscar is in prison and she has fled to Italy with their children to escape London gossip and public disapproval. Here she reflects on her marriage to Oscar, the confusing difference between his private and public self, and whether she always knew that their marriage was founded on a different kind of love. Despite her family's warnings, her frustration with her impossible husband's spending and drinking, his affairs and his prison sentence, Constance remains loyal and loving. Their story is told from Constance's perspective, with Oscar's interjections presented as footnotes. In this witty and unsentimental reimagining, Meehan gives a voice to a woman often forgotten and explores the pain and frustration of living in the shadow of a complex man.

Requiem for a Knave

Requiem for a Knave

Author: Laura Carlin Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/02/2020

From the author of The Wicked Cometh comes a dark, page-turning tale of passion and romance in the darkest of places. . . 'Carlin can tell a good story' Observer After the death of his mother, young Alwin of Whittaker leaves the only home he has ever known to seek answers about his unknown father through a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. On the journey, Alwin falls in with a band of violent and marauding soldiers and is witness to their terrible crimes. When Alwin later joins up with a group of pilgrims, he must hide his identity . . . but he is not the only one with secrets to keep. Rosamund, a young woman travelling the same path, has much to conceal too. The journey to discovering who he really is will lead Alwin into great danger and great passion. These are dark times, and through them, Alwin must shine a light. Will the revelations to come destroy everything that came before? Praise for Laura Carlin and The Wicked Cometh: 'Contains lovely, lyrical writing . . . and a heady romance at its heart' Sunday Express 'A deliciously dark confection of a novel' Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things '[Carlin's] female characters are both of their time, while also being witty and modern' Stylist 'Carlin [is] one to watch' Culture Fly

Black Leopard, Red Wolf Dark Star Trilogy Book 1

Black Leopard, Red Wolf Dark Star Trilogy Book 1

Author: Marlon James Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the kind of novel I never realized I was missing until I read it. A dangerous, hallucinatory, ancient Africa, which becomes a fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made, with language as powerful as Angela Carter's. I cannot wait for the next installment' Neil Gaiman In this stunning follow-up to his Man Booker-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James draws on a rich tradition of African mythology, fantasy and history to imagine an ancient world, a lost child, an extraordinary hunter, and a mystery with many answers... 'The child is dead. There is nothing left to know.' Tracker is a hunter, known throughout the thirteen kingdoms as one who has a nose - and he always works alone. But he breaks his own rule when, hired to find a lost child, he finds himself part of a group of hunters all searching for the same boy. Each of these companions is stranger and more dangerous than the last, from a giant to a witch to a shape-shifting Leopard, and each has secrets of their own. As the mismatched gang follow the boy's scent from perfumed citadels to infested rivers to the enchanted darklands and beyond, set upon at every turn by creatures intent on destroying them, Tracker starts to wonder: who really is this mysterious boy? Why do so many people want to stop him being found? And, most important of all, who is telling the truth and who is lying? Marlon James weaves a tapestry of breathtaking adventure through a world at once ancient and startlingly modern. And, against this exhilarating backdrop of magic and violence, he explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, the excesses of ambition, and our need to understand them all. Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star Trilogy. 'A game-changing modern fantasy classic' Financial Times 'Complex, lyrical, moving and furiously gripping... This new book will propel James into a new galaxy of literary stardom' Observer 'To call this novel original doesn't do [it] justice... James has thrown African cultures, mythologies, religions, histories, world-views and topographies into the mighty cauldron of his imagination to create a work of literary magic' New Statesman