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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 Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
The Shadow Land
Elizabeth Kostova
April 2017 Book of the Month. This is a beautifully crafted novel. Those familiar with Kostova’s writing will be delighted to know that her beautiful, descriptive prose has yet again created a masterful novel that will...
Format: Hardback - Released: 11/04/2017

Other Featured Books this Month

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys
A Dangerous Crossing
Rachel Rhys
April 2017 Debut of the Month. All aboard for an Agatha Christie-esque mystery set on a ship bound for the distant shores of Australia in 1939. As the world teeters on the edge of another war,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 23/03/2017
Arrowood by Mick Finlay
Arrowood
Mick Finlay
April 2017 Debut of the Month. London 1895, gloriously brought to life in all its grizzly glory. Arrowood is a weathered Private Investigator with a soft heart and a weakness for a drink. He shares the...
Format: Hardback - Released: 23/03/2017
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Days Without End
Sebastian Barry
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. Winner of 2016 Costa Book of the Year and Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2016. This big-hearted, beautiful and splendidly sweeping tale of war, survival and love in the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/02/2017
Sleeper's Castle by Barbara Erskine
Sleeper's Castle
Barbara Erskine
A sweeping saga of a tale, linking the past and the present through two women’s dreams and a house that straddles time. This is the first Barbara Erskine novel I’ve read, for those that have been with her since the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/04/2017
Under a Sardinian Sky by Sara Alexander
Under a Sardinian Sky
Sara Alexander
An expressive and heartfelt relationship tale set in a gloriously evocative 1950’s Sardinia. Carmela is engaged to the son of the town’s wealthiest family, however finds herself questioning his overbearing nature when she meets a Captain from the nearby army...
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/04/2017
The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times by Xan Brooks
The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times
Xan Brooks
This magnetic debut evokes the social and emotional landscapes of interwar England with an abundance of originality. With the country battered and drained by the Great War, orphan Lucy Marsh finds herself in an extraordinary place, and in the company...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/04/2017
Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan by Ruth Gilligan
Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan
Ruth Gilligan
As is the case with so many good Irish literary novels, this is poignant, breathtaking and very sad. Following three stories told in three different voices that do eventually come together, it covers the years 1901 to 1941 through the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/04/2017
The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland
The Plague Charmer
Karen Maitland
Told by many voices, some wise, some wicked, this is the story of a close community under unbearable strain. What is the breaking point where neighbours and even sisters will turn against each other? The older people remember the Great...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/04/2017
The Cardinal's Court A Hugh Mac Egan Mystery by Cora Harrison
The Cardinal's Court A Hugh Mac Egan Mystery
Cora Harrison
An entirely captivating and readable historical mystery. Hugh Mac Egan finds himself in the middle of deviously twisted plot, attempting to solve the riddle of who killed one of Cardinal Wolsey’s men. Hugh is positive the murderer isn’t his patron's...
Format: Hardback - Released: 24/04/2017
An American Decade by Richard Aronowitz
An American Decade
Richard Aronowitz
An expressive, fascinating, and convincing glimpse into 1930’s America just before the Second World War. As the Nazi regime takes hold, 30 year old widower Christoph leaves Germany for a new life as a singer on Broadway, however he has...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/04/2017
When the Sky Fell Apart by Caroline Lea
When the Sky Fell Apart
Caroline Lea
Prepare for your heart to break… this is a powerful, evocative tale of life during the Nazi occupation of Jersey in the 1940’s. The first page made me flinch, yet I couldn't, didn't want to stop reading. Ten year old...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/03/2017
The Words in My Hand by Guinevere Glasfurd
The Words in My Hand
Guinevere Glasfurd
Shortlisted for The Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2017. A gloriously readable and emotional fictional tale based on the relationship between Dutch maid Helena Jans van der Strom and philosopher, mathematician and scientist Rene Descartes, in 17th century Amsterdam....
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/02/2017
The Good People by Hannah Kent
The Good People
Hannah Kent
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. Three women are at the heart of this beguiling, elemental novel, in which the dialogue dances, and the force of Irish fairy lore weaves its eerie, all-consuming ways through a...
Format: Hardback - Released: 09/02/2017
The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson
The Vanishing Futurist
Charlotte Hobson
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. An exuberant, kaleidoscopic debut set in the turbulent times around the 1917 Russian revolution, told through the eyes of an eighty-year-old Englishwoman recalling her youth. It's 1914 and, against the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/03/2017
A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker
A Country Road, A Tree
Jo Baker
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. An enthralling work of literary fiction exploring Samuel Beckett’s life in Occupied France. It’s autumn, 1939 and a young writer has returned to Paris, and to Suzanne, his...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/02/2017
The One Man by Andrew Gross
The One Man
Andrew Gross
Something of a departure for erstwhile James Patterson collaborator Andrew Gross, and a powerful, breathless thriller with a difference. It's 1944 and the American nuclear programme is stalling and the presence of a brilliant scientist imprisoned in Auschwitz sees Nathan...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/04/2017
The Butchers of Berlin by Chris Petit
The Butchers of Berlin
Chris Petit
This is a tough, violent thriller which illustrates the chaos in Germany in 1943. Suffering setbacks in the war and severe shortages, Berlin is in the middle of a rushed ‘cleansing’ of the Jews with thousands being removed each night. ...
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/04/2017
Black Water by Louise Doughty
Black Water
Louise Doughty
Fluctuating between the riots and massacre in Indonesia in 1965 and the second coup in 1997 with the unrest of 1998, this is a powerful tale of espionage and love. Our hero, a courier, appears to be in disgrace, hiding...
Format: Paperback - Released: 30/03/2017
A Hero in France by Alan Furst
A Hero in France
Alan Furst
Still set against Furst's familiar background of the dark years of WW2, this new offering full of treachery and intrigue for once eschews the tropes of espionage and restricts itself to a sober chronicle of the early years of the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/04/2017
Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift
Mothering Sunday
Graham Swift
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. From the jubilant “You shall go to the ball!” of the preface, and the “Once upon a time” opening, this glorious feminist-hued fable tells of a young woman’s transformation from...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/03/2017
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
The Gustav Sonata
Rose Tremain
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2016. Profoundly moving tale of love and devotion, told in a steady, lucid style that reverberates with the latent undercurrent of suppressed, unfulfilled longings....
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
Golden Hill
Francis Spufford
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017 | Shortlisted for The Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2017 | Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017 | Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2016. Inventively entertaining,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/09/2016
The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
The Dark Circle
Linda Grant
Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2017. The new novel by the acclaimed author of Upstairs at the Party and the Booker-shortlisted The Clothes on Their Backs. The Second World War is over, a new decade is beginning...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/07/2017
The Spy of Venice A William Shakespeare Novel by Benet Brandreth
The Spy of Venice A William Shakespeare Novel
Benet Brandreth
Suspenseful, seductive and as sharp as an assassin's blade, The Spy of Venice introduces a major new literary talent. CJ Sansom meets Shakespeare in Love - a historical thriller with a swashbuckling twist and a hero like you've never...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/03/2017
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
A Piece of the World
Christina Baker Kline
From the bestselling author of Orphan Train comes a luminous portrait of a woman of grit and grace, as heartwarming as it is gripping. A story that allows the reader to marvel at Andrew Wyeth's iconic portrait from the...
Format: Hardback - Released: 23/03/2017
The Harrowing by James Aitcheson
The Harrowing
James Aitcheson
1066, The Norman Conquest: Five strangers. Five secrets. No refuge. No turning back. Priest, Lady, Servant, Warrior, Minstrel: each has their own story; each their own sin. As enemies past and present close in, their prior deeds catch up with...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/03/2017
The Cutthroat by Clive Cussler, Justin Scott
The Cutthroat
Clive Cussler, Justin Scott
The latest action-packed historical blockbuster featuring Isaac Bell, from Sunday Times bestseller Clive Cussler. Women are being brutally murdered all over America ...it's going to take an extraordinary mind to uncover the truth before it's too late...
Format: Hardback - Released: 23/03/2017
The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans
The Fourteenth Letter
Claire Evans
London 1881. A bride is murdered on at her engagement party, setting in chain a twisting, riveting mystery full of memorable characters in Claire Evans' dramatic debut novel perfect for fans of Kate Mosse's Labyrinth, Carlos Ruiz Zafon's
Format: Hardback - Released: 06/04/2017
Their Finest by Lissa Evans
Their Finest
Lissa Evans
It's 1940. After a short spell promoting the joy of swedes for the Ministry of Food, Catrin Cole finds herself writing dialogue for 'Just an Ordinary Wednesday', a heart-warming but largely fabricated 'true story' about rescue and romance on the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/04/2017

Last Month's Featured Books

The Long Firm by Jake Arnott

The Long Firm
Jake Arnott
This is a jaw-dropping absolute classic of a tale, stuffed full of brutal gangster goings-on, with a subtle heartbreaking undertone. Harry Starks sits centre stage, king of his empire, quick...

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

Reader Reviewed At the Edge of the Orchard
Tracy Chevalier
In her last novel, The Last Runaway, Tracy Chevalier returned to her American roots for the first time, setting her story on the Ohio frontier in 1850. At the...

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

Reader Reviewed The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
Jennifer Ryan
An engaging and charmingly bittersweet slice of fiction set during the Second World War. In a Kent village during 1940, the vicar closes the choir, as the ladies of the...

The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola

Reader Reviewed The Unseeing
Anna Mazzola
March 2017 Debut of the Month. A detailed, intriguing and highly enjoyable debut historical thriller. James Greenacre is accused of murdering his bride and his mistress,...

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Reader Reviewed A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles
Maxim Jakubowski's March 2017 Book of the Month. Shortly after the Russian revolution, a White Russian count is spared execution because of a subversive poem he...

The Soldier, the Gaoler, the Spy and Her Lover by Simon Parke

The Soldier, the Gaoler, the Spy and Her Lover
Simon Parke
A captivating and fascinating novel, where fact blends seamlessly with fiction, set from 1647-1649 during the final months of Charles I. These years are one of the most intriguing periods...

The Second Bride by Katharine Swartz

The Second Bride
Katharine Swartz
A bittersweet, compassionate family drama set in Cumbria. Ellen is under pressure after her step-daughter comes to live with her family. Emotionally bombarded, Ellen attempts to solve the mystery of...

The Riviera Express (A Miss Dimont Mystery, Book 1) by T. P. Fielden

Reader Reviewed The Riviera Express (A Miss Dimont Mystery, Book 1)
T. P. Fielden
March 2017 Debut of the Month. A snappy, vibrant, romp of a read, set in a 1950’s Devonshire seaside town. Miss Judy Dimont (in her forties),...

The Fatal Tree by Jake Arnott

The Fatal Tree
Jake Arnott
March 2017 eBook of the Month. Powerful and expressive, this is an extraordinary tale, based in reality, set in the London underworld of the 1720’s. Edgeworth...

The Cavendon Luck (Cavendon Chronicles, Book 3) by Barbara Taylor Bradford

The Cavendon Luck (Cavendon Chronicles, Book 3)
Barbara Taylor Bradford
Two families, the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns who serve them, have been bound by loyalty since the first stone was laid. But when war looms, sons, husbands and brothers...

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

The Orphan's Tale
Pam Jenoff
A heartbreaking tale echoing with intensity and hope, set during World War Two and based on real events. Seventeen year old Noa and the Jewish baby she managed to rescue...

Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

Reader Reviewed Birdcage Walk
Helen Dunmore
March 2017 Book of the Month. A breathtaking, evocative, and stormy tale set in the early 1790’s, just as the fallout from the French Revolution was...

The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George

The Confessions of Young Nero
Margaret George
In part inspired by a desire to redress how Nero “has suffered badly at the hands of popular culture,” as the author notes in the novel’s afterword, this epic, expansive...

Before the Rains by Dinah Jefferies

Before the Rains
Dinah Jefferies
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...

The Himalayan Summer by Louise Brown

The Himalayan Summer
Louise Brown
The Himalayan Summer is a spellbinding novel of the British Raj period, the quest to find a child, and a love story beyond boundaries - for all fans of

Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine

Lady of Hay
Barbara Erskine
Barbara Erskine's iconic debut novel still delights generations of readers thirty years after its first publication. A story spanning centuries. A long awaited revenge. In London, journalist Jo Clifford plans...

The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder's Sister
Beth Underdown
1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives. But home is no longer...

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

Reader Reviewed The Summer Before the War
Helen Simonson
Despite the title – The Summer Before the War – which this terrific novel does indeed trace, it also spills into the horrors of the war years and eventually releases...

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

4 3 2 1
Paul Auster
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The contemporary magician of the post-modern and often quirky novel (maybe equalled by just Haruki Murakami) returns with a doorstepper...

The Ashes of Berlin by Luke McCallin

The Ashes of Berlin
Luke McCallin
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The third in a so far underrated series featuring Berlin cop and ex-soldier Gregor Reinhardt, following on from THE MAN...

The Month Before's Featured Books

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory

Three Sisters, Three Queens
Philippa Gregory
From the Number One New York Times bestselling author, a riveting new Tudor story featuring Katherine of Aragon, and King Henry VIII's sisters Margaret and Mary, chronicling the pivotal roles...

Corpus by Rory Clements

Reader Reviewed Corpus
Rory Clements
February 2017 Book of the Month. 1936 and the huge canvas of Europe in chaos is superbly portrayed by this renowned author of historical fiction. Previously...

Mischling by Affinity Konar

Reader Reviewed Mischling
Affinity Konar
February 2017 Debut of the Month. A very special, rather beautiful, and truly unforgettable novel, this is a story that has become a part of me,...

Mister Memory by Marcus Sedgwick

Mister Memory
Marcus Sedgwick
In Paris, at the end of the nineteenth century, a man with a perfect memory murders his wife. But that is only the start of the story... A dazzling literary...

Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen by Alison Weir

Reader Reviewed Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen
Alison Weir
One of our Books of the Year 2016. When you settle into an Alison Weir you settle into history itself. She is thorough, detailed and hugely knowledgeable. Here she delivers...

The Girl in the Glass Tower by Elizabeth Fremantle

The Girl in the Glass Tower
Elizabeth Fremantle
Another gorgeously readable and oh so captivating slice of historical fiction from Elizabeth Fremantle. Arbella Stuart, with her impressive lineage was a Queen in the making. As Elizabeth I dominated...

The Dark Days Pact A Lady Helen Novel by Alison Goodman

Reader Reviewed The Dark Days Pact A Lady Helen Novel
Alison Goodman
February 2017 NewGen Book of the Month. In a Nutshell: Supernatural Regency Extravaganza | This second book in the lavishly entertaining Lady Helen trilogy -...

The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor

The Ashes of London
Andrew Taylor
An enthralling and wonderful historical thriller, where the story absolutely thrives in the midst of one of the most famous times in British history. The first chapter not only blasts...

Conspiracy by S. J. Parris

Conspiracy
S. J. Parris
When murder strikes at the heart of the Palace, Bruno finds himself on the trail of a killer who hides a terrible secret. With the royal houses of France and...

Retribution Road by Antonin Varenne

Retribution Road
Antonin Varenne
A breathtaking 19th century adventure epic, set across three continents. From the Burmese jungle to the slums of London to the conquest of the Wild West, Antonin Varenne takes us...

The North Water by Ian McGuire

The North Water
Ian McGuire
A 19th-century whaling ship sets sail for the Arctic with a killer aboard in this dark, sharp and highly original tale that grips like a thriller, longlisted for the Man...

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology
Neil Gaiman
The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling - from Tolkien, Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics.

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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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