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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

Sleeper's Castle by Barbara Erskine
Sleeper's Castle
Barbara Erskine
July 2016 Book of the Month. 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...
Format: Hardback - Released: 30/06/2016
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
Barkskins
Annie Proulx
July 2016 Book of the Month. For the Wolf Hall readership, this is a huge historical novel to immerse yourself in. A dramatic, violent, absorbing, long read for which you need to put aside serious...
Format: Hardback - Released: 16/06/2016

Other Featured Books this Month

A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter
A Quiet Life
Natasha Walter
July 2016 Debut of the Month. Wife. Mother. Spy. The publisher’s blurb tells us. Now Laura just wants a ‘a quiet life’ and so we follow her to that conclusion. As a young American woman just...
Format: Hardback - Released: 16/06/2016
Ben-Hur A Tale of the Christ by Carol Wallace
Ben-Hur A Tale of the Christ
Carol Wallace
A galloping adventurous tale is brought back to vibrant life in this updated version of Ben-Hur by the great-great-granddaughter of the author of the novel written in 1880. Judah Ben-Hur grows up in Jerusalem, after a horrific betrayal he becomes...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/07/2016
Dead to Me by Lesley Pearse
Dead to Me
Lesley Pearse
July 2016 eBook of the Month. Another dramatic and engagingly expressive historical novel by Lesley Pearse. Set before and during the Second World War, we follow Ruby and Verity during the ups and downs of their...
Format: Hardback - Released: 14/07/2016
Hearts of Stone by Simon Scarrow
Hearts of Stone
Simon Scarrow
With a foray into more recent history than Simon Scarrow’s previous novels, the Greek Resistance in World War Two is brought vividly and violently to life in ‘Hearts of Stone’. The prologue set in 1938 highlights three young friends (two...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/06/2016
For the Most Beautiful by Emily Hauser
For the Most Beautiful
Emily Hauser
The story of the Trojan War told by two of its most important, yet often overlooked, characters: Briseis, the slave girl Agamemnon and Achilles fought over, and Krisayis (Shakespeare’s Cressida) promised to the Gods but lover of a prince. Also...
Format: Paperback - Released: 30/06/2016
The Silk Merchant's Daughter by Dinah Jefferies
The Silk Merchant's Daughter
Dinah Jefferies
Dinah Jefferies has presented another beautifully told and vividly stunning tale, this time set in 1950’s Vietnam. The story revolves around 18 year old Nicole, half French and half Vietnamese, Nicole finds herself torn as war between the ruling French...
Format: Paperback - Released: 14/07/2016
Shoes for Anthony by Emma Kennedy
Shoes for Anthony
Emma Kennedy
A gloriously evocative and touching read, capable of chattering with energy one minute and settling into an expressive silence the next. It feels as though the author has a cherished connection to the memories of 11 year old Anthony during...
Format: Paperback - Released: 30/06/2016
The Invitation by Lucy Foley
The Invitation
Lucy Foley
A sophisticated, expressive, and emotional story set in the glamorous Italian film promotion world of the 1950’s. Hal and Stella meet at a party, an immediate connection flares into life, yet the spectre of war holds both in a devastating...
Format: Hardback - Released: 14/07/2016
Florence Grace by Tracy Rees
Florence Grace
Tracy Rees
A historical family drama to sink into, to feel a part of, to be surprised by. in 1860, Florrie, a 15 year old orphan, yet raised with love, finds herself departing the Cornish Moors for the centre of London society....
Format: Paperback - Released: 30/06/2016
The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders
The Secrets of Wishtide
Kate Saunders
Dickensian in its scope and characters, The Secrets of Wishtide brings nineteenth century society vividly to life and illuminates the effect of Victorian morality on women's lives. Introducing an irresistible new detective, the first book in the Laetitia Rodd Mystery...
Format: Hardback - Released: 14/07/2016
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... For fans of Scarlett Thomas, Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Patrick Suskind, this is...
Format: Hardback - Released: 14/07/2016
Versailles Sweeping. Sexy. Dramatic. the Most Captivating Historical Novel You'll Read This Year by Elizabeth Massie
Versailles Sweeping. Sexy. Dramatic. the Most Captivating Historical Novel You'll Read This Year
Elizabeth Massie
The novelization of a forthcoming 10-part lavish BBC2 drama series of the same name about a young Louis XIV and the creation of the Versailles palace; sweeping, sexy, utterly addictive. Versailles is not the paradise it appears to be; instead,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/06/2016
Enchanted Realms by Valan Peters
Enchanted Realms
Valan Peters
'Enchanted Realms' is a simply told tale, describing events following 1066, as the Normans bulldozed their way over England. I must confess to not being quite sure how to categorise this book because it feels like a historical fantasy novel,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/11/2015
The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola
The Unseeing
Anna Mazzola
July 2016 Debut of the Month. A detailed, intriguing and highly enjoyable debut historical thriller. James Greenacre is accused of murdering his bride and his mistress, Sarah Gale, is convicted of aiding him in disposing of...
Format: Hardback - Released: 14/07/2016
A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams
A Certain Age
Beatriz Williams
As decadent and scandalous as New York Society in the roaring twenties, A Certain Age will whisk you back to a time of Jazz, elegance, charm, and murder as only Beatriz Williams can. The world is slowly recovering...
Format: Paperback - Released: 14/07/2016

Last Month's Featured Books

The Tower by Alessandro Gallenzi

The Tower
Alessandro Gallenzi
In the near present day a British and an Italian researcher are offered more money than they can refuse to travel to Jordan and investigate some manuscripts that have gone...

The Printer's Coffin by M. J. Carter

The Printer's Coffin
M. J. Carter
Another impressive and enthralling investigation by the newest and most original investigating team in town. It’s a bit of a shock to find Blake and Avery back in England after...

The Art of Waiting by Christopher Jory

Reader Reviewed The Art of Waiting
Christopher Jory
June 2016 Debut of the Month. A captivating and very human tale that transports you to the heart of what really matters. Although set before, during...

Fire and Sword by Harry Sidebottom

Fire and Sword
Harry Sidebottom
‘Fire and Sword’ is a powerful addition to the epic ‘Throne of the Caesars’ series. The Year of the Six Emperors continues in bloody and back stabbing style, covering three...

Golden Lion by Wilbur Smith, Giles Kristian

Golden Lion
Wilbur Smith, Giles Kristian
A full on rollicking adventure set on the high seas and coast of east Africa during 1670. If you’ve read all of the sequences in the Courtney series then you...

Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell

Warriors of the Storm
Bernard Cornwell
The ninth novel in ‘The Last Kingdom Series' is as completely compelling and absolutely wonderful as the first. Bernard Cornwell is a master weaver of stories, the threads join...

Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh

Reader Reviewed Flood of Fire
Amitav Ghosh
A thrillingly realised and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of place and plotted with verve. It is difficult to know if...

The Girl in the Glass Tower by Elizabeth Fremantle

The Girl in the Glass Tower
Elizabeth Fremantle
June 2016 Book of the Month and eBook of the Month. Another gorgeously readable and oh so captivating slice of historical fiction from Elizabeth Freemantle. Arbella...

Daughter of the House by Rosie Thomas

Reader Reviewed Daughter of the House
Rosie Thomas
A heartfelt, lovely, interesting story set between 1910 and 1931, where a family with a difference, face everyday and extraordinary difficulties and conflicts. Daughter of the House follows on from...

Black Water by Louise Doughty

Black Water
Louise Doughty
June 2016 Book of the Month. Fluctuating between the riots and massacre in Indonesia in 1965 and the second coup in 1997 with the unrest of...

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Reader Reviewed The Essex Serpent
Sarah Perry
June 2016 Book of the Month and eBook of the Month. A gorgeously eloquent and powerfully expressive novel, ‘The Essex Serpent’ explores an unusual relationship in...

The Queen's Choice by Anne O'Brien

Reader Reviewed The Queen's Choice
Anne O'Brien
‘The Queen’s Choice’ is a wonderfully effortless read, where historical fact blends with romance, scheming and subterfuge. Covering a period between 1396 and 1422 the story revolves around Joanna of...

In the Month of the Midnight Sun by Cecilia Ekback

In the Month of the Midnight Sun
Cecilia Ekback
From the acclaimed author of Wolf Winter comes a second brilliantly written and gripping historical Nordic Noir thriller with all the intrigue and atmosphere of Burial Rites, the pent-up...

Skin by Ilka Tampke

Reader Reviewed Skin
Ilka Tampke
It is easy to think of the Celts as savages and the Romans as the bringers of civilisation when in fact Celtic society was complex and well-structured. Skin captures the...

Rembrandt's Mirror by Kim Devereux

Rembrandt's Mirror
Kim Devereux
Longlisted for the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown Award Longlist 2016. This is such a stimulating, penetrating and truly beautiful novel, Kim Devereux obviously has a deeply emotional connection to Rembrandt’s...

A Hero in France by Alan Furst

A Hero in France
Alan Furst
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Still set against Furst's familiar background of the dark years of WW2, this new offering full of treachery and intrigue for...

The Month Before's Featured Books

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Reader Reviewed Everyone Brave is Forgiven
Chris Cleave
May 2016 Book of the Month. 'War was declared at 11.15 and Mary North signed up at noon.' With these words begins the most breathtaking novel...

The French Lesson by Hallie Rubenhold

Reader Reviewed The French Lesson
Hallie Rubenhold
May 2016 Book of the Month. This wonderful, bawdy, fictional memoir began with Mistress of My Fate which eventually saw Henrietta Lightfoot fall for the...

The Seeker by S. G. MacLean

The Seeker
S. G. MacLean
A complicated, thrilling tale with many threads all leading to a Royalist plot to assassinate Oliver Cromwell. Our hero, Damien Seeker, is the leader of a group of soldiers fiercely...

Eden Gardens by Louise Brown

Reader Reviewed Eden Gardens
Louise Brown
Longlisted for the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown Award Longlist 2016. A vividly striking and entirely captivating debut novel set in Calcutta, covering both the Second World War and Indian Independence...

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...

Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen by Alison Weir

Reader Reviewed Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen
Alison Weir
May 2016 Book of the Month. When you settle into an Alison Weir you settle into history itself. She is thorough, detailed and hugely knowledgeable. Here...

King of the Wood by Valerie Anand

King of the Wood
Valerie Anand
An arresting historical novel where fact and fiction blend together until one fascinating story emerges. Set between 1068 and 1100, travelling between France and England, with an occasional foray into...

Ravenspur by Conn Iggulden

Reader Reviewed Ravenspur
Conn Iggulden
May 2016 Book of the Month. A stunning conclusion to ‘The Wars of the Roses’ series, ‘Ravenspur’ launches Henry Tudor, while around him Kings battle for...

Mrs Engels by Gavin McCrea

Mrs Engels
Gavin McCrea
Shorlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016. Longlisted for the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown Award Longlist 2016. ‘Mrs...

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton

Reader Reviewed A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding
Jackie Copleton
May 2016 Debut of the Month. Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016. A bittersweet, page-turning love story which jumps back and forth in...

The Butchers of Berlin by Chris Petit

Reader Reviewed The Butchers of Berlin
Chris Petit
May 2016 eBook of the Month. This is a tough, violent thriller which illustrates the chaos in Germany in 1943. Suffering setbacks in the war and...

Early One Morning by Virginia Baily

Early One Morning
Virginia Baily
This epic novel is an unforgettably powerful, suspenseful, heartbreaking and inspiring tale of love, loss and war's reverberations down the years.

The Butcher Bird by S. D. Sykes

Reader Reviewed The Butcher Bird
S. D. Sykes
A captivating and wonderfully evocative historical crime novel based in 1351, this is the second in the series, set after ‘Plague Land’. While it’s best to start at the...

The Accidental Agent by Andrew Rosenheim

The Accidental Agent
Andrew Rosenheim
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The third novel to feature FBI agent Jimmy Nessheim, of German origin who has been manipulated to...

Candlemas by Shirley McKay

Candlemas
Shirley McKay
On Candlemas eve an apprentice candle maker finds his master, John Blair dead in his workshop, and the evidence points to the surgeon Sam Sturrock. Enlisted by Sturrock's desperate apprentice,...

Fire by C. C. Humphreys

Fire
C. C. Humphreys
First came Plague, now comes Fire. The epic tale of the hunt for a serial killer threatening London's rich and poor during the Great Fire of London. Perfect for...

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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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