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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

Exposure by Helen Dunmore
Exposure
Helen Dunmore
August 2016 Book of the Month. A wonderfully tense and arresting Cold War relationship tale, stuffed full to the brim with suspense. Set in 1960, couple Lily and Simon become caught in an unbelievably powerful web...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/08/2016

Other Featured Books this Month

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
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 young lives. Ruby has a less than auspicious beginning, while...
Format: Hardback - Released: 14/07/2016
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: Hardback - Released: 30/06/2016
Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor
Ashes of London
Andrew Taylor
An enthralling and quite, quite 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 you immediately into the roaring flames of the...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/04/2016
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
Love in Lindfield by David Smith
Love in Lindfield
David Smith
Much more than just a romance, this tale runs alongside enticing snippets from the life of stained glass master Charles Eamer Kempe who was born in 1837. Kempe lived in Lindfield and associated with some of the most noteworthy people...
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/06/2016
A Sister's Crusade by Ann Turner
A Sister's Crusade
Ann Turner
An epic relationship tale, spanning one of the most interesting periods in our history. Aubrette grows up as her half-sister Rowena’s companion, her life changes dramatically when Rowena marries. Rowena’s new husband is an illegitimate son of Henry II, Aubrette...
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/04/2016
The Cavendon Women by Barbara Taylor Bradford
The Cavendon Women
Barbara Taylor Bradford
This follows on from Cavendon Hall and is a projected series of novels set around a stately home in Yorkshire and its occupants, upstairs and down. The present earl, Charles, divorced with four daughters and one son and heir,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 22/10/2015
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
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 fans of S J Parris and C J Sansom....
Format: Paperback - Released: 25/08/2016
Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory
Three Sisters, Three Queens
Philippa Gregory
A riveting new Tudor story featuring Katherine of Aragon, and King Henry VIII's sisters Margaret and Mary, chronicling the pivotal roles the three queens played in King Henry VIII's kingdom. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss and passion, the three sisters...
Format: Hardback - Released: 09/08/2016
The Lovers of Amherst by William Nicholson
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 tale as she shares a surname. Austin is the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/07/2016
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
The New Mrs Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan
The New Mrs Clifton
Elizabeth Buchan
At the end of WWII Gus brings back an emotionally damaged German wife, Krista, to his family home on Clapham Common, London. In a bombed terrace his house remains unscathed yet possibly unstable. His two sisters are at home, one...
Format: Hardback - Released: 11/08/2016
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

A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter

Reader Reviewed 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...

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...

Barkskins by Annie Proulx

Reader Reviewed 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,...

Florence Grace by Tracy Rees

Reader Reviewed 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...

The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola

Reader Reviewed 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,...

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...

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...

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...

The Silk Merchant's Daughter by Dinah Jefferies

Reader Reviewed 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,...

For the Most Beautiful by Emily Hauser

Reader Reviewed 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)...

The Month Before'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...

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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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