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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.

This Month's Featured Books

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
The Last Days of Night
Graham Moore
Maxim Jakubowski's October 2016 Book of the Month. New York, 1888, a gilded age when science has become the new deity and the scene for an outstanding gem of an historical thriller by the author of...
Format: Hardback - Released: 22/09/2016
The Flame Bearer (the Last Kingdom Series, Book 10) by Bernard Cornwell
The Flame Bearer (the Last Kingdom Series, Book 10)
Bernard Cornwell
The brand new novel in Bernard Cornwell's number one bestselling series on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. BBC2's major TV show The Last Kingdom is based on the first two books...
Format: Hardback - Released: 06/10/2016
The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill
The Butterfly Cabinet
Bernie McGill
The Butterfly Cabinet is a dramatic, haunting and inforgettable novel that tells the tale of two women whose lives are entwined by an appalling tragedy at the end of the Victorian era. Inspired in part by the true story of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/10/2016
The Silent Land by David Dunham
The Silent Land
David Dunham
Set in turbulent times before and during WW1, The Silent Land is an interesting exploration of loss, grief, love and hidden family secrets. The death of Rebecca’s mother in 1903 triggers a total change of lifestyle from Fens village to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 14/07/2016
The Kill Fee by Fiona Veitch Smith
The Kill Fee
Fiona Veitch Smith
An atmospheric, lively romp through 1920 in this wonderfully blended mix of crime fiction and historical fact. Reporter Poppy, with her nose for intrigue and links to some fascinating people, finds herself in the midst of murder, mayhem and Faberge...
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/09/2016
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
The Light Between Oceans
M. L. Stedman
Isolated at the tip of Australia as a lighthouse keeper, emotionally traumatised World War I veteran Tom fears for his wife's sanity after her third miscarriage. Then a boat turns up carrying a dead man and a newborn baby. They...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/10/2016
Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
Daisy Goodwin
Drawing on Victoria's diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin brings the inner life of the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel. From the creator of the blockbuster...
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/10/2016
The Butcher's Hook by Janet Ellis
The Butcher's Hook
Janet Ellis
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016. Our first-person narrator, Anne Jaccobs, is an extraordinary young woman for her period. This is Georgian London in 1763 and she...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/10/2016
The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland
The Plague Charmer
Karen Maitland
October 2016 Reading Group Book of the Month. 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...
Format: Hardback - Released: 20/10/2016
The Purple Shadow by Christopher Bowden
The Purple Shadow
Christopher Bowden
Christopher Bowden has again created an intriguing, literary tale with a well drawn cast of characters. Actor Colin Mallory from ‘The Red House’ can’t help but investigate a mysterious painting. The descriptive quality of the writing takes you to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 22/09/2016
At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier
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 Edge of the Orchard opens in similar circumstances: James Goodenough,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 22/09/2016
Pharaoh by Wilbur Smith
Wilbur Smith
Wilbur Smith returns to Ancient Egypt in a captivating new novel that will transport you to extraordinary times. From the glittering temples of Luxor to the Citadel of Sparta, Pharaoh is an intense and powerful novel magnificently transporting you to...
Format: Hardback - Released: 22/09/2016
Stasi Child A Compelling Cold War Thriller by David Young
Stasi Child A Compelling Cold War Thriller
David Young
Winner of the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger 2016. East Berlin, 1975. When Oberleutnant Karin Muller is called to investigate a teenage girl's body at the foot of the Wall, she imagines she's seen it all before. But when she arrives...
Format: Paperback - Released: 11/02/2016
The Gypsy Madonna by Santa Montefiore
The Gypsy Madonna
Santa Montefiore
A priceless Titian masterpiece. A sumptuous French chateau with a deadly secret. And a mystery hidden in a Bordeaux village that will change their lives forever...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/10/2016
The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre
The Great Swindle
Pierre Lemaitre
Winner of the CWA International Dagger 2016. October 1918: the war on the Western Front is all but over. Desperate for one last chance of promotion, the ambitious Lieutenant Henri d'Aulnay Pradelle sends two scouts over the top, and secretly...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/11/2015
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
The Wonder
Emma Donoghue
Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, The Wonder - inspired by numerous European and North American cases of 'fasting girls' between the sixteenth century and the twentieth - is a psychological thriller about a child's murder threatening to...
Format: Hardback - Released: 22/09/2016

Last Month's Featured Books

The Autumn Throne by Elizabeth Chadwick

Reader Reviewed The Autumn Throne
Elizabeth Chadwick
The third and final volume of this magnificent trilogy of the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine starts with her release from the Palace of Sarum, Wiltshire in April 1176 where...

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...

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 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...

Lucifer's Harvest by Mel Starr

Lucifer's Harvest
Mel Starr
An interesting short medieval mystery, where surgeon Hugh finds himself accompanying his Lord to battle in France during 1370. This is the ninth chronicle in the ‘Hugh de Singleton, surgeon’...

The Ballroom by Anna Hope

The Ballroom
Anna Hope
A striking, eloquent and desperately beautiful novel, set during 1911 in a Yorkshire asylum. John, Ella and Charles find themselves at the edge of an impossible future, each decision they...

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...

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...

Exposure by Helen Dunmore

Reader Reviewed Exposure
Helen Dunmore
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...

Hunting the Eagles by Ben Kane

Reader Reviewed Hunting the Eagles
Ben Kane
A truly wonderful and ferocious slice of historical fiction, this is the second in the ‘Eagles of Rome’ series and takes place from AD 12. I really do recommend starting...

Fire by C. C. Humphreys

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...

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
This is a coming-of-age, incredibly thought-provoking, beautifully written and utterly original book. The book thief in the story is a nine-year old girl but this incredible story will...

The One Man by Andrew Gross

The One Man
Andrew Gross
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Something of a departure for erstwhile James Patterson collaborator Andrew Gross, and a powerful, breathless thriller with a difference. It's 1944...

Now is the Time by Melvyn Bragg

Now is the Time
Melvyn Bragg
‘Now is the Time’ is a fascinating, substantial, yet surprisingly contained novel given the subject matter. Detailing the people's rebellion of 1381, Melvyn Bragg imagines this time and breathes life...

The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick

Reader Reviewed The Summer Queen
Elizabeth Chadwick
Overflowing with scandal, politics, sex, triumphs and tragedies, The Summer Queen is the epic first novel in a magnificent trilogy unveiling the fascinating and misunderstood young queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine -...

Hill of the Angels by Sue Mayfield

Hill of the Angels
Sue Mayfield
Breath-taking yet at times brutal, this is a story based on real historical events in the 17th Century. Abigail and Grace are living in a country consumed by evil and...

The Winter Crown by Elizabeth Chadwick

Reader Reviewed The Winter Crown
Elizabeth Chadwick
Rich and compelling it is December 1154, the coronation of Henry II and Eleanor opens the second part of this detailed, magnificent trilogy of the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine...

The Month Before's Featured Books

Hearts of Stone by Simon Scarrow

Reader Reviewed 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 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,...

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....

The Invitation by Lucy Foley

Reader Reviewed 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,...

Sleeper's Castle by Barbara Erskine

Reader Reviewed 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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Once Upon a Time…


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