Historical Fiction Books

Rich and immersive, transporting and informative, good historical fiction is a sumptuous treat. See the past re-written with our Historical Fiction collection. Here to take you to another time without the cost of building a time machine.  

Isabel's Skin

Isabel's Skin

Author: Peter Benson Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/08/2012

David Morris lives the quiet life of a book-valuer for a London auction house, travelling every day by omnibus to his office in the Strand. When he is asked to make a trip to rural Somerset to value the library of the recently deceased Lord Buff-Orpington, the sense of trepidation he feels as he heads into the country is confirmed the moment he reaches his destination, the dark and impoverished village of Ashbrittle. These feelings turn to dread when he meets the enigmatic Professor Richard Hunt and catches a glimpse of a screaming woman he keeps prisoner in his house.

Tom Swan and the Head of St George Part One: Castillon

Tom Swan and the Head of St George Part One: Castillon

Author: Christian Cameron Format: eBook Release Date: 23/08/2012

1450s France. A young Englishman, Tom Swan, is kneeling in the dirt, waiting to be killed by the French who've taken him captive. He's not a professional soldier. He's really a merchant and a scholar looking for remnants of Ancient Greece and Rome - temples, graves, pottery, fabulous animals, unicorn horns. But he also has a real talent for ending up in the midst of violence when he didn't mean to...   There are three books in this mini series starting with Castillion, then Venice and finally Constantinople. Click here to read an extract from this title.   Click here to read an article by Christian Cameron on why he wrote Tom Swan.

Toby's Room

Toby's Room

Author: Pat Barker Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/08/2012

Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2013. Pat Barker, Booker prize-winning author of the Regeneration trilogy returns to WWI in this dark, compelling novel of human desire, wartime horror and the power of friendship. Toby and Elinor, brother and sister, friends and confidants, are sharers of a dark secret, carried from the summer of 1912 into the battlefields of France and wartime London in 1917. When Toby is reported 'Missing, Believed Killed', another secret casts a lengthening shadow over Elinor's world: how exactly did Toby die - and why? Elinor's fellow student Kit Neville was there in the fox-hole when Toby met his fate, but has secrets of his own to keep. Enlisting the help of former lover Paul Tarrant, Elinor determines to uncover the truth. Only then can she finally close the door to Toby's room. Moving from the Slade School of Art to Queen Mary's Hospital, where surgery and art intersect in the rebuilding of the shattered faces of the wounded, Toby's Room is a riveting drama of identity, damage, intimacy and loss from the author of The Eye in the Door and The Ghost Road . It is Pat Barker's most powerful novel yet. Praise for Pat Barker: A brilliant stylist...Barker delves unflinchingly into the enduring mysteries of human motivation . ( Sunday Telegraph ). Barker is a writer of crispness and clarity and an unflinching seeker of the germ of what it means to be human . ( The Herald ). Barker is brilliant on the conflicts between art, love and war . ( Marie Claire ). Barker writes ...with great tenderness and insight, and a daring to forgo simple resolutions . ( Independent on Sunday ). Pat Barker was born in 1943. Her books include the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy, comprising Regeneration , which was made into a film of the same name, The Eye in the Door , which won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and The Ghost Road , which won the Booker Prize. She is also the author of the more recent novels Another World , Border Crossing , Double Vision and, Life Class . She lives in Durham.

Next to Love

Next to Love

Author: Ellen Feldman Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/08/2012

Babe, Grace and Millie have been best friends since their first day at kindergarten. Now they are newly married, and the men have gone to war. They thrive on letters from their absent sweethearts, and on the closeness they've always shared. And then, on a single morning in 1944, no fewer than sixteen telegrams arrive, bringing news of the worst kind from the War Department. For Babe, Grace and Millie, life will never be the same again. Each must face the challenges of the years ahead, the changes taking place in America and far closer to home, which are enough to test even the deepest of friendships and most hopeful of hearts ...

Enchantments

Enchantments

Author: Kathryn Harrison Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/08/2012

New Year's Day, St. Petersburg, 1917. Divers pull the body of Rasputin, the Mad Monk, from the icy waters of the Neva River. Within hours, his daughters are taken to the Royal Palace, where the Tsarina makes a shocking request: would Masha, 18, take on her father's role as healer to the Tsarevitch Alyosha? Two months later, revolution has toppled the Tsar, and the entire family is placed under house-arrest. Trapped together in harsh conditions, Masha and Alyosha find solace in one another's company. Two teenagers, with radically different experiences of the Romanov's ill-fated reign, create a private realm of magic and love, as Masha introduces Alyosha to the wild and beautiful land he will never rule.

Send Me Safely Back Again

Send Me Safely Back Again

Author: Adrian Goldsworthy Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/08/2012

The third novel in the series sees new challenges for the men of the 106th Foot, as the British army attempts to recover from the disaster of Corunna and establish a foothold in the Peninsula. Featuring the battles of Medellin and Talavera, the 106th will have their mettle severely tested on the battlefield. But if Napoleon is to be ejected from Spain, war must also be waged in more covert ways. For Hanley, the former artist who is a more natural observer than fighter, the opportunity to become an 'exploring officer' leads him into even more dangerous territory, the murky world of politics and partisans. And while Ensign Williams seeks to uncover the identity of the mysterious 'Heroine of Saragossa', a conspiracy of revenge within the regiment itself threatens to destroy him before he's even faced a shot from the French.

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: