Entertainment/Historical Fiction

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Tariq Ali

Islam Quintet - Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree (1992), The Book of Saladin (1998), The Stone Woman (2000), A Sultan in Palermo (2005) and Night of the Golden Butterfly (2010).

Hervey Allen

Anthony Adverse (1936) – an infant abandoned after the death of his mother in childbirth grows up and travels in Europe, Africa, and the Americas during the Napoleonic era.

Margaret Atwood

Alias Grace (1996) – fictionalizes the notorious 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery.

The Blind Assassin – describes a risky affair in 1930s Canada between a wealthy young woman named Iris Chase and a man on the run. Opening line: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister drove a car off the bridge". Winner of the Booker Prize in 2000.

For other works by this author see: Novels - World

Jean M(arie) Auel is best known for her Earth's Children books, a series of six (1980-2011) novels set in prehistoric Europe which speculates on the possibilities of interactions between Neanderthal and modern Cro-Magnon humans.

The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980) – first book in the Earth's Children series.

Luther Blissett is a pen name for four Italian authors, Roberto Bui, Giovanni Cattabriga, Federico Guglielmi and Luca Di Meo, who were part of the ‘Luther Blissett Project’. Named after the former Watford footballer.

Q (1999) – is a novel set in Europe during the 16th century, and deals with Protestant reformation movements.

Pierre BoulleThe Bridge over the River Kwai (1952) deals with the plight of World War II British prisoners of war forced by the Imperial Japanese Army to build a bridge for the Burma Railway. Adapted into the 1957 film The Bridge on the River Kwai, directed by David Lean.

For other works by this author see: Science Fiction and Fantasy

T(homas) C(oraghessan) Boyle World’s End (1987) – tells the story of several generations of families in the Hudson River Valley.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA

Geraldine BrooksMarch (2005) retells Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women from the point of view of Alcott's protagonists' absent father.

James Clavell was a novelist and screenwriter born in Australia. Fighting in Java in 1942, he was captured by the Japanese and sent to Changi Prison in Singapore.

The Asian Saga is a series of six novels centering on Europeans in Asia. The novels are King Rat, Tai-Pan, Shogun, Noble House, Whirlwind, and Gai-Jin.

Tai-Pan (1966) – concerns traders from Europe and America who move into Hong Kong in 1842 following the end of the First Opium War.

Shogun (1975) – follows the rise of Toranaga to the shogunate and is seen through the eyes of the English sailor John Blackthorne, who is loosely based on William Adams who in 1600 became the first Englishman to reach Japan.

James Fenimore CooperThe Leatherstocking Tales is a series of novels, each featuring the hero Natty Bumppo, known by European settlers as ‘Leatherstocking’ and by the Native Americans as ‘Pathfinder’, ‘Deerslayer’ or ‘Hawkeye’. The books are: The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, The Pioneers and The Prairie

The Last of the Mohicans (1826) – is set in 1757, during the French and Indian War and details the transport of Cora and Alice Munro to Fort William Henry, in New York. They are guarded by Natty Bumppo, Chingachgook (a Mohican chief), and Uncas (the son of Chingachgook and therefore the "Last of the Mohicans").

Bernard Cornwell – best-known books feature the adventures of Richard Sharpe, an English soldier, and are set in the Napoleonic era.

Sharpe’s Eagle (1981) – first Sharpe novel published.

Sharpe’s Tiger (1997) – first Sharpe novel in chronological order.

The Starbuck Chronicles (1993-1996) – set during the American Civil War.

The Warlord Chronicles (1995-1997) – is a trilogy about Arthurian Britain. The novels are The Winter King, Enemy of God, and Excalibur.

The Grail Quest (2000-2012) – series set during the 100 Years’ War.

The Last Kingdom (2004) is the first book in the Saxon Stories series.

Death of Kings – tells of the years which followed the death of Alfred the Great. Part of The Saxon Stories series.

Jim Crace - Quarantine is a historical novel set in the Judean desert. Winner of the 1997 Whitbread Novel Award.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles

Stephen CraneThe Red Badge of Courage (1895) is a novel about the meaning of courage, as it is discovered by Henry Fleming, a recruit in the American Civil War. The ‘red badge of courage’ is a wound.

Lindsey Davis – has written two series of historical whodunnits set in the Roman Empire during the reigns of the Flavian emperors (Vespasian, Titus and Domitian).

The Silver Pigs (1989) – the first in a 20-novel series about Marcus Didius Falco who investigates crimes throughout the Roman Empire, including Italy, Britain, Spain and Syria.

The Ides of April (2013) – the first of an ongoing series following the detective exploits of Flavia Alba, the British-born adopted daughter of Marcus Didius Falco.

E(dgar) L(awrence) Doctorow

Ragtime (1975) – is set in New York between 1902 and 1912 and includes fictionalized references to actual people and events of the time.

The March (2005) – is based on General Sherman’s March to the Sea towards the end of the American Civil War.

For other works by this author see: Crime Fiction

Arthur Conan Doyle

The White Company (1891) – is a historical adventure set during the Hundred Years' War. The “White Company” of the title is a free company of archers.

Sir Nigel (1906) – is set during the 100 Years’ War.

The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard (1896) and The Adventures of Gerard (1903) – the daring deeds of French Hussar officer Brigadier Etienne Gerard during the Napoleonic Wars.

For other works by this author see: Crime Fiction / Science Fiction and Fantasy

Alfred Duggan was an author of novels known for their basis of meticulous historical research.

Conscience of the King (1951) – is a historical novel based on the life of Cerdic Elesing, founder of the Kingdom of Wessex.

Three's Company (1958) – follows the career of triumvir Marcus Aemilius Lepidus after the death of Julius Caesar.

The Cunning of the Dove (1960) – is about Edward the Confessor.

Alexandre Dumas was also known as Alexandre Dumas pere to distinguish him from his son, Alexandre Dumas fils.

The d'Artagnan Romances are a set of three 19th century novels: The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later.

The Three Musketeers (1844) – tells the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home in Gascony to travel to Paris, hoping to join the Musketeers of the Guard. The three musketeers are Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Set during the reign of Louis XIII. Cardinal Richelieu is portrayed as a sinister character.

Twenty Years After (1845) – is a sequel to The Three Musketeers. Follows events in France during the Fronde.

The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later (1847) – is set in France in the 1660s. The final part of the novel features the Man in the Iron Mask. The prisoner is forced to wear an iron mask and is portrayed as Louis XIV's identical twin.

The Count of Monte Cristo (1846) – the story takes place during the historical events of 1815–1839. Edmond Dantes is falsely accused of treason, and imprisoned without trial in the Château d'If, an island fortress off Marseille. A fellow prisoner inspires his escape and guides him to a fortune in treasure. As the Count of Monte Cristo, Dantes enters the fashionable Parisian world of the 1830s to avenge himself.

The Black Tulip (1850) – is a historical novel and a work of Romantic poetry. It begins with the lynching of the Dutch Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis.

Dorothy Dunnett

Lymond Chronicles (1961-1975) – a series of six novels telling the story of a young Scottish nobleman, Francis Crawford of Lymond and set in mid-16th-century Europe and the Mediterranean area.

The House of Niccolo (1986-2000) – a series of eight novels centred around Nicholas de Fleury (aka Claes) who rises from being an apprentice to being a merchant, banker and adviser to kings.

Maria Edgeworth - Castle Rackrent, a short novel published in 1800, is often regarded as the first historical novel.

Howard FastSpartacus (1951) tells the story of the slave revolt against the Romans in c. 73 BC, led by the gladiator Spartacus. Adapted into a 1960 Stanley Kubrick film starring Kirk Douglas.

Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth – is a historical novel about the building of a cathedral at the time of the Anarchy. It is the first novel in the Kingsbridge series: The Pillars of the Earth (1989), World Without End (2007), A Column of Fire (2017) and The Evening and the Morning (2020).

The Century Trilogy: Fall of Giants (2010), Winter of the World (2012) and Edge of Eternity (2014) follows the fates of five families during the major events of the 20th century.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles

Ford Madox FordThe Fifth Queen is a trilogy of novels concerning Catherine Howard’s life with Henry VIII.

C(ecil) S(cott) Forester was born in Cairo. Pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith.

The Happy Return – first Hornblower novel to be published (1937) and the sixth in the internal chronology of the series. Horatio Hornblower was a Royal Navy officer at the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (1950) – is considered as the first episode in the Hornblower saga.

The African Queen – is a steam-powered launch. Adapted into a 1951 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.

George MacDonald Fraser wrote a series of twelve books about Flashman, collectively known as The Flashman Papers, which develop the character originally created by Thomas Hughes. His other comic historical novels include:

The Pyrates (1983) – with a plot incorporating as much swashbuckling as possible.

The Candlemass Road (1983) and The Reavers (2007) – about the Reivers on the Scottish-English border during the reign of Elizabeth I.

Charles FrazierCold Mountain (1997) is a debut novel. Tells the story of W. P. Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate army near the end of the American Civil War who walks for months to return to Cold Mountain in North Carolina to meet Ada Monroe. Adapted into a 2003 Anthony Minghella film.

Gabriel Garcia MarquezThe General in His Labyrinth (1989) is a fictionalized account of the last days of Simon Bolívar.

For other works by this author see: Novels - World

Nikolai GogolTaras Bulba (1835) describes the life of an old Zaporozhian Cossack, Taras Bulba, and his two sons, Andriy and Ostap. Filmed in 1962 starring Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis.

For other works by this author see: Novels - World / Plays

Arthur GoldenMemoirs of a Geisha (1997) tells the story of a fictional geisha, Chiyo Sakamoto, working in Kyoto around the time of World War II.

Winston Graham - Poldark is a series of 12 historical novels set in the years between 1783 and 1820. Each of the novels is subtitled A Novel of Cornwall. The first novel in the series is Ross Poldark (1945). Ross is married to Demelza. Adapted for television by the BBC in 1975 and 2015.

Robert Graves

I, Claudius (1934) – covers the period from Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 BC to Caligula's assassination in AD 41.

Claudius the God (1934) – sequel to I, Claudius. Covers the period from Claudius' accession to his death in AD 54.

Count Belisarius (1938) – the career of Byzantine general during the reign of emperor Justinian I.

King Jesus (1946) – treats Jesus not as the Son of God, but rather as a philosopher with a legitimate claim to the Judaean throne through Herod the Great.

Philippa Gregory is a historical novelist born in Kenya.

The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels is a series of 15 novels, previously known as the Tudor Court and Cousins’ War series.

The Other Boleyn Girl (2001) - the story of Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister.

The Boleyn Inheritance (2006) - the story of Jane Boleyn, Anne of Cleves, and Catherine Howard.

The White Queen (2009) - the story of Elizabeth Woodville.

The Red Queen (2010) - the story of Lady Margaret Beaufort.

The Lady of the Rivers (2011) - the story of Jacquetta of Luxembourg, the mother of Elizabeth Woodville.

The Kingmaker's Daughter (2012) - the story of Anne Neville.

The White Princess (2013) - the story of Elizabeth of York.

The King’s Curse (2014) - the story of Margaret Pole.

For other works by this author see: Literature - Childrens

Abdulrazak GurnahParadise (1994) takes place during the German colonisation of East Africa. Yusuf, a Tanzanian boy, is pawned in exchange for his father's owed debt to Aziz, a rich Arab Merchant.

Alex HaleyRoots: The Saga of an American Family (1976) tells the story of the 18th century slave Kunta Kinte and his descendants in the USA.

Thomas Hardy

The Trumpet-Major (1880) – only historical novel. The heroine, Anne Garland, is pursued by three suitors: John Loveday, the eponymous trumpet major in a British regiment; his brother Bob; and Festus Derriman.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles / Poetry

Robert Harris

Pompeii (2003) – set prior and during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE.

Imperium (2006), Lustrum (2009) and Dictator (2015) – trilogy based on the life of Cicero.

Georgette Heyer established the Regency romance genre of novels.

The Black Moth (1921) – debut novel, published when Heyer was 19. Georgian era romance following Lord Jack Carstares, an English nobleman who becomes a highwayman.

These Old Shades (1926) – Georgian era novel following the Duke of Avon.

The Masqueraders (1928) – is concerned with a family of adventurers and escaped Jacobites.

Regency Buck (1935) – first Regency romance. Concerns the love affair of Judith Taverner and Julian, the Earl of Worth.

The Conqueror (1931) – chronicles the life of William the Conqueror.

Victoria Hislop - The Island (2005) is a historical novel set on the island of Spinalonga, off the coast of Crete.

Victor HugoLes Miserables (1862) – is set in France during the early 19th century. Tells the story of Jean Valjean who is hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert. Fantine has an illegitimate daughter, Cosette, who lives with the Thenardier family.

For other works by this author see: Novels - World / Plays

Conn Iggulden

The Gates of Rome (2003) – debut novel and the first in a five-part series entitled Emperor, which is based around the life of Julius Caesar.

Wolf of the Plains (2007) – first of the Conqueror series about the Mongols and Genghis Khan.

Kazuo Ishiguro

An Artist of the Floating World – is set in post-World War II Japan and is narrated by Masuji Ono, an ageing painter, who looks back on his life and how he has lived it. Won the Whitbread Prize in 1986.

The Remains of the Day – is narrated by Stevens, a butler who has dedicated his life to the loyal service of Lord Darlington. Won the Booker Prize in 1989. Adapted into a 1993 Merchant-Ivory film.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles / Crime Fiction / Science Fiction and Fantasy

John Jakes

The Kent Family Chronicles (1974-1979) – is a series of eight novels written to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

North and South – is a trilogy of novels which take place before, during, and after the American Civil War. The novels are North and South (1982), Love and War (1984) and Heaven and Hell (1987).

Edward P(aul) JonesThe Known World tells the interconnected stories of people living at the antebellum Virginia plantation of Henry Townsend, a black slave owner. Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Ismail Kadare was born in Albania.

The General of the Dead Army (1963) – follows an Italian general and an Italian priest who are sent to Albania to locate and collect the remains of their countrymen who had died during World War II and return them for burial in Italy.

Agamemnon's Daughter – was smuggled out of Albania during the Stalinist regime in 1985. Suzana, the daughter of the leader's designated successor, breaks up her relationship with a journalist, citing the fact it may tarnish her father's reputation.

The Successor – is a sequel to Agamemnon's Daughter. Presents a fictional account of the events that may have led to the death of Mehmet Shehu, Albania's long-time Prime Minister during the Cold War.

For other works by this author see: Novels - World

M(ary) M(argaret) Kaye - The Far Pavilions (1978) is a novel that tells the story of English officer Ashton Hillary Akbar (Ashok) Pelham-Martyn during the British Raj.

Thomas Keneally was born in Australia.

Schindler’s Ark – is a nonfiction novel that tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi Party who saved the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. Awarded the Booker Prize in 1982. Adapted into Steven Spielberg's 1993 film Schindler's List.

Charles Kingsley was a Church of England priest, a social reformer, and a friend of Charles Darwin.

Hypatia (1853) – is a fictionalised account of the life of the 4th century philosopher, astronomer and mathematician Hypatia.

Westward Ho! (1855)– the story of Aymas Leigh, who follows Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh to the new World. Based on the life of privateer Amyas Preston.

Hereward the Wake: Last of the English (1866) – concerns the Anglo-Saxon resistance to the Norman Conquest.

For other works by this author see: Literature - Childrens

Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa was born in Italy and was the last Prince of Lampadusa.

Il Gattopardo (The Leopard, 1958) – chronicles the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento. The translation of gattopardo is ‘serval’, not ‘leopard’. Adapted as a film in 1963 starring Burt Lancaster.

Joan LindsayPicnic at Hanging Rock (1967) involves the disappearance of several schoolgirls and their teacher during a picnic at Hanging Rock (Ngannelong) on Valentine's Day in 1900. Adapted into a 1975 Peter Weir film.

Colleen McCulloughMasters of Rome (1990-2007) is a series of seven novels set in Ancient Rome, spanning the years 110-27 BC. it primarily chronicles the lives and careers of Gaius Marius, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Pompey the Great, Gaius Julius Caesar, and the early career of Caesar Augustus.

For other works by this author see: Novels - World

Hilary Mantel

A Place of Greater Safety (1985) – is a historical novel concerning the events of the French Revolution.

The Thomas Cromwell trilogy:

Wolf Hall – is an account of Thomas Cromwell's rise to power in the court of Henry VIII. Winner of the Booker Prize in 2009.

Bring Up the Bodies – set in 1535, the book follows closely upon the events of Wolf Hall. Winner of the Booker Prize in 2012.

The Mirror and the Light (2020) – covers the period following the death of Anne Boleyn in 1536 to Cromwell’s execution in 1540.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles

Frederick Marryat was an officer in the Royal Navy and a pioneer of nautical fiction.

Peter Simple (1834) – the protagonist is a British midshipman.

Mr Midshipman Easy (1836) – is a semi-autobiographical novel set during the Napoleonic Wars.

Allan Massie is the author of fictional autobiographies/biographies of Roman statesmen in his novels Augustus (1986), Tiberius (1991), Caesar (1993), Antony (1997), Nero's Heirs (1999) and Caligula (2003).

Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles is an adaptation of Homer's Iliad as told from the perspective of Patroclus. Awarded the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Circe (2018) – is a re-telling of the story of the witch Circe including her romance with Odysseus, with whom she has a son, Telegonus.

Margaret MitchellGone with the Wind is set in Georgia before and after the American Civil War. Scarlett O’Hara is the daughter of the owner of the Tara plantation. Rhett Butler is her third husband. Last line: “After all, tomorrow is another day”. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937. Adapted into a 1939 film produced by David O. Selznick and directed by Victor Fleming.

Heather MorrisThe Tattooist of Auschwitz (2018) is the story of how Lale Sokolov, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz in 1942, fell in love with a girl he was tattooing at the concentration camp.

Patrick O'Brian is best known for his Aubrey–Maturin series, novels set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and centred on the friendship of English naval captain Jack Aubrey and the physician Stephen Maturin. The first of the 20-novel series is Master and Commander (1970).

Joyce Carol OatesBlonde (2000) chronicles the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA

Mori Ogai was born in Japan. Pen name of Mori Rintaro.

The Wild Geese (1911-1913) – is set in Tokyo in 1880 and tells the story of unfulfilled love set against a background of Westernization.

Baroness Orczy (Emma Orczy) was born in Hungary.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905) – is set in 1792, during the early stages of the French Revolution. Percy Blakeney is a chivalrous Englishman who rescues aristocrats before they are sent to the guillotine, and is the Leader of the league of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

I Will Repay (1906) – first sequel, of many, to The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Orhan PamukMy Name Is Red (1998) concerns miniaturists (painters of small, discrete works) in the Ottoman Empire, one of whom is murdered in the first chapter.

For other works by this author see: Novels - World

Arturo Perez-ReverteCaptain Alatriste (1996) is the first of a series of novels that deals with the adventures of the title character, a 17th century Spanish soldier and man of fortune.

Elizabeth Peters is the pen name of Barbara Mertz, who has a PhD in Egyptology.

Amelia Peabody – is a series of mystery novels featuring Egyptologist Amelia Peabody Emerson, for whom the series is named.

Ellis Peters is the pen name of Edith Pargeter.

The Cadfael Chronicles is a series of historical whodunnits. Cadfael is an ex-soldier now a Benedictine monk and herbalist turned detective at Shrewsbury Abbey during ‘The Anarchy’, the 12th century civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda. Adapted as a television series starring Derek Jacobi.

A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977) – first novel in The Cadfael Chronicles.

Caryl Phillips - Crossing the River (1993) - is a story about three black people during different time periods and in different continents as they struggle with the separation from their native Africa.

Jean Plaidy was one of the many pen names of Eleanor Alice Burford. She wrote series on several English/British Royal Houses including the Normans, Plantagenets, Tudors, Stuarts and Georgians plus influential women such as Catherine de Medici, Mary Queen of Scots, Lucrezia Borgia and Queen Victoria.

Dudley Pope was the author of the Lord Ramage series of historical novels. Nicholas, Lord Ramage, was an officer in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars.

Alexander PushkinThe Captain’s Daughter (1836) is a romanticized account of Pugachev's Rebellion in 1773–1774.

For other works by this author see: Novels - World / Poetry / Plays

Thomas Pynchon

Mason & Dixon (1997) – is a highly fictionalised account of the exploits of surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon.

Against the Day (2006) – is a novel spanning the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I. The novel has 1,085 pages and covers a range of topics with many characters.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA / Crime Fiction

Charles ReadeThe Cloister and the Hearth (1861) concerns the European travels of a young scribe and illuminator, Gerard Eliassoen.

Douglas ReemanBolitho novels are a series of nautical war novels written by Reeman, using the pseudonym Alexander Kent.

Mary Renault

The Last of the Wine (1956) – a novel set in ancient Greece at the time of Socrates.

The King Must Die (1958) and The Bull from the Sea (1962) together tell the story of the legend of Theseus.

Fire from Heaven (1969), The Persian Boy (1972) and Funeral Games (1981) are a trilogy of historical novels about Alexander the Great and his successors.

Alexandra RipleyScarlett (1991) was written as a sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.

Rafael Sabatini was born in Italy.

The Sea Hawk (1915) – a Cornish seafarer Sir Oliver Tressilian is kidnapped and forced to serve as a galley slave. Later captured by Barbary pirates he joins them and becomes a notorious captain known as ‘the hawk of the sea’. Originally relatively faithfully adapted as a film in 1924, a 1940 re-make starring Errol Flynn ended up having a completely different plot just using the same title.

Scaramouche (1921) – is a romantic adventure and tells the story of Andre Moreau, a young aristocrat during the French Revolution who becomes a swordsman. First line: "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad". Filmed in 1952 starring Stewart Granger.

Captain Blood (1922) – is based on Henry Pitman, a surgeon who tended the wounded Monmouth rebels and was sentenced to death by Judge Jeffreys, but whose sentence was commuted to penal transportation to Barbados where he escaped and was captured by pirates. Adapted into a 1935 film starring Errol Flynn.

Jose SaramagoThe Gospel According to Jesus Christ (1991) re-imagines the life of Jesus Christ, depicting him as a flawed character.

Steven Saylor

Roma sub Rosa (1991-2018) – a series of novels set in the 1st Century BCE centred around the exploits of detective Gordianus the Finder and featuring major figures of the time such as Crassus, Cicero, Pompey, Julius Caesar, and Cleopatra.

Walter Scott wrote a series of novels from 1771 to 1832 known as the Waverley Novels.

Waverley – debut novel. Edward Waverley, an English gentleman, travels to Scotland and becomes involved in the Jacobite uprising of 1745. Published anonymously in 1814.

Guy Mannering (1815) – tells the story of Harry Bertram, the son of the Laird of Ellangowan in southwest Scotland.

Rob Roy (1818) – is set around the time of the Jacobite uprising in 1715. The narrator is Frank Osbaldistone. Rob Roy MacGregor is an outlaw.

The Heart of Midlothian (1818) – is an account of the Porteous riots in Edinburgh in 1736. The title of the book refers to the Old Tolbooth prison in Edinburgh. Jeanie Deans walks from Edinburgh to London to obtain a royal commutation of the death penalty incurred by her sister, Effie.

The Bride of Lammermoor (1819) – is set in the Lammermuir Hills of Scotland and tells of a tragic love affair between Lucy Ashton and her family's enemy Edgar Ravenswood. The Bride of Lammermoor and A Legend of Montrose were published together anonymously.

Ivanhoe (1820) – is the story of one of the remaining Saxon noble families at a time when the English nobility was overwhelmingly Norman. It follows the Saxon protagonist, Wilfred of Ivanhoe. Robin of Locksley (aka Robin Hood) makes an appearance. The story is set in 1194, after the end of the Third Crusade.

Kenilworth (1821) – is set in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and centres on the secret marriage of Robert Dudley and Amy Robsart.

The Pirate (1822) – is based on the life of the notorious pirate John Gow who features as Captain Cleveland.

Peveril of the Peak (1822) – longest novel. Set in the Peak District. Julian Peveril, a Cavalier, is accused of involvement with the Popish Plot.

Quentin Durward (1823) – a story about a Scottish archer in the service of the 15th Century King Louis XI of France.

Redgauntlet (1824) – describes a plot to start a fictional third Jacobite Rebellion.

The Fair Maid of Perth (1828) – the title character is Katherine Glover, the daughter of a glovemaker in Perth.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles / Poetry

Jeff Shaara is the son of Michael Shaara.

Gods and Generals (1996) – is a prequel to his father’s The Killer Angels and covers the period 1858 to just prior to the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. Filmed in 2003 starring Robert Duval as Robert E Lee, Stephen Lang as Stonewall Jackson and Jeff Daniels as Joshua Chamberlain.

The Last Full Measure (2000) – is a sequel to his father’s The Killer Angels and completes a trilogy of novels covering the American Civil War.

Michael Shaara

The Killer Angels (1974) – a detailed character-driven retelling of the three days of the Battle of Gettysburg. It was filmed in 1993 under the title Gettysburg with Tom Berenger as James Longstreet, Jeff Daniels as Joshua Chamberlain and Martin Sheen as Robert E. Lee.

C(hristopher) J(ohn) Sansom is a Scottish writer of historical crime novels. He is best known for the Shardlake series, a historical mystery series set in the reign of Henry VIII in the 16th century. The series' main character is the hunchbacked lawyer Matthew Shardlake.

Dissolution (2003) – debut novel. Set during the dissolution of the monasteries, it follows Shardlake's attempts to solve the murder of one of Thomas Cromwell's commissioners.

Henryk SienkiewiczQuo Vadis (1895) was first published in Polish. Set in Rome under the rule of Nero in c. 64 AD. Tells of a love that develops between a young Christian woman, Lygia and Marcus Vinicius, a Roman patrician. Adapted into a 1951 film. Quo vadis means “where are you going?”.

John Steinbeck

Cup of Gold (1929) – debut novel. A re-telling of the life of 17th century privateer Henry Morgan.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA / Literature - Non-Fiction

Stendhal was born in France. Pen name of Marie-Henri Beyle. He was part of Napoleon’s army in the 1812 invasion of Russia.

The Red and the Black (1830) – is the Bildungsroman of Julien Sorel, the son of a carpenter who aims to climb the social ladder.

The Charterhouse of Parma (1839) – chronicles the adventures of the young Italian nobleman Fabrice del Dongo from his birth in 1798 to his death. The title refers to a Carthusian monastery.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Kidnapped (1886) – full title is Kidnapped: Being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751: How he was Kidnapped and Cast away; his Sufferings in a Desert Isle; His Journey in the Wild Highlands; his acquaintance with Alan Breck Stewart and other notorious Highland Jacobites; with all that he suffered at the hands of his Uncle, Ebenezer Balfour of Shaws, falsely so-called: Written by Himself and now set forth by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses (1888) – tells the story of Dick Shelton during the Wars of the Roses.

The Master of Ballantrae (1889) – follows the conflict between two brothers, Scottish noblemen whose family is torn apart by the Jacobite rising of 1745.

Catriona (1893) – is a sequel to Kidnapped. It tells the further story of the central character David Balfour.

Weir of Hermiston (1896) – is an unfinished romance set at the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles / Poetry/ Literature - Childrens / Literature - Non-Fiction

Irving Stone

Lust for Life (1934) – is a biographical novel of the life of Vincent van Gogh. adapted into a 1956 film starring Kirk Douglas.

The Agony and the Ecstasy (1961) – is a biographical novel of the life of Michelangelo.

The Passions of the Mind (1971) – is a biographical novel of the life of Sigmund Freud.

The Origin (1980) – is a biographical novel of the life of Charles Darwin.

William Styron

The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967) – is presented as a first-person narrative by Nat Turner, and concerns the slave revolt in Virginia in 1831.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA

William Makepeace Thackeray

The History of Henry Esmond (1852) – tells the story of a colonel in the service of Queen Anne.

The Virginians: A Tale of the Last Century (1857-1859) – is a historical novel which forms a sequel to The History of Henry Esmond

Olga TokarczukThe Books of Jacob (2014) tells the story of Jacob Frank, an 18th century Polish Jew who claimed to be the messiah.

For other works by this author see: Novels - World

Leo TolstoyWar and Peace (1869) is an epic novel of 1,225 pages that follows the lives of the Bolkonsky, Rostov and Bezukhov families in Russia between 1805 and 1820.  The novel chronicles the French invasion of Russia and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society. Tolstoy described the book as "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less an historical chronicle".

For other works by this author see: Novels - World / Literature - Non-Fiction

Rose Tremain

Restoration (1989) – depicts medical student Robert Merivel who gains the favour of Charles II by apparently curing a pet dog.

Music and Silence (1999) – set at the court of 17th century Christian IV of Denmark.

Merivel: A Man of His Time (2012) – is the sequel to Restoration.

Barry Unsworth

Sacred Hunger – is centred on two cousins who go on a voyage on a slave ship, the Liverpool Merchant. Joint winner of the 1992 Booker Prize.

Morality Play (1995) – is a murder mystery set in 14th century England about a travelling troupe of players that perform Bible plays.

Leon Uris

Exodus (1958) – is about the founding of the State of Israel. Based on the name of the 1947 immigration ship Exodus.

Mila 18 (1961) – is set in German-occupied Warsaw, before and during World War II. Mila 18 is the headquarters bunker of Jewish resistance fighters.

QB VII (1970) – Abraham Cady writes a book, called The Holocaust, naming Dr. Kelno as a Nazi collaborator who performed forced sterilizations on Jewish prisoners. Kelno brings a lawsuit for libel against Cady, and wins the case, but only receives damages in the sum of one half-penny. ‘QB VII’ is an abbreviation of Queen's Bench Courtroom Number Seven.

Trinity (1976) – tells the story of a Catholic family and a Protestant family in Ireland from the time of the Great Famine to the Easter Rising.

Redemption (1995) – is the sequel to Trinity.

Gore Vidal

Julian (1964) – deals with the life of the Roman emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus (known to Christians as Julian the Apostate).

Burr (1973) – includes a fictional memoir by Aaron Burr, the third US vice president.

Creation (1981) – follows the adventures of Cyrus, an Achaemenid Persian diplomat who travels the known world comparing the political and religious beliefs of various empires, kingdoms, and republics of the time.

Lincoln (1984) – follows the presidency of Abraham Lincoln from the start of the American Civil War until his assassination.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA

Lew Wallace in addition to his writing Wallace had a career as a Union general during the American Civil War where he was one of the commanders at the Battle of Shiloh. After the war he became Governor of New Mexico during which time he completed Ben-Hur and had dealings with Billy the Kid.

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880) follows the adventures of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince from Jerusalem, who is enslaved by the Romans at the beginning of the first century and becomes a charioteer and a Christian. Adapted into a 1959 William Wyler film with Charlton Heston as the title character.

Dennis WheatleyRoger Brook series (1947-1974) is about a secret agent during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.

For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles / Horror Fiction

Colson WhiteheadThe Underground Railroad is a novel that tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves in the antebellum South during the 19th century, who make a bid for freedom from their Georgia plantation by following the Underground Railroad. Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

For other works by this author see: Novels - USA

Kathleen WinsorForever Amber (1944) is a debut novel. Tells the story of Amber St. Clare, who makes her way up through the ranks of English society by sleeping with or marrying successively richer and more important men. The subplot of the novel follows Charles II of England as he returns from exile. It attracted criticism for its blatant sexual references and was banned in fourteen U.S. states.

Herman Wouk

The Caine Mutiny – the destroyer minesweeper USS Caine is commanded by Lieutenant Commander Queeg and is struck by Typhoon Cobra in the Pacific Theatre in 1944. The story is told by Willis Keith. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1951. Adapted into a 1954 film starring Humphrey Bogart as Queeg.

The Winds of War (1971) – begins in 1939 and ends shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The central character is Navy Commander Victor "Pug" Henry.

War and Remembrance (1978) – is the sequel to The Winds of War. Continues the story of the extended Henry and Jastrow families from December 1941 through 1945.

For other works by this author see: Literature - Non-Fiction

Marguerite Yourcenar - Memoirs of Hadrian (1951) was written in the first person as a letter from a dying Roman Emperor Hadrian to future emperor Marcus Aurelius (opening with "My Dear Mark") recounting the important moments in his life, both his successes and his failures.

Markus ZusakThe Book Thief (2005) is about Liesel Meminger, a young girl living with her adoptive German family during the Nazi era. Taught to read by her foster father, she begins "borrowing" books and sharing them with the Jewish refugee being sheltered in their home. Adapted into a 2013 feature film.