This month of reading exclusively historical fiction of all types and eras has reminded me how much I love the genre. For me it is pure joy and escapism. I suppose it is no surprise that I have sought out my comfort blanket of literature, buried myself in its folds and gotten totally lost. And whilst I have been enjoying lots of new reads I’ve also been thinking about some of my favourite novels which made me fall in love with, and continue to adore, the genre.
So I thought today I would share with a selection of some of my favorite historical reads.
The Lady of The Rivers: Witchcraft, ambition and love. This is Gregory at her absolute finest.
Labyrinth: A spellbinding blend of modern day mystery and the French court of Carcassonne. The first in Kate Mosse’s Languedoc series and one of the books that got me hooked on historical fiction.
On Chesil Beach: Not only one of my favourite historical fictions but one of my favourite novels full stop. This is McEwan doing what he does best, a story of words left unspoken and the moments which shape our lives. It also helps that it is set where I grew up.
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock: Sumptuous, sparkling with magic and stunningly written. When a mystical mermaid is found and displayed by a money seeking merchant, ambition, obsession and lust threaten all who see it.
The Binding: What if books were really just memories which people wanted to forget. This is the premise of this fabulous novel and one of my top reads this year. My review is here if you fancy a look.
The Other Boleyn Girl: The story of Mary, sister to the infamous Anne Boleyn, the first to capture the king’s heart but that is only part of her story. This is another of the books which made me fall in love with historical fiction.
Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens: Weir charts the lives of Henry VIII’s wives. With empathy and meticulous detail she transforms them from a macabre rhyme to real women. (Jane Seymour and Anne Boleyn’s stories pictured).
Essex Serpent: One I want to read again soon and very hard to sum up in a few words. It is at its heart a book about love, faith and friendship. A woman on the edge and the people who save her.
Hamnet: How do you tell the story of the greatest writer to ever live? You tell the story of the woman he loved, the child he lost and the grief that inspired him. Maggie O’Farrell has written hands down one of the best books of the year.
Taming of the Queen: A fiery queen and an ailing king. This is the story of the wife who survived. Look it’s Phillipa Gregory you should read it just for that!!!
Are any of your favourites here? Do you have any suggestions of books I should read?