Category Archives: Historical Fiction

The North Water

Finally! Finally! A book on this year’s Booker longlist that I’m excited about. I liked Work Like Any Other just fine, but none of the others I’ve read did much for me. I’m hoping this is a turnaround point. I have a weakness … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 14 Comments

Work Like Any Other (and the WoMan Booker Shadow Panel)

The (Wo)Man Booker Shadow Panel, made up of me, Meredith, Nicole, Rebecca, and Frances, is back again for another round with the Man Booker longlist. I have to confess that when I saw this year’s longlist, I might have let … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 12 Comments

Doc

Mary Doria Russell’s novel about Doc Holliday is far from a rip-roarin’ shoot-em-up western. There are shootings, and drinking and gambling and many prostitutes, but the overall tone of the novel is contemplative. John Henry Holliday is a gambler and … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 8 Comments

Life and Fate

I recently spent three weeks in France with students (it was wonderful, thank you!) Normally when I go on this trip, I bring a large variety of books on my Kindle, so I’ll have something to read for any occasion. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 3 Comments

The Letter of Marque

The 12th book in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series opens with Jack not being quite himself, having been dismissed from the Royal Navy on false charges. On many counts, he’s lucky. In The Reverse of the Medal, his friends made sure he … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 2 Comments

The Murder of Mary Russell

How’s that for a title to make long-time fans of a series nervous? The fourteenth book in Laurie R. King’s Russell/Holmes series begins with Russell facing down an unexpected visitor in her and Holmes’s Sussex home. The intruder appears to be … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mysteries | 4 Comments

Dreaming Spies

I’m not sure how I managed to miss this, the thirteenth novel in Laurie King’s series of Mary Russell/ Sherlock Holmes novels, when it came out in 2015. I’ve been reading them since the very beginning, and normally I leap … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mysteries | Leave a comment

Fools Crow

Fools Crow is a deeply engaging historical novel by James Welch, following the lives of the Pikuni (Blackfeet) in the early 1870s in Montana. The main character is a young man named White Man’s Dog, but after a few brave and … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

Old Mortality

I’ve read a reasonable amount of 19th-century British literature, but somehow up until this point, I’ve never read anything by one of the most important and influential 19th-century British authors around: Walter Scott. I don’t know how I missed such … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction | 18 Comments

The Observations

If you’ve read much in the way of Victorian pastiche, you’ll know it’s a tricky business. It can be as marvelous as Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith or Michael Cox’s The Meaning of Night, or it can be as annoying as Michael … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 3 Comments