Category Archives: Historical Fiction

The Reluctant Widow

As this novel by Georgette Heyer opens, Elinor Rochdale is on her way to a new position as a governess, a position she was forced to take up because the various scandals surrounding her father’s death left her without any … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Fiction | 6 Comments

Morality Play

In the end it was destitution that won the day for him. That and the habit of mind of players, who think of their parts and how best to do them, and listen to the words of the master-player, but … Continue reading

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Libertie

This novel by Kaitlyn Greenidge provides a glimpse into a bit of history that I was entirely unfamiliar with. It begins in Brooklyn at the time of the Civil War, where the title character, Libertie, is being raised by her … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 4 Comments

Hamnet

Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet is, to me, the ideal kind of historical fiction. It fills in the gaps of what we know in a reasonably plausible way. It gives us characters who feel of their time but also not so very distant … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Historical Fiction | 2 Comments

Jack

A new novel by Marilynne Robinson is always a cause for celebration, but the release of this novel is extra special because we finally get to learn more about Jack Boughton, son of Boughton, the Presbyterian minister who is close … Continue reading

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The Ibis Trilogy

Back in 2011, I read the first two volumes of Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy: Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke. The first is set mostly in India in 1838, and the second mostly in Canton just afterward. Both volumes … Continue reading

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Mary Anne

For Daphne du Maurier Reading Week, hosted by Ali, I turned to the only unread du Maurier novel on my bookcase, the 1954 novel Mary Anne, based on the life of the author’s great-grandmother. I’ve loved all of the du Maurier … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen

I loved Dexter Palmer’s previous book, Version Control, and so I knew I’d be interested in whatever he did next. However, I did not expect his next book to be about a woman who, in 1726, claimed to be giving birth … Continue reading

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The Water Dancer

There is a lot to like about Ta-Nehisi Coates’ debut novel. I appreciated, for example, the way he illuminates the complex relationships between the enslaved and those who enslaved them, especially when, as so often happened, those characters were actually … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments

The Heaven Tree Trilogy

“You think you will be healed of your hell when you have made hell everywhere about you.” One of the main heroes of Edith Pargeter’s Heaven Tree trilogy spoke these words to a villain who’d made it is mission to … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 4 Comments