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Our extensive range of the best historical fiction and historical novels based on real events cover Medieval crusaders, kings, queens and much more. These historical fiction books are superbly written and take you back to a bygone era.

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Historical Fiction Books

  • James MacManus Collection - 3 Books

    James MacManus

    Product Code: JMCM
    Collection
    Hand-picked favourites
    Can love overcome the threat of war?

    It's Berlin in 1938 and newly appointed military attache Noel Macrae and his extrovert wife Primrose have arrived at the British Embassy. Prime Minister Chamberlain is intent on placating Nazi Germany, but Macrae is less so...

    Convinced that Hitler can be stopped by means other than appeasement, he soon finds that he is not the only dissenting voice in the Embassy, and discovers senior officers in the German military are prepared to turn against the Fuhrer...

    From the beginnings of the Second World War to a dangerous affair set against the fiery nights of the Blitz and a vivid reimagining of General Eisenhower and Kay Summersby's love affair, James MacManus' gripping and atmospheric thrillers are inspired by real-life people and events that changed the course of history.

    For fans of authors like David Downing, Alan Furst, John Le Carre
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  • The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

    Dominic Smith

    Product Code: LPSV
    Hardback
    (1)
    Hand-picked favourites
    Written by Dominic Smith, this captivating read tells of a 17th century painting that links three lives across three continents over three centuries. In 1600s Amsterdam, Sara de Vos loses her daughter suddenly and turns to painting in her grief. She creates the artwork of a dark landscape of a girl watching an ice skater from the edge of a wood.

    In 1957 in New York, Martijn de Groot has this painting - At the Edge of a Wood - hanging above his bed. When it's stolen, he is bereft. Meanwhile, struggling art student Ellie Shipley agrees to forge the painting for a dubious art dealer. Finally, we arrive at Sydney in 2000 and Ellie is now a celebrated art historian and curator. She's curating an exhibition about the female painters of the Dutch Golden Age but then it becomes apparent the original version of this painting and her forgery are en route to the museum.

    Exhilarating from start to finish, this book is one you won't want to put down. Full of period detail and with its intriguing premise that threatens to see Ellie's life and reputation spiral out of control, it's a rewarding and elegantly written read.
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  • Bring Up the Bodies

    Hilary Mantel

    Product Code: CBXOB
    Paperback
    Winner of the Man Booker Prize The second book in Hilary Mantel's award-winning Wolf Hall trilogy, with a stunning new cover design to celebrate the publication of the much anticipated The Mirror and the Light An astounding literary accomplishment, Bring Up the Bodies is the story of this most terrifying moment of history, by one of our greatest living novelists. 'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian Bring Up the Bodies unlocks the darkly glittering court of Henry VIII, where Thomas Cromwell is now chief minister. With Henry captivated by plain Jane Seymour and rumours of Anne Boleyn's faithlessness whispered by all, Cromwell knows what he must do to secure his position. But the bloody theatre of the queen's final days will leave no one unscathed. 'A great novel of dark and dirty passions, public and private. A truly great story' Financial Times 'In another league. This ongoing story of Henry VIII's right-hand man is the finest piece of historical fiction I have ever read' Sunday Telegraph
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  • Wolf Hall

    Hilary Mantel

    Product Code: CBXSQ
    Paperback
    Winner of the Man Booker Prize The first book in Hilary Mantel's award-winning Wolf Hall trilogy, with a new cover design to celebrate the publication of the much anticipated The Mirror and the Light From one of our finest living writers, Wolf Hall is that very rare thing: a truly great English novel. 'Every bit as good as they said it was' Observer 'Terrific' Margaret Atwood 'As soon as I opened this book I was gripped. I read it almost non-stop' The Times In Wolf Hall, one of our very best writers brings the opulent, brutal world of the Tudors to bloody, glittering life. It is the backdrop to the rise and rise of Thomas Cromwell: lowborn boy, charmer, bully, master of deadly intrigue, and , finally, most powerful of Henry VIII's coutiers. 'Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good' Daily Mail 'Terrifying. It is a world of marvels. But it is also a world of horrors, where screams are commonplace. A feast' Daily Telegraph
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  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz

    Heather Morris

    Product Code: BRYKH
    Paperback
    (2)
    This powerful book tells the heartbreaking love story between Lale Sokolov, the tattooist of Auschwitz, and the woman he tattooed, Gita. Readers of Schindler's List and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas will love this extraordinary story full of love, loyalty and friendship.

    In 1942, Lale arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau and was given the job of tattooing the prisoners. Little did he know that scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.

    Waiting in line to be tattooed was a terrified young girl named Gita. And for Lale - a dandy, jack-the-lad, bit of a chancer - it was love at first sight. He was determined to not only survive himself, but to ensure Gita did too.
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  • One Enchanted Evening

    Anton Du Beke

    Product Code: BUPPP
    Paperback
    One Enchanted Evening, Strictly Come Dancing's Anton Du Beke's debut novel, will take you back to the glitz and glamour of 1930s ballrooms.

    The exclusive Buckingham Hotel is a place where the rich, famous and elite all gather to socialise and dance their cares away. But unseen hotel staff are hiding behind the plush curtains and discreet doors.

    Meanwhile, the storm clouds of war are gathering and scandal and secrets are starting to be spilled...
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  • Once Upon a River

    Diane Setterfield

    Product Code: CBWAP
    Paperback
    'Infused with the spirit of Jane Eyre, Rebecca and The Woman in White' - Independent 'I was completely spellbound' - Ruth Hogan 'A delight...I devoured it' - Jo Baker 'Truly extraordinary' - Dinah Jeffries Some say the river drowned her...Some say it brought her back to life ____________________ On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the Thames, the regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open and in steps an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a child. Hours later, the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? And who does the little girl belong to? An exquisitely crafted multi-layered mystery brimming with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield's bestseller The Thirteenth Tale. ____________________ "Diane's masterful storytelling draws you in to a beguiling tale, full of twists and turns like the river at its heart, and just as rich and intriguing." (M L Stedman, bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans) "Swift and entrancing, profound and beautiful. Give yourself a treat and read it!" (Madeline Miller, Orange Prize-winning author of The Song of Achilles and Circe)
    • £8.69
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  • Bring Up the Bodies

    Hilary Mantel

    Product Code: AGOTW
    Paperback
    Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2012, the 2012 Costa Book of the Year and shortlisted for the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction. With this historic win for 'Bring Up the Bodies', Hilary Mantel becomes the first British author and the first woman to be awarded two Man Booker Prizes (her first was for 'Wolf Hall' in 2009). By 1535 Thomas Cromwell is Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes having risen with those of Anne Boleyn, the king's new wife. But Anne has failed to give the king an heir, and Cromwell watches as Henry falls for plain Jane Seymour. Cromwell must find a solution that will satisfy Henry, safeguard the nation and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge unscathed from the bloody theatre of Anne's final days. An astounding literary accomplishment, 'Bring Up the Bodies' is the story of this most terrifying moment of history, by one of our greatest living novelists.
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  • The Moon Sister

    Lucinda Riley

    Product Code: BWKLX
    Paperback
    The Moon Sister is the fifth epic story in the Seven Sisters series by the international number one bestseller Lucinda Riley.

    After the death of her father, Tiggy D'Apliese moves to the remote wilds of Scotland. There she takes a job doing what she loves - caring for animals. Her decision changes her future irrevocably when an ancient gypsy named Chilly tells her she possesses a sixth sense and that he would be the one to send her back home to Spain.

    Tiggy discovers her connection to the fabled gypsy community of Scromonte and to La Candela - the greatest flamenco dancer of her generation. From the Scottish Highlands and Spain to South America and New York, Tiggy follows the trail back to her own exotic but complex past and begins to embrace her own talent for healing.
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  • Dear Mrs Bird

    AJ Pearce

    Product Code: BTMUN
    Paperback
    (1)
    Chosen as one of Richard and Judy's 2019 Book Club Picks, AJ Pearce's uplifting debut novel is a love letter to the enduring power of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and the courage of ordinary people in extraordinary lives.

    London, 1941. Despite the Luftwaffe making life annoying for everyone, Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay positive. Emmy has dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent but finds herself typing letters for Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman's Friend Magazine.

    Mrs Bird is very clear about what she wants: any letters containing unpleasantness must go into the bin! But as Emmy reads the many desperate pleas from women who can't bear to let their children be evacuated, she decides to write back in secret...
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  • The Familiars

    Stacey Halls

    Product Code: BZQLZ
    Paperback
    (1)
    The most spellbinding debut novel of 2019. To save her child, she will trust a stranger. To protect a secret, she must risk her life . . . Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn't supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy. Then she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife. Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong. As Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Soon the two women's lives will become inextricably bound together as the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood's stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other. 'Assured and alluring, this beautiful tale of women and witchcraft and the fight against power was a delight from start to finish' Jessie Burton, author of THE MINIATURIST 'I read this in just over a day - I was completely hooked! An intriguing story about a fascinating period of history and brilliant female characters' Libby Page, author of THE LIDO 'A wonderful novel, enthralling, spellbinding, terrifying, full of twists and turns, written with heart and style - and the final chapters will have you racing to the end' Kate Williams, author of THE STORMS OF WAR
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  • The Clockmaker's Daughter

    Kate Morton

    Product Code: BWIBR
    Paperback
    The Lake House author Kate Morton's six novel The Clockmaker's Daughter features a mesmerising combination of secrets, lies and mysteries.

    A woman is killed, another disappears, and the truth of what happened slips through the cracks of time. Over the next century and beyond, Birchwood Manor welcomes many newcomers but guards its secret closely - until another young woman is drawn to visit the house because of a family secret of her own...

    As the mystery of The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton begins to unravel, we discover the stories of those who have passed through Birchwood Manor since that fateful day in 1862.
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  • The Pearl Sister

    Lucinda Riley

    Product Code: BOHHA
    Paperback
    Lucinda Riley's The Pearl Sister is the fourth novel in the extremely popular Seven Sisters series.

    CeCe D'Apliese has never felt she fitted in anywhere. Following the death of her father, the elusive billionaire Pa Salt - so-called by the six daughters he adopted from around the globe and named after the Seven Sisters star cluster - she finds herself at breaking point...
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  • The Sun Sister

    Lucinda Riley

    Product Code: CBJWA
    Hardback
    To the outside world, Electra D'Apliese seems to be the woman with everything: as one of the world's top models, she is beautiful, rich and famous. Yet beneath the veneer, Electra's already tenuous control over her state of mind has been rocked by the death of her father, Pa Salt, the elusive billionaire who adopted his six daughters from across the globe. Struggling to cope, she turns to alcohol and drugs. As those around her fear for her health, Electra receives a letter from a complete stranger who claims to be her grandmother . . . In 1939, Cecily Huntley-Morgan arrives in Kenya from New York to nurse a broken heart. Staying with her godmother, a member of the infamous Happy Valley set, on the shores of beautiful Lake Naivasha, she meets Bill Forsythe, a notorious bachelor and cattle farmer with close connections to the proud Maasai tribe. But after a shocking discovery and with war looming, Cecilyhas few options. Moving up into the Wanjohi Valley, she is isolated and alone. Until she meets a young woman in the woods and makes her a promise that will change the course of her life for ever. Sweeping from Manhattan to the magnificent wide-open plains of Africa, The Sun Sister is the sixth instalment in Lucinda Riley's multi-million selling epic series, The Seven Sisters. `Heart-wrenching, uplifting and utterly enthralling. The Seven Sisters series is Lucinda Riley at the top of her game: a magical storyteller who creates characters we fall in love with and who stay with us long after we finish reading. Dazzlingly good.' Lucy Foley, bestselling author of The Hunting Party
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  • Conclave

    Robert Harris

    Product Code: AYJRJ
    Paperback
    SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER. "Unputdownable." (Guardian). "Gripping." (Sunday Times). The Pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.
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  • The Miniaturist

    Jessie Burton

    Product Code: ALZRL
    Paperback
    (2)
    THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed ...On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways ...Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall? Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, Jessie Burton's magnificent debut novel The Miniaturist is a story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
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  • The Silence of the Girls

    Pat Barker

    Product Code: BXNJG
    Paperback
    (1)
    Offering an evocative and female-led twist on the famous tale of The Iliad, Man Booker-winning author Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls has been shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction and the Costa Novel Award.

    When Greek Queen Helen is kidnapped by Trojans, the Greeks are hot on her pursuit and besiege the city of Troy. Trapped in the Greek soldiers' camp is another captured queen, Briseis. Condemned to be bed-slave to Achilles, the man who butchered her family, she becomes a pawn in a menacing game between bored and frustrated warriors...
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  • Circe

    Madeline Miller

    Product Code: BWGOK
    Paperback
    Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019, Circe is a captivating story that has been praised as "a triumph" by The Times.

    In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child - not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods of mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft.

    When her gift threatens the gods, she is banished to the island of Aiaia where she hones her occult craft, casting spells, gathering strange herbs and taming wild beasts. Yet a woman who stands alone will never be left in peace for long. So Circe sets forth her tale, a vivid, mesmerising epic of family rivalry, love and loss.
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  • The Taming of the Queen

    Philippa Gregory

    Product Code: ARCFD
    Paperback
    Why would a woman marry a serial killer? Because she cannot refuse...Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father who has buried four wives - King Henry VIII - commands her to marry him. Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: the previous queen lasted sixteen months, the one before barely half a year. But Henry adores his new bride and Kateryn's trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as Regent. But is this enough to keep her safe? A leader of religious reform and the first woman to publish in English, Kateryn stands out as an independent woman with a mind of her own. But she cannot save the Protestants, under threat for their faith, and Henry's dangerous gaze turns on her.The traditional churchmen and rivals for power accuse her of heresy - the punishment is death by fire and the king's name is on the warrant...From an author who has described all of Henry's queens comes a deeply intimate portrayal of the last: a woman who longed for passion, power and education at the court of a medieval killer.
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  • Six Tudor Queens: Anna of Kleve, Queen of Secrets

    Alison Weir

    Product Code: CDGPM
    Paperback
    'Alison Weir transforms Henry VIII's much-maligned fourth wife into a woman of passion, courage and mystery' Tracy Borman Alison Weir, historian and author of the Sunday Times bestsellers Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen, Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession and Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen, paints a spellbinding portrait of Anna of Kleve, Henry VIII's fourth queen. 'This six-book series looks likely to become a landmark in historical fiction' The Times A GERMAN PRINCESS WITH A GUILTY SECRET. The King is in love with a portrait, but the real Anna does not enchant him. She must win him over. Everyone knows that Henry won't stand for a problem queen. But rumours of Anna's past are rife at court - dangerous talk that could mark her downfall. Can this clever, spirited young woman reach out in friendship to the King, and gain his love forever? ANNA OF KLEVE THE FOURTH OF HENRY'S QUEENS HER STORY Acclaimed, bestselling historian Alison Weir draws on new evidence to conjure a startling image of Anna as you've never seen her before. A charming, spirited woman, she was loved by all who knew her - and even, ultimately, by the King who rejected her. History tells us she was never crowned. But her story does not end there. SIX TUDOR QUEENS. SIX NOVELS. SIX YEARS. 'Alison Weir makes history come alive as no one else' Barbara Erskine 'Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life' Guardian
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  • The Girl in the Picture

    Kerry Barrett

    Product Code: CDCZT
    Paperback
    Two women. One house. Centuries of secrets. East Sussex Coast, 1855 Violet Hargreaves is the lonely daughter of a widowed industrialist, and an aspiring Pre-Raphaelite painter. One day, the naive eighteen-year-old meets the mysterious and handsome Edwin on the beach. He promises her a world beyond the small coastal village she's trapped in. But after she ignores warnings about Edwin, a chain of terrible events begins to unfold for Violet... East Sussex Coast, 2016 For thriller-writer Ella Daniels, the house on the cliff, where she's moved with her young family, is the perfect place to overcome writer's block. But there's a strange atmosphere that settles once they move in - and Ella's intrigued when she hears stories of brutal murders in the house next door more than 150 years ago. When Ella uncovers a portrait of a beautiful young girl named Violet Hargreaves, who went missing at the same time as the horrific crimes, she becomes determined to find out what happened. And in trying to lay Violet's ghost to rest, Ella must face ghosts of her own... This haunting timeslip tale is perfect for fans of Kate Riordan, Tracy Rees, Kate Morton and Lucinda Riley. Praise for Kerry Barrett 'A fantastic and engaging read. Kerry Barrett truly is a very talented author. It's absolutely perfect for summer holidays or wintry days snuggled on the sofa.' - Bab's Bookshelf 'This was a really enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book.' - Fiona's Book Reviews 'There aren't enough stars for this fun, deep and relaxing read. Highly recommended.' - Michelle, Goodreads Reviewer
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  • The Children's Block

    Otto B Kraus

    Product Code: CBHDX
    Paperback
    'We lived on a bunk built for four but in times of overcrowding, it slept seven and at times even eight. There was so little space on the berth that when one of us wanted to ease his hip, we all had to turn in a tangle of legs and chests and hollow bellies as if we were one many-limbed creature, a Hindu god or a centipede. We grow intimate not only in body but also in mind because we knew that though we were not born of one womb, we would certainly die together.' Alex Ehren is a poet, a prisoner and a teacher in block 31 in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the children's block. He spends his days trying to survive while illegally giving lessons to his young charges while shielding them as best he can from the impossible horrors of the camp. But trying to teach the children is not the only illicit activity that Alex is involved in. Alex is keeping a diary... Originally published as THE PAINTED WALL, Otto Kraus's autobiographical novel, tells the true story of 500 Jewish children who lived in the Czech Family Camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau between September 1943 and June 1944.
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  • Cilka's Journey

    Heather Morris

    Product Code: BZSDM
    Hardback
    Based on the heart-breaking true story of Cilka Klein, Cilka's Journey is the sequel to the internationally No.1 bestselling phenomenon, The Tattooist of Auschwitz 'She was the bravest person I ever met' Lale Sokolov, The Tattooist of Auschwitz In 1942 Cilka Klein is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival. After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator by the Russians and sent to a desolate, brutal prison camp in Siberia known as Vorkuta, inside the Arctic Circle. Innocent, imprisoned once again, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, each day a battle for survival. Cilka befriends a woman doctor, and learns to nurse the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under unimaginable conditions. And when she tends to a man called Alexandr, Cilka finds that despite everything, there is room in her heart for love. Cilka's Journey is a powerful testament to the triumph of the human will. It will move you to tears, but it will also leave you astonished and uplifted by one woman's fierce determination to survive, against all odds.
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  • A Place of Greater Safety

    Hilary Mantel

    Product Code: BUQDW
    Paperback
    An extraordinary work of historical imagination - this is Hilary Mantel's epic novel of the French Revolution. One of the ten books - novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography - that make up the 4th Estate Matchbook Classics' series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist. 1789: as Revolution sweeps through France, three obscure young men step into the harsh light of history. Georges Jacques Danton has a prize fighter's build, a sharp lawyer's brain, a consuming ambition. Camille Desmoulins, charming and erratic, is a writer of genius with a taste for violence. Maximilien Robespierre is a slight, meek idealist who recoils from power, but who will lead his country into the darkness of the Terror. For these men, the Revolution is a blood rite: the forces they have helped unleash will remake the world, but destroy their lives. From the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize, A Place of Greater Safety announced Hilary Mantel as one of our greatest living novelists.
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Whether you’re looking for white-knuckle war novels, sumptuous royal romances or captivating tales set in tumultuous times, you’ll be able to dive into history with our range of historical fiction books.

Bestselling books you won’t want to put down

Be captivated by dark and gritty mysteries, adrenaline-fuelled adventures and stunning love stories in these enthralling historical fiction books. With classic favourites as well as the latest bestselling historical fiction to enjoy, you’re sure to find books you can lose yourself in.

Exceptional author-historians

Both brilliant writers and outstanding historians, our selection features a wide variety of books by incredible authors you may already know and love. Browse our range of the best historical fiction by the likes of Philippa Gregory, C. J. Sansom, Alison Weir and Ken Follett, and find a new favourite historical fiction author.

Immerse yourself in an exciting era

Whichever period of history draws you most, you’ll be able to explore it in these fascinating historical fiction books. From war-torn kingdoms to compelling courtly romances, daring quests to fierce rebellions, these historical novels truly bring history to life in rich, vivid and thrilling detail. Browse our historical fiction range today and find your new favourite reads.

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