Historical Fiction read in 2017

Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres and this year I’ve read 28 books. The majority are set in the 19th/20th centuries. I rated the starred books with 5 stars and my favourite book, ie the one I enjoyed the most is Days without End by Sebastian Barry.

Days Without End

I was spellbound, the storytelling is superb, the characters are unforgettable, and the setting comes across so vividly that I had no difficulty in imagining the locations. Add to that the narration written in Thomas McNulty’s own uneducated voice, fluent and richly descriptive, lyrical and so easy to read.

20th century: 

  1. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. The Vanishing Box by Elly Griffiths
  3. The Buttonmaker’s Daughter by Merryn Allingham
  4. The Secret of Summerhayes by by Merryn Allingham
  5. Past Encounters by Davina Blake
  6. The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve
  7. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  8. A Death in the Dales by Frances Brody
  9. The Kill Fee by Fiona Veitch Smith
  10. The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse

19th century

  1. Property by Valerie Martin
  2. Beneath a Burning Sky by Jenny Ashcroft
  3. His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
  4. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd*
  5. At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier
  6. See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
  7. The Good People by Hannah Kent*
  8. Days without End by Sebastian Barry*

18th century

  1. Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore
  2. The Body in the Ice by A J MacKenzie*

17th century

  1. The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown*

16th century

  1. Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell*
  2. Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn: a King’s Obsession by Alison Weir
  3. Katharina by Margaret Skea

14th century

  1. The Last Hours by Minette Walters

10th century

  1. Dunstan by Conn Iggulden*

Roman Britain

  1. The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff*
  2. Vindolanda by Adrian Goldsworthy

5 thoughts on “Historical Fiction read in 2017

  1. You’ve read some great historical fiction this year! Of the books on your list that I’ve read, I particularly enjoyed His Bloody Project and Fools and Mortals. Happy historical reading for 2018. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great post, Margaret. And I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the historical novels you’ve read. Thanks for putting your reading into such great order, too; I’ll definitely be using it to get ideas for my own reading.


  3. Looks like you’ve done some great historical reading this year! Sadly I haven’t read any of these but I do have Dunstan and Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn: a King’s Obsession on my TBR, both of which I am really looking forward to reading.


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