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Recommended Historical Fiction (some all-time favourites)

Sarah
 
The Sunne in Splendour
The Sunne in Splendour
"The novel that got me started on reading historical fiction at the age of 16 - a fantastic and hugely memorable read, and the character of Richard III is extremely convincing!"
Here be Dragons
Here be Dragons
"Another excellent novel from Sharon Penman - lyrical evocations of the lost Welsh princes - it even (rarely for historical fiction!) has a 'happy ending'."
Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind
"The 'classic' status is well deserved! One of the books I keep coming back to every year or so (in fact, I would call it my ultimate comfort read)!"
Moon in the Water
Moon in the Water
"I am a huge fan of Pamela Belle's novels. A brilliant historical romance set in Civil War England - I have re-read this so many times!"
The Chains of Fate
The Chains of Fate
"Sequel to the above - moves through Civil War Scotland and England."
Wintercombe
Wintercombe
"Also set in Civil War England - beautifully written and meticulously researched, and another I have re-read multiple times!"
Alethea
Alethea
"Set in the reign of Charles II, one of the two sequels to 'The Moon in Water' - an excellent read."
Legacy
Legacy
"Certainly not a prolific author, but her novels are well worth tracking down. This is a 'supernatural royal Tudor love story' and my favourite of the many 'Elizabeth I' books I have read."
Phantom
Phantom
"'The life story of the Phantom of the Opera' - haunting and unforgettable."
Girl With a Pearl Earring
Girl With a Pearl Earring
"I would recommend all of Tracey Chevalier's novels, though 'Pearl Earring' is my favourite - beautifully written, almost jewel-like in the imagery it invokes (with equal lashings of cold reality)."
Cross Stitch (Outlander, 1)
Cross Stitch (Outlander, 1)
"Cross Stitch is a great read! Although I have been very disappointed with the later novels in this series, I still greatly enjoy this unique time-travel/historical romance!"
Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune
"Though set in 20th century Wales, re-visits the life stories of Plantagenet kings through more 'modern' characters - very wide ranging and well written, and even a murder mystery thrown in at the end!"
Into the Wilderness (Wilderness Saga 1)
Into the Wilderness (Wilderness Saga 1)
"A sequel (of sorts) to Last of the Mohicans - very enjoyable romantic adventure set in colonial America - a book that you can really get "lost" in"
Lady of Hay
Lady of Hay
"An epic tale of reincarnation and redemption - moves from the present day to the times of 12 century rule of King John. Little bit dated now!"
The Game Of Kings: The Lymond Chronicles
The Game Of Kings: The Lymond Chronicles
"The first in the famous 'Lymond' series (6 books) - not always an easy read, or everyone's 'cup of tea' in fact, often obscure, but cleverly crafted, and Francis Crawford is the ultimate tortured hero"
The Joséphine Bonaparte Trilogy
The Joséphine Bonaparte Trilogy
"Highly recommended trilogy of the life of Napoleon's Empress Josephine."
The Blind Assassin
The Blind Assassin
"Rather different from my usual reading matter - an unusual, highly intelligent, complex and compelling novel of the 20th century featuring a novel-within-a-novel."
The Shell Seekers (Coronet Books)
The Shell Seekers (Coronet Books)
"This very well-written book records one extraordinary woman's life from the present day to her memories of England in World War II."
The Egyptian Years
The Egyptian Years
"Elizabeth Harris writes reincarnation-based historical fiction in the vein of Barbara Erksine - fairly 'light' but enjoyable reads."
The Pillars of the Earth
The Pillars of the Earth
"Ken Follett's epic and often brutal novel set in a 12th century England. A tale of  faith, love, good-against-evil, betrayal and war against the backdrop of the construction of a great cathedral."
The Bronze Horseman
The Bronze Horseman
"Love and loss in WWII Russia - another book to get lost in."
Passion
Passion
"Highly recommended. The evocative tale of the unconventional - and often shocking - Romantic poets, Byron, Shelley and Keats. Told through the eyes of the women who loved them."
Remarkable Creatures
Remarkable Creatures
"Another Tracy Chevalier novel - beautifully written, it is the story of two women with a shared, and most unusual interest - fossils."
The Birth Of Venus
The Birth Of Venus
"Often brutal, but compelling. A love story and murder mystery set in Reneissance Florence."
Wideacre (Wideacre Trilogy)
Wideacre (Wideacre Trilogy)
"I much prefer this early trilogy (pure historical 'fiction' rather than interpretation of actual events and people) to Philippa Gregory's Tudor and Medieval novels. I think the writing is greatly superior to her later novels, and it goes to show that she has fallen into the trap of over-writing to meet publishing deadlines."