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Reading Lists

Recommended Historical Fiction

The Daughter of Time

by Josephine Tey

In one of Tey's bestselling mystery novels ever, Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is intrigued by a portrait of Richard III. Could such a sensitive face actually belong to one of history's most heinous villains—a king who killed his brother's children to secure his crown? Grant determines to find out once and for all what kind of man Richard was and who in fact killed the princes in the tower.


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gkThe Game of Kings

by Dorothy Dunnett

Praised for her historical fiction by critics and devoted fans alike, author Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles took the romance world by storm some 30 years ago, firmly fixing Dunnett's reputation as a master of the historical romance. The Game of Kings, the first story in The Lymond Chronicles, sets the stage for what will be a sweeping saga filled with passion, courage, and the endless fight for freedom.


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gwGone With the Wind

by Margaret Mitchell

Scarlet, Rhet, the Civil War, Reconstruction all intertwined with a film to create the timeless classic. Rhet chases Scarlet, Scarlet chases Ashley, Ashley dumps Scarlet, Rhet wins Scarlet, and then dumps her.  “Frankly my dear reader, you will give a damn.”


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kdThe King Must Die

by Mary Renault

This historical novel links the mythical adventures of Theseus and the matriarchal cultures of Eleusis and Crete with the archeological findings of the ancient Palace of Knossos and its astonishingly sophisticated civilization.


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mcMaster and Commander

By Patrick O'Brian

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war are faultless rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

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by E.L. Doctorow

Ragtime captures the spirit of America in the era between the turn of the century and the First World War. The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home of an affluent American family. One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside their house. And almost magically, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disappears.

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by Alex Haley

Roots begins with a birth in 1750, in an African village; it ends seven generations later at the Arkansas funeral of a black professor whose children are a teacher, a Navy architect, an assistant director of the U.S. Information Agency, and the author, Alex Haley. The books takes the reader through the life and times of an American slave family.


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nrThe Name of the Rose

by Umberto Eco

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon--all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity.

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By James Clavel

A bold English adventurer. An invincible Japanese warlord. A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love. All brought together in an extraordinary saga of a time and a place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, and the struggle for power.



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ssSword at Sunset

by Rosemary Sutcliff

This brilliant reconception of the Arthurian epic cuts through the familiar myths and tells the story of the real King Arthur: Artos the Bear, the mighty warrior-king who saved the last lights of Western civilization when the barbarian darkness descended in the fifth century.


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9-27-11 RN