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Historical Fiction

The Flame Bearer: Last Kingdom #10

The Flame Bearer: Last Kingdom #10

Bernard Cornwell

$19.99
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From the day it was stolen from me I had dreamed of recapturing Bebbanburg. The great fort was built on a rock that was almost an island, it was massive, it could only be approached on land by a single narrow track – and it was mine. Britain is in a state of uneasy peace. Northumbria’s Viking ruler, Sigtryggr, and Mercia’s Saxon Queen Aethelflaed have agreed a truce. And so England’s greatest warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, at last has the chance to take back the home his traitorous uncle stole from him so many years ago – and which his scheming cousin still occupies.

But fate is inexorable and the enemies Uhtred has made and the oaths he has sworn combine to distract him from his dream of recapturing Bebbanburg. New enemies enter into the fight for England’s kingdoms: the redoubtable Constantin of Scotland seizes an opportunity for conquest and leads his armies south. Britain’s precarious peace threatens to turn into a war of annihilation. But Uhtred is determined that nothing, neither the new enemies nor the old foes who combine against him, will keep him from his birthright. He is the Lord of Bebbanburg, but he will need all the skills he has learned in a lifetime of war to make his dream come true.
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Three Sisters, Three Queens

Three Sisters, Three Queens

Philippa Gregory

$19.99
There is only one bond that I trust: between a woman and her sisters. We never take our eyes off each other. In love and in rivalry, we always think of each other. When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined - with Margaret's younger sister Mary - to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland and France. United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret's boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret's proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.
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The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence

The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence

Alyssa Palombo

$29.99
A girl as beautiful as Simonetta Cattaneo never wants for marriage proposals in 15th Century Italy, but she jumps at the chance to marry Marco Vespucci. Marco is young, handsome and well-educated. Not to mention he is one of the powerful Medici family's favoured circle.

Even before her marriage with Marco is set, Simonetta is swept up into Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici's glittering circle of politicians, poets, artists, and philosophers. The men of Florence-most notably the rakish Giuliano de' Medici - become enthralled with her beauty. That she is educated and an ardent reader of poetry makes her more desirable still.

But it is her acquaintance with a young painter, Sandro Botticelli, which strikes her heart most. Botticelli immediately invites Simonetta, newly proclaimed the most beautiful woman in Florence, to pose for him. As Simonetta learns to navigate her marriage, her place in Florentine society, and the politics of beauty and desire, she and Botticelli develop a passionate intimacy, one that leads to her immortalisation in his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.

Alyssa Palombo's The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence vividly captures the dangerous allure of the artist and muse bond with candour and unforgettable passion.
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Barkskins

Barkskins

Annie Proulx

$24.99
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In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a “seigneur,” for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters – barkskins. René suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business.

Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years – their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions; the revenge of rivals; accidents; pestilence; Indian attacks; and cultural annihilation. Over and over again, they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource, leaving the modern-day characters face to face with possible ecological collapse.

Proulx’s inimitable genius is her creation of characters who are so vivid – in their greed, lust, vengefulness, or their simple compassion and hope – that we follow them with fierce attention. Annie Proulx is one of the most formidable and compelling American writers, and Barkskins is her greatest novel, a magnificent marriage of history and imagination.
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The Walworth Beauty

The Walworth Beauty

Michele Roberts

$24.99
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From the Booker-shortlisted author comes a sensuous, evocative novel exploring the lives of women in Victorian London, for fans of Sarah Waters, Emma Donoghue and Kate Atkinson

2011: When Madeleine loses her job as a lecturer, she decides to leave her riverside flat in cobbled Stew Lane, where history never feels far away, and move to Apricot Place. Yet here too, in this quiet Walworth cul-de-sac, she senses the past encroaching: a shifting in the atmosphere, a current of unseen life.

1851: and Joseph Benson has been employed by Henry Mayhew to help research his articles on the working classes. A family man with mouths to feed, Joseph is tasked with coaxing testimony from prostitutes. Roaming the Southwark streets, he is tempted by brothels' promises of pleasure – and as he struggles with his assignment, he seeks answers in Apricot Place, where the enigmatic Mrs Dulcimer runs a boarding house.

As these entwined stories unfold, alive with the sensations of London past and present, the two eras brush against each other – a breath at Madeleine's neck, a voice in her head – the murmurs of ghosts echoing through time. Rendered in immediate, intoxicating prose, The Walworth Beauty is a haunting tale of desire and exploitation, isolation and loss, and the faltering search for human connection; this is Michèle Roberts at her masterful best.
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The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre

The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre

Dominic Smith

$22.99
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An atmospheric and brilliant novel of Paris, love, madness and photography by the bestselling writer of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith.

When the vision came, he was in the bathtub. So begins the madness of Louis Daguerre. In 1847, after a decade of using poisonous mercury vapours to cure his daguerreotype images, his mind is plagued by delusions. Believing the world will end in a year, Daguerre creates his 'Doomsday List': ten items he must photograph before the final day. The list includes a portrait of Isobel Le Fournier, a woman he has always loved but not spoken to in half a century.

In this luminous novel, Dominic Smith reinvents the life of one of photography's founding fathers. Louis Daguerre's story is set against the backdrop of a Paris prone to bohemian excess and social unrest. It is here, amid this strange and beguiling setting, that Louis Daguerre sets off to capture his doomsday subjects.

Louis enlists the help of the womanising poet Charles Baudelaire, and a jaded and beautiful prostitute named Pigeon. Together they scour the Paris underworld for images worthy of Daguerre's list. But Louis is also confronted by a chance to reunite with the only woman he's ever loved. Half a lifetime ago, Isobel Le Fournier kissed Louis Daguerre in a wine cave outside of Orleans. The result was a proposal, a rejection, and a misunderstanding that outlasted three kings and an emperor. Now, in the countdown to his apocalypse, Louis wants to understand why he has carried the memory of that kiss for so long.
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Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession: Six Tudor Queens #2

Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession: Six Tudor Queens #2

Alison Weir

$29.99
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Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession by bestselling historian Alison Weir, author of Katherine Of Aragon: The True Queen, is the second captivating novel in the Six Tudor Queens series. An unforgettable portrait of the ambitious woman whose fate we know all too well, but whose true motivations may surprise you. Essential reading for fans of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick.

The young woman who changed the course of history.

Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love.

But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.

Anne has a spirit worthy of a crown - and the crown is what she seeks. At any price.

Anne Boleyn. The second of Henry's Queens. Her story. History tells us why she died. This powerful novel shows her as she lived.
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The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

$19.99
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PULITZER PRIZE WINNER FOR FICTION 2017
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER FOR FICTION 2016


Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North.

In Whitehead's razor-sharp imagining of the antebellum South, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form: a dilapidated box car pulled along subterranean tracks by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But its placid surface masks an infernal scheme designed for its unknowing black inhabitants. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher sent to find Cora, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

At each stop on her journey, Cora encounters a different world. As Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America, from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once the story of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shatteringly powerful meditation on history.
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Beyond the Wild River

Beyond the Wild River

Sarah Maine

$32.99
A spellbinding and beautiful novel from a major new voice in fiction, perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Santa Montefiore and Rachel Hore.

From the author of The House Between Tides , comes an atmospheric and stunningly evocative historical novel. Perfect for fans of Eowyn Ivey's To The Bright Edge Of The World, Stef Penney's Under A Pole Star, and Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent.

Scotland, 1893. Nineteen-year-old Evelyn Ballantyre, the daughter of a wealthy landowner, has rarely strayed from her family's estate in the Scottish Borders. She was once close to her philanthropist father, but his silence over what really happened on the day a poacher was shot on estate land has come between them.

An invitation to accompany her father to Canada is a chance for Evelyn to escape her limited existence. But once there, on the wild and turbulent Nipigon river, she is shocked to discover that their guide is James Douglas, Ballantyre's former stable hand, and once her friend. He disappeared the night of the murder, charged with the shooting.

Evelyn never believed that James was guilty - and her father's role in the killing has always been mysterious. What does he have to hide? In the wild landscape of a new world, far from the constraints of polite society, the secrets and lies surrounding that night are finally stripped away, with dramatic consequences.
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The Serpent Sword: Bernicia Chronicles #1

The Serpent Sword: Bernicia Chronicles #1

Matthew Harffy

$29.99
An action-packed historical thriller set in Anglo-Saxon Britain in AD 633. The first book in The Bernicia Chronicles. AD 633. Beobrand is a young man with a shadowy past. As an outsider in the kingdom of Bernicia, he is compelled to join his brother, Octa, as a warrior in the household of King Edwin. He must learn to fight with sword and shield to defend the war-ravaged kingdoms of Northumbria. In a period of great upheaval for Dark Age Britain, all he finds is death and war. Men and women strive to seize control of their destinies in a time of despair, and the land is rife with danger as warlords vie for supremacy and dominion.

Amongst the blood and the betrayals, Beobrand learns of his brother's near-certain murder. Inexperienced but ruthless, Beobrand must form his own allegiances and learn to fight as a warrior with sword and shield. Driven by a desire for vengeance and a relentless pursuit of his enemies, he faces challenges which transform him from a boy to a man who stands strong in the clamour and gore of the shieldwall. As he closes in on his kin's slayer, can Beobrand mete out the retribution he craves without sacrificing his honour... or even his soul?
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The River Sings

The River Sings

Sandra Leigh Price

$32.99
London, 1825: Eglantine has always had an eye for the shine. Born the same day as the young princess destined to be queen, Eglantine has an altogether different path ahead of her, strewn with the glittering waste of her father's ambitions. Her mysteriously prosperous father, Mr Amberline Stark, is a man of great expectations. He coaxes her to follow in his footsteps, making picking pockets a delightful parlour game which they play in their fine house by the Thames. Eglantine's life before her arrival at the house remains a mystery, her memories wrapped up in a small doll she keeps close to her, and with it the fragmentary recollections of her mother.

It is only when Amberline is caught and transported as a thief to the penal colony of Australia, that Eglantine has to grow up and fend for herself using her only skill. Reluctantly, the thief's daughter becomes a thief, until a chance meeting gives her a window on a new way of being, and the opportunity to strike out into a new and untarnished world. But will the weight of her father's choices make her a prisoner in the house at the side of the Thames?

Birth and death, love and sadness, love knots and cut ties, quicksilver and shine, old worlds and new beginnings, Sandra Leigh Price weaves another gritty and beguiling story that will enchant and delight readers.
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Dunstan

Dunstan

Conn Iggulden

$32.99
From acclaimed historical writer Conn Iggulden comes a novel set in the red-blooded days of Anglo-Saxon England. This is the original game for the English throne. In the year 937, King Aethelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to throw a great spear into the north. His dream of a kingdom of all England will stand or fall on one field and the passage of a single day. At his side is Dunstan of Glastonbury, full of ambition and wit, perhaps enough to damn his soul. His talents will take him from the villages of Wessex to the royal court, to the hills of Rome - from exile to exaltation. Through Dunstan's vision, by his guiding hand, England may come together as one great country - or fall back into anarchy and misrule ...From one of our finest historical writers, Dunstan is an intimate portrait of a priest and performer, a visionary, a traitor and confessor to kings - the man who changed the fate of England.
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Cathar

Cathar

Christopher Bland

$19.99
How a world was lost. In this compelling historical novel, set in the Languedoc at the end of the 13th century, Francois de Beaufort, a knight and a Cathar, loves three women - Blanche, Sybille and Beatrice. He is Cathar by birth, and ultimately by conviction, despite the unrelenting efforts of the Inquisition to stamp out this heresy through war, torture and the stake. After surviving two sieges Francois is sentenced to a pilgrimage of penance to Compostela, and ends up in the Cathar village of Montaillou. And then the Inquisition strikes again.
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Heloise

Heloise

Mandy Hager

$32.99
What happens when the 12th century's most famous French lovers are caught in the crossfire of factions, religious reform and blind ambition? Heloise is a determined young woman with an exceptional mind, longing to pursue learning rather than marriage or life as a cloistered nun. Her path inevitably crosses with Peter Abelard, the celebrity philosopher, theologian and master at Paris' famed Cathedral School. When two such brilliant minds meet and engage, sparks are likely to ignite. But theirs is an impossible love. This is a time when the Gregorian Reforms are starting to bite and celibacy among the clergy and church officials is being rigorously imposed. Based on meticulous up-to-date research and the pair's own writings, this novel offers a plausible interpretation of the known facts and a vivid imagining of the gaps in this legendary story. It shines a light on a changing world whose attitudes and politics are not so very different from our own.
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Crimson and Bone

Crimson and Bone

Marina Fiorato

$32.99
A dark, gripping story of love and obsession from bestselling author Marina Fiorato.London, 1853.Annie Stride is a beautiful, flame-haired young woman from the East End of London. She is also a whore. On a bleak January night Annie stands on Waterloo Bridge, watching the icy waters of the Thames writhe beneath her as she contemplates throwing herself in. At the last minute she's rescued by a handsome young man. Her saviour, Francis Maybrick Gill, is a talented artist. He takes Annie as his muse, painting her again and again and transforming her from a fallen woman into society's darling, taking her far away from her old life. But there is darkness underpinning Annie's lavish new lifestyle. In London and in Florence, prostitutes are being murdered. There's someone out there who knows who Annie really is - and they won't let her forget where she came from...
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Persephone: Thomas Kydd #18

Persephone: Thomas Kydd #18

Julian Stockwin

$32.99
Perfect for fans of Patrick O'Brian, Bernard Cornwell, and swashbuckling adventure during the great Age of Sail: Persephone is the eighteenth novel in Julian Stockwin's acclaimed Thomas Kydd series.

Unputdownable naval action from the master of the sea story - Julian Stockwin returns with the next installment of action from Captain Sir Thomas Kydd.

November 1807. Captain Sir Thomas Kydd must sail to Lisbon to aid the Portuguese Royal Family's evacuation in the face of Napoleon's ruthless advance through Iberia. In the chaos of the threatened city an old passion is reawakened when he meets Persephone Lockwood, a beautiful and determined admiral's daughter from his past.

But the Royal Family's destination is Brazil, Perspehone's England, and it seems Kydd's chance has gone again. Only later he discovers Persephone has another suitor - and that, if he wants to win her hand, he must enter the highest echelons of London society.

Mixing with aristocracy and royalty brings other responsibilities. The Prince of Wales asks him to take temporary command of the Royal Yacht. Sailing to Yarmouth, Kydd realises they are being stalked by French privateers. The terrible threat of a prince of the blood being captured sees Kydd call on daring seamanship of the highest order.
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Midnight Blue

Midnight Blue

Simone van der Vlugt

$29.99
Amsterdam 1654: a dangerous secret threatens to destroy a young widow's new life. Following the sudden death of her husband, twenty-five year old Catrin leaves her small village and takes a job as housekeeper to the successful Van Nulandt merchant family. Amsterdam is a city at the peak of its powers: science and art are flourishing and Dutch ships bring back exotic riches from the Far East. When a figure from her past threatens her new life, Catrin flees to Delft. There, her painting talent earns her a chance as a pottery painter. Slowly, the workshop begins to develop a new type of pottery to rival the coveted Chinese porcelain - and Delft Blue is born. But when tragedy strikes, Catrin has a hard choice to make. Rich and engrossing, Midnight Blue is perfect for fans of Tulip Fever and Girl with a Pearl Earring.
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The Coming

The Coming

David Osborne

$29.99
A sweeping historical novel of the American West that follows the dramatic life of Daytime Smoke, Nez Perce son of explorer William Clark.

The Coming is an epic novel of native-white relations in North America, intimately told through the life of Daytime Smoke - the real-life red-haired son of William Clark and a Nez Perce woman. In 1805, Lewis and Clark stumble out of the Rockies on the edge of starvation. The Nez Perce help the explorers build canoes and navigate the rapids of the Columbia, then spend two months hosting them the following spring before leading them back across the snowbound mountains. Daytime Smoke is born not long after, and the tribe of his youth continues a deep friendship with white Americans, from fur trappers to missionaries, even aiding the United States government in wars with neighboring tribes. But when gold is discovered on Nez Perce land in 1860, it sets an inevitable tragedy in motion.

Daytime Smoke's life spanned the seven decades between first contact and the last great Indian war. Capturing the trajectory experienced by so many native peoples - from friendship and cooperation to betrayal, war, and genocide--this sweeping novel, with its large cast of characters and vast geography, braids historical events with the drama of one man's remarkable life. Rigorously researched and cinematically rendered, The Coming is a page-turning, heart-stopping American novel in a classic mode.
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The Silk Merchant's Daughter

The Silk Merchant's Daughter

Dinah Jefferies

$22.99
Dinah Jefferies' stunning new novel is a gripping, unforgettable tale of a woman torn between two worlds...

1952, French Indochina. Since her mother's death, eighteen-year-old half-French, half-Vietnamese Nicole has been living in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Sylvie. When Sylvie is handed control of the family silk business, Nicole is given an abandoned silk shop in the Vietnamese quarter of Hanoi. But the area is teeming with militant rebels who want to end French rule, by any means possible. For the first time, Nicole is awakened to the corruption of colonial rule - and her own family's involvement shocks her to the core...

Tran, a notorious Vietnamese insurgent, seems to offer the perfect escape from her troubles, while Mark, a charming American trader, is the man she's always dreamed of. But who can she trust in this world where no one is what they seem?

The Silk Merchant's Daughter is a captivating tale of dark secrets, sisterly rivalry and love against the odds, enchantingly set in colonial era Vietnam.
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John Henry Days

John Henry Days

Colson Whitehead

$19.99
'John Henry Days' is a novel of extraordinary scope and mythic power. Recognised as one of the novels of 2001, it establishes Colson Whitehead as one of the pre-eminent young American writers of our time. Building the railways that made America, John Henry died with a hammer in his hand moments after competing against a steam drill in a battle of endurance. The story of his death made him a legend. Over a century later, J. Sutter, a freelance journalist and accomplished expense account abuser, is sent to West Virginia to cover the launch of a new postage stamp at the first 'John Henry Days' festival. John Henry Days is a riveting portrait of America. Through a patchwork of interweaving histories Colson Whitehead triumphantly reveals how a nation creates its present through the stories it tells of its past.
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Glory Over Everything: Beyond the Kitchen House

Glory Over Everything: Beyond the Kitchen House

Kathleen Grissom

$24.99
The year is 1830 and Jamie Pyke, a celebrated silversmith and notorious ladies' man, is keeping a deadly secret. Passing as a wealthy white aristocrat in Philadelphian society, Jamie is now living a life he could never have imagined years before when he was a runaway slave, son of a southern black slave and her master. But Jamie's carefully constructed world is threatened when he discovers that his married socialite lover, Caroline, is pregnant and his beloved servant Pan, to whose father Jamie owes his own freedom, has been captured and sold into slavery in the South. Fleeing the consequences of his deceptions, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation to save Pan from the life he himself barely escaped as a boy. With the help of a fearless slave, Sukey, who has taken the terrified young boy under her wing, Jamie navigates their way, racing against time and their ruthless pursuers through the Virginia backwoods, the Underground Railroad, and the treacherous Great Dismal Swamp.
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