Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Sorcery and Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

What do you get when two writers play the Letter Game, in which they take turns telling the story by writing letters to each other in character, with the only rule being that they must never reveal their ideas about … Continue reading

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Fingersmith

Fingersmith, Sarah Water’s neo-Victorian crime novel, is the lesbian daughter of Oliver Twist and The Woman in White, fostered by Jane Eyre. Got your attention? There is a romance, between two people who happen to be women, but ‘lesbian’ is … Continue reading

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Léon and Louise

Léon and Louise, by Alex Capus, is a charming love story, but is not a formulaic romance. The book spans decades and two wars, and the two title characters spend far more time apart than they do together. They meet … Continue reading

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Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Imagine a world where a human raised by fairies rules three kingdoms: one in Faerie, one in the human realm of northern England, and the third on the far side of Hell. During his three hundred year reign in the … Continue reading

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Year of Wonders

The year is 1665. Bubonic plague is sweeping through London. Further to the north, in Derbyshire, the plague comes to the mining village of Eyam through a delivery of flea-infested cloth. The journeyman tailor sewing the cloth sickens and dies, … Continue reading

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The Lymond Chronicles

I had intended to write on a different topic this weekend, but I made the mistake of looking at Facebook, saw this link to an article in The Guardian about Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles, and got derailed. My Georgia Tech roommate … Continue reading

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An Instance of the Fingerpost

How often do you get to learn a new word just by reading the title of a book? I love historical mysteries, but I was intrigued enough to read An Instance of the Fingerpost, by Iain Pears, just to make … Continue reading

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Cashelmara

If you love huge multi-generational family sagas, meaty soap operas encompassing love, lust, cruelty, murder, and revenge, Cashelmara by Susan Howatch may be for you. This 700-page novel, covering thirty years and three generations of an aristocratic English family, is … Continue reading

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Doomsday Book

Doomsday Book* is a Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning** time-travel novel by Connie Willis. It was published in the 90’s, but I only stumbled across it a few months ago. The plot is straightforward: from the near future (December 2054), a young … Continue reading

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Lord Darcy

The time: the 1960’s. The place: the bustling port of Cherbourg. A nobleman in the Anglo-French Empire, engaged in a sensitive international inquiry, is missing. Lord Darcy, detective, and Master Sean O Lochlainn, forensic sorcerer, have been summoned to investigate. … Continue reading

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