historical

The subtitle, Forbidden Love in a Hostile World, is a good summary of Mandy Hager’s new book. It is a dense work of historical fiction, rich with actual quotes from the main characters and a deep understanding of the history of the time. The story is a familiar one, that of Heloise and Abelard, lovers… Read More

Although at first this historical novel appears to be about land owner Matthew Fenchurch, in reality Jarulan by the River is the story of Rufina, who arrives as a German maid to the northern New South Wales property, Jarulan, a beautiful home of grandeur that is now decaying. Spanning from 1917 until the modern day… Read More

Award-winning novelist Paddy Richardson latest novel Through the Lonesome Dark is a departure from her previous crime novels. In this compelling historical novel, she looks at a dark time in the past.  Set on the West Coast of New Zealand before the First World War, it follows the story of Pansy, Clem and Otto from… Read More

Reading a proof copy of this novel, all four sides of the cover are full of praise for Helen Dunmore. Picked out for particular note are her gift for human observation and her ability to portray the horrors of history. Sadly I reached the end of this novel and shrugged my shoulders. True it was… Read More

Laid to rest in Paris’s famous Pere Lachaise cemetery, Benedictine nun Heloise d’Argenteuil and her lover and husband, the theologian and philosopher. Peter Abelard, became legendary. Theirs is one of the great love stories of all time. Centuries later, their tragic enforced separation and Abelard’s castration in particular, continue to be remembered and fire imaginations the… Read More

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 to a unique sisterhood. Along with younger sister Mary, they will become the queens of England, Scotland and France… Read More

What an excellent book; a really engrossing read that is brilliantly written. Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about a novel that makes it so good, and makes you read it in a rush. Just making the reader eager to keep turning the pages is one of those factors. But for… Read More

The North Water was one of the titles from last year’s Man Booker Prize long list and I was impressed. This is an excellent piece of historical fiction, which crosses the boundaries into the thriller genre. It works equally well in both. Having finished the book, I reflected on why I enjoyed it so much… Read More

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