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By: Guy Wetmore Carryl

Grimm Tales Made Gay by Guy Wetmore Carryl Grimm Tales Made Gay

A comic rendering in verse of well-loved Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, each ending with a moral and full of puns. The titles of the tales themselves make another verse.

By: Robert W. Service (1874-1958)

Book cover Ottawa Folk Festival Robert Service Collection

The Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service with patrons, musicians and organizers. Robert Service is an iconic Canadian poet.

By: Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951)

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis Babbitt

By: Charles Kingsley

Hypatia by Charles Kingsley Hypatia

Charles Kingsley (June 12 1819 - January 23 1875) was an English divine, university professor, historian, and novelist, particularly associated with the West Country and north-east Hampshire. As a novelist, his chief power lay in his descriptive faculties, which are evident in this novel as he pictures the Egyptian desert and the ancient city Alexandria. Hypatia, 1st published in 1853, is set in 5th Century A.D. Egypt. It centers upon a young orphan monk from a desert monastery who feels called to continue his religious life in the city...

By: Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1837-1915)

Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Lady Audley's Secret

Inspired by a true life story, Lady Audley's Secret is the story of a woman's overwhelming ambition and passion for social success. When the first book came out in 1862, Victorian readers were shocked and outraged by its portrayal of aspects like bigamy, insanity, yearning for social status and the will to commit murder to achieve one's goals. The novel belongs to a genre that became very popular during that era. Known as “sensation novels” they can probably be equated to today's pulp fiction...

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

The Mystery of Cloomber by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Mystery of Cloomber

This novel is written by the author of, among other novels, the Stories of Sherlock Holmes. It is narrated by John Fothergill West, who tries to discover why the tenant of Cloomber Hall, General Heatherstone, is nervous to the point of being paranoid. Why are his fears becoming stronger every year at the fifth of October? And why doesn't he let his children leave home? This is a great mystery novel with a sharp twist at the end.

Sir Nigel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Nigel

By 1348 the House of Loring has fallen on hard times. Together, the Black Death and the greedy monks of Waverley have bled away all of the Loring wealth. Even the manor house will have to go to pay their debts.Then a chance encounter with the King of England provides Nigel, the last of the Lorings, with the chance to seek his fortune in the constant wars with France. But more importantly for Nigel it also means that he may be able to do the "three small deeds" that will show he is worthy to ask for the hand of the Lady Mary in marriage.Filled with chivalry, humour, and high romance, Sir Nigel is simply a rattling good yarn.

Book cover Uncle Bernac: A Memory of the Empire

Looking for a replacement to Sherlock Holmes after the author had killed him off in 1894, Doyle wrote this murder mystery in the dying years of the 19th century. Set in Napoleon’s era, it involves a Frenchman returning to his native land to join the Emperor’s ranks.

Book cover The Last of the Legions and Other Tales of Long Ago
Book cover Desert Drama: Being the Tragedy Of The Korosko

Also published under the title The Tragedy of the Korosko (1898). A group of European tourists are enjoying their trip to Egypt in the year 1895. They are sailing up the River Nile in a "a turtle-bottomed, round-bowed stern-wheeler", the Korosko. They intend to travel to Abousir at the southern frontier of Egypt, after which the Dervish country starts. They are attacked and abducted by a marauding band of Dervish warriors. The novel contains a strong defence of British Imperialism and in particular the Imperial project in North Africa. It also reveals the very great suspicion of Islam felt by many Europeans at the time.

Book cover The Last Galley Impressions and Tales

By: Henry Handel Richardson (1870-1946)

Australia Felix by Henry Handel Richardson Australia Felix

The story of Richard Mahony, a doctor trained in Edinburgh who comes to Ballarat in the gold rush of the 1850s. At first he runs a shop but later he marries and returns to medical practice. His story is interwoven with that of his wife’s brothers and sister. Even after his medical practice becomes successful he is still unhappy living in the colony and decides to return home to Britain. Richard is a restless irritable man whose character is said to be based on the author’s own father. This book is the first of the trilogy ‘The Fortunes of Richard Mahony’, but stands well on its own...

By: Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott Ivanhoe

Medieval England in the 12th century. The evil Prince John rules England in place of his brother, the noble Richard the Lionheart, who is being held in an Austrian prison by Duke Leopold of Austria, while returning from one of his Crusades. Under the avaricious and Machiavellian John, the Norman aristocrats are in constant conflict with the native Saxon people. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott is set in these turbulent times. The eponymous hero, Wilfred of Ivanhoe, the son of a Saxon nobleman has been disinherited by his father for following King Richard into war...

The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott The Talisman

The Talisman is a gripping tale set near the end of the Third Crusade. King Richard the Lionheart is grievously ill, and all around him the leaders from allied countries plot and scheme to gain personal power, putting the future of the crusade in jeopardy. Sir Kenneth of Scotland finds himself caught up in events, and finds both his honour and his life are now on the line. Can a cure be found for the King? Can Kenneth redeem his honour? – Written by Rowen.

Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott Rob Roy

Rob Roy is a historical novel by Walter Scott. It is narrated by Frank Osbaldistone, the son of an English merchant who travels first to the North of England, and subsequently to the Scottish Highlands to collect a debt stolen from his father. On the way he encounters the larger-than-life title character of Rob Roy MacGregor. Though Rob Roy is not the lead character (in fact the narrative does not move to Scotland until half way through the book) his personality and actions are key to the development of the novel.

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott Waverley

Waverley is set during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, which sought to restore the Stuart dynasty in the person of Charles Edward Stuart (or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'). It relates the story of a young dreamer and English soldier, Edward Waverley, who was sent to Scotland in 1745. He journeys North from his aristocratic family home, Waverley-Honour, in the south of England first to the Scottish Lowlands and the home of family friend Baron Bradwardine, then into the Highlands and the heart of the 1745 Jacobite uprising and aftermath.

Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott Kenilworth

An Elizabethan era historical novel by Scotland’s master of fiction, Sir Walter Scott. With a cast of historical and created characters, including the Queen herself, Scott presents the sad history and tragic consequences of the secretive marriage of young Amy Robsart and the Earl of Leicester. (Summary by SK)

By: Rabindranath Tagore

The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore The Home and the World

Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), also known by the sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali poet, Brahmo religionist, visual artist, playwright, novelist, and composer whose works reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He became Asia’s first Nobel laureate when he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Home and the World is a 1916 novel, set in the estate of the rich Bengali noble Nikhil. He lives happily with his beautiful wife Bimala until the appearance of his friend and radical revolutionist, Sandip...

By: Anatole France (1844-1924)

Book cover Gods are Athirst

The Gods Are Athirst (French: Les dieux ont soif, also translated as The Gods Are Thirsty or The Gods Will Have Blood) is a 1912 novel by Anatole France. The story follows the young Parisian painter Évariste Gamelin, who rises speedily from his humble beginnings to a member of the Revolutionary Tribunal in the second and third year of the French Revolution. In brilliant prose, Anatole France describes how Évariste's idealism turns into fanaticism, and he allows more and more heads to roll and blood to flow, placing himself and those he loves into ever greater danger.

By: Lew Wallace (1827-1905)

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Ben-Hur is a story of two very different heroes. Judah Ben-Hur, a prince of Jerusalem, is involved in an accident to the Roman procurator which is taken to be intentional. He is seized and sent to the fleet as a galley-slave, while his family is imprisoned and the family goods confiscated. When Ben-Hur saves the fleet captain from drowning after his ship is sunk in a fight with pirates, that officer adopts him as son and heir. With Roman training, Ben-Hur distinguishes himself in the arena and the palistrae and appears to be on the way to high military command...

By: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)

A Prisoner of Morro by Upton Sinclair A Prisoner of Morro

Upton Sinclair, born in 1878 was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author. He wrote over 90 books in many genres. Best known for his muckraking novel, The Jungle, Sinclair also wrote adventure fiction. Many of these works were written under the pseudonym, Ensign Clark Fitch, U.S.N. A Prisoner of Morrow, published in 1898 when Sinclair was but 20 years old, is one of these efforts. The period for this work is the ten-week Spanish–American War which occurred in 1898. Revolts against Spanish rule had been prevalent for decades in Cuba and were closely watched by Americans...

By: Israel Zangwill (1864-1926)

Book cover Children of the Ghetto

In this 1892 novel of London's Jewish East End, Israel Zangwill sets the apparently irrational and decidedly indecorous religious practices of transplanted eastern European Jews against the forces of assimilation. Zangwill's knowledge of Yiddishkeit and skill in melodrama created a series of unforgettable vignettes that had a significant effect on the public perception of this much stigmatized immigrant group. Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) was born in London of Russian and Polish parents. He coined the term cultural "melting pot".

By: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen Ghosts

Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts was first published in 1881 and staged in 1882, and like his earlier play A Doll's House, profoundly shocked his contemporaries. Dubbed "a dirty deed done in public" by one of its critics, the play focuses on (among other things) venereal disease, euthanasia, and incest. The original title literally means "the ones who return," and the play is about how we can deal with the awful legacy of the past.

By: Emma Orczy (1865-1947)

Book cover The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel

Written by Baroness Orczy and first published in 1919, The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel is a sequel book to the classic adventure tale, The Scarlet Pimpernel. The book consists of eleven short stories about Sir Percy Blakeney’s exploits in rescuing various aristos and French citizens from the clutches of the guillotine. The stories which are listed below, are set in 1793 but appear in no particular order. They occasionally refer to events in other books in the series.

By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard is Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's last play. It premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904 in a production directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play as a comedy and it does contain some elements of farce; however, Stanislavski insisted on directing the play as a tragedy. Since this initial production, directors have had to contend with the dual nature of this play. The play concerns an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family's estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage...

The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov The Three Sisters

Three Sisters is a naturalistic play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters (Olga, Masha, and Irina) and their brother Andrei. They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence. The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow; however for the past eleven years they have been living in a small provincial town...

By: Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)

The Gray Mills of Farley by Sarah Orne Jewett The Gray Mills of Farley

As contemporary today as it was over a century ago, this relatively unsentimental tale of labor relations still packs a punch.

By: George Alfred Henty (1832-1902)

Among Malay Pirates and Other Tales of Peril and Adventure by George Alfred Henty Among Malay Pirates and Other Tales of Peril and Adventure

G. A . Henty was a prolific writer of historical fiction for young adults. In this collection of shorter stories we visit Malay pirates, have a couple of tales of India, a shipwreck off the Channel Islands and a bursting dam in California, and finish off escaping from captivity in China

The Dragon and the Raven by George Alfred Henty The Dragon and the Raven

During the reign of King Alfred, Danish forces have invaded the English countryside. Although the English try to repulse these attacks, they are overrun by the savagery and sheer numbers of the Danes.One of those deeply touched by these attacks is young Edmund. As a boy, he watched as his father was slain in battle fighting the Danes. Although young, he was intelligent, and noted the mistakes made on the battlefield. As he grew into a man, he put that knowledge into use and created a uniquely trained group of soldiers and built a new, stronger ship called the Dragon...

St. Bartholomew's Eve by George Alfred Henty St. Bartholomew's Eve

Set in the days of the religious wars of Europe, St. Bartholomew’s Eve is the tale of the Huguenot’s desperate fight for freedom of worship in France. As the struggle intensifies the plot thickens, culminating in the dreadful Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve. Henty, “The Boy’s Own Storyteller” weaves the life and adventures of Philip Fletcher and his cousin, Francois DeLaville, into the historical background with thrilling battles, sieges and escapes along the way (not to mention a fair damsel in distress!).

The Tiger of Mysore by George Alfred Henty The Tiger of Mysore

During the Indian war with Tippoo Saib, 15 year old Dick Holland and his mother set out from England to find and rescue his father, shipwrecked 6 years earlier, and believed to be held prisoner by the 'Tiger of Mysore'.

At Agincourt - White Hoods of Paris by George Alfred Henty At Agincourt - White Hoods of Paris

The story begins in a grim feudal castle in Normandie. The times were troublous, and soon the king compelled Lady Margaret de Villeroy, with her children, to go to Paris as hostages. Guy Aylmer went with her.Paris was turbulent. Soon the guild of the butchers, adopting white hoods as their uniform, seized the city, and besieged the house where our hero and his charges lived. After desperate fighting, the white hoods were beaten and our hero and his charges escaped from the city, and from France. (Summary from the original back cover)


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