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Historical Fiction

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By: Castello Newton Holford (1844-1905)

Book cover Aristopia: A Romance-History of the New World

Aristopia (published 1895) is truly an alternative history. It is an imagination of how the continent of North America might have developed if one man with the vision, altruism and determination to build a state for the benefit of all its people had been in the happy position of having wealth enough to make his dream a reality. It is an interesting book which deserves its place in literary history largely for being the first novel-length example of its genre. It is written, not as a novel, but as unvarnished history...

By: Isabella Varley Banks (1821-1897)

Book cover Manchester Man

Jabez Clegg, the Manchester man, floats into this historical novel in 1799, carried downstream by the River Irk in flood. Jabez's rise to commercial success mirrors the rise of the city at the heart of the industrial revolution. Mrs George Linnaeus Banks (nee Isabella Varley) weaves a web of historical fact and fiction in a fast-paced story built around the rivalry between the Jabez and his nemesis Laurence Aspinall, and the fate of Augusta Ashton, who is loved by both but loves only one. An entertaining fictional journey through the early 19th century history of the city of Manchester, the book also has serious points to make about women's choices and domestic violence.

By: Margaret S. Comrie (1851-?)

Book cover Key to the Riddle

Young Azerole Montoux and her brother Leon find themselves separated from their family by the religious persecutions of 1686. Threatened by the authorities and forced to depend on strangers, they must decide whether they can trust God to make sense out of the riddle of their lives.

By: Nathan Gallizier (1866-1927)

Book cover Under the Witches' Moon

The scene is Rome, 935 A.D. Thirty-year-old Tristan, dressed as a pilgrim, overhears a conversation between Basil, the Grand Chamberlain, and Il Gobbo, his assistant. After the two have left, Tristan continues to observe the revelry on the Eve of St. John. Suddenly a chariot containing a beautiful woman stops before him. They exchange words. He kisses her hand. Then she moves on, leaving him to ponder her beauty as he returns to the inn where he is staying. That night he has an enchanting and haunting dream of him together with another woman...

By: Florence Roma Muir Wilson (1891-1930)

Book cover Death of Society: A Novel of Tomorrow

A weary survivor of the Great War, Major Rane Smith wanders in a great ennui amidst the mystical beauties of the fjords of Norway after the War, seeking a spiritual renewal. Deep in the forest he stumbles fatefully upon the strange, almost elvish home of Karl Ingman, an iconoclastic old Ibsen scholar. There Major Smith meets Ingman's two beautiful young daughters and his eldritch wife Rosa, entering into long days of profound dialogue with each member of the family. A rare and exquisite gem of...

By: Thomas Dixon, Jr. (1864-1946)

Book cover Leopard's Spots

The first in a trilogy of the Reconstruction era - The Leopard's Spots (1902), The Clansman (1905), and The Traitor (1907), parts of this novel were incorporated in the 1915 silent movie classic, "The Birth Of A Nation". Set in North Carolina, the book explores the extreme social and racial tensions of the period as Confederates attempt to fight off "reconstructionist" policy, rebuild the war-torn South's economy, and grapple with the rampant "race question" of the day, whether the black and white races can ever live side by side as equals, i...

Book cover Traitor

Dixon lived through Reconstruction, and believed it ranked with the French Revolution in brutality and criminal acts. The Traitor (1907), the final book in his trilogy which also includes The Leopard’s Spots (1902), and The Clansman (1905), spans a two-year period just after Reconstruction (1870-1872), and covers the decline of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina. Dixon, whose father was an early Klan leader, maintained that the original Klan, the “reconstruction Klan” was morally formed in desperation to protect the people from lawlessness, address Yankee brutality, and save southern civilization...

By: Nikolai Chernyshevsky (1828-1889)

Book cover Vital Question, or, What is to be Done?

Despised by Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, What Is To Be Done? is a fascinating, sympathetic story of idealistic revolutionaries in mid-nineteenth century tsarist Russia; translator Nathan Haskell Dole affirms in his preface his conviction that it is a thriller that no one can put down once s/he begins it. Its variegated cast of characters includes Vera Pavlovna, a boldly independent woman in a time of great oppression, and the inspirational radical Rakhmetov. The author wrote the novel from the depths of the infamous Peter & Paul Fortress of St...

By: Deborah Alcock (1835-1913)

Book cover Spanish Brothers

The daughter of a minister, Deborah Alcock wrote novels on a Christian theme. The Spanish Brothers is set in the sixteenth century and deals with Protestant martyrdom during the Spanish Inquisition. Follow the fortunes of brothers Juan and Carlos as they face the trials and pressures of remaining true to their faith despite hardship, imprisonment, torture and even the agonizing deaths of those dear to them.

By: Sir Harry Johnston (1858-1927)

Book cover Mrs. Warren's Daughter

Mrs. Warren's Daughter is a continuation, in novel form, of George Bernard Shaw's controversial play, Mrs. Warren's Profession. In the play, Vivie Warren, an emancipated young woman recently graduated from University, disavows her mother Kitty when she learns that Kitty's fortune comes from an ownership share in an international string of brothels, and that Kitty herself was once a prostitute. This novel, written by a world renowned botanist, explorer, and colonial administrator, follows Vivie's personal and political adventures through her involvement in the Suffragist movement and the years leading up to and during World War I.

By: C. H. Robinson

Book cover Longhead: The Story of the First Fire

A fictionalized version of the self-discovery of primitive man, including: fire, cooking, defense and protection, architecture, community, communication, religion, government, and social interaction

By: Constance Elizabeth Maud (1857-1929)

Book cover No Surrender

Written from the midst of the struggle for female suffrage, Constance Elizabeth Maud’s novel No Surrender (1911) is a Call to Arms. It is a dramatic narrative portraying key players and historical events in the battle for the Vote for Women in Britain. Jenny Clegg is a Lancashire millgirl working long, hard hours under unhealthy conditions in order to support her mother and younger siblings, only to have her father take possession of her savings. In order to seek the rights to improved work conditions, equal pay, and many other human rights, she joins the movement of women seeking political representation...

By: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

Book cover War and Peace Vol. 2 (Dole Translation)

I am inclined to rank Count Tolstoy not among the realists or naturalists, but rather as an impressionist. He is often careless about accuracy. Numberless incongruities can be pointed out. He is as willing to adopt an anachronism as a medieval painter. I would defy an historian to reconstruct the battle of Austerlitz from Count Tolstoy's description. And yet what a picture of a battle was ever more vivid! It is like a painting where the general impression is true, but a close analysis discovers...

By: William Gershom Collingwood (1854-1932)

Book cover Thorstein of the Mere: A Saga of the Northmen in Lakeland

A fine adventure set in 10th-century England at a time when everyday life in north was made hazardous by wars and shifting alliances among Saxon, British and Norse rulers. Thorstein, like his father Swein before him, is a peaceful Norse settler but brave and ready for battle when the time comes. His adventures as child and man will appeal to younger listeners, while older listeners can enjoy a history lesson into the bargain. W. G. Collingwood, artist and antiquarian, set the story in his adopted...

By: A. E. W. Mason (1865-1948)

Book cover Watchers

A dark tale of adventure, piracy, murder, and revenge set on a rugged Cornish island in the mid-1700s. Told with the literary excellence to be expected from the author of The Four Feathers, the tale begins with a dangerous youth who sat in the stocks, and a girl named Helen, and a gang of men watching a granite house at the edge of the sea. NOTE: Contains some language that would be considered offensive to the modern ear. (Christine Dufour)

By: Annie F. Johnston (1863-1931)

Book cover Joel, a Boy of Galilee

Joel, a crippled boy, cannot play with the children and has nothing to care about. Rabbi Phineas helps him to find something he can do and tells him the reason that he is so kind is because of a boy from his hometown of Nazareth. Soon stories are going about everywhere of miracles, and some people think that the Messiah has come. Then someone tells Joel he should ask for his back to be healed. Will Joel be able to find the miracle worker?

By: Sapper (1888-1937)

Book cover Men, Women and Guns

World War I stories, as told through the eyes of someone who was there, but leavened with humour and an eye for the ridiculous side of human nature. This is a collection of McNeile's early short stories, drawing on his experiences with the Royal Engineers Corps. These are the memoirs which describe the experiences that made him who he was, and gave him his famous name "Sapper". The first half is made up of separate stories, the second half is selected accounts from the life of "Jim Denver" in Ypres and France.

By: D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

Book cover White Peacock

Lawrence’s first novel is set in Nethermere (his name for the real-life Eastwood in Nottinghamshire). The plot is narrated by Cyril Beardsall and focuses in particular on the relationship of his sister Lettie with two admirers, the more handsome and down to earth George and the more effete gentleman Leslie. She eventually marries Leslie although she is sexually attracted to George. George marries the conventional Meg and both marriages end in unhappiness. The countryside of the English midlands is beautifully evoked and there is powerful description also of the impact of industrialisation on both town and country.

By: John Ackworth (1854-1917)

Book cover Doxie Dent

Following the short story collections, Clog Shop Chronicles and Beckside Lights, John Ackworth completed the adventures of clogger Jabez Clegg and his Beckside cronies with a novel. Jabez's niece, the young and vivacious Doxie Dent, has grown up in 'Lunnon'. Arriving in the Lancashire village that is cloggers home, she delights the villagers with her southern ways, but Jabez remains unimpressed...

By: George Gibbs (1870-1942)

Book cover Golden Bough

The eyes of the Légionnaire, now grown accustomed to the glow of the light, made sure that the figure had not moved, nor was aware of his silent and furtive approach. Two plans of action suggested themselves, one to move behind the foliage to the right and intercept the monk with the lantern should he attempt to flee toward the lights of the house nearby, the other to risk all in a frank statement, a plea for charity and asylum. (A selection from Chapter 1. )

By: Florence Morse Kingsley (1859-1937)

Book cover Stephen: A Soldier of the Cross

This is a unique sequel to the book Titus: A Comrade of the Cross written in a very different style, though none the less memorable, full of excitement and suspense! The author combines several stories together with great skill and ease, creating tension, making you wonder how things can play out until the very climax is reached. A blind girl and her brother just barely surviving in Egypt, threatened by the slave trade, almost without hope, one day hear about miracles happening in Jerusalem. They fly for their lives, hoping against hope and when they finally get there they find themselves at the foot of the cross. Is it too late? Was all their suffering for nothing?


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