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Men of Iron

By: Howard Pyle

Men of Iron by Howard Pyle is historical fiction that transports us back to the 1400's, a time of knighthood and chivalry. Myles Falworth is eight years old when news comes they must flee their home. His blind father is accused of treason. We see Myles grow up, train as a knight, and with perseverance, clear his father of any wrong-doing and restore their family name. (Summary by Laura Caldwell)...

Historical Fiction

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History of the Plague in London

By: Daniel Defoe

The History of the Plague in London is a novel by Daniel Defoe. It is a fictionalized account of one man's experiences of the year 1665, in which the Great Plague struck the city of London. The book is a roughly chronological account, purporting to have been written several years after the event. It was in fact written in the years just prior to the book's first publication in March of 1722 – Defoe was only five years old in 1665, and the book itself was published under the initials H. F. The novel was probably based on the journals of Defoe's uncle, Henry Foe. In the book, Defoe goes to great pains to achieve an effect of verisimilitude, identifying specific houses in which events took place, providing tables of casualty figures and discussing the credibility of various accounts received by the narrator. (Summary from wikipedia)...

Historical Fiction

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In the Year of Jubilee

By: George Gissing

The Jubilee marks the fiftieth year of the reign of Queen Victoria. Dickensian in its sweeping scope of London life, Jubilee depicts the harsh and disreputable conditions of lower-middle class life at the end of the 19th century. (Introduction by S. Kovalchik)...

Fiction, Historical Fiction

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Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates

By: Howard Pyle

Swashbuckling tales of legendary pirates, buccaneers, and marooners, terrors of the Spanish Main.(Summary by Epistomolus)

Historical Fiction

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Quo Vadis

By: Henryk Sienkiewicz

Sienkiewicz’s epic novel of ancient Rome finds the Empire at the height of her power and splendor, but struggling with the madness and cruelty of the Emperor Nero. A new religion is sweeping across the world, causing many Romans to wonder and leading many others to sacrifice everything for it. Yet, even as a great city burns and darkness threatens to overwhelm the age, hope is found in the love of the Roman tribune Marcus Vinicius for the beautiful Christian maiden Lygia, and in his journey toward his life’s true purpose (Introduction by D. Leeson)....

Historical Fiction

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Prince of Good Fellows, A

By: Robert Barr

Robert Barr (1849 - 1912) was a Scottish Journalist, editor, humorist and author. A Prince of Good Fellows was published in 1902, and is a series of Historical Fiction stories about the young James V, King of Scots (1512 – 1542). The chapters are full of humor and adventure and portrays a young King who is both wise and adventurous. (Summary by Lars Rolander)...

Historical Fiction

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Windsor Castle, Book 1

By: William Harrison Ainsworth

Book 1 - Ann Boleyn. The focus of the novels is on the events surrounding Henry VIII's replacing Catherine of Aragon with Anne Boleyn as his wife. During Henry's pursuit of Boleyn, the novel describes other couples, including the Earl of Surrey and Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald, a match Henry does not support. However, some of the individuals oppose Henry and his desires for Boleyn, including Thomas Wyat who wants her for himself and Cardinal Wolsey, who uses his own daughter, Mabel Lyndwood, to lure Henry away from Boleyn. [...] Intertwined with the Court is the story of Herne the Hunter, a spirit of Windsor Forest. He is an evil force that seeks to take the souls of various individuals, and Henry tries to stop him, but is never able to do so. (Summary adapted from Wikipedia)...

Historical Fiction

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Sense and Sensibility (version 2)

By: Jane Austen

Historical Fiction

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Dead Souls

By: Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

Dead Souls (Russian: Мёртвые души) by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an epic poem in prose, and within the book as a novel in verse. Despite supposedly completing the trilogy's second part, Gogol destroyed it shortly before his death. Although the novel ends in mid-sentence (like Sterne's Sentimental Journey), it is usually regarded as complete in the extant form. In Russia before the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, landowners were entitled to own serfs to farm their land. Serfs were for most purposes considered the property of the landowner, and could be bought, sold, or mortgaged against, as any other chattel. To count serfs (and people in general), the measure word soul was used: e.g., six souls of serfs. The plot of the novel relies on dead souls (i.e., dead serfs) which are still accounted for in property registers. On another level, the title refers to the dead souls of Gogol's characters, all of which visualise different aspects of poshlost (an untranslatable Russian word which is perhaps best ren...

Historical Fiction

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Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ Book 1

By: Lew Wallace

Lew Wallace's Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ Book 1 gives a sideline view of events taking pace around the days of Christ. Book 1 gives the account of Christ's birth. (Summary by MHAIJH85)...

Historical Fiction

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David Elginbrod

By: George MacDonald

David Elginbrod was George Macdonald's first real success, a novel of Scottish country life. Published in 1862, it was dedicated to the memory of Lady Noel Byron.(Summary from wikipedia)...

Historical Fiction

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Spirit of the Border, The

By: Zane Grey

This is an early novel by the phenomenally successful author of frontier, western and sports stories. It deals with historical characters and incidents in the Ohio Valley in the late 18th century, especially with the foundation of Gnaddenhutten, a missionary village intended to bring Christianity to the Indians of Ohio, despite the violent opposition of both Indians and white renegades. This turbulent adventure romance features the heroics of a semi-legendary frontiersman, Lewis Wetzel, who attempts to protect the settlers from hostile Native Americans and the vicious white outlaws the Girty brothers. (Introduction by Leonard Wilson)...

Historical Fiction

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Canterbury Tales, The

By: Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century (two of them in prose, the rest in verse). The tales, some of which are originals and others not, are contained inside a frame tale and told by a group of pilgrims on their way from Southwark to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The themes of the tales vary, and include topics such as courtly love, treachery, and avarice. The genres also vary, and include romance, Breton lai, sermon, beast fable, and fabliau. The characters, introduced in the General Prologue of the book, tell tales of great cultural relevance. The version read here was edited by D. Laing Purves “for popular perusal” and the language is mostly updated. ( Gesine)...

Historical Fiction

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Hypatia

By: Charles Kingsley

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. He discovers a sister, who is a prostitute living with a band of Goths. Other characters include Hypatia, a lady philosopher based on a historical personage; Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria; Felix, the Roman prefect; a Jewish man who has lost his faith; and an elderly Jewish woman who is like a sorceress. St. Augustine of Hippo makes a brief appearance. (Summary from Wikipedia with additions by Karen Merline)...

Historical Fiction

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Dulcibel

By: Henry Peterson

Dulcibel is a young, pretty and kind-hearted fictional character charged with Witchcraft during the infamous Salem Witch trials. During this time there is a group of afflicted girls who accuse Dulcibel and many others of Witchcraft, and during their trials show undoubtable proof that these people really are Witches. Will Master Raymond, Dulcibel's lover, be able to to secure Dulcibel's release from jail? Or will Dulcibel's fate be the gallows like so many other accused Witches of her time? (Summary by Elaine Webb)...

Historical Fiction

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Clotel, or, The President's Daughter

By: William Wells Brown

Clotel; or, The President's Daughter is a novel by William Wells Brown (1815-84), a fugitive from slavery and abolitionist and was published in London, England in December 1853. It is often considered the first African-American novel. This novel focuses on the difficult lives of mulattoes in America and the degraded and immoral condition of the relation of master and slave in the USA (Brown). It is about the tragic lives of Currer, Althesea, and Clotel. In the novel, Currer is the former mulatto mistress of President Thomas Jefferson who together have two daughters, Althesea and Clotel. Because she was beautiful and the mistress of Jefferson, Currer and her daughters lived a confortable life, this changed when her master passes away. In the end, Currer and Althesea are auctioned to the notorious slave trader, Dick Walker. Clotel is bought by her lover Horatio Green. The separation of these three women is just the beginning of the injustices they face. It gained notoriety amid the unconfirmed rumors regarding Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings. Brown was still considered someone else's legal property within the borders of the United...

Historical Fiction

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Master and Man

By: Leo Tolstoy

A land owner, Vasili Andreevich, takes along one of his peasants, Nikita, for a short journey to another town. He wishes to get to the town quickly 'for business'. They find themselves in the middle of a blizzard, but the master in his avarice wishes to press on. They eventually get lost off the road and they try to camp. The master's peasant soon finds himself about to die from hypothermia. The master leaves him on the horse to stubbornly try to find the road. When he returns, he attains a spiritual/moral revelation, and Tolstoy once again repeats one of his famous themes: that the only true happiness in life is found by living for others. (Wikipedia)...

Historical Fiction

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Last Of The Mohicans (A Narrative of 1757), The

By: James Fenimore Cooper

The Last of the Mohicans is an epic novel by James Fenimore Cooper, first published in January 1826. It was one of the most popular English-language novels of its time, and helped establish Cooper as one of the first world-famous American writers.The story takes place in 1757 during the French and Indian War, when France and Great Britain battled for control of the American and Canadian colonies. During this war, the French often allied themselves with Native American tribes in order to gain an advantage over the British, with unpredictable and often tragic results. (Wikipedia Excerpt)...

Historical Fiction

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Romola

By: George Eliot

George Eliot's own favorite among her novels, this novel tells the story of Romola, the intelligent daughter of a blind scholar, who is falling in love with a man who is going to change her life and the politics of Florence in a way she doesn't like. Set in 15th century Florence, it is a deep study of life in the city of Florence from an intellectual, artistic, religious, and social point of view. Summary by Stav Nisser and Wikipedia....

Historical Fiction

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Secret Battle, The

By: A.P. Herbert

Like many soldiers at the beginning of their military careers, Harry Penrose has romantic ideas of climbing the ranks and attaining hero status. However, while stationed at Gallipoli, the realities of war begin to take their toll on Penrose, not only physically, but also mentally where the war has become a 'battle of the mind.' This is his story as related by a fellow soldier, as well as the story of the campaign at Gallipoli which is vividly portrayed from the author's own personal experiences. During his tenure as an officer, Penrose slowly asserts himself; the war takes a toll on his personality, but he begins to live up to his early dreams of heroism. However, his creeping self-doubt grows by degrees; following Gallipoli, he is reassigned from his post as scouting officer once on the Somme, knowing he cannot face another night patrol, and earns the wrath of his commanding officer - an irascible Regular colonel - over a trivial incident. The colonel piles difficult, risky work on him - remarking to the narrator that Master Penrose can go on with [leading ration parties] until he learns to do them properly - and Penrose submits, w...

Historical Fiction

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