Our Book of the Week this week is Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, which is an historical novel centred around the French Revolution. We have collated some more historical novels dealing with a number of different time periods for you to browse through and enjoy!
A Place of Greater Safety, by Hilary Mantel
Not for the faint of heart, Mantel’s 900 page novel is an historical masterpiece focussing on the key figures of the French Revolution. Georges Danton, Camille Desmoulins and Maximilien Robespierre, 3 crucial figureheads of the revolution, feature heavily in this work, Mantel following their lives through childhood and through the execution of the Dantonists.
Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison’s 3rd published novel, Song of Solomon, details the life of Macon Dead III. Growing up African-American in 1930’s Michigan, Macon, dubbed ‘Milkman’ as a child, struggles with the disconnect he feels within himself and his family. Macon learns about the tyranny of white society from his friend Guitar, however the tyranny exhibited by Macon’s father is a much more pressing issue in Macon’s life. Macon resolves to travel down South in the hopes of finding lost familial treasure, learning more about his origins and himself in the process.
The Song of Achilles, by Madeleine Miller
Think you know the story of Achilles? Think again. Miller’s romantic account of the lives of Achilles and Patroclus begins with their childhood, when an exiled young Patroclus takes residence in the court of Achilles’ father. An unlikely friendship is forged, one which blossoms into a love to last a lifetime. But with the threat of war looming, the pair will be tested beyond anything they have ever faced before. A stunning retelling of the Trojan War following the trials of the human heart.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
A more supernatural, mystical take on history, Clarke takes us back to 19th Century London. Practical magic is a dying art, solitary and secretive Mr Norrell its sole practitioner. That is, until the emergence of novice magician Jonathan Strange. Strange’s daring approach to magic provides a challenge to Mr Norrell’s cautious lifestyle, a challenge which will bring trouble to both England and France through their magical escapades.
Some of these books are available to download from our cloudLibrary here. All you need is an RBKC library card and if you are not a member, don’t worry, just click here – it’s completely free to join and use our resources.