Historical Fiction for Sixth Formers

(Updated June 2014)

Elizabeth Ashworth, By Loyalty Boundhttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1781593701 (2013), about an heiress who becomes the mistress of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III.
Vanora Bennett, Figures in Silk (2008), about two daughters of a silk merchant: Jane Shore, who would become the mistress of King Edward IV, and her sister.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton, The Last of the Barons (1843), about the power struggle between King Edward IV and the Earl of Warwick. Download for free
Toby Clements, Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims (2014), about a young nun and the young monk who rescues her, who are forced to flee amid the Wars of the Roses;
Emma Darwin, A Secret Alchemy (2008), about the Princes in the Tower, from the perspective of their mother, Elizabeth Woodville, their uncle Anthony Woodville, and a fictional modern-day researcher
Posie Graeme-Evans, The Innocent (2004), about a mistress of Edward IV;
Philippa Gregory, The White Queen (2009), a sympathetic novel about Elizabeth Woodville, Edward IV's queen and the mother of the Princes in the Tower;
Philippa Gregory, The Red Queen (2010), about the ambitious Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, who became king after defeating Richard III on the battlefield.
Philippa Gregory, The Lady of the Rivers (2011), about Jacquetta Woodville, whose life changes when her daughter Elizabeth secretly marries King Edward IV of England.
Philippa Gregory, The Kingmaker’s Daughter (2012), about Anne and Isabel Neville, the daughters of the Earl of Warwick during the Wars of the Roses.
Susan Higginbotham, The Stolen Crown (2010), about Katherine Woodville, whose sister Elizabeth secretly marries King Edward IV.
Susan Higginbotham, The Queen of Last Hopes (2011), about Margaret of Anjou, the French wife of King Henry VI, and Queen of England during the Wars of the Roses.
Conn Iggulden, Stormbird (2013), about Henry VI and the Wars of the Roses;
Terence Morgan, The Shadow Prince (2012), about Perkin Warbeck.
Anne O'Brien, The Virgin Widowhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0451231295 (2010), about Anne Neville, whose father uses her as a political pawn during the Wars of the Roses.
Sharon Kay Penman, The Sunne in Splendour (1982), a stand-alone novel about King Richard III, from his childhood to his death in battle. Review
Jean Plaidy, The Red Rose of Anjouhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=ur2&o=1 (1982), about Margaret of Anjou; see also The Sun in Splendourhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=ur2&o=1, about the Battle on Bosworth, and Uneasy Lies the Headhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=ur2&o=1, about Henry Tudor
Anne Easter Smith, Daughter of York (2008), about the Princess Margaret, the sister of Edward IV and Richard III, and her marriage to Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.
Anne Easter Smith, The King's Grace (2009), a novel which imagines the life of Grace Plantagenet, an illegitimate daughter of Edward IV, during the years when Perkin Warbeck attempted to take the throne from Henry VII. Review
Anne Easter Smith, Queen by Right (2011), about Cecily Neville, who married Richard of York. See also  Royal Mistress (2013), about Edward IV's mistress Jane Shore. Review
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses (1883), an adventure novel set during the Wars of the Roses. Free to download
Brian Wainwright, The Adventures of Alianore Audeley (2005), a humorous historical novel about a woman spy during the Wars of the Roses.
Sandra Worth, The Rose of York: Love and War (2003), about Richard III. See also  The King's Daughter (2008), about Elizabeth of York

Mysteries set during the Wars of the Roses
P.C. Doherty, The Fate of the Princeshttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=ur2&o=1 (1990), dying friend and confidant of Richard III tells the story of the Princes in the Tower.
K.E. Martin, The Woodville Connection (2013), about a knight asked by Richard of Gloucester to help an elderly man accused of murdering a child prove his innocence by finding the real killer.
Julian Rathbone, Kings of Albion (2000), about a group of Indian travellers looking for a missing relative in England during the fifteenth century Wars of the Roses.
Kate Sedley, The Goldsmith's Daughterhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=ur2&o=1 (2001), a former monk turned peddler is asked by Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, to investigate a case of poisoning in an attempt to prove the innocence of a relation of King Edward's mistress, Jane Shore; #10 in the Roger the Chapman series.
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time (1951), a bedridden Scotland Yard detective tries to solve the mystery of the Princes in the Tower and clear the name of Richard III. Review

 Gillian Bagwell, Venus in Winter (2013), about Bess of Hardwick, whose three marriages during the reign of Henry VIII make her a wealthy and powerful woman.
Ros Barber, The Marlowe Papers (2013), a novel in verse form which imagines that Christopher Marlowe faked his death to avoid being convicted of heresy and continued to write plays under Shakespeare's name.
Jenny Barden, The Lost Duchesshttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0091949238 (2013), about a lady-in-waiting in Queen Elizabeth's court who travels to the New World as part of the Roanoke Colony founded by Sir Walter Raleigh.
Anne Clinard Barnhill, At the Mercy of the Queen (2012), about Lady Margaret Shelton, a cousin of Anne Boleyn who goes to Henry VIII's court as Anne's lady-in-waiting.
Anne Clinard Barnhill, Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter (2014), about Mary Shelton, a ward of Elizabeth I, who comes into conflict with the queen over her choice of a husband.
Jesse Blackadder, The Raven's Heart (2011), about a young woman raised as a boy who becomes a confidante and spy for Mary, Queen of Scots.
D.L. Bogdan, The Sumerton Women (2012), about two young women whose dreams are shattered when Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn bring religious upheaval to England.
D.L. Bogdan, The Forgotten Queen (2013), about Margaret Tudor, who married King James IV of Scotland.
Anthony Burgess, A Dead Man in Deptford, about Christopher Marlowe, the Elizabethan playwright who was Shakespeare's contemporary and may have been a government spy. Review
John Buchan, Blanket of the Dark, about a young man who discovers he is royal and is being used as the pawn of men who wish to overthrow King Henry VIII.
Sandra Byrd, Roses Have Thorns (2013), about Elin von Snakenborg, a Swedish noblewoman in the court of Elizabeth I.
Robert Carter, Armada (1988), about the struggle of Elizabethan England to become a naval power, from the perspective of two seafaring brothers from Devon,
Mavis Cheek, Amenable Women (2008), about a widow who, writing a history of the village where Anne of Cleves lived after her divorce, hears tales of her life from her portrait in the Louvre. Review
Warwick Collins, The Sonnets (2008), about the young Will Shakespeare during the years when he wrote his sonnets, inspired by the "dark lady."
Stephanie Cowell, Nicholas Cooke, about a young actor in Shakespeare's theatre company who wants to be a doctor and a priest.
Jim Crace, Harvest (2013), about disaster in an English village. (Booker Prize shortlist 2013) Review
Suzannah Dunn, The Queen of Subtleties, about a woman who served as Henry VIII's confectioner, sculpting "subtleties" out of sugar, during the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn.
Suzannah Dunn, The Sixth Wife, about Katherine Parr, whose subsequent marriage to the handsome and ambitious Thomas Seymour held its own risks.
Suzannah Dunn, The Queen's Sorrow (2008), about a Spanish maker of sundials who accompanies Philip of Spain to England when he marries Mary Tudor.
Suzannah Dunn, The Confession of Katherine Howardhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0007258291 (2010), about Henry VIII’s fifth wife
Dorothy Dunnett, The Game of Kings, the sixteenth century adventures of a knavish but patriotic Scottish swordsman; #1 in the Lymond Chronicles.
Kate Emerson, The Pleasure Palace (2009), about Jane Popyngcourt, a companion of Henry VII's daughters, who becomes the mistress of a French prisoner of war; #1 in the Secrets of the Tudor Court series. See also: Between Two Queens, By Royal Decree, At the King’s Pleasure, The King’s Damsel, Royal Inheritance
Carolly Erickson, The Favored Queen (2011), about Jane Seymour. Review
Carolly Erickson, Rival to the Queen (2010), about Lettice Knollys, the second wife of Elizabeth I's favorite Robert Dudley. Review or Author Interview
Ford Madox Ford, The Fifth Queen (1906) about Katharine Howard. (Free download)
James Forrester, Sacred Treason (2010), a thriller about Anne Boleyn's first marriage and her interest in Luther's teachings; #1 in the Clarenceux trilogy. See also The Roots of Betrayal and The Final Sacrament
Elizabeth Fremantle, Queen’s Gambit (2013), about Katharine Parr. See also Sisters of Treason (2014), about Lady Jane Grey's sisters during the reigns of Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I
Laurien Gardner, The Spanish Bride: A Novel of Catherine of Aragon, about Henry VIII's first wife, who believed she had married her chivalrous ideal. See also A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn and Plain Jane: A Novel of Jane Seymour
Margaret George, Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles (2011), about Mary Queen of Scots. See also Elizabeth I (2011) Review
Rosemary Goring, After Floddenhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1846972728 (2013), about a Scottish survivor of the Battle of Flodden Field and the woman who asks him to help her find out whether her brother survived the battle.
Winston Graham, The Grove of Eagles, (1963) set during the Spanish Armada.
Philippa Gregory, The Other Queen (2008), about Mary, Queen of Scots, during her imprisonment.
Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl, about Mary Boleyn and her sister Anne
Philippa Gregory, The Queen's Fool (2003), about a young woman who dresses as a boy to serve in the Renaissance court of Queen Elizabeth I.
Philippa Gregory, The Virgin's Lover, about Amy Dudley, the wife of Queen Elizabeth's admirer Robert Dudley; shows Queen Elizabeth in a less flattering light than most novels about her.
Philippa Gregory, The Constant Princess, about Katherine of Aragon.
Philippa Gregory, The Boleyn Inheritance, about Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard
Philippa Gregory, The Wise Woman, a nun who must fend for herself after her convent closes.
Philippa Gregory, The White Princess (2013), about Elizabeth of York, the sister of the "Princes in the Tower" and wife of Henry VII, the first Tudor king. Review
Sarah Gristwood, The Girl in the Mirror (2011), about a French girl who grows up in London, disguised as a boy and becomes drawn into the intrigue surrounding the Earl of Essex;
Diane Haeger, The Secret Bride, about Mary Tudor, the younger sister of King Henry VIII. See also The Queen's Mistake, about Catherine Howard, and The Queen’s Rival, about Elizabeth Blount
Karen Harper, The Queen's Governess (2010), about Katherine Ashley, who was hired by Thomas Cromwell as a spy and lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn, who became Elizabeth’s governess.
Karen Harper, Shakespeare’s Mistress (2009), about Anne Whatley, betrothed to William Shakespeare a few days before he was forced to wed the pregnant Anne Hathaway. Review
Karen Harper, The Irish Princess (2011), about Elizabeth Fitzgerald, an Irish princess whose family is brutally repressed by Henry VIII, but who eventually becomes a trusted lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth I.
Susan Higginbotham, Her Highness, The Traitor (2012), about Lady Jane Grey.
C.C. Humphreys, The French Executioner (2001), about a French swordsman hired to behead Anne Boleyn, and his vow to bury her six-fingered hand. See also Blood Ties
C.C. Humphreys, Shakespeare's Rebel (2013), about a friend of Shakespeare who hopes to avoid being caught up with the court intrigues and military adventures of the Earl of Essex.
Geoffrey James, Sorcerer: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth's Alchemist (2013), about the flight of Dr. John Dee in 1584 after he turns from respectable scientific pursuits to forbidden magic.
Faye Kellerman, The Quality of Mercy (1989), about the daughter of Queen Elizabeth's physician who meets young Will Shakespeare and goes adventuring with him.
Barbara Kyle, The Queen's Lady (2008), about a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon who enlists a sea captain in her risky efforts to aid her mistress. See also The King's Daughter The Queen's Captive The Queen's Gamble and Blood Between Queenshttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0758273223
Morgan Llywelyn, The Last Prince of Ireland (1992) about Donal Cam O'Sullivan and the Battle of Kinsale in 1601, in which England established its sovereignty over Ireland. See also Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas, based on the life of a pirate in sixteenth century Ireland.
Elizabeth Loupas, The Flower Reader (2012), about a Scottish woman who can see the future and whose husband is murdered after she is given a mysterious casket to deliver to Mary Queen of Scots.
Marie Macpherson, The First Blast of the Trumpet (2012), about Scottish reformer John Knox
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall (2009), about Thomas Cromwell, who becomes King Henry VIII's adviser after Cardinal Wolsey's downfall. Review See also its sequel  Bring Up the Bodies (2012) Review .
Robert Nye, The Voyage of the Destiny (2003), about the final voyage of Sir Walter Raleigh.
Sonia Overall, A Likeness (2005), about a humbly born portrait painter struggling to make his fortune in Elizabethan England with the help of a courtesan who likes paint.
Jean Plaidy, Queen of This Realm (1984), about Queen Elizabeth I.
James Pool, E. Rex: Tudor England's Young Kinghttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1450596169 (2010), about Henry VIII's son and heir, Edward, from the age of seven when his training to become king begins;
Emily Purdy, The Tudor Throne (2011) about Mary and Elizabeth Tudor. See also The Tudor Wife about George and Anne Boleyn and A Court Affair about Robert Dudley and his wife Amy Robsart.
Leon Rooke, Shakespeare's Doghttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=&l=as2&o=1&a=0880010932&camp=217145&creative=399373, about Shakespeare and his wife, narrated by their dog. Review .
John Stack, Armada (2012), about a captain in Sir Francis Drake's navy who is a secret Catholic and, when the Spanish Armada attacks, must face his estranged father, who is fighting for the Spanish.
Nigel Tranter, Marie and Mary (2004), about two queens who ruled Scotland during the sixteenth century: Marie de Guise, who succeeded her husband James V, and Mary Queen of Scots.
Brenda Rickman Vantrease, The Heretic's Wife (2010), about a woman who, with her brother, manages a bookseller's shop selling forbidden translations of the Bible.
Peter Walker, The Courier's Tale (2010), about the courier who carries messages to Cardinal Reginald Pole in Rome as Henry VIII contemplates the break with Rome. Review
Alison Weir, Innocent Traitor (2007), about Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days. See also The Lady Elizabeth (2008), about Elizabeth Tudor and  A Dangerous Inheritance  (2012) about Lady Catherine Grey.
Jeane Westin, The Virgin's Daughters (2009), about Lady Katherine Grey and Mistress Mary Rogers, ladies-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth. See also His Last Letter about Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley and The Spymaster’s Daughter  about Lady Frances Sidney, Francis Walsingham’s daughter
Virginia Woolf, Orlando (1928), a literary novel about a young man in the Elizabethan age who decides never to grow old and, during a later century, is transformed into a woman.
Sandra Worth, Pale Rose of England (2011), about Lady Catherine Gordon, Perkin Warbeck’s wife.

 Tudor Mysteries and Thrillers
Fiona Buckley, To Shield the Queen (1997) about a noblewoman who fails to prevent the death of Amy Dudley, wife of Queen Elizabeth's favourite;
Amanda Carmack, Murder at Hatfield House (2013), about a musician's daughter who investigates the death of Queen Mary’s envoy in the house where Princess Elizabeth is confined in 1558.
Rory Clements, Martyr (2009), a thriller featuring John Shakespeare, Will's elder brother, searching for an assassin sent by the Spanish to kill Queen Elizabeth. Review
Michelle Diener, In a Treacherous Court (2011), a thriller which imagines how artist Susanna Horenbout and Henry VIII's courtier John Parker might have met. Review
James Forrester, Sacred Treason (2010), about a Catholic herald who takes charge of a dangerous book and shortly afterward is arrested as Queen Elizabeth's councillors investigate plots against her
Philip Gooden, That Sleep of Death (2000), about an aspiring actor who discovers his host's father was murdered in a manner that echoes "Hamlet,"
C.W. Gortner, The Tudor Secret (2011), about a spy for Elizabeth during Edward VI’s reign.
Karen Harper, Mistress of Mourning (2012), about a young widow asked by Henry VII's queen to investigate the sudden death of Prince Arthur in 1501.
Victoria Lamb, The Queen's Secret (2012), about a singer who, while spying on the Earl of Leicester for Queen Elizabeth, discovers a conspiracy to murder the queen;
Margaret Lawrence, Roanoke (2009), about a man sent by Queen Elizabeth's advisers to the doomed colony of Roanoke to get information about a legendary treasure.
Edward Marston, The Queen's Headhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=historicalinf-20&l=ur2&o=1 (1988), a stage manager for an Elizabethan theatre company investigates the murder of one of his players; #1 in the Nicholas Bracewell series.
Matthew Reilly, The Tournament (2013), Elizabeth Tudor and her tutor Roger Ascham travel to a chess tournament in Constantinople in 1546 where Ascham a murder.
Phil Rickman, The Bones of Avalon (2011), Doctor John Dee and Robert Dudley find out what happened to King Arthur's bones after the dissolution of Glastonbury Abbey. Review
C.J. Sansom, Dissolution (2003), a lawyer in Henry VIII’s court investigates the murder of an official involved in the dissolution of the monasteries; Review

Lloyd Shepherd, The English Monster (2012), about a Thames River Police officer investigating murders in 1811 which link back to the first English slaving voyage during Elizabeth I's reign in 1564

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