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Recent and Upcoming Historical Fiction Books

Posted By Claire on July 23, 2010

There are some wonderful historical novels around at the moment and some great ones due for release in the next few months, here are the ones which caught my eye:-

His Last Letter Jeane Westin His Last Letter: Elizabeth and the Earl of Leicester by Jeane Westin – Released in the USA on 3rd August 2010 – click on the book cover to order.

Book blurb from Amazon: One of the greatest loves of all time – between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley – comes to life in this vivid novel.They were playmates as children, impetuous lovers as adults – and for thirty years were the center of each others’ lives. Astute to the dangers of choosing any one man, the Virgin Queen could never give her “Sweet Robin” what he wanted most-marriage – yet she insisted he stay close by her side. Possessive and jealous, their love survived quarrels, his two disastrous marriages to other women, her constant flirtations, and political machinations with foreign princes.

His Last Letter tells the story of this great love… and especially of the last three years Elizabeth and Dudley spent together, the most dangerous of her rule, when their passion was tempered by a bittersweet recognition of all that they shared-and all that would remain unfulfilled.

The Red Queen Philippa Gregory The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory – Released in the USA on 3rd August 2010 – click on the book cover to order. Also available in the UK, click here for details.

Book blurb from Amazon UK: The second book in Philippa’s stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series – The White Queen – but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses. The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth’s daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty.

Heartstone C J Sansom Heartstone by C J Sansom – Released in the USA on 3rd September 2010 – click on the book cover to order. Also available in the UK, click here for details.

Book blurb from Amazon UK: Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII’s invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. As the English fleet gathers at Portsmouth, the country raises the largest militia army it has ever seen. The King has debased the currency to pay for the war, and England is in the grip of soaring inflation and economic crisis.

Meanwhile Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of “monstrous wrongs” committed against a young ward of the court, which have already involved one mysterious death, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth.

Once arrived, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing to become a war zone; and Shardlake takes the opportunity to also investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettipace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. The emerging mysteries around the young ward, and the events that destroyed Ellen’s family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Events will converge on board one of the King’s great warships, primed for battle in Portsmouth harbour . . .

The Tudor Wife Emily Purdy The Tudor Wife by Emily Purdy – The UK version of Brandy Purdy’s “The Boleyn Wife” was released in April 2010 – click on the book cover to order.

Book blurb from Amazon UK: A lustful king. A thirst for power. The terrible price of revenge! When we meet the shy, plain Lady Jane Parker, she feels out of place in Henry VIII’s court, which is filled with glamour and intrigue. Then she meets the handsome George Boleyn and becomes overjoyed when her father arranges a match! until she meets Anne. George Boleyn is completely devoted to his sister Anne; and as Anne’s circle of admirers grows, so does Jane’s resentment. Becoming Henry’s queen makes Anne the most powerful woman in England; but it also makes her vulnerable, as the King is desperate for an heir. When he begins to tire of his mercurial wife, the stage is set for the ultimate betrayal! Encompassing the reigns of four of Henry’s wives, from the doomed Anne to the reckless Katherine Howard, The Tudor Wife is an unforgettable story of ambition, lust, and jealousy.

Virgin Widow Virgin Widow by Anne O’Brien – Published in the UK in May 2010 (click on book cover to order) and due for release in the USA in November 2010 – click here to order.

Book blurb from Amazon UK: This title is about England’s forgotten Queen. England, 1469. A daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker, Anne Neville cannot dictate her own future. Her marriage will be political, made purely to advance her family’s interests. But at the age of fourteen, her father’s treason forces her into exile, and into an uneasy betrothal with Edward of Lancaster. Edward is changeable and completely controlled by his powerful mother, Margaret of Anjou. In a hostile, impoverished court, Anne finds herself at the mercy of other’s whims. On her wedding night, the audience assembled to witness her bedding instead witnesses a royal humiliation. At the point of consummation, Queen Margaret forbids the act. Anne went to her husband’s bed a virgin, and she will remain so. The battle for the crown of England rages, and Anne’s husband must fight for his cause. But he is foully done to death by Richard, Duke of Gloucester – a man who twice before has been betrothed to Anne. Anne must decide where her loyalties lie. And during the reign of King Edward, the wrong decision could mean death. See my review

The Captive Queen by Alison Weir The Captive Queen by Alison Weir – Published in the US on the 13th July 2010 (click on book cover to order) and also available in the UK – click here to order.

Book blurb from Amazon UK: It is the year 1152 and a beautiful woman of thirty, attended by only a small armed escort, is riding like the wind southwards through what is now France, leaving behind her crown, her two young daughters and a shattered marriage to Louis of France, who had been more like a monk than a king, and certainly not much of a lover. This woman is Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, and her sole purpose now is to return to her vast duchy and marry the man she loves, Henry Plantagenet, a man destined for greatness as King of England. Theirs is a union founded on lust which will create a great empire stretching from the wilds of Scotland to the Pyrenees. It will also create the devil’s brood of Plantagenets – including Richard Coeur de Lion and King John – and the most notoriously vicious marriage in history. “The Captive Queen” is a novel on the grand scale, an epic subject for Alison Weir. It tells of the making of nations, and of passionate conflicts: between Henry II and Thomas Becket, his closest friend who is murdered in Canterbury Cathedral on his orders; between Eleanor and Henry’s formidable mother Matilda; between father and sons, as Henry’s children take up arms against him; and, finally between Henry and Eleanor herself.

The Confessions of Katherine Howard The Confession of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn – Released in the UK in May 2010 – click on the book cover to order – and due for release in the USA in April 2011, click here for more details.

Book blurb from Amazon UK: The new novel from the bestselling author of THE SIXTH WIFE. ‘England: firelight and fireblush; wine-dark, winking gemstones and a frost of pearls. Wool as soft as silk, in leaf-green and moss; satins glossy like a midsummer night or opalescent like winter sunrise. Little did we know it but that night we were already ghosts in our own lives.’ When twelve-year-old Katherine Howard comes to live in the Duchess of Norfolk’s household, poor relation Cat Tilney is deeply suspicious of her. The two girls couldn’t be more different: Cat, watchful and ambitious; Katherine, interested only in clothes and boys. Their companions are in thrall to Katherine, but it’s Cat in whom Katherine confides and, despite herself, Cat is drawn to her. Summoned to court at seventeen, Katherine leaves Cat in the company of her ex-lover, Francis, and the two begin their own, much more serious, love affair. Within months, the king has set aside his Dutch wife Anne for Katherine. The future seems assured for the new queen and her maid-in-waiting, although Cat would feel more confident if Katherine hadn’t embarked on an affair with one of the king’s favoured attendants, Thomas Culpeper. However, for a blissful year and a half, it seems that Katherine can have everything she wants. But then allegations are made about her girlhood love affairs. Desperately frightened, Katherine recounts a version of events which implicates Francis but which Cat knows to be a lie. With Francis in the Tower, Cat alone knows the whole truth of Queen Katherine Howard – but if she tells, Katherine will die.

The Queen's Daughter Susan Coventry The Queen’s Daughter by Susan Coventry – Released in the US in June 2010 – click on the book cover to order – and also available in the UK, click here for more details.

Book blurb from Amazon US: Joan’s mother is Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, the most beautiful woman in the world. Her father is Henry II, the king of England and a renowned military leader. She loves them both—so what is she to do when she’s forced to choose between them? As her parents’ arguments grow ever more vicious, Joan begins to feel like a political pawn.

When her parents marry her off to the king of Sicily, Joan finds herself stuck with a man ten years her senior. She doesn’t love her husband, and she can’t quite forget her childhood crush, the handsome Lord Raymond.

As Joan grows up, she begins to understand that her parents’ worldview is warped by their political ambitions, and hers, in turn, has been warped by theirs. Is it too late to figure out whom to trust? And, more importantly, whom to love?

Secrets of the Tudor Court Secrets of the Tudor Court by D L Bogdan – Released in the US in May 2010 – click on the book cover to order – and also available in the UK, click here for more details.

Book blurb from Amazon UK: When young Mary Howard receives the news that she will be leaving her home for the grand court of King Henry VIII, to attend his mistress Anne Boleyn, she is ecstatic. Everything Anne touches seems to turn to gold, and Mary is certain Anne will one day become Queen. But Mary has also seen the King’s fickle nature and how easily he discards those who were once close to him… Discovering that she is a pawn in a carefully orchestrated plot devised by her father, the duke of Norfolk, Mary dare not disobey him. Yet despite all of her efforts to please him, she too falls prey to his cold wrath. Not until she becomes betrothed to Harry Fitzroy, the Duke of Richmond and son to King Henry VIII, does Mary find the love and approval she’s been seeking. But just when Mary believes she is finally free of her father, the tides turn. Now Mary must learn to play her part well in a dangerous chess game that could change her life and the course of history.

No Will But His No Will But His by Sarah A Hoyt – Released in the US in April 2010 – click on the book cover to order – and also available in the UK, click here for more details.

Book blurb from Amazon US: As the bereft, orphaned cousin to the ill-fated Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard knows better than many the danger of being favored by the King. But she is a Howard, and therefore ambitious, so she assumes the role Henry VIII has assigned her-his untouched child bride, his adored fifth wife. But her innocence is imagined, the first of many lies she will have to tell to gain the throne. And the path that she will tread to do so is one fraught with the same dangers that cost Queen Anne her head.

The Stolen Crown Susan Higginbotham The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham – Released in the US in paperback in March 2010 – click on the book cover to order – and also available in the UK, click here for more details.

Book blurb from Amazon US: Trapped in the Wars of the Roses, one woman finds herself sister to the queen…and traitor to the crown. Katherine Woodville’s sister never gave her a choice. A happy girl of modest means, Kate hardly expected to become a maker of kings. But when her sister impulsively marries King Edward IV in secret, Katherine’s life is no longer hers to control…

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C W Gortner – Released in the US in paperback in May 2010 – click on the book cover to order – and also available in the UK, click here for more details.

Book blurb from Amazon US: The truth is, none of us are innocent. We all have sins to confess. So reveals Catherine de Medici in this brilliantly imagined novel about one of history’s most powerful and controversial women. To some she was the ruthless queen who led France into an era of savage violence. To others she was the passionate savior of the French monarchy. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner brings Catherine to life in her own voice, allowing us to enter into the intimate world of a woman whose determination to protect her family’s throne and realm plunged her into a lethal struggle for power.

From the fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire Valley to the battlefields of the wars of religion to the mob-filled streets of Paris, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici is the extraordinary untold journey of one of the most maligned and misunderstood women ever to be queen.

The Queen's Pawn The Queen’s pawn by Christy English – Released in the US in paperback in April 2010 – click on the book cover to order – and also available in the UK, click here for more details.

Book blurb from Amazon US: A historical novel of the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine and the one person she loved more than power-her rival for the throne.

At only nine, Princess Alais of France is sent to live in England until she is of age to wed Prince Richard, son of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Alais is an innocent pawn on the chessboard of dynastic marriage, her betrothal intended to broker an uneasy truce between the nations.

Estranged from her husband, Eleanor sees a kindred spirit in this determined young girl. She embraces Alais as a daughter, teaching the princess what it takes to be a woman of power in a world of men. But as Alais grows to maturity and develops ambitions of her own, Eleanor begins to see her as a threat-and their love for each other becomes overshadowed by their bitter rivalry, dark betrayals, conflicting passions, and a battle for revenge over the throne of England itself.


5 Responses to “Recent and Upcoming Historical Fiction Books”

  1. Thanks for mentioning my book, Claire! My next novel, The Queen of Last Hopes, featuring Margaret of Anjou, is due out in January 2011.

  2. Claire says:

    Hi Susan,
    It’s a pleasure. Thanks for letting me know about your next book, I wish you every success with it and can’t wait to read it.

  3. Claire, thank you so much for mentioning The Queen’s Pawn. I am obsessed with Eleanor of Aquitaine…I am now writing a book about her marriage to Louis VII : To Be Queen, coming out in April 2011. What a woman! Have you read The Secret Eleanor by Cecelia Holland? I am looking to receive my copy of that next week from Amazon…I read Captive Queen and really enjoyed it.

  4. […] out Recent and Upcoming Historical Fiction Books […]

  5. vienna says:

    If youre looking for a new novel about Elizabeth I ,I wish to recommend THE LAST TUDOR by CHARLOTTE ST.GEORGE which traces Elizabeths life before and after her queenship.Available at

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