One of my favourite things about reading books is the fact you get to travel to exotic locations or to different periods in history and experience what it was like for yourself. Since periods in history are so varied around the world, I’ve decided to separate my lists into British History and World History.
Anglo-Saxon England (c.500–1066)
Anglo-Saxon England existed from the 5th to the 11th centuries from the end of Roman Britain until the Norman conquest in 1066. England consisted of several different kingdoms until they were united by Aethelstan in 927. The Anglo-Saxons were members of Germanic-speaking groups who migrated to the southern half of Great Britain from nearby northwestern Europe.
- Bracewell, Patricia: The Price of Blood
- Bracewell, Patricia: Shadow on the Crown
- Cornwell, Bernard: The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories #1)
- Cornwell, Bernard: The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories #2)
- Cornwell, Bernard: Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories #3)
- Cornwell, Bernard: Sword Song (The Saxon Stories #4)
- Cornwell, Bernard: The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories #5
Norman Conquest (1066–1154)
England was invaded in the 11th century by an army of Norman, Breton, Flemish, and French soldiers led by the Duke of Normandy, later styled William the Conqueror. William had a claim to the English throne as a relative of the childless Anglo-Saxon king Edward the Confessor. After Edward’s death in January 1066, he was succeeded by his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson, however he was killed by William’s forces at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
Plantagenet Period (1154–1485)
The House of Plantagenet was a royal house originating from Anjou in France and it held the English throne from 1154, with the accession of Henry II, until 1485, when Richard III died in battle. Henry II was the son of Empress Matilda who had fought a long and unsuccessful battle to claim the English throne against her cousin, Stephen of Blois. Matilda’s husband, Geoffrey of Anjou, was from the House of Plantagenet.
- Chadwick, Elizabeth: The Summer Queen
- Chadwick, Elizabeth: The Winter Crown
- Chadwick, Elizabeth: The Autumn Throne
Tudor Period (1485–1603)
The Tudor period depicts the time when the House of Tudor ruled England after the succession of Henry VI who seized the throne from Richard III on 22 August 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field which ended the Wars of the Roses. The Tudor period also includes the Elizabethan era from 1558 to 1603.
- Bilyeau, Nancy: The Crown
Jacobean Era (1567–1625)
The Jacobean era depicts the reign of James VI who became James I of England in 1603. James had already been King of the Scots since 1567 and his claim to the English throne came through his great-grandmother, Margaret Tudor, the elder sister of Henry VIII. In English history, the era begins from 1603, while in Scottish history it begins in 1567.
- Halls, Stacey: The Familiars
Commonwealth & Protectorate (1649–1660)
The Commonwealth was the period from 1649 to 1660 when England and Wales, along with Ireland and Scotland, were ruled as a republic following the trial and execution of Charles I. However, the Commonwealth was slowly eroded by the Oliver Cromwell who was declared Lord Protectorate from 1653 to 1658. Oliver was succeeded by his son, Richard, however he was ousted from office in May 1659.
After the disintegration of the Commonwealth, the monarchy was restored in 1660 when Charles II was invited to return from exile. While Charles’ reign in England began from 1660, he had actually been proclaimed as King of the Scots from the date of his father’s death and was the last king ever to be crowned at Scone in 1651.
Georgian Era (1714-1837)
The Georgian era was named after the Hanoverian kings who succeeded to the throne of Britain in 1714 after the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne, died without an heir. Within that time, the Regency era was defined by the regency of George IV as Prince of Wales during the illness of his father George III. The Georgian era ended with the death of William IV who was succeeded by his niece, Queen Victoria.
- Betts, Charlotte: The Dressmaker’s Secret
- Graham, Winston: Ross Poldark (Poldark #1)
- Graham, Winston: Demelza (Poldark #2)
- Graham, Winston: Jeremy Poldark (Poldark #3)
- Graham, Winston: Warleggan (Poldark #4)
- Graham, Winston: The Black Moon (Poldark #5)
- Graham, Winston: The Four Swans (Poldark #6)
- Graham, Winston: The Angry Tide (Poldark #7)
- Graham, Winston: The Stranger from the Sea (Poldark #8)
- Graham, Winston: The Miller’s Dance (Poldark #9)
- Graham, Winston: The Loving Cup (Poldark #10)
- Graham, Winston: The Twisted Sword (Poldark #11)
- Graham, Winston: Bella Poldark (Poldark #12)
Victorian Era (1837–1901)
The Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria’s reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. Her reign lasted for 63 years and seven months, a longer period than any of her predecessors.
First World War (1914-1918)
The First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Billed as the war to end all wars, it is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths. The 1918 influenza pandemic which followed the war caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
Roaring Twenties (1920-1929)
The spirit of the Roaring Twenties was marked by a general feeling of novelty associated with modernity and a break with tradition. New technologies, especially automobiles, moving pictures, and radio, brought “modernity” to a large part of the population. At the same time, jazz and dancing rose in popularity, in opposition to the mood of World War I.
- Grey, Iona: The Glittering Hour
Second World War (1939-1945)
The Second World War, was a global war which lasted from 1939 to 1945 with the vast majority of the world’s countries eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China.
- Dobson, Melanie: Chateau of Secrets
- Furnivall, Kate: The Italian Wife
- Furnivall, Kate: The Survivors
- Furnivall, Kate: The Far Side of the Sun
- Gruen, Sara: At The Water’s Edge
- Kelly, Martha Hall: The Lilac Girls
- Lester, Natasha: The Paris Seamstress
- Lester, Natasha: The French Photographer
- Madeleine, Laura: The Secrets Between Us
- Rhys, Rachel: A Dangerous Crossing