100 books like Aethelflaed

By Tim Clarkson,

Here are 100 books that Aethelflaed fans have personally recommended if you like Aethelflaed. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Summer of the Danes

Tracey Warr Author Of Daughter of the Last King

From my list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a library, an eccentric bookshop, or the roadside book exchange cupboards where I live in rural southwest France. There is serendipity and synergy in what can be found through browsing (as opposed to purposeful searching). I am the author of five historical novels set in medieval Europe and centred on strong female leads. Idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries bring unexpected twists to my research and writing. My six-year-old grandson recently started to read after his mum and I read many bedtime stories to him. It was a thrilling moment to hear him join the ranks of readers. Writing is inspired by and learned from voracious reading. 

Tracey's book list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries

Tracey Warr Why did Tracey love this book?

Found at Animal Kitchen Bookshop in Narberth, Wales, which has now, sadly, disappeared.

A bookshop that looked like a pet shop from the outside and was piled high with books in absolutely no order inside. After an hour’s happy trawling, I asked the owner if he had any Ellis Peters.

He fished out a box from under his desk and I took as many as I could carry.

This is my favourite Cadfael medieval murder mystery because of its setting in Gwynedd Wales and the appearance of Cadwaladr, who I was very interested in researching at the time.

Like my Welsh trilogy, The Summer of the Danes is set during ‘The Anarchy’, the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Matilda.

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Summer of the Danes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the summer of 1144, a strange calm has settled over England. The armies of King Stephen and Empress Maud have temporarily exhausted each other. Brother Cadfael considers peace a blessing, but a little excitement never comes amiss to a former soldier and Cadfael is delighted to accompany his young friend, Brother Mark, on a mission of church diplomacy to his native Wales, not expecting to be caught up in yet another royal feud. The Welsh prince Owain Gwynedd has banished his brother Cadwaladr, accusing him of the treacherous murder of an ally. The reckless Cadwaldr has retaliated by landing…


Book cover of The Golden Egg

Tracey Warr Author Of Daughter of the Last King

From my list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a library, an eccentric bookshop, or the roadside book exchange cupboards where I live in rural southwest France. There is serendipity and synergy in what can be found through browsing (as opposed to purposeful searching). I am the author of five historical novels set in medieval Europe and centred on strong female leads. Idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries bring unexpected twists to my research and writing. My six-year-old grandson recently started to read after his mum and I read many bedtime stories to him. It was a thrilling moment to hear him join the ranks of readers. Writing is inspired by and learned from voracious reading. 

Tracey's book list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries

Tracey Warr Why did Tracey love this book?

Found at the Festilitt annual secondhand booksale in Parisot, France.

Any Donna Leon book is irresistible to me. I know I will enjoy inhabiting those Venetian streets and cafes with her Inspector Brunetti; dining with his family, including his wife, who is an expert on Henry James; hearing more about his colleagues (good and bad) at the police station.

Like Peters’ Cadfael series or Jane Austen’s novels, Leon works on a little piece of ivory – a constrained world and community that the reader can step into. Once there, with Inspector Brunetti, we must puzzle out another well-crafted mystery that evidences both the cruelties and the kindnesses of the human heart.

By Donna Leon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Golden Egg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The familiar characters and Venetian location are described with remarkable freshness and, as always, the edifying result is both amusing and thought-provoking.' Sunday Telegraph

A New York Times Bestseller
__________________________________

Celebrated by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers, Donna Leon brings Venice to life in the twenty-second Brunetti novel of this bestselling series, where our detective must uncover the mystery surrounding a mute man's murder.

When making routine enquiries into a possible bribery case that could embarrass the mayor - a humiliation Vice-Questore Patta is very keen to avoid - Commissario Brunetti receives a call from…


Book cover of The Women Troubadours

Tracey Warr Author Of Daughter of the Last King

From my list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a library, an eccentric bookshop, or the roadside book exchange cupboards where I live in rural southwest France. There is serendipity and synergy in what can be found through browsing (as opposed to purposeful searching). I am the author of five historical novels set in medieval Europe and centred on strong female leads. Idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries bring unexpected twists to my research and writing. My six-year-old grandson recently started to read after his mum and I read many bedtime stories to him. It was a thrilling moment to hear him join the ranks of readers. Writing is inspired by and learned from voracious reading. 

Tracey's book list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries

Tracey Warr Why did Tracey love this book?

Found in the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Library in Carmarthen during my MA Creative Writing.

Bogin delivers racy translations of the female troubadour poetry and a substantial essay on their context. This was a serendipitous find for me, as I was writing about an 11th-century woman in southern France at the time, Almodis de La Marche, and it set me off on another bout of research that led to another bout of writing.

Female troubadours figure in several of my novels and a very louche, Welsh bard spy is a key character in my trilogy. He is based on my best friend and muse.

By Meg Bogin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Women Troubadours as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first twentieth-century study of the women troubadours who flourished in Southern France between 1150 and 1250-the great period of troubadour poetry. The book is comprised of a full-length essay on women in the Middle Ages, twenty-three poems by the women troubadours themselves in the original Provencal with translations on facing pages, a capsule biography of each poet, notes, and reading list.


Book cover of The Written World: Past and Place in the Work of Orderic Vitalis

Tracey Warr Author Of Daughter of the Last King

From my list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a library, an eccentric bookshop, or the roadside book exchange cupboards where I live in rural southwest France. There is serendipity and synergy in what can be found through browsing (as opposed to purposeful searching). I am the author of five historical novels set in medieval Europe and centred on strong female leads. Idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries bring unexpected twists to my research and writing. My six-year-old grandson recently started to read after his mum and I read many bedtime stories to him. It was a thrilling moment to hear him join the ranks of readers. Writing is inspired by and learned from voracious reading. 

Tracey's book list on reads in idiosyncratic bookshops and lovely libraries

Tracey Warr Why did Tracey love this book?

I stumbled on this book in Raven secondhand bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I was researching for my 12th-century trilogy, Conquest, and this book is a brilliant critical study of the Anglo-Norman chronicler, Orderic Vitalis. The book is wonderfully written and conveys the astonishing beauty of Orderic’s own work.

Orderic, as he writes, ranged far and wide across the Anglo-Norman kingdom in his imagination and then returned to his ‘black-clad life’ as a monk.

Raven and Shakespeare and Co. Bookshop in Paris are amongst my top favourites. I love to visit Shakespeare for its cramped unevenly floored labyrinth and intelligent array of books.

I greatly enjoy a bookshop – these two and Victoria Bookshop in Haverfordwest spring to mind – where the staff is obviously as lovestruck by books as I am.

By Amanda Hingst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Written World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Anglo-Norman monk Orderic Vitalis (1075-c.1142) wrote his monumental, highly individual Historia Ecclesiastica as an exercise in monastic discipline intended to preserve the events and character of Christendom for future generations. Though cloistered since childhood in a Benedictine monastery near Normandy's southern border, Orderic gained access to an intellectual world that extended from Scotland to Jerusalem through his engagement with texts and travelers that made their way into his monastic milieu. His Historia Ecclesiastica, with a breadth of vision unparalleled in its time, is a particularly fertile source for an investigation of concepts of space and historiography in the high…


Book cover of Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England

MJ Porter Author Of Son of Mercia

From my list on that led to my obsession with Saxon England.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer of novels set in Saxon England. I studied the era at both undergraduate and graduate levels and never meant to become a historical fiction writer. But I developed a passion to tell the story of the last century of Early England through the eyes of the earls of Mercia, as opposed to the more well-known, Earl Godwin. I’m still writing that series but venture further back in time as well. I might have a bit of an obsession with the Saxon kingdom of Mercia. I’m fascinated by the whole near-enough six hundred years of Saxon England before the watershed moment of 1066, after which, quite frankly, everything went a bit downhill. 

MJ's book list on that led to my obsession with Saxon England

MJ Porter Why did MJ love this book?

As with the book on Athelstan above, this is the first of England’s queen, and the first of England’s queens for whom we have a historical record that she underwent consecration, for which a monograph currently exists. While the author does draw on much post-conquest material, if not for this book I know I would never have begun to consider the queens, as well as the kings, as subjects that I could write about. It’s not the thickest of books, but it is very well written, again adopting a chronological approach, and readers will feel as though Queen Elfrida, whose Old English name was Ælfthryth, feels far more understandable, as opposed to being lost behind the seemingly impenetrable wall of 1066 and the Norman Conquest. It perhaps helps, that Queen Elfrida had quite a scandalous reputation☺

By Elizabeth Norton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Elfrida as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Contrary to popular belief, Anglo-Saxon England had queens, with the tenth-century Elfrida being the most powerful and notorious of them all. She was the first woman to be crowned Queen of England, sharing her husband King Edgar's imperial coronation at Bath in 973. The couple made a love match, with claims that they plotted the death of her first husband to ensure that she was free. Edgar divorced his second wife, a former nun, after conducting an adulterous affair with Elfrida, leading to an enmity between the two women that lasted until their deaths.

During her marriage Elfrida claimed to…


Book cover of The Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth II

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

This is another biography of the current queen that shows how the monarchy works. It differs from Sarah Bradford’s biography. Pimlott was a historical expert on the labour party during the twentieth century. He brought to his book all the skepticism about the crown that people on the political left traditionally have in Britain. Perhaps surprisingly, then, he comes out admiring Elizabeth II. He sticks much more narrowly than Bradford does to political crises in which the queen had some noted or decisive influence.

By Ben Pimlott,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Queen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"There will be no better biography of Elizabeth II as a figure of state until her official one appears-and perhaps not even then."-The Independent. "One of the many merits of Ben Pimlott's superbly judicious biography of Elizabeth II is that it understands this connection between monarchy and masses, and carefully evokes its political importance."-The New York Times Book Review. "The best all-around study of the Queen so far, showing understanding as well as amused irony."-Sunday Telegraph. Written by Ben Pimlott, considered Britain's most respected political biographer, The Queen brings us the most authentic life yet of the reigning monarch. For…


Book cover of The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor: Elizabeth I, Thomas Seymour, and the Making of a Virgin Queen

Sylvia Barbara Soberton Author Of Ladies-in-Waiting: Women Who Served Anne Boleyn

From my list on by Tudor historians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author, researcher, and historian writing about Tudor women. As a woman myself, I’m naturally interested in what life was like for those who came before me, and I’m very passionate about writing the lesser-known, forgotten women back into the historical narrative of the period. We all know about Henry VIII’s six wives, his sisters, and daughters, but there were other women at the Tudor court whose stories are no less fascinating.

Sylvia's book list on by Tudor historians

Sylvia Barbara Soberton Why did Sylvia love this book?

I love everything by Elizabeth Norton, but this book is one of my all-time favourites.

It tells the story of Elizabeth I’s life before she became queen; the spotlight is on her short stay in the household of Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour. Fast-paced and evocative, it reads like a thriller.

It’s a narrative based on primary source material, printed and archival, describing the events between Henry VIII’s death in January 1547 and Thomas Seymour’s execution in March 1549.

This book is a lesson in how to create an immersive historical narrative while staying true to the primary sources. An inspiration.

By Elizabeth Norton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

England, late 1547. King Henry VIII Is dead. His fourteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth is living with the king's widow, Catherine Parr, and her new husband, Thomas Seymour. Seymour is the brother of Henry VIII's third wife, the late Jane Seymour, who was the mother to the now-ailing boy King. Ambitious and dangerous, Seymour begins and overt flirtation with Elizabeth that ends with Catherine sending her away. When Catherine dies a year later and Seymour is arrested for treason soon after, a scandal explodes. Alone and in dreadful danger, Elizabeth is threatened by supporters of her half-sister, Mary, who wishes to see…


Book cover of The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn

Natalia Richards Author Of The Falcon's Flight

From my list on Tudor that are informative and imaginative.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Natalia Richards and I have written two novels on Anne Boleyn. My passion for Tudor stuff began over 50 years ago after watching the film Anne of the Thousand Days. I’d always loved the Tudors and by the 1980’s had a go at writing a novel about her. Sadly, it descended into a bodice ripper. It was a first try though, and I still have it if ever I want a good laugh. It took me until the new millennium to start seriously writing and I’m sure there is not a single book out there that I have not read about Anne! 

Natalia's book list on Tudor that are informative and imaginative

Natalia Richards Why did Natalia love this book?

This book is considered by many to be ‘the bible’ for all Anne Boleyn fans and I imagine it is the number one go-to book. Covering her life from birth to death, it is so scholarly that I use it constantly as a reference book. 

What is good is that it fully exposes the circumstances that led to Anne’s death, and you can clearly see how it came about – and why the king had to get rid of her. But it is not a dry textbook. Everyone can enjoy it as it’s easy to read, hard to put down, and immaculately researched.

If you are thinking about writing about Anne Boleyn this must be your first reference book. In fact, if you buy only one book about Anne, this is it. 

By Eric Ives,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This definitive biography of Anne Boleyn establishes her as a figure of considerable importance and influence in her own right.

A full biography of Anne Boleyn, based on the latest scholarly research. Focusses on Anne's life and legacy and establishes Anne as a figure of considerable importance and influence in her own right. Adulteress or innocent victim? Looks afresh at the issues at the heart of Anne's downfall. Pays attention to her importance as a patron of the arts, particularly in relation to Hans Holbein. Presents evidence about Anne's spirituality and her interest in the intellectual debates of the period.…


Book cover of The Sun in Splendour

Victoria Chatham Author Of His Unexpected Muse

From my list on endings with happy everafters for any era.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Clifton, in the city of Bristol, England. Clifton is known for its elegant Georgian and Regency architecture. Growing up in these surroundings gave me an impression of what life might have been like for the people who lived there, the families upstairs and servants belowstairs. In front of a few houses on some streets, there are still stone blocks at the curb, worn smooth from countless feet entering and exiting their carriages. I have used Clifton as a setting in some of the books I have written, hoping to make those scenes more realistic and bring history alive for my readers. 

Victoria's book list on endings with happy everafters for any era

Victoria Chatham Why did Victoria love this book?

I really did not like history when I was at school because other than 1066 (the Norman invasion of Britain) and 1492 (Columbus sailed the ocean blue) I could not remember the dates. I was not interested in the succession of kings or what countries made alliances through marriages. And then I read this book about Edward IV’s reign and the subsequent chaos which resulted in the Wars of the Roses between the houses of Lancaster and York. I was hooked. What made it more realistic for me was walking Bosworth Field, the site of the last great battle of that era. Stirring stuff.

By Jean Plaidy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sun in Splendour as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Reckoned by those about him to be the most handsome man in the country, Edward the fourth has risen to the throne with the help of Warwick, the kingmaker. But even Warwick's trusted advice cannot convince the King to ignore his passion for the beautiful widow, Elizabeth Woodville - and when she refuses to become his mistress the two are married.

Beloved of the people, Edward proves himself to be a strong king, but his love of luxurious living soon begins to impact on his royal duties. Despite his mistresses, Elizabeth is loyal to the illustrious king, providing him with…


Book cover of Elizabeth: A Biography of Britain's Queen

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

In the guise of a biography of the current queen, this is one of the best books on the modern British monarchy as an institution. Sarah Bradford talked to all the palace insiders, an amazing feat given how touchy and protective everyone around the queen is. Bradford has the best sense of the strengths of the current queen and her weaknesses.  Because Elizabeth II is now the longest-reigning monarch in British history, she epitomizes most of the advantages and disadvantages of the institution in her own single lifetime.  You will find out which of the episodes from Netflix’s The Crown are all made up, and which are close to the truth.

By Sarah Bradford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Elizabeth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A court insider's portrait of Elizabeth II and her eventful and turbulent reign journeys beyond the facade of Buckingham Palace to answer questions about the scandal-ridden royals, relationships among members of her family, her personal beliefs, and future prospects for the House of Windsor. Tour.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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