96 books like Age of Atrocity

By Padraig Lenihan, Clodagh Tait, David Edwards

Here are 96 books that Age of Atrocity fans have personally recommended if you like Age of Atrocity. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Nine Lives Of John Ogilby

Nancy Blanton Author Of When Starlings Fly as One

From my list on Ireland in the 17th century.

Who am I?

Nancy Blanton is an American author of Irish descent. She’s written three award-winning Irish historical novels and has a fourth underway. A former journalist, her focus on the 17th century derives from a history lesson about Oliver Cromwell, weariness of Tudor stories, decades of enlightening research, and a little help from supportive friends in County Cork.

Nancy's book list on Ireland in the 17th century

Nancy Blanton Why did Nancy love this book?

While not specifically about Ireland, this is a most fascinating tale and true story about a man who started as a dancer, ran theater in Ireland, became a soldier, sea captain and so much more before he went on to publish the first road atlas in Britain. It’s the quirky details in this book that make it fun to read and quite informative about life in the 17th century.

By Alan Ereira,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nine Lives Of John Ogilby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Four hundred years ago, every barrister had to dance because dancing put them in harmony with the universe. John Ogilby's first job, in 1612, was to teach them. By the 1670s, he was Charles II's Royal Cosmographer, creating beautiful measured drawings that placed roads on maps for the first time. During the intervening years, Ogilby had travelled through fire and plague, war and shipwreck; had been an impresario in Dublin, a poet in London, a soldier and sea captain, as well as a secret agent, publisher and scientific geographer. The world of his youth had been blown up and turned…


Book cover of The Stolen Village: Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates

Nancy Blanton Author Of When Starlings Fly as One

From my list on Ireland in the 17th century.

Who am I?

Nancy Blanton is an American author of Irish descent. She’s written three award-winning Irish historical novels and has a fourth underway. A former journalist, her focus on the 17th century derives from a history lesson about Oliver Cromwell, weariness of Tudor stories, decades of enlightening research, and a little help from supportive friends in County Cork.

Nancy's book list on Ireland in the 17th century

Nancy Blanton Why did Nancy love this book?

In 1631, the small fishing village of Baltimore in West Cork, Ireland, was attacked by Algerian pirates. About 100 villagers were carried away to a life of slavery. Known as “the Sack of Baltimore,” it was considered the most devastating Islamic invasion in Ireland or England. Yet, greed, politics and intrigue played major roles in the event that had little to do with pirates. Written by a journalist, this book reveals the struggles and dangers faced in by ordinary people in Early Modern times.

By Des Ekin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In June 1631 pirates from Algiers and armed troops of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, led by the notorious pirate captain Morat Rais, stormed ashore at the little harbour village of Baltimore in West Cork. They captured almost all the villagers and bore them away to a life of slavery in North Africa. The prisoners were destined for a variety of fates -- some would live out their days chained to the oars as galley slaves, while others would spend long years in the scented seclusion of the harem or within the walls of the Sultan's palace. The old city of…


Book cover of Cavalier: A Tale of Chivalry, Passion, and Great Houses

Nancy Blanton Author Of When Starlings Fly as One

From my list on Ireland in the 17th century.

Who am I?

Nancy Blanton is an American author of Irish descent. She’s written three award-winning Irish historical novels and has a fourth underway. A former journalist, her focus on the 17th century derives from a history lesson about Oliver Cromwell, weariness of Tudor stories, decades of enlightening research, and a little help from supportive friends in County Cork.

Nancy's book list on Ireland in the 17th century

Nancy Blanton Why did Nancy love this book?

Also not specifically set in Ireland, this book reveals in wonderful detail what life was like in the great manor houses of both England and Ireland. Such houses distinguished the 17th century from the age of castles and fortresses, and were lavishly constructed and furnished as tangible statements of power and wealth. You’ll learn what daily life was like from chambermaid to earl.

By Lucy Worsley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

William Cavendish was a gifted horseman, prolific womaniser and skilled diplomat. Famously defeated at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644, he went into a long and miserable exile before returning to England in triumph on the restoration of King Charles II to the throne in 1660. But this is not just the story of that one remarkable man and the courtly world of King Charles I and his Cavaliers. More than that, Lucy Worsley brings to life the complex and fascinating household hierarchies of the seventeenth century, painting a picture of conspiracy, sexual intrigue, clandestine marriage and gossip. From…


Book cover of Cromwell

Nancy Blanton Author Of When Starlings Fly as One

From my list on Ireland in the 17th century.

Who am I?

Nancy Blanton is an American author of Irish descent. She’s written three award-winning Irish historical novels and has a fourth underway. A former journalist, her focus on the 17th century derives from a history lesson about Oliver Cromwell, weariness of Tudor stories, decades of enlightening research, and a little help from supportive friends in County Cork.

Nancy's book list on Ireland in the 17th century

Nancy Blanton Why did Nancy love this book?

For those who like biographies, this story of Oliver Cromwell (1599 – 1658) follows him from young man to gentleman farmer, reluctant politician, military leader, regicide, and Lord Protector of England. To me, Cromwell will always be the cold destroyer who led his most brutal and devastating army across Ireland after England’s civil war. But, there are many differing opinions. This interesting read presents all sides of the man, so you can be the judge. 

By Antonia Fraser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Cromwell, award-winning biographer Antonia Fraser tells of one of England's most celebrated and controversial figures, often misunderstood and demonized as a puritanical zealot. Oliver Cromwell rose from humble beginnings to spearhead the rebellion against King Charles I, who was beheaded in 1649, and led his soldiers into the last battle against the Royalists and King Charles II at Worcester, ending the civil war in 1651. Fraser shows how England's prestige and prosperity grew under Cromwell, reversing the decline it had suffered since Queen Elizabeth I's death.


Book cover of Seventeenth-Century Ireland

Chris Lawlor Author Of An Irish Village: Dunlavin, County Wicklow

From my list on lesser-known aspects of Irish history.

Who am I?

I’m an Irish writer and historian. I always enjoyed history, even in school, and I went on to study it at Maynooth University, receiving a BA. I became a history teacher and eventually head of the history department in Méanscoil Iognáid Rís. I began writing local history articles for the Dunlavin arts festival and the parish magazine. I went back to university and got a first-class honours MA from Maynooth, before being awarded a PhD from DCU. I’ve won the Lord Walter Fitzgerald prize and the Irish Chiefs’ Prize, and my students were winners in the Decade of Centenaries competition. Now retired, I continue to write and lecture about history!

Chris' book list on lesser-known aspects of Irish history

Chris Lawlor Why did Chris love this book?

I’ve always been interested in developments in Irish history during the under-studied seventeenth century. This was the period when many of the political, social, and economic foundations of modern Ireland emerged. The century began during the major upheaval of the Nine Years’ War and witnessed two more major conflicts—the 1641 Rebellion (which lasted until 1653) and the Williamite War of the 1690s. However, Gillespie’s book is unusual in that it focuses on the various efforts made to reach accommodations between natives and settlers, Catholics and Protestants, the Gaelic Irish, the Old English, and the New English, during the decades between these conflicts. All in all, a fascinating read which shows that things might have evolved differently had these efforts succeeded.

By Raymond Gillespie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seventeenth-Century Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Well-established ideas of monarchy, social hierarchy and honour were under pressure in a fast-changing world. Political, religious, social and economic circumstances were all in flux. The common ambition of every faction was the creation of a usable focus of governance. Thus plantations, the constitutional experiments of Wentworth in the 1630s, the Confederation of the 1640s, the republican 1650s and the royalist reaction of the latter part of the century can be seen not simply as episodes in colonial domination but as part of an on-going attempt to find a modus vivendi within Ireland, often compromised by external influences.

This book…


Book cover of Making Ireland British, 1580-1650

Matteo Binasco Author Of Making, Breaking and Remaking the Irish Missionary Network: Ireland, Rome and the West Indies in the Seventeenth Century

From my list on to understand early-modern period Atlantic world.

Who am I?

This is and will remain the example of historical research made by one of the leading authorities in the field of Atlantic history. Elliott’s book set the agenda by investigating and assessing the complex array of causes and consequences which brought England and Spain to have an ever-lasting cultural, economic, political, and religious influence on the history of North America and Latin America.  

Matteo's book list on to understand early-modern period Atlantic world

Matteo Binasco Why did Matteo love this book?

This book is the best analysis written by the forerunner of Atlantic history in Ireland. Based on an astonishing amount of literary and historical sources, it is an outstanding insight into the complex and lengthy process of English colonization of Ireland set within the broader Atlantic and European context. 

By Nicholas Canny,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first comprehensive study of all the plantations that were attempted in Ireland during the years 1580-1650. It examines the arguments advanced by successive political figures for a plantation policy, and the responses which this policy elicited from different segments of the population in Ireland.

The book opens with an analysis of the complete works of Edmund Spenser who was the most articulate ideologue for plantation. The author argues that all subsequent advocates of plantation, ranging from King James VI and I, to Strafford, to Oliver Cromwell, were guided by Spenser's opinions, and that discrepancies between plantation in…


Book cover of The Irish Church and the Tudor Reformations

Crawford Gribben Author Of The Rise and Fall of Christian Ireland

From my list on Christianity in Ireland.

Who am I?

Like anyone else who takes an interest in Ireland, I’ve been fascinated by the long and often very difficult history of the island’s experience of religion. Where I live, in county Antrim, religious imagery appears everywhere – in churches and schools, obviously, but also on signboards posted onto trees, and in the colourful rags that are still hung up to decorate holy wells. This book is the fruit of twenty years of thinking about Christian Ireland - its long and difficult history, and its sudden and difficult collapse.

Crawford's book list on Christianity in Ireland

Crawford Gribben Why did Crawford love this book?

Since the later sixteenth century, historians have been trying to explain why the Irish refused to follow their political leaders into the newly established protestant church. Jefferies’s book highlights the scale of the problem – showing that by the turn of the seventeenth century, seventy years after the beginnings of protestant reform, the number of native Irish converts amounted to little more than one hundred. Pushing against the triumphalism that marked an older way of writing the history of the reformation, Jefferies demonstrates the popularity of the late medieval church and argues that historians should reframe their research questions.

It might be less important to ask why the protestant reformation failed, he suggests, and more important to ask why – despite everything – the Catholic church remained so popular.

By Henry A. Jefferies,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Irish Church and the Tudor Reformations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This important book examines Ireland's experiences of the Tudor reformations. Part I shows that the Irish Church, far from being in decline, enjoyed an upsurge in lay support before Henry VIII's reformation. Part II shows how the early Tudor reformations failed to address the pre-existing weaknesses of the Irish Church, while Cardinal Pole's program for Catholic restoration in Mary's reign did not enjoy the time needed to do so. Instead, the problems of the Irish Church were exacerbated as Tudor policy in Ireland became increasingly militarist and expansionist. Under Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Elizabeth, the English crown was able…


Book cover of The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity, and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland

Harriet Lyon Author Of Memory and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Early Modern England

From my list on the impact of the English Reformation.

Who am I?

I am a historian of early modern Britain, with particular interests in the cultural and religious history of the English Reformation, as well as in the fields of historical memory and time. I enjoy pursuing these subjects not only through research and reading, but also teaching. I am currently the J. H. Plumb College Lecturer in History at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge. 

Harriet's book list on the impact of the English Reformation

Harriet Lyon Why did Harriet love this book?

This book changed the way that I thought about the Reformation landscape. Alexandra Walsham shows that it was not only a terrain of ruins and fragments but also of converted and adapted structures, as well as of the memories and folk stories embedded in physical sites.

It taught me a lot about how the dissolution specifically was remembered, but also about the broader transformations within which it took place. The details in this book are endlessly rich and fascinating, and it is a great example of writing that takes serious the idea that history is rooted in space as well as time.

By Alexandra Walsham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Reformation of the Landscape is a richly detailed and original study of the relationship between the landscape of Britain and Ireland and the tumultuous religious changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It explores how the profound theological and liturgical transformations that marked the era between 1500 and 1750 both shaped, and were in turn shaped by, the places and spaces within the physical environment in which they occurred. Moving beyond churches, cathedrals, and monasteries, it investigates how the Protestant and Catholic Reformations affected perceptions and practices associated with trees, woods, springs, rocks, mountain peaks, prehistoric monuments, and other…


Book cover of Tales from Old Ireland

Kieran Fanning Author Of Irish Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends

From my list on Irish fairytales, myths, and legends.

Who am I?

I grew up in Ireland, where I was surrounded by stories, modern and ancient. Irish myths and legends formed the basis of the history curriculum for most children beginning the subject. Irish children are incredibly familiar with "The Children of Lir" and legendary heroes like Cúchulainn – we even have a rollercoaster named after him in our only proper theme park! As a teacher, I continued to retell these stories to my young, receptive audiences. When I was given the opportunity to write my own book of fairy tales, myths, and legends, I jumped at the chance. The research, including the reading of the books on this page, was almost as much fun as writing my book! 

Kieran's book list on Irish fairytales, myths, and legends

Kieran Fanning Why did Kieran love this book?

This book, for younger readers, is a collection of retellings of some of Ireland’s most well-known stories like Oisín in Tír na nÓg, as well as less famous ones like Son of an Otter, Son of a Wolf. Doyle writes terrifically well, perfectly pitching his tales at a young audience. Illustrated by Niamh Sharkey in her distinctive style, this is a collection to be treasured. I loved the pronunciation guide for the Irish names, as well as the introduction and the page about Doyle’s sources.

By Malachy Doyle, Niamh Sharkey (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tales from Old Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

This book features tumbling tigers, happy hippos, rumbling rhinos and more! These lively animals and other creatures will help youngsters to count from one to twelve with the clever cockatoos. A delightful companion to Stephanie Bauer's "Alligator Alphabet", "Counting Cockatoos" also includes a colourful counting frieze.


Book cover of Ireland

Eddie Price Author Of Rebels Abroad

From my list on the unquenchable Irish spirit of freedom.

Who am I?

I am a retired history teacher with 36 years of teaching experience in high school and college. I am also a passionate world traveler and for over four decades led students on overseas tours.  In 2012 (the year I retired from teaching) I released my first novel, Widder’s Landing set in Kentucky in the early 1800s. One of my main characters came from a family of Irish Catholics—and he is featured in Rebels Abroad. Ireland has always fascinated me and in my nine trips to the country, I smelled the peat fires, tasted the whiskey, listened to the music and the lyrical tales told by the tour leaders—and came to love the people.

Eddie's book list on the unquenchable Irish spirit of freedom

Eddie Price Why did Eddie love this book?

Perhaps no book has moved me more than Ireland by Frank Delaney. 

Through a series of tales told by an itinerant storyteller the author paints a series of haunting, vivid portraits of Irish history. Each story stands alone, but over the course of three nights of story-telling, the pieces of this mosaic come together, revealing a clearer history than most history books could hope to present. 

Delaney reaches deeper historical facts and allows a rare glimpse into how people felt and what they believed. I felt that I was listening to the storyteller, rather than reading words. This presents the Irish people in a unique and engaging light.

By Frank Delaney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller arrives unannounced and mysterious at a house in the Irish countryside. By the November fireside he begins to tell the story of this extraordinary land. One of his listeners, a nine-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the storytelling that, when the old man leaves, he devotes his life to finding him again. It is a search that uncovers both passions and mysteries, in his own life as well as the old man's, and their solving becomes the thrilling climax to this tale. But the life of this boy is more than just his…


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