10 books like Age of Atrocity

By David Edwards, Padraig Lenihan, Clodagh Tait

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Age of Atrocity. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Nine Lives Of John Ogilby

By Alan Ereira,

Book cover of Nine Lives Of John Ogilby

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.

Nine Lives Of John Ogilby

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…


The Stolen Village

By Des Ekin,

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

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.

The Stolen Village

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…


Cavalier

By Lucy Worsley,

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

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.

Cavalier

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…


Cromwell

By Antonia Fraser,

Book cover of Cromwell

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. 

Cromwell

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.


Seventeenth-Century Ireland

By Raymond Gillespie,

Book cover of Seventeenth-Century Ireland

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.

Seventeenth-Century Ireland

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…


Making Ireland British, 1580-1650

By Nicholas Canny,

Book cover of Making Ireland British, 1580-1650

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. 

Making Ireland British, 1580-1650

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…


The Irish Church and the Tudor Reformations

By Henry A. Jefferies,

Book cover of The Irish Church and the Tudor Reformations

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.

The Irish Church and the Tudor Reformations

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…


Tales from Old Ireland

By Malachy Doyle, Niamh Sharkey (illustrator),

Book cover of Tales from Old Ireland

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.

Tales from Old Ireland

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.

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.


What the Wind Knows

By Amy Harmon,

Book cover of What the Wind Knows

This is a great book that you cannot put down. It reminds me of my favorite series, Outlander. Going back through time is something that a lot of us dream about, but never experience. I love a good love story, but this book also has mystery, intrigue, and pulls at your heartstrings. I consider it Historical Fiction because even though we cannot travel through time, there were a lot of women that had the same feelings and trauma in the 1920s that the main character went through. 

What the Wind Knows

By Amy Harmon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What the Wind Knows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestseller.

In an unforgettable love story, a woman's impossible journey through the ages could change everything...

Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather's stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of…


Ireland

By Frank Delaney,

Book cover of Ireland

Being Irish, I can’t help but place Ireland, in my best top ten historical fictional novels. The country is famous for its legends and fantasy, but this story is also about the passage of time from the ice age to the 1950s, told by one of the last of the ancient storytellers that used to roam the roads of Ireland, passing on tales and news from the past.

A young boy is hooked by the stories and as he grows to manhood, he is determined to follow the storyteller wherever he travels. He loses him, but he devotes his life to finding him and learning more of the bygone ages and its people, once again.

This is a beautiful story, told by the late Frank Delaney, and although he lived in America, he never really left Ireland and its mysteries.

Ireland

By Frank Delaney,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Ireland, 16th century, and the Republic of Ireland?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Ireland, 16th century, and the Republic of Ireland.

Ireland Explore 169 books about Ireland
16th Century Explore 54 books about 16th century
The Republic Of Ireland Explore 23 books about the Republic of Ireland