10 books like Flashman

By George MacDonald Fraser,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Flashman. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Eagle of the Ninth

By Rosemary Sutcliffe,

Book cover of The Eagle of the Ninth

This was the book that made me want to write historical fiction. I cared so desperately about the characters that I wanted to be there with them, wishing I could do something to help; they are still very clear in my mind. We were living near the USAF Academy at the time, and I convinced my mother to drive me out to their library where I pored over and made copious notes on Roman military history so that I could write my own story about the missing Ninth Legion. (I still have the notes!) 

The Eagle of the Ninth

By Rosemary Sutcliffe,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Eagle of the Ninth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Everyman edition reprints the classic black and white illustrations of C. Walter Hodges which accompanied the first edition in 1954.

Around the year 117 AD, the Ninth Legion, stationed at Eburacum - modern day York - marched north to suppress a rebellion of the Caledonian tribes, and was never heard of again. During the 1860s, a wingless Roman Eagle was discovered during excavations at the village of Silchester in Hampshire, puzzling archaeologists and scholars alike. Rosemary Sutcliff weaves a compelling story from these two mysteries, dispatching her hero, the young Roman officer Marcus Aquila, on a perilous journey beyond…


Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel,

Book cover of Wolf Hall

The ultimate choice for me, even if it is an embellished biographical account of a real person (not my usual preference). It is an exploration of the life and times of a man of “humble birth”, who hasn’t exactly gone down as a glamourous hero and is often regarded as a villain, but who laid many of the foundation stones of modern Britain. It’s written in the third person but through the thoughts and perceptions (but never feelings) of Thomas Cromwell, and its style either fascinates or repels readers. In my case it fascinates, to the point that it was almost like learning to read all over again. A real book for adults. Exciting. 

Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Wolf Hall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the the Orange Prize Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award

`Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good' Daily Mail

'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.

Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with…


The Blue Flower

By Penelope Fitzgerald,

Book cover of The Blue Flower

In real life, the Romantic German poet Novalis (1772-1801) fell in love with Sophia, a girl of 13, his exquisite  ‘blue flower’. In both prose and poetry he exalted their perfect relationship, till her early death shattered his dreams. In Fitzgerald’s chilling novel, Novalis’s idyll becomes a mad, warped obsession as the passionate lover completely loses touch with reality and retreats into his own weird world of introspection, to the dismay of those around him. The object of his adoration is an impassive, deadpan child,  soon grotesquely disfigured by illness, who dies without ever seeming truly alive. The washday scene, with billowing sheets, is a stunning piece of bravura writing. A weird small masterpiece, my favourite of Fitzgerald’s novels.

The Blue Flower

By Penelope Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Blue Flower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Penelope Fitzgerald's final masterpiece.

One of the ten books - novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography - that make up our Matchbook Classics' series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.

The year is 1794 and Fritz, passionate, idealistic and brilliant, is seeking his father's permission to announce his engagement to his 'heart's heart', his 'true Philosophy': twelve-year-old Sophie. His astounded family and friends are amused and disturbed by his betrothal. What can he be thinking?

Tracing the dramatic early years of the young German who was to become the great romantic…


Sharpe's Tiger

By Bernard Cornwell,

Book cover of Sharpe's Tiger

This prequel to the Sharpe series covers the eponymous hero’s adventures in India at the siege of Seringapatam before the Peninsular War. For me, Cornwell’s books are a perfect mix of history and breathless action. This one even features a cameo from Wellington. If only they’d let me read this in history at school, I might have stayed awake more often. Cornwell pays great attention to historical detail, and if he messes with it, he does it deliberately. There are sumptuous palaces, epic battle scenes, rockets exploding, and people getting eaten by tigers. There’s also the deliciously nasty Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill. What’s not to love? 

Sharpe's Tiger

By Bernard Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sharpe's Tiger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*The brand new novel, SHARPE'S ASSASSIN, is available to pre-order now*

Sharpe's Tiger is the brilliant beginning of Sharpe's adventures

India, 1799

The citadel of Seringapatam is under siege. Navigating this dangerous kingdom of bejewelled palaces and poverty, Private Richard Sharpe embarks on a rescue mission to save a senior officer from the clutches of the Tippoo of Mysore - and oust the Sultan from his throne.

The fortress of Mysore is considered impregnable, but one of the greatest threats comes from betrayal within the British ranks. And the man to outwit enemies from both sides is Sharpe . .…


Shōgun

By James Clavell,

Book cover of Shōgun

Set in Feudal Japan at the end of the 16th century, Clavell’s towering novel is for me the benchmark for historical epics. It balances sheer adventure with Clavell’s consummate eye for historical detail. If you want action, while feeling totally immersed in another time and culture, then Clavell’s classic is the book for you. I love the way he uses actual people and events to build a plausible and gripping story. Although a little long for contemporary tastes, it remains one of the best books of Asian fiction ever written, and one I come back to again and again.

Shōgun

By James Clavell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Clavell never puts a foot wrong . . . Get it, read it, you'll enjoy it mightily' Daily Mirror

This is James Clavell's tour-de-force; an epic saga of one Pilot-Major John Blackthorne, and his integration into the struggles and strife of feudal Japan. Both entertaining and incisive, SHOGUN is a stunningly dramatic re-creation of a very different world.

Starting with his shipwreck on this most alien of shores, the novel charts Blackthorne's rise from the status of reviled foreigner up to the hights of trusted advisor and eventually, Samurai. All as civil war looms over the fragile country.

'I can't…


Ancient Evenings

By Norman Mailer,

Book cover of Ancient Evenings

This is a novel that divides. It was a work that took Mailer many years to complete and the book that he (apparently) regarded as his masterpiece. It is certainly an incredible piece of work – the product of a powerful imagination in recreating an authentic feel for ancient Egypt with details ranging from cosmology via warfare to street scenes.

Some readers find the strong focus on the sensuality of the Egyptians a bit much. Mailer’s Egyptian world is very sexualised and who’s to say he’s wrong? If you’re not turned off by that kind of thing you’ll be rewarded with one of the most richly detailed and “real” feeling historical novels ever written.

Ancient Evenings

By Norman Mailer,

Why should I read it?

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


The Great Game

By Peter Hopkirk,

Book cover of The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia

This is one of the best popular history books describing the Great Game and is regularly referenced by later writers, including more serious works of history. Written in a truly engaging and exciting style by a former journalist turned accomplished author, it is also very thorough (562 pages) and covers the full historical spectrum as the game played itself out. It is a beautifully produced book with five hand-drawn maps and many illustrations and photographs.

The Great Game

By Peter Hopkirk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For nearly a century the two most powerful nations on earth, Victorian Britain and Tsarist Russia, fought a secret war in the lonely passes and deserts of Central Asia. Those engaged in this shadowy struggle called it 'The Great Game', a phrase immortalized by Kipling. When play first began the two rival empires lay nearly 2,000 miles apart. By the end, some Russian outposts were within 20 miles of India. This classic book tells the story of the Great Game through the exploits of the young officers, both British and Russian, who risked their lives playing it. Disguised as holy…

Playing the Great Game

By Michael Edwardes,

Book cover of Playing the Great Game: A Victorian Cold War

This is a shorter book by a well-established historian, who nevertheless writes in an accessible manner for the general reader. It is a good introductory text to the Great Game and contains a good map of the region and several illustrations and photographs.

Playing the Great Game

By Michael Edwardes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Playing the Great Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Central Asia 1810-1895

By Gerald Morgan,

Book cover of Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Central Asia 1810-1895

This is a medium-length book by another well-established historian, who writes in a reasonably accessible manner. His is a more in-depth treatment of the Great Game, aided by Geoffrey Wheeler, an expert on Central Asia, who wrote the book’s Epilogue. It contains three maps and appendices (but no illustrations).

Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Central Asia 1810-1895

By Gerald Morgan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Central Asia 1810-1895 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published in 1981, Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Central Asia 1810-1895 is a valuable contribution to the field of Middle Eastern Studies.


Kim (1901) by

By Rudyard Kipling,

Book cover of Kim (1901) by: Rudyard Kipling

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907, Kipling immortalized the phrase ‘the Great Game’ in what was a masterpiece of writing and surely one of the best-loved English language novels of all time. His fictional portrayal of the Great Game forever touched it with a flavor of imperial romance.

Kim (1901) by

By Rudyard Kipling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kim (1901) by as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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