100 books like France and England in North America

By Francis Parkman,

Here are 100 books that France and England in North America fans have personally recommended if you like France and England in North America. 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 Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766

Andrew Lipman Author Of The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast

From my list on the rise and fall of empires in North America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a born-and-bred New Englander and I teach history at Barnard College, Columbia University. I have always loved sailing and the ocean, so I’m fascinated with the early modern Age of Sail. My focus is the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Atlantic World, when the histories of the Americas, Europe, and Africa became permanently entangled. My first book, The Saltwater Frontier, won the Bancroft Prize in American History in 2016. My second book, The Life and Times of Squanto, is hitting bookshelves in Fall 2024. 

Andrew's book list on the rise and fall of empires in North America

Andrew Lipman Why did Andrew love this book?

The Seven Years’ War is obscure in the American historical imagination: if it’s remembered at all, it’s as a hazy, unimportant flintlocks-and-tomahawks event.

In this gripping, masterful narrative, Fred Anderson leaves his reader with no doubt of just how momentous this conflict was. He examines imperial, colonial, and indigenous actors to explain how the French were expelled from North America and how the war’s aftermath was a catalyst for both Native and colonial resistance to British rule.

Arguably the first world war, it could also be called the war that made America. 

By Fred Anderson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Crucible of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this vivid and compelling narrative, the Seven Years' War–long seen as a mere backdrop to the American Revolution–takes on a whole new significance. Relating the history of the war as it developed, Anderson shows how the complex array of forces brought into conflict helped both to create Britain’s empire and to sow the seeds of its eventual dissolution.

Beginning with a skirmish in the Pennsylvania backcountry involving an inexperienced George Washington, the Iroquois chief Tanaghrisson, and the ill-fated French emissary Jumonville, Anderson reveals a chain of events that would lead to world conflagration. Weaving together the military, economic, and…

Book cover of Louisbourg: Key to a Continent

Jason Born Author Of Quaker's War

From my list on the war that made America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jason has written over twenty historical novels on topics ranging from the Roman Empire to the Islamic invasion of Spain and to the spread of the Viking Age into North America. His latest series, The Long Fuse, follows a young man as he navigates the deadly conflicts of the French & Indian War and the Revolutionary War in Eighteenth-Century America.

Jason's book list on the war that made America

Jason Born Why did Jason love this book?

This is the most obscure book on my list. But I truly enjoyed reading it. Not only was it utterly informative about the town and fortress of Louisbourg, the largest fort outside of Europe in its day, but Mr. Downey wrote his work in an almost beautiful way. He made countless references and drew many parallels to other eras and conflicts. After reading, I better understood what it was like to be trapped inside those walls during a siege. Likewise, I shivered as I considered the conditions suffered by the besiegers outside.

By Fairfax Downey,

Why should I read it?

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

Book cover of Washington: A Life

John Koopman III Author Of George Washington at War - 1776

From my list on a fresh look into the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been interested in history and in particular military history for my entire life. Since 2006 I have been a George Washington interpreter. I portray the great man in first person live presentations and in documentary film. I have devoted a great deal of time in study of him. As a result of my studies of Washington, I felt compelled to write a book about him. I wanted to capture aspects of him not covered in most books or in film. Four of the books I reviewed involve George Washington.

John's book list on a fresh look into the past

John Koopman III Why did John love this book?

I find Ron Chernow’s biography to be the most informative and comprehensive. It is quite a tome at over 800 pages, but worth the read. Chernow has fascinating insights into his character. Washington had a temper that he sought to control. Even in that, he made an impression on people. From the introduction of the book, “His contemporaries admired him not because he was a plaster saint or an empty uniform but because they sensed his unseen power.”

We see Washington develop over his life from early childhood. The loss of his father at age eleven brought him closer to his brother Lawrence, fourteen years his senior. Lawrence became a father figure to him.

After service in the French and Indian War, Washington married Martha Custis. There was true love in the marriage. She spent every winter with him throughout the eight years of the Revolution. She came with…

By Ron Chernow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The celebrated Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of America. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life, he carries the reader through Washington's troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian Wars, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention and his magnificent performance as America's first president.

Despite the reverence his name inspires Washington remains a waxwork to many readers, worthy but dull, a laconic man of remarkable self-control. But in this groundbreaking work Chernow revises forever the uninspiring…

Book cover of The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757

Scarlett Dunn Author Of Whispering Pines

From my list on to fall in love with the historical romance genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a passion for history and the American West in particular. From a young age, my reading reflected my passion, with a few mysteries in the mix. I didn’t read many romance novels until one day I was flying to another city and I forgot to pack a book. My assistant drove me to the airport and she pulled a historical romance novel from her handbag. It was her favorite and she was an expert on romance novels. Before my plane landed, I was hooked—and I’m still hooked. That started my career as a historical romance novelist.

Scarlett's book list on to fall in love with the historical romance genre

Scarlett Dunn Why did Scarlett love this book?

This one will probably surprise a few people, but it is a historical romance. For those who haven’t read the book, please know that the movie starring Daniel Daydream- Lewis does not accurately parallel the book. I chose this novel because it is an American story with American characters, published in 1826. Cora is another very strong character, certainly ahead of her time and admired by Hawkeye, who was also an unusual character for the period. I enjoyed the historical details intertwined with fiction. Definitely worth your time to read.

By James Fenimore Cooper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…

Book cover of The Old American

Tim Weed Author Of Will Poole's Island

From my list on Early Colonial New England.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many of my English ancestors came to New England during the so-called Great Migration of the 1630s. I also have Native American ancestors, and as I researched both groups I couldn’t escape the feeling that something important was missing from our contemporary understanding of the period. In the novel that became Will Poole’s Island, I was in a sense driven to recreate the age, or at least to complicate our received mythologies about it. A central theme of the book is the collision of two radically opposed worldviews that had in common a preoccupation with the visionary and the unseen; this is also a theme of the five narratives described below.

Tim's book list on Early Colonial New England

Tim Weed Why did Tim love this book?

This novel, published in 2000 by the University Press of New England, has in my opinion never gained the readership it deserves. It’s a rich, funny, deeply humane captivity tale based on the true story of Nathan Blake, who was taken by Algonkian-speaking people from his home in Keene, New Hampshire, in 1746, and brought up to Canada, where he was held for three years as a slave. The novel weaves a defamiliarized but extremely plausible-feeling tapestry of early colonial America that complicates the stereotypes established by Cooper’s influential novel set in the same period, and Hebert’s main character, Caucus-Meteor—an elderly, multilingual Indian and the last survivor of his band—is by my lights one of the great characters in literature.

By Ernest Hebert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1746, Nathan Blake, the first frame house builder in Keene, New Hampshire, was abducted by Algonkians and held in Canada as a slave. Inspired by this dramatic slice of history, novelist Ernest Hebert has written a masterful new novel recreating those years of captivity.

Set in New England and Canada during the French and Indian Wars, The Old American is driven by its complex, vividly imagined title character, Caucus-Meteor. By turns shrewd and embittered, ambitious and despairing, inspired and tormented, he is the self-styled"king" of the remnants of the first native tribes that encountered the English. Displaced and ravaged…

Book cover of Search Out the Land: The Jews and the Growth of Equality in British Colonial America, 1740-1867

David S. Koffman Author Of No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging

From my list on Canadian Jewish life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised as both an anglophone Canadian and a diaspora Jew. After living in Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York for a total of about 15 years, I returned to my hometown of Toronto and took up the position of the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry at York University, where I work as a professor of history. I teach undergraduate students, graduate students, fellow academics, community leaders, and the wide public about all sorts of dimensions of this very religiously diverse, culturally diverse, socio-economically diverse, and politically diverse community of 400,000+ souls, with its 260+-year-old history. 

David's book list on Canadian Jewish life

David S. Koffman Why did David love this book?

I love this book’s choc-a-block presentation of actual archival fragments from Jewish life in the British colonies that would eventually become Canada.

I also like that the book’s husband-wife, antiquarian, author team aimed to fuse together two objectives in one book: on the one hand, to paint a relatable picture of what Jewish life looked like during this period when Upper Canada was still being formed, and on the other hand, to account for the step-by-step process of Jews gaining civil rights in the new world.

When I teach Canadian Jewish history, I not only read this book with my students but also bring them into the archives that contain Godfrey’s trove of archival fragments of early Jewish Canadiana, which they collected before and while writing the book.

By Sheldon J. Godfrey, Judith C. Godfrey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Search Out the Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mapping the history of Canadian Jews from the arrival of the first settlers before 1750 through to the 1860s, Search Out the Land introduces a new set of colourful players on Canada's stage. Ezekiel Solomons, John Franks, Jacob Franks, Chapman Abraham, Rachel Myers, Moses David, Samuel Hart, Elizabeth Lyons, and a host of others now take their appropriate place in Canadian history. Focusing on the significant role played by Jews in British North America in the fight for civil and political rights, the authors compare the development of Canadians' rights with that in other British jurisdictions of the time and…

Book cover of In the Matter of Color: Race and the American Legal Process 1: The Colonial Period

Onyeka Nubia Author Of Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, Their Presence, Status and Origins

From my list on history books about everyone and for everyone.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Onyeka Nubia is a pioneering and internationally recognised historian, writer, and presenter. He is reinventing our perceptions of diversity, the Renaissance, and British history. Onyeka is the leading historian on the status and origins of Africans in pre-colonial England from antiquity to 1603. He has helped academia and the general public to entirely new perspectives on otherness, colonialism, imperialism, and World Wars I and II. He has written over fifty articles on Englishness, Britishness, and historical method and they have appeared in the most popular UK historical magazines and periodicals including History Today and BBC History Magazine. Onyeka has been a consultant and presenter for several television programmes on BBC.

Onyeka's book list on history books about everyone and for everyone

Onyeka Nubia Why did Onyeka love this book?

We may think we know about colonial America. Higginbotham reveals that we are just beginning to learn about this geographical space and this period of history. Higginbotham shows another ‘America,’ still dominated by the laws of European countries such as Britain, France, the Dutch Republics, and Spain. This is an America that may be unfamiliar to us and it is a place where Africans could still negotiate their status in the courts of law. This book offers a very detailed exploration of a fascinating moment in American history. And shows us what the founding of the United States of America really meant to the Africans, who had already been there for more than a hundred years. 

By A. Leon Higginbotham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Matter of Color as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Focusing on the actions and attitudes of the courts, legislatures, and public servants in six colonies, Judge Higginbotham shows ways in which the law has contributed to injustices suffered by Black Americans

Book cover of A Place Called Freedom

Eddie Price Author Of Rebels Abroad

From my list on the unquenchable Irish spirit of freedom.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

A Place Called Freedom attracted me instantly because of its multiple settings (Scotland, London, and Virginia) and the theme of ordinary people struggling against adversity. 

The novel provides vivid insight into governmental repression of religion and the denial of basic human rights. As a historian, I enjoy reading historical fiction. Follett is a master of his craft, blending human interest stories with accurate history. Through his characters, he shows how people lived and reacted to historical events.

A Place Called Freedom transports the reader into the years prior to the American Revolution, and his vivid geographical descriptions made me feel like “I was there!”  

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Place Called Freedom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in an era of turbulent social changes on both sides of the Atlantic, A Place Called Freedom is a magnificent historical fiction novel from the undisputed master of suspense and drama, Ken Follett.

A Life of Poverty
Scotland, 1767. Mack McAsh is a slave by birth, destined for a cruel and harsh life as a miner. But as a man of principles and courage, he has the strength to stand up for what he believes in, only to be labelled as a rebel and enemy of the state.

A Life of Wealth
Life feels just as constrained for rebellious…

Book cover of Death in Salem: The Private Lives Behind the 1692 Witch Hunt

Diana Rubino Author Of For The Love Of Hawthorne

From my list on the 1692 “witch” hunts in Salem Village.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical and biographical novels, and have had a fascination with the Salem witch trials since childhood. With my first visit to Salem, I felt a strong connection to my surroundings and its history. When I walked through the House of the Seven Gables for the first time, I felt I’d been there before. Three past-life regressions brought me back to 17th century Salem. In my biographical novel For The Love Of Hawthorne, I delved deeply into the soul of my favorite author, his devoted wife, and the shame his family suffered at the hand of his ancestor Judge Hathorne. The story came from my heart, as I lived their story along with them. 

Diana's book list on the 1692 “witch” hunts in Salem Village

Diana Rubino Why did Diana love this book?

Diane Foulds, a descendant of one of the victims condemned to death during the Salem Witch Trials, thoroughly researched many of the people involved in the events that led to the execution of 19 innocent victims. I am not a descendant, but these events have fascinated me since childhood, because they were so outlandish and led to such unnecessary tragedy. In this book you will learn about not only the victims, but the ‘afflicted’ young girls whose wild, unfounded accusations and theatrics during the trials convinced the judges that many people were witches. It is easy to connect with each individual, as the book centers on them, to understand why the entire episode was character-driven. It is even easier to sympathize with the victims and appreciate how they suffered. 

By Diane E. Foulds,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Salem witchcraft will always have a magnetic pull on the American psyche. During the 1692 witch trials, more than 150 people were arrested. An estimated 25 million Americans-including author Diane Foulds-are descended from the twenty individuals executed. What happened to our ancestors? Death in Salem is the first book to take a clear-eyed look at this complex time, by examining the lives of the witch trial participants from a personal perspective. Massachusetts settlers led difficult lives; every player in the Salem drama endured hardships barely imaginable today. Mercy Short, one of the "bewitched" girls, watched as Indians butchered her parents;…

Book cover of Complete Writings

Bettye Kearse Author Of The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President's Black Family

From my list on notable enslaved women.

Why am I passionate about this?

According to the eight generations of my family’s oral historians, I am a descendant of an enslaved cook and her enslaver, and half-brother, President James Madison. I am also a writer and a retired pediatrician. My essays, personal narrative, and commentaries have appeared in the Boston Herald, River Teeth, TIME, and the New York Times Magazine.

Bettye's book list on notable enslaved women

Bettye Kearse Why did Bettye love this book?

In 1761, the slave ship Phillis departed from Africa and headed toward America. Among the human cargo was a young girl. Judging by her missing incisors, she was seven or eight years old. Soon after the ship’s arrival in Boston, John and Susann Wheatley purchased the girl and named her after the ship that had delivered her to them. Mrs. Wheatley taught their servant to read and write and introduced her to classical and English literature, including revered poets. Around 1765, Phillis began writing poetry, and her first poem, “On Messrs. Hussey and Coffin,” published in 1767, when she was only about fourteen years old, rendered her the first black person in America to publish a poem. Carretta’s collection of Wheatley’s work includes a fascinating, thoroughly researched introduction.

By Phillis Wheatley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The extraordinary writings of Phillis Wheatley, a slave girl turned published poet

In 1761, a young girl arrived in Boston on a slave ship, sold to the Wheatley family, and given the name Phillis Wheatley. Struck by Phillis' extraordinary precociousness, the Wheatleys provided her with an education that was unusual for a woman of the time and astonishing for a slave. After studying English and classical literature, geography, the Bible, and Latin, Phillis published her first poem in 1767 at the age of 14, winning much public attention and considerable fame. When Boston publishers who doubted its authenticity rejected an…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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