100 books like History of the Great Civil War

By Samuel Rawson Gardiner,

Here are 100 books that History of the Great Civil War fans have personally recommended if you like History of the Great Civil War. 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 King's Peace, 1637-41

Kirsteen MacKenzie Author Of The Solemn League and Covenant of the Three Kingdoms and the Cromwellian Union, 1643-1663

From my list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an academic historian who has had a passion for the wars of the three kingdoms for over three decades. I have been reading books about the civil wars in Britain and Ireland since I was ten years old. I have been a member of the re-enactment society The Sealed Knot and the Cromwell Association. I published my first monograph on the wars of the three kingdoms in 2018. The monograph views the conflict from a three kingdoms perspective through the eyes of the Scottish Covenanters and their English allies. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Kirsteen's book list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653

Kirsteen MacKenzie Why did Kirsteen love this book?

This is another classic within the historiography of the period which along with S.R. Gardiner’s work is still considered one of the solid early professional histories of the period.  Although some historians may consider it a little dated, it is a concise and detailed analysis of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.  Wedgewood’s style of writing is accessible and lively. This 3 book series is still considered as some of the best books ever written on the period (be sure to check out The King's War and Trial of Charles as well).  

By C.V. Wedgwood, C.V. Wedgwood,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The King's Peace, 1637-41 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This volume tells the story of the four eventful years which immediately preceded the Civil War, years which transformed the tranquil dominions of King Charles into a land rent by mistrust and menaced by fire and sword. It tells of the rise of the covenanters in Scotland with such leaders as the gallant Montrose and the mysterious Argyll. It tells of Parliament's opposition to the King under the skilful leadership of John Pym. The tragedy of Strafford is linked with the terrible insurrection in Ireland. Miss Wedgewood has sought to convey the vivid day sequence of events as they flooded…


Book cover of Britain in Revolution: 1625-1660

Kirsteen MacKenzie Author Of The Solemn League and Covenant of the Three Kingdoms and the Cromwellian Union, 1643-1663

From my list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an academic historian who has had a passion for the wars of the three kingdoms for over three decades. I have been reading books about the civil wars in Britain and Ireland since I was ten years old. I have been a member of the re-enactment society The Sealed Knot and the Cromwell Association. I published my first monograph on the wars of the three kingdoms in 2018. The monograph views the conflict from a three kingdoms perspective through the eyes of the Scottish Covenanters and their English allies. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Kirsteen's book list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653

Kirsteen MacKenzie Why did Kirsteen love this book?

This is an integrated and detailed account of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms across Britain and Ireland, the English Republic and the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. It is written in an engaging and lively style and concisely integrates the large body of scholarship that emerged with the new British histories in the 1990s and early 2000s.

By Austin Woolrych,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the definitive history of the English Civil War, set in its full historical context from the accession of Charles I to the Restoration of Charles II. These were the most turbulent years of British history and their reverberations have been felt down the centuries. Throughout the middle decades of the seventeenth century England, Scotland, and Ireland were convulsed by political upheaval and wracked by rebellion and civil war. The Stuart monarchy was in
abeyance for twenty years in all three kingdoms, and Charles I famously met his death on the scaffold.

Austin Woolrych breathes life back into the…


Book cover of The Civil Wars in Britain and Ireland: 1638-1651

Kirsteen MacKenzie Author Of The Solemn League and Covenant of the Three Kingdoms and the Cromwellian Union, 1643-1663

From my list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an academic historian who has had a passion for the wars of the three kingdoms for over three decades. I have been reading books about the civil wars in Britain and Ireland since I was ten years old. I have been a member of the re-enactment society The Sealed Knot and the Cromwell Association. I published my first monograph on the wars of the three kingdoms in 2018. The monograph views the conflict from a three kingdoms perspective through the eyes of the Scottish Covenanters and their English allies. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Kirsteen's book list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653

Kirsteen MacKenzie Why did Kirsteen love this book?

Still the best introductory text for students covering all major events in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in a concise and accessible manner.  This book steps away from the more Anglo-centric analyses of the conflict, looking at events in Ireland, Scotland and Wales in some detail.  In contrast with the books above, Bennett also steps away from the experience of political elites and examines the experiences of ordinary soldiers and civilians during the conflict.  

By Martyn Bennett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Civil Wars in Britain and Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book provides a fresh perspective on one of the most complex and turbulent periods in the history of the British Isles. Setting the experience of Wales, Scotland and Ireland alongside England, the author examines the interplay of politics, societies and culture both within and between each of the four nations involved in the political struggles of the mid--seventeenth century.


Book cover of Civil War

Kirsteen MacKenzie Author Of The Solemn League and Covenant of the Three Kingdoms and the Cromwellian Union, 1643-1663

From my list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an academic historian who has had a passion for the wars of the three kingdoms for over three decades. I have been reading books about the civil wars in Britain and Ireland since I was ten years old. I have been a member of the re-enactment society The Sealed Knot and the Cromwell Association. I published my first monograph on the wars of the three kingdoms in 2018. The monograph views the conflict from a three kingdoms perspective through the eyes of the Scottish Covenanters and their English allies. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Kirsteen's book list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653

Kirsteen MacKenzie Why did Kirsteen love this book?

A personal favorite as I bought this book as a teenager during the 350th-anniversary commemorations of the civil wars in the 1990s.  An underrated book and an excellent introduction to the conflict for anyone interested in the period. Covering major events in Scotland, England, and Ireland it has a multitude of beautiful colorful illustrations that bring the period to life.  The main narrative is interspersed with text boxes focusing on fascinating individuals, events, and cultural and social aspects conveying the richness and diversity of the conflict.   

By Taylor Downing, Maggie Millman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A paperback offering coverage of the English Civil Wars of the 1640s.


Book cover of Witch Wood

Ursula Buchan Author Of Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan

From my list on Scottish historical fiction from the 20th century.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning author and journalist, specialising in social history and gardening. I have an M.A. in Modern History from Cambridge University and a Diploma of Horticulture from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. I have written for many British newspapers and magazines, most notably The Spectator, The Observer, The Independent, The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Telegraphand The Garden.

Ursula's book list on Scottish historical fiction from the 20th century

Ursula Buchan Why did Ursula love this book?

Witch Wood tells the story of a high-minded, ardent and scholarly young Presbyterian minister, David Sempill, who is called to a benighted Tweeddale parish in 1645 at the time of the War of Three Kingdoms, and how his desire to root out covert witchcraft amongst some of his most ‘devout’ parishioners at a time of civil war and plague leads to tragedy and exile. The Marquis of Montrose, on whose biography John Buchan was working at the same time, has a walk-on part in the story. John Buchan considered this his best work of fiction, and I agree.

By John Buchan, John Buchan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Buchan's favourite of all his novels, Witch Wood deals with the hypocrisy that can lie beneath god-fearing respectability.

The book is set in the terrifying times of the first half of the seventeenth century when the Church of Scotland unleashed a wave of cruelty and intolerance. Minister Sempill witnesses devil worship in the 'Witch Wood' and is persecuted. It comes with an introduction by Allan Massie.


Book cover of The Sterkarm Handshake

Rebecca Lisle Author Of Stone Underpants

From my list on mysterious time travel.

Why am I passionate about this?

The house I grew up in was haunted. I believe that we shared the space with other people who’d lived there before us. I longed to communicate with them and to see them – but I never did. The closest I ever got to those spirits, was hearing a marble roll across the floorboards of my bedroom; I was alone in the room, the room was carpeted, but the sound was unmistakable. Perhaps it was the little boy whose lead soldiers we’d unearthed in the garden? I never knew. I never found a way of slipping through the shadows to join him, though I desperately wanted to.

Rebecca's book list on mysterious time travel

Rebecca Lisle Why did Rebecca love this book?

In The Sterkarm Handshake, the device for time travel is simply a tube; not magical, but scientific, down which modern ruthless developers travel back to 16th century Scotland. Here they meet with equally ruthless highlanders. The scientists are planning to plunder Scotland’s resources (the 16th-century locals have been plundering roundabout for years), and of course, the modern developers run into problems. As in all books of this genre, the characters who travel through time may want to fit in or may choose to reject what the past has to offer. 

The heroine, like similar time-travellers, falls in love with a long-dead character and here, there’s also the possibility of the 16th century Scots coming up the tube to 20th century England – a good twist. There are also some very satisfying links between past and present, moments where you smile and think, Ah, how clever!

By Susan Price,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sterkarm Handshake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10.

What is this book about?

A twenty-first-century corporation invades the domain of a warlike sixteenth-century Scottish clan in this "brilliantly imagined" time-travel adventure (Philip Pullman).

The miraculous invention of a Time Tube has given Great Britain's mighty FUP corporation unprecedented power, granting it unlimited access to the rich natural resources of the past. Opening a portal into sixteenth-century Scotland, the company has sent representatives back five hundred years to deal with the Sterkarms, a lawless barbarian clan that has plundered both sides of the English-Scottish border for generations.

Among the first of the company's representatives to arrive from the future, young anthropologist Andrea Mitchell finds…


Book cover of The Scottish Enlightenment: The Historical Age of the Historical Nation

Elizabeth Ford Author Of The Flute in Scotland from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century

From my list on eighteenth-century Scotland.

Why am I passionate about this?

I dropped out of law school to pursue a PhD in music at the University of Glasgow and to write the history of the flute in Scotland. Essentially, I wanted to know that if Scotland was a leader in Enlightenment thought, and if there were hundreds of publications with flute on the title page, and since the flute was the most popular amateur instrument in the eighteenth century, why was nothing written about the flute. I obsessively read Scottish mythology as a child, and was always drawn to the stereotypical wild misty landscapes of Scotland without knowing much about it. 

Elizabeth's book list on eighteenth-century Scotland

Elizabeth Ford Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I think understanding the intellectual background to a historical period is always important, and I was introduced to the Scottish Enlightenment at West Virginia Wesleyan College through this book. I have since had the pleasure to meet and work with Alexander Broadie while at Glasgow, and he is a kind, generous, and supportive scholar.

The Scottish Enlightenment covers the significant breakthroughs in the thought of the movement, and the contributions of the characters behind it such as David Hume and Adam Smith. The importance of studying history, morality in civil society, religion, and art. The Enlightenment laid the groundwork for our modern society, so how could anyone not study it?

By Alexander Broadie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Scottish Enlightenment was one of the greatest intellectual and cultural movements that the world has ever seen. Its legacy in philosophy, history, science, music, art, architecture, economics, and many other disciplines cannot be overstated. This book considers the totality of achievements from this most astonishing period of Scottish history and how they still animate and inspire the world today.


Book cover of A Dream Of Death

Trish Esden Author Of The Art Of The Decoy

From my list on mysteries featuring antique dealers, plus a bonus.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve dealt in antiques my entire life to one degree or another. I'm currently a full time antique dealer, after retiring from owning a florist shop that also sold antiques, books, plants, and giftware. My love for dealing antiques is only matched by my passion for writing, museums, and country living. 

Trish's book list on mysteries featuring antique dealers, plus a bonus

Trish Esden Why did Trish love this book?

A Dream Of Death is the first book in the Kate Hamilton Mystery series.

It is a traditional mystery series featuring an American antique dealer in Scotland. The series has won and been nominated for several awards, and for good reason—namely, all the novels are fabulous.

A Dream Of Death is set on a remote Scottish island. As I read, it felt like I was right there with Kate Hamilton—in the manor house turned hotel, at the Tartan Ball, confronting the quirky local characters…and on the island’s turbulent shoreline that held deeply emotional memories for her.

I especially enjoyed how the exciting mysteries in the present and diary entries from the past meshed together for an exciting and unpredictable climax. 

By Connie Berry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On a remote Scottish island, American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton investigates a brutal killing, staged to recreate a centuries-old unsolved murder

Autumn has come and gone on Scotland’s Isle of Glenroth, and the islanders gather for the Tartan Ball, the annual end-of-tourist-season gala. Spirits are high until an unexpected turn of events takes the floor.

A recently published novel about island history has brought hordes of tourists to the small Hebridean resort community. On the guest list is American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton. Kate returns reluctantly to the island where her husband died, determined to repair her relationship with his…


Book cover of The Falls

Desmond P. Ryan Author Of 10-33 Assist PC

From my list on police procedurals with a flawed protagonist.

Why am I passionate about this?

For almost thirty years, I worked as a cop in the back alleys, poorly lit laneways, and forgotten neighbourhoods in Toronto, the city where I grew up. Murder, mayhem, and sexual violations intended to demean, shame, and haunt the victims were all in a day’s work. Whether as a beat cop or a plainclothes detective, I dealt with good people who did bad things and bad people who followed their instincts. And now that I’m retired, I can take some of those experiences and turn them into crime fiction novels.

Desmond's book list on police procedurals with a flawed protagonist

Desmond P. Ryan Why did Desmond love this book?

Having personally investigated numerous missing persons cases (not all of which ended well), I was drawn to this book and identified with DI Rebus’ frustrations with the police bureaucracy. The inner demons that are the cornerstone of the Rebus character make for a wonderfully flawed protagonist and one exceptionally good read.

By Ian Rankin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The twelfth Inspector Rebus bestseller - a powerfully gripping novel where past and present collide...
From the No.1 bestselling author of A SONG FOR THE DARK TIMES

'This is, quite simply, crime writing of the highest order' DAILY EXPRESS

'The unopposed champion of the British police procedural' GUARDIAN

A student has gone missing in Edinburgh. She's not just any student, though, but the daughter of well-to-do and influential bankers. There's almost nothing to go on until DI John Rebus gets an unmistakable gut feeling that there's more to this than just another runaway spaced out on unaccustomed freedom.

Two leads…


Book cover of Scotch on the Rocks: A Contemporary Romance Set in the Highlands of Scotland

Mary Karlik Author Of Hickville Crossroads

From my list on contemporary romances with a Scottish accent.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love everything Scottish. My grandfather was Scottish. I never met him, but mom passed the pride of her heritage and culture to me. Mom used to throw out an occasional phrase or poem that I thought was Gaelic. (I later learned it was Scotts but that’s another story.) I decided I wanted to learn the language and found a short course at a small college on the Isle of Skye and it changed my life. After that short course I committed to learning the language and enrolled in the distance learning program. I travel to Skye for the short courses between my semesters and have made lifelong friends.  

Mary's book list on contemporary romances with a Scottish accent

Mary Karlik Why did Mary love this book?

When Ishabel Stewart’s life falls apart she returns to the tiny island off the west coast of Scotland to recover only she doesn’t plan on meeting Brodie, a sexy American who turns her world upside down. This is a fun book with quirky secondary characters, lots of romance, and laughter. I could hear the beautiful accent as I read and see the stunning setting of the western isles.

By Lizzie Lamb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Scotch on the Rocks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SCOTCH ON THE ROCKSFamily secrets threaten the future of Brodie and Ishabel ISHABEL STUART is at the crossroads of her life.Her wealthy industrialist father has died unexpectedly, leaving her a half-share in a ruined whisky distillery and the task of scattering his ashes on a Munro. After discovering her fiancé playing away from home, she cancels their lavish Christmas wedding at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh and heads for the only place she feels safe - Eilean na Sgairbh, a windswept island on Scotland’s west coast - where the cormorants outnumber the inhabitants, ten to one. When she arrives at her…


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Interested in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Scotland, and the American Civil War?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Scotland, and the American Civil War.

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