95 books like In These Times

By Jenny Uglow,

Here are 95 books that In These Times fans have personally recommended if you like In These Times. 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 William Pitt the Younger : A Biography

Martin Hutchinson Author Of Britain's Greatest Prime Minister: Lord Liverpool

From my list on Regency politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

More than 40 years ago, I first started writing a book on great ‘Tory’ leaders throughout history, several of whom were inexorably tied to this Regency period. Having never lost interest in the topic I continued to study the period and its political life and found a way to parlay experience from my career in finance and international business into a biography of the most economically proficient Prime Minister Britain has ever had. Research for that biography as well as for future Industrial Revolution-related books on which I am currently working has resulted in a broad and fruitful list of books on the period's politics.

Martin's book list on Regency politics

Martin Hutchinson Why did Martin love this book?

William Pitt, the younger, established the Tory-dominated Regency politics and William Hague, the former Foreign Secretary, is by far his best qualified modern biographer. (Lord Rosebery was Prime Minister but his brief biography of Pitt was published in 1891!)  Hague’s biography, which is very elegantly written, shows a deep understanding of the political forces Pitt faced, inside and outside Parliament. Pitt was a leader and father-figure to all the great Tory leaders of 1783-1830; he also began the process of dealing with industrialization and that of fighting the Napoleonic Wars. He is thus one of Britain’s most important prime ministers, and Hague’s biography throws a welcome light on the Regency period, when the country surmounted enormous threats and difficulties through being truly well-governed.

By William Hague,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked William Pitt the Younger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning biography of William Pitt the Younger by William Hague, the youngest leader of the Tory Party since Pitt himself.

William Pitt the Younger was one of the most extraordinary figures in British history. Prime minister at the age of twenty-four, he went on to dominate British politics for two decades, presiding over such complex and treacherous national crises as the madness of King George III, the beleaguered union with Ireland, the fallout from the French Revolution and the trauma of the Napoleonic Wars.

With the keen eye of an experienced politician, William Hague examines the enigmatic life and…


Book cover of Britain Against Napoleon: The Organization of Victory, 1793-1815

Martin Hutchinson Author Of Britain's Greatest Prime Minister: Lord Liverpool

From my list on Regency politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

More than 40 years ago, I first started writing a book on great ‘Tory’ leaders throughout history, several of whom were inexorably tied to this Regency period. Having never lost interest in the topic I continued to study the period and its political life and found a way to parlay experience from my career in finance and international business into a biography of the most economically proficient Prime Minister Britain has ever had. Research for that biography as well as for future Industrial Revolution-related books on which I am currently working has resulted in a broad and fruitful list of books on the period's politics.

Martin's book list on Regency politics

Martin Hutchinson Why did Martin love this book?

This book is heavier going than the first two yet answers a deep and interesting question: how in a political system with dilettante politicians and tiny departments of amateur administrators, did Britain fight and eventually win a 20-year total war against a country with twice the population. The period’s politicians are here shown at work, wearing themselves down with long hours and short weekends, setting up policies and systems that could do the job. Their sheer intelligence and professionalism is remarkable; a century later Britain almost lost World War I because it had forgotten lessons about Naval convoys learned during this conflict. Of all the books here, this shows best why Pitt and Liverpool had a much tougher job and worked much harder than Disraeli or Gladstone.

By Roger Knight,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Roger Knight, established by the multi-award winning The Pursuit of Victory as 'an authority ... none of his rivals can match' (N.A.M. Rodger), Britain Against Napoleon is the first book to explain how the British state successfully organised itself to overcome Napoleon - and how very close it came to defeat

For more than twenty years after 1793, the French army was supreme in continental Europe. How was it that despite multiple changes of government and the assassination of a Prime Minister, Britain survived and eventually won a generation-long war against a regime which at its peak in 1807…


Book cover of Castlereagh: Enlightenment, War and Tyranny

Martin Hutchinson Author Of Britain's Greatest Prime Minister: Lord Liverpool

From my list on Regency politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

More than 40 years ago, I first started writing a book on great ‘Tory’ leaders throughout history, several of whom were inexorably tied to this Regency period. Having never lost interest in the topic I continued to study the period and its political life and found a way to parlay experience from my career in finance and international business into a biography of the most economically proficient Prime Minister Britain has ever had. Research for that biography as well as for future Industrial Revolution-related books on which I am currently working has resulted in a broad and fruitful list of books on the period's politics.

Martin's book list on Regency politics

Martin Hutchinson Why did Martin love this book?

John Bew’s biography of Clement Attlee is superb, this biography of Castlereagh, “perhaps the greatest of all Britain’s foreign secretaries” (Andrew Roberts) is even better. Castlereagh is a Regency politician’s Regency politician; he fought a duel against the devious Canning and when informed he was popular, replied that unpopularity was “more convenient and gentlemanlike.” He also, with Liverpool’s help and support, designed a peace settlement that lasted in essentials for 100 years, based on principles of legitimacy and lack of vengefulness that his successors at the 1919 Congress of Versailles would have done well to follow. Bew writes beautifully; this is a great biography of a very great man.

By John Bew,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

No British statesman of the nineteenth century reached the same level of international fame as Lord Castlereagh, or won as much respect from the great powers of Europe or America. Yet no British statesman has been so maligned by his contemporaries or hated by the public. His career took him from the brutal suppression of a bloody rebellion in Ireland to the splendour of Vienna and Paris. He imprisoned his former friends, abolished the Irish parliament, created the biggest British army in history, and redrew the map of Europe. At a time when the West turns from idealism to realism…


Book cover of The Making of the English Working Class

Stuart Carroll Author Of Enmity and Violence in Early Modern Europe

From my list on getting started with early modern history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian of early modern Europe. I have a particular interest in the history of violence and social relations and how and why ordinary people came into conflict with each other and how they made peace, that’s the subject of my most recent book Enmity and Violence in Early Modern Europe, which compares the entanglement of everyday animosities and how these were resolved in Italy, Germany, France and England. I’m also passionate about understanding Europe’s contribution to world history. As editor of The Cambridge World History of Violence, I explored the dark side of this. But my next book, The Invention of Civil Society, will demonstrate Europe’s more positive achievements.

Stuart's book list on getting started with early modern history

Stuart Carroll Why did Stuart love this book?

I love this book because, as someone from a working-class background, this book really spoke to me as young person – I was born two years after it was published in 1965. It is profoundly wrong and romanticizes its subject, but it remains a classic, because Thompson was a brilliant writer and because henceforth no one could ignore those previously excluded from the historical narrative.

By E.P. Thompson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Making of the English Working Class as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fifty years since first publication, E. P. Thompson's revolutionary account of working-class culture and ideals is published in Penguin Modern Classics, with a new introduction by historian Michael Kenny

This classic and imaginative account of working-class society in its formative years, 1780 to 1832, revolutionized our understanding of English social history. E. P. Thompson shows how the working class took part in its own making and re-creates the whole-life experience of people who suffered loss of status and freedom, who underwent degradation, and who yet created a cultured and political consciousness of great vitality.

Reviews:

'A dazzling vindication of the…


Book cover of Now We Shall Be Entirely Free

Alison L. McLennan Author Of The Secret Story of a Mormon Turned Madam

From my list on existential and experimental historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

My imagination opened a portal into the past. And then I found myself spending years researching, reading, and traveling to historical sites across the western United States. Upon visiting historical places, I sometimes become overwhelmed by a visceral sense that is difficult to describe but has compelled me to write about people and places whose stories and spirits are lost and forgotten. An anecdote about a madam in a local museum stirred around in my consciousness for many years before I started writing Ophelia’s War as my MFA thesis. 

Alison's book list on existential and experimental historical fiction

Alison L. McLennan Why did Alison love this book?

This novel takes place during the Napoleon Wars.

The guilty conscience, PTSD, and war crimes of a British Captain drive him to seek tranquility in the Scottish Hebrides. Before reading this novel, I knew little about this time period and had never heard of the Scottish Hebrides.

The author transported me to the Hebrides so accurately that when I looked up pictures after finishing the novel they were the exact replicas of those in my imagination.

This novel has an existential heart yet is plot-driven and action-packed with romance and even moments of humor. The flow of prose and the incorporation of dreams into the story carried me to the last page and made me sad when it ended.

By Andrew Miller,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Now We Shall Be Entirely Free as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* WINNER OF THE HIGHLAND BOOK PRIZE *

* SHORTLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE *

The rapturously acclaimed new novel by the Costa Award-winning author of PURE, hailed as 'excellent', 'gripping', 'as suspenseful as any thriller', 'engrossing', 'moving' and 'magnificent'.

One rainswept winter's night in 1809, an unconscious man is carried into a house in Somerset. He is Captain John Lacroix, home from Britain's disastrous campaign against Napoleon's forces in Spain.

Gradually Lacroix recovers his health, but not his peace of mind. He will not - cannot - talk about the war or face the memory of what took…


Book cover of The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age

Lona Manning Author Of A Contrary Wind

From my list on Regency England beyond balls and bonnets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer of Jane Austen-inspired fiction who fell down a research rabbit hole and perhaps I’ll never climb out. Dr. Johnson said, “The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading… a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” The five books I’m recommending offer a window into the long 18th century, the era of the Enlightenment, and the dawn of the industrial revolution. In these books I’ve met philosophers, romantics, and reformers who brought literacy to the underclass and emancipation to the enslaved. These books have helped me place the characters of my novels within a fascinating, consequential period of history. 

Lona's book list on Regency England beyond balls and bonnets

Lona Manning Why did Lona love this book?

A book about a group of London intellectuals – sometimes friends, sometimes frenemies – who expressed their influential ideas with an elegant style that I find irresistible. (Dr. Johnson strongly influenced Jane Austen, so if you like Austen, you’ll like Johnson.) This book is filled with anecdotes of friendships, rivalries, partying, and bickering, with a fair amount of Georgian bawdy humor sprinkled throughout. You’ll meet writers, poets, playwrights, legislators, and bluestockings. The Club gives you multiple biographies plus a portrait of London in the late Georgian period. Spending time with this book is like spending a few hours with Dr. Johnson and his witty friends at a London coffeehouse.

By Leo Damrosch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The story of the group of extraordinary eighteenth-century writers, artists, and thinkers who gathered weekly at a London tavern

Named one of the 10 Best Books of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review * A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019 * A Kirkus Best Book of 2019

"Damrosch brings the Club's redoubtable personalities-the brilliant minds, the jousting wits, the tender camaraderie-to vivid life."-New York Times Book Review

"Magnificently entertaining."-Washington Post

In 1763, the painter Joshua Reynolds proposed to his friend Samuel Johnson that they invite a few friends to join them every Friday at the Turk's Head…


Book cover of Eavesdropping on Jane Austen’s England: How Our Ancestors Lived Two Centuries Ago

Sue Wilkes Author Of A Visitor's Guide to Jane Austen's England

From my list on understanding Jane Austen’s England.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a little girl, my parents bought me a children’s edition of Pride and Prejudice. Ever since, I have loved Jane Austen’s works. As I grew older, I really enjoyed learning about her, and researching the history of her times. I hope you will enjoy reading these books as much as I did!

Sue's book list on understanding Jane Austen’s England

Sue Wilkes Why did Sue love this book?

What were the lives of ordinary people like during Austen’s day?

They were far removed from the elegant folk depicted in her novels. The authors look at topics such as child miners, chimney sweeps, crime and punishment, personal hygiene, and how to do the laundry.

True stories look at the horrors of surgery and childbirth in those days of no anesthesia and little understanding of infection. 

By Roy Adkins, Lesley Adkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eavesdropping on Jane Austen’s England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England explores the real England of Jane Austen's lifetime. It was a troubled period, with disturbing changes in industry and agriculture and a constant dread of invasion and revolution. The comfortable, tranquil country of her fiction is a complete contrast to the England in which she actually lived. From forced marriages and the sale of wives in marketplaces to boys and girls working down mines or as chimney sweeps, this enthralling social history reveals how our ancestors worked, played and struggled to survive. Taking in the horror of ghosts and witches, bull baiting, highwaymen and the…


Book cover of Blood & Sugar

Maggie Humm Author Of Talland House

From my list on re-visioning history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like many readers, I am fascinated by strong creative women in the past and how their lives can inspire women today. As an academic, before my Creative Writing Diploma and transformation to a creative writer, I taught historical novels of many kinds. I now enjoy devising fascinating women whose lives have significant importance for today’s issues. To talk about my favourite historical figure Virginia Woolf, I have had invitations from galleries and universities around the world, including several in the US and Europe, as well as Brazil, Egypt, Israel, Mexico, and Norway. France Culture and Arte TV, and Turkey TRT Television also featured my writing. 

Maggie's book list on re-visioning history

Maggie Humm Why did Maggie love this book?

Winner of the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown Award, Blood & Sugar is a page-turner of a crime thriller set in London and Greenwich 1781. Captain Harry Corsham must discover why his old friend the abolitionist Tad Archer was murdered. Corsham’s quest may do irreparable damage to the slave trade. I live in Greenwich, much of which is unchanged architecturally since the eighteenth century. Walking the streets portrayed in the novel brings alive that world. Slave trade monuments are currently being taken down in the UK and US and Blood & Sugar depicts the beginnings of that emotional and necessary journey.

By Laura Shepherd-Robinson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A page-turner of a crime thriller . . . This is a world conveyed with convincing, terrible clarity'
C. J. Sansom

Blood & Sugar is the thrilling debut historical crime novel from Laura Shepherd-Robinson.

June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock - horribly tortured and branded with a slaver's mark.

Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham - a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career - is visited by the sister of an old friend. Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable…


Book cover of Lucy: Ultimate Survivor

Peter Hain Author Of The Elephant Conspiracy

From my list on thrilling page-turners.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an activist-politician, who’s been both militant anti-apartheid protestor and Cabinet Minister, someone who tries to convey sometimes complex issues in straightforward terms, impatient with taking refuge down academic rabbit holes, striving to see the wood-for-the-trees. With the exception of George Orwell, each of the books I have recommended is by an author I know personally. My new thriller, The Elephant Conspiracy, sequel to The Rhino Conspiracy, reflects dismay at the corrupt betrayal of Nelson Mandela’s freedom struggle and the values which inspired it, the main characters fighting to revive those values of social justice, liberty, equal opportunities, and integrity, as well as service to others not selfish enrichment. 

Peter's book list on thrilling page-turners

Peter Hain Why did Peter love this book?

I enjoyed commenting on early drafts of this dramatic Georgian historical fiction written by my wife Elizabeth about her great-great-great-grandmother: painstakingly researched and vividly portrayed, it’s about love, betrayal, and survival. Lucy, strong-willed daughter of English landed gentry, born in the late 18th century, married Sam Lord, a plantation owner and fortune hunter from Barbados, at a time when women were their husband’s chattels with no rights even over the children. Abused and imprisoned by him in Barbados, she escaped with the help of enslaved people after giving birth at sea, braving disease and cruelty, and witnessing the abject misery of slavery in her descent from a life of pampered luxury to a struggle for survival in a far-off land.  

By Elizabeth Haywood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A dramatic and intriguing true Georgian tale of love, betrayal and survival. Lucy, a strong-willed girl from a wealthy family, was brought up on the English–Welsh border and married a Caribbean plantation owner, Sam Lord, for love, meanwhile he married her for her fortune, at a time when a woman was a chattel and everything she had, including her children, became her husband’s. Abused and imprisoned in Barbados, she escaped with the help of enslaved people. A vibrant intimate description of early 19th-century life – giving birth at sea, braving disease and cruelty, and witnessing the abject misery of slavery…


Book cover of The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet

Amanda Kai Author Of Not In Want of a Wife: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

From my list on Jane Austen fanfiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been hooked on Jane Austen ever since my mom took me to see the movie Pride and Prejudice in theaters. After watching the movie, I bought all of her books and devoured them. I still wanted more, but what do you do when your favorite author has been dead for over 200 years? Well, you turn to fanfiction! After reading numerous sequels, twists, and retellings of my favorite novels, I began writing my own stories. As a stay-at-home mom of three kids, I've been blessed to be able to pursue my passion for storytelling while raising a family. Jane Austen continues to be my primary source of inspiration for my historical and contemporary romances.

Amanda's book list on Jane Austen fanfiction

Amanda Kai Why did Amanda love this book?

While most Jane Austen variations center around Pride and Prejudice’s famous couple, Elizabeth and Darcy, Katherine Cowley’s book takes a completely different tactic. The heroine of her book is the often-ignored middle Bennet daughter. After their father’s untimely death, Mary is visited during the night by a pair of distant relations, who invite her to live with them. Lady Trafford and her nephew are training Mary to be a governess—or so she thinks. I loved seeing Mary in the role of a detective, trying to solve the murder that takes place shortly after she arrives in her new home and discovers what Lady Trafford is really up to. Katherine Cowley’s carefully placed clues lead the reader along the adventure with Mary Bennet, and we get to see new sides of this character that were not explored in Austen’s original novel. Other characters from Pride and Prejudice make brief appearances,…

By Katherine Cowley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A 2022 MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD NOMINEE

In Jane Austen’s revered Pride and Prejudice, Mary, the middle sister, is often passed over. Until now…

Upon the death of her father, Mary Bennet’s life is thrown into turmoil. With no fortune or marriage prospects, Mary must rely on the kindness of her relatives. When a mysterious late-night visit by an unknown relative—a Lady Trafford from Castle Durrington—leads to an extended stay and the chance for an education, Mary gratefully accepts the opportunity.

But even as she arrives at the castle, she’s faced with one mystery after another. Who is Lady Trafford…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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