46 books like Queen's Gambit

By Elizabeth Fremantle,

Here are 46 books that Queen's Gambit fans have personally recommended if you like Queen's Gambit. 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 Prize for the Fire

Leslie K. Simmons Author Of Red Clay, Running Waters

From my list on little known people in history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in Philadelphia, History was in the air I breathed. Reading about my surroundings led me to want to understand the times and the ways people lived in the past. The Classics inspired a love for the cadence of language (especially 19th C lit). Visiting local museums and historic places added fuel to my passion for Historical Fiction. I believe we learn best from history and the human experience through empathy and putting ourselves in other’s shoes, which Historical Fiction is able to do by introducing us to a fascinating array of characters, places and times—real and imagined.

Leslie's book list on little known people in history

Leslie K. Simmons Why did Leslie love this book?

Beautifully written and masterfully crafted, the story of Anne Askew, the real central character in Prize for the Fire, brings us to the brink of understanding the power of belief and commitment in a medieval world turned up-side-down by politics and religion.

To the brink, but it would be impossible to get closer than that to Anne’s personal core principles she would rather die for than not relinquish. Questions about faith, fidelity, and fealty are woven across Anne’s short life, exposing the chasm between conviction and practice in the world controlled by fear of power and doctrine.

By Rilla Askew,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Prize for the Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lincolnshire, 1537. Amid England's religious turmoil, fifteen-year-old Anne Askew is forced to take her dead sister's place in an arranged marriage. The witty, well-educated gentleman's daughter is determined to free herself from her abusive husband, harsh in-laws, and the cruel strictures of her married life. But this is the England of Henry VIII, where religion and politics are dangerously entangled. A young woman of Anne's fierce independence, Reformist faith, uncanny command of plainspoken scripture, and-not least-connections to Queen Katheryn Parr's court cannot long escape official notice, or censure.

In a deft blend of history and imagination, award-winning novelist Rilla Askew…


Book cover of Mary – Tudor Princess

Judith Arnopp Author Of A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years

From my list on that illustrate life at the Tudor Court.

Why am I passionate about this?

Reading Historical Fiction as a youngster led me to study history at university – so the Tudors have been part of my life for about forty years now. After graduating with a Master’s degree, my career choice was easy. Of my thirteen novels, ten are Tudor, covering among others, the lives of Margaret Beaufort, Elizabeth of York, Anne Boleyn, Katheryn Parr, Mary Tudor, and King Henry VIII himself. It isn’t necessarily ‘normal’ to live in such close proximity to the Tudors, but I would be hard pushed to write in a modern setting. Give me an ill-lit chamber, a royal banquet, or even a grisly beheading and I am perfectly at home.

Judith's book list on that illustrate life at the Tudor Court

Judith Arnopp Why did Judith love this book?

I was drawn to this book because Mary is so often overshadowed by her older brother, King Henry VIII. The research is faultless, and the story well told. I enjoyed how Tony Riches went against convention and entertained the idea that perhaps the marriage between Arthur Tudor and Catherine of Aragon was actually consummated. His characters are fully rounded keep within the social boundaries of the time. The setting was one that I recognized and peopled with familiar historical figures yet it was still full of pleasant surprises. Tony Riches has written several books set just before and after this period and I’ve read them all. I enjoy the underlying wit and humour with which he writes.

By Tony Riches,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mary – Tudor Princess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Would you dare to defy King Henry VIII?

Mary Tudor watches her elder brother become King of England and wonders what the future holds for her. Henry plans to use her marriage to build a powerful alliance against his enemies....

Will she risk his anger by marrying for love?

How far will Mary’s loyalty to Henry be tested by the ambitious Boleyn family?

Based on actual events of courage, passion and adventure in the turbulent and dangerous world of the Tudor court.

If you like the human stories behind medieval history, this is the book for you.

Get it now.…


Book cover of The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Janet Wertman Author Of Jane the Quene

From my list on for Tudor fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

By day, I am a freelance grant writer for impactful nonprofits…but by night I indulge a passion for the Tudor era I have harbored since I was eight years old and my parents let me stay up late to watch The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R. My Seymour Saga took me deep into one of the era’s central families – and now I am working on my follow up Regina trilogy, exploring Elizabeth’s journey from bastard to icon. I also run a blog where I post interesting takes on the Tudors – I need somewhere to share all the fascinating tidbits I can’t cram into my books!

Janet's book list on for Tudor fans

Janet Wertman Why did Janet love this book?

This is non-fiction that reads as smoothly as fiction (except it’s all true); there is also a “sequel” about his children that is well worth a read. Lately, Weir has been writing novels set in the period, but I don’t like her fiction nearly as much as I love her non-fiction!

By Alison Weir,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the most powerful monarchs in British history, Henry VIII ruled England in unprecedented splendour.

In this remarkable composite biography, Alison Weir brings Henry's six wives vividly to life, revealing each as a distinct and compelling personality in her own right. Drawing upon the rich fund of documentary material from the Tudor period, The Six Wives of Henry VIII shows us a court where personal needs frequently influenced public events and where a life of gorgeously ritualised pleasure was shot through with ambition, treason and violence.

'At last we have the truth about Henry VIII's wives. This book is…


Book cover of Confession of Katherine Howard

Elizabeth Fremantle Author Of Queen's Gambit

From my list on the wives of Henry VIII.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even in childhood, I was struck by the sheer horror and tragedy of Henry VIII’s wives, women who had a place at the heart of power and managed, some more so than others, to influence the politics of their time, yet were powerless to save themselves when the wind changed. It was a fascinating and turbulent period that saw England rise from a provincial backwater to become an important player in European politics, bringing the social and cultural changes that sewed the seeds of our modern world. Exploring the period through the prism of women’s lives is a major aim of all my six novels.

Elizabeth's book list on the wives of Henry VIII

Elizabeth Fremantle Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Susannah Dunn has a way of putting you right inside history with her instinctive and impeccable descriptive writing. She has fictionalised the stories of a number of Tudor women and all are excellent but I’ve chosen this as it was the first of hers I read. It tells of Henry VIII’s tragic fifth wife, a teenager pushed into the King’s bed by her ambitious family. The story unfolds through the eyes of her companion – an intimate insider’s view, typical of Dunn’s work – who witnesses everything but is powerless to help. Without giving too much away, it doesn’t end well.

By Suzannah Dunn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When 12-year-old Katherine Howard comes to live in the Duchess of Norfolk's household, poor relation Cat Tilney is deeply suspicious. The two girls couldn't be more different: Cat, watchful and ambitious; Katherine, interested only in clothes and boys. Their companions are in thrall to Katherine, but it's Cat in whom Katherine confides and, despite herself, Cat is drawn to her. Summoned to court at 17, Katherine leaves Cat in the company of her ex-lover, Francis, and the two begin their own, much more serious, love affair.

Within months, the king has set aside his Dutch wife Anne for Katherine. The…


Book cover of Dark Fire

Toni Mount Author Of The Colour of Bone

From my list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many years ago, when I’d read my first medieval mystery, I decided I wanted to write my own. But mine would be as realistic as I could manage; I wanted the reader to smell medieval London and to be there with me. A lot had been written about Kings and Queens but not much about ordinary life so that became the center of my academic study leading eventually to my Master's Degree in medieval medicine. As well as my novels I now write popular factual books and I’m pleased to say people have taken the time to say how much they enjoy the fine details I share.

Toni's book list on murder mysteries to challenge your brain cells

Toni Mount Why did Toni love this book?

This is the second Matthew Shardlake adventure from the pen of a master craftsman, set at the time of Henry VIII.

I was embroiled in danger alongside the lawyer as he fights to save a girl accused of murder from the hangman’s noose and recover a long-lost ancient secret. I learned that the intriguing machinations going on in a Tudor court of law are as shifty and tangled as those at the royal court in Whitehall.

I visited many a seedy London tavern with side-kick Barak during that searing hot summer of 1540, smelling the sour stink of sweaty humanity as the body count increased and met Shardlake’s nemesis, Richard Rich. Brilliant stuff!    

By C.J. Sansom,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Dark Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a friend's niece is charged with murder and threatened with torture for her refusal to speak, 1540 lawyer Matthew Sharklake is granted an unexpected two-week reprieve to investigate the case if he will also accept a dangerous assignment to find a legendary weapon of mass destruction. By the author of Dissolution. 25,000 first printing.


Book cover of Bring Up the Bodies

Ken Parejko Author Of Kasia's Story

From my list on the conflict between personal spirituality and religion.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was during the epistemological craziness around the year 2000 that I christened myself a truth warrior. I was already a scientist. Yet I knew there were other important truths, not of the mind but of the heart, truths we discover and marvel over in the realm of art. So as a biology professor I was granted a sabbatical to write the second of three of my novels, about Pliny the Elder. It is through literature, some of my own making, that I find new ways of seeing and experiencing the world: and of discovering and validating what is true, and what is not.

Ken's book list on the conflict between personal spirituality and religion

Ken Parejko Why did Ken love this book?

Though I did enjoy the earlier Wolf Hall I found Bring Up the Bodies more readable and compelling.

Hilary Mantel paints intimate word pictures of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and especially Thomas Cromwell, struggling to make his way through the minefield of political intrigue at Henry’s court. Though it is against almost every principle he holds dear, Cromwell charts a course which one step at a time ultimately brings Anne Boleyn down.

Finding himself in an almost impossible situation, he agonizes over every decision, looking at it from many sides: legal, political, ethical, spiritual, and religious. Meanwhile not far in the background we see the Church’s Pope Clement trying desperately, like Oz’s man behind the curtain, to control events.

Mantel’s genius was her ability to transform dry history into compelling, character-driven stories.

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Bring Up the Bodies 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

The second book in Hilary Mantel's award-winning Wolf Hall trilogy, with a stunning new cover design to celebrate the publication of the much anticipated The Mirror and the Light

An astounding literary accomplishment, Bring Up the Bodies is the story of this most terrifying moment of history, by one of our greatest living novelists.

'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian

Bring Up the Bodies unlocks the darkly glittering court of Henry VIII, where Thomas Cromwell is now chief minister. With Henry captivated by plain Jane Seymour and rumours of Anne Boleyn's faithlessness whispered by…


Book cover of All the King's Cooks: The Tudor Kitchens of King Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley Author Of The Man Behind the Tudors: Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk

From my list on everyday life in Tudor England.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian and historic buildings consultant with a longstanding interest in 15th and 16th century England. In addition to my own work on memorials, funerals, and the Howard family, I have worked as a researcher and consultant for television and books, including being a production researcher for the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall. 

Kirsten's book list on everyday life in Tudor England

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley Why did Kirsten love this book?

Peter Brears takes us ‘below stairs’ at the court of Henry VIII and into the kitchens that fed and waited on up to 1000 people a day. Structured around the different rooms that made up the kitchen, he details the food and drink that was being produced and gives a snapshot of the ordinary people working there. The book is nicely illustrated with sketches of Tudor implements and methods of cooking. For anyone who wants to try eating like a Tudor, the book concludes with a selection of recipes, all of which have been trialed in the kitchens at Hampton Court and adapted for the modern kitchen.

By Peter Brears,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All the King's Cooks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Possibly the first industrial complex to be operated in England, the kitchens at Hampton Court Palace were highly organised and built to feed the whole of King Henry VIII''s household. Brears traces their history & functions in this illustrated volume.'


Book cover of Wolf Hall

Iris Mwanza Author Of The Lions' Den

From my list on immersed in another culture, country and time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Zambia, a small, landlocked country where travel was prohibitively expensive, but through books, I could travel to any place and across time without ever leaving my bedroom. Now, I’m fortunate that I get to travel for work and leisure and have been to over thirty countries and counting. Before I go to a new country, I try to read historical fiction as a fun way to educate myself and better understand that country’s history, culture, food, and family life. I hope you also enjoy traveling worldwide and across time through this selection.

Iris' book list on immersed in another culture, country and time

Iris Mwanza Why did Iris love this book?

I was surprised by how much I loved this book about England in the 1500s. The story of Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII has been told and retold, but even when I thought I knew what was coming (it is history, after all), I didn’t!

I laughed, cried, and found myself rooting for Cromwell. Yes, Cromwell! Such is the power of Hilary Mantle; there is no better historical fiction writer.

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

20 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…


Book cover of Road to Divorce: England, 1530-1987

Diane Atkinson Author Of Rise Up, Women! The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes

From my list on women’s history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been researching, curating, and writing women’s history for 30 years. I curated the suffragette exhibition Purple, White, and Green at the Museum of London. I wrote The Suffragettes in Pictures; Love and Dirt: The Marriage of Arthur Munby and Hannah Cullwick; Elsie and Mairi Go To War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front; The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton, and Rise Up, Women! The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes. I am a public historian, devoted to sharing my research and writing with all. I am a keen podcaster, Youtuber, and guest on television and radio. You could say I’m a heroine addict. I hope you love my recommendations.

Diane's book list on women’s history

Diane Atkinson Why did Diane love this book?

The leading authority on the history of divorce in England, Lawrence Stone’s brilliantly researched books are scholarly and highly readable. Road to Divorce is a frank and intimate account of the changing moral views of the past. It is utterly engrossing, full of drama, and leads readers to appreciate what a shocking prison marriage proved to be for hundreds of thousands of couples who, until 1857, needed an Act of Parliament to escape a bad marriage. Wives found it far harder than husbands to get a divorce as the legal obstacles were greater.

By Lawrence Stone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first full study of a topic rich in historical interest and contemporary importance

Despite the infamous divorce of Henry VIII in 1529, subsequent moral, political, and religious attitudes ensured that until 1857, England was the only Protestant country with virtually no facilities for full divorce on the grounds of adultery, desertion, or cruelty. Using a mass of transcribed legal testimonies, taken from hitherto unexplored court records, Professor Stone uncovers the means by which laity and lawyers reformed the divorce laws, and offers astonishingly frank and intimate
insights into our ancestors' changing views about what makes a marriage.

Using personal…


Book cover of Lamentation

Elizabeth Fremantle Author Of Queen's Gambit

From my list on the wives of Henry VIII.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even in childhood, I was struck by the sheer horror and tragedy of Henry VIII’s wives, women who had a place at the heart of power and managed, some more so than others, to influence the politics of their time, yet were powerless to save themselves when the wind changed. It was a fascinating and turbulent period that saw England rise from a provincial backwater to become an important player in European politics, bringing the social and cultural changes that sewed the seeds of our modern world. Exploring the period through the prism of women’s lives is a major aim of all my six novels.

Elizabeth's book list on the wives of Henry VIII

Elizabeth Fremantle Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Part of Sansom’s acclaimed Shardlake series, this novel takes a different look at Henry’s last wife, Katherine Parr. It is a thrilling dive into the plots of Parr’s life and her seditious writings from the perspective of Sansom’s eponymous fictional investigator. Detailed and enthralling we are transported to the streets of Tudor London, to explore the shadowy corners where danger lurks. 

By C.J. Sansom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Perfect for fans of Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and The Light, Matthew Shardlake is back in the sixth book in the Shardlake series, from number one bestselling author C. J. Sansom.

'When it comes to intriguing Tudor-based narratives, Hilary Mantel has a serious rival' - Sunday Times
'Sansom has the trick of writing an enthralling narrative. Like Hilary Mantel, he produces densely textured historical novels that absorb their readers in another time' - Andrew Taylor, Spectator

England, 1546: King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councillors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever…


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