100 books like The King's Peace

By Lisa Ford,

Here are 100 books that The King's Peace fans have personally recommended if you like The King's Peace. 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 Tacky's Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War

Christian R. Burset Author Of An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy

From my list on the rise of the British Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a legal historian with a particular interest in eighteenth-century Britain and the United States. My research has investigated the history of arbitration, historical connections between law and politics, and changing attitudes to the rule of law. Since 2018, I’ve been a professor at Notre Dame Law School, where I teach courses in legal history, civil procedure, conflict of laws, and the rule of law.

Christian's book list on the rise of the British Empire

Christian R. Burset Why did Christian love this book?

The Seven Years’ War was a pivotal event in the formation of the British Empire, but histories of the conflict often omit a crucial battleground: Jamaica.

Starting in 1760, enslaved West Africans in Jamaica organized to throw off their captivity. Tacky’s Revolt, as the uprising became known, was the greatest slave rebellion the Atlantic world had yet seen. It was also linked to other, global struggles, both in Africa and between European empires.

In Tacky’s Revolt, Vincent Brown links these hyper-local and imperial stories. I found it particularly useful for understanding the complexities of race and ethnicity in the eighteenth-century British Caribbean. 

By Vincent Brown,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Tacky's Revolt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
Winner of the Frederick Douglass Book Prize
Winner of the Elsa Goveia Book Prize
Winner of the James A. Rawley Prize in the History of Race Relations
Winner of the P. Sterling Stuckey Book Prize
Winner of the Harriet Tubman Prize
Winner of the Phillis Wheatley Book Award
Finalist for the Cundill Prize

A gripping account of the largest slave revolt in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world, an uprising that laid bare the interconnectedness of Europe, Africa, and America, shook the foundations of empire, and reshaped ideas of race and popular belonging.

In the…


Book cover of Empire, Incorporated: The Corporations That Built British Colonialism

Christian R. Burset Author Of An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy

From my list on the rise of the British Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a legal historian with a particular interest in eighteenth-century Britain and the United States. My research has investigated the history of arbitration, historical connections between law and politics, and changing attitudes to the rule of law. Since 2018, I’ve been a professor at Notre Dame Law School, where I teach courses in legal history, civil procedure, conflict of laws, and the rule of law.

Christian's book list on the rise of the British Empire

Christian R. Burset Why did Christian love this book?

High-school history classes usually tell students that empires expanded at least partly because of their proponents’ greed. But who, exactly, was trying to get paid, and how?

Empire, Incorporated tells the story of Britain’s imperial expansion by focusing on the corporations that drove it.

If you’re on the fence about reading this book, flip to the “Index of Companies, Corporations, and Societies” at the back: the sheer number of entries makes it clear that we can’t understand Britain’s empire by focusing on governments alone. Imperial rule was much more complicated than that. 

By Philip J. Stern,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"[A] landmark book...[a] bold reframing of the history of the British Empire."
-Caroline Elkins, Foreign Affairs

An award-winning historian places the corporation-more than the Crown-at the heart of British colonialism, arguing that companies built and governed global empire, raising questions about public and private power that were just as troubling four hundred years ago as they are today.

Across four centuries, from Ireland to India, the Americas to Africa and Australia, British colonialism was above all the business of corporations. Corporations conceived, promoted, financed, and governed overseas expansion, making claims over territory and peoples while ensuring that British and colonial…


Book cover of Virtuous Bankers: A Day in the Life of the Eighteenth-Century Bank of England

Christian R. Burset Author Of An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy

From my list on the rise of the British Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a legal historian with a particular interest in eighteenth-century Britain and the United States. My research has investigated the history of arbitration, historical connections between law and politics, and changing attitudes to the rule of law. Since 2018, I’ve been a professor at Notre Dame Law School, where I teach courses in legal history, civil procedure, conflict of laws, and the rule of law.

Christian's book list on the rise of the British Empire

Christian R. Burset Why did Christian love this book?

Empire, Incorporated makes it clear that corporations mattered in shaping the British Empire. But how did they actually operate?

Virtuous Bankers offers a window into an ordinary workday at the Bank of England, one of the most important institutions in eighteenth-century England. In the process, the book provides new insights into the nature of public credit and the growth of the British state, as well as an engrossing introduction to everyday life in Georgian London. 

By Anne Murphy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An intimate account of the eighteenth-century Bank of England that shows how a private institution became "a great engine of state"

The eighteenth-century Bank of England was an institution that operated for the benefit of its shareholders-and yet came to be considered, as Adam Smith described it, "a great engine of state." In Virtuous Bankers, Anne Murphy explores how this private organization became the guardian of the public credit upon which Britain's economic and geopolitical power was based. Drawing on the voluminous and detailed minute books of a Committee of Inspection that examined the Bank's workings in 1783-84, Murphy frames…


Book cover of The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III: The East India Company and the Crisis and Transformation of Britain's Imperial State

Christian R. Burset Author Of An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy

From my list on the rise of the British Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a legal historian with a particular interest in eighteenth-century Britain and the United States. My research has investigated the history of arbitration, historical connections between law and politics, and changing attitudes to the rule of law. Since 2018, I’ve been a professor at Notre Dame Law School, where I teach courses in legal history, civil procedure, conflict of laws, and the rule of law.

Christian's book list on the rise of the British Empire

Christian R. Burset Why did Christian love this book?

Why did Britain’s empire take the form it did? It’s easy to assume that it all happened automatically—that Britain “conquered and peopled half the world in a fit of absence of mind,” as the historian J.R. Seeley famously put it.

The Politics of Empire challenges that assumption, reconstructing the political movements and ideologies that led Britain to build a territorial empire in India—as well as the kinds of empire Britain chose not to build. 

By James M. Vaughn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An important revisionist history that casts eighteenth-century British politics and imperial expansion in a new light

"An important book . . . . Vaughn has greatly added to our understanding of Britain's empire and politics."-Journal of Modern HIstory

In this bold debut work, historian James M. Vaughn challenges the scholarly consensus that British India and the Second Empire were founded in "a fit of absence of mind." He instead argues that the origins of the Raj and the largest empire of the modern world were rooted in political conflicts and movements in Britain. It was British conservatives who shaped the…


Book cover of Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress

Sathnam Sanghera Author Of Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain

From my list on the British Empire's impact on the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was in my 40s before I began exploring the topic of the British Empire. It came after I realised it explained so much about me (my Sikh identity, the emigration of my parents, my education) and so much about my country (its politics, psychology, wealth…) and yet I knew very little. It turned out that millions of people feel the same way… and I hope I provide an accessible introduction and summary of the massive topic. 

Sathnam's book list on the British Empire's impact on the world

Sathnam Sanghera Why did Sathnam love this book?

By her own admission, Morris was nostalgic about British Empire, and while I disagree with some of her conclusions, and she herself remarked that she was “ashamed” of the work before she died, there is no doubt that she penned the single best narrative of Britain’s imperial adventures.

No other writer has written so accessibly and elegantly about a complicated history that extended across five centuries.

For me, proof that you don’t always need to agree with a writer to admire them.

By James Morris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heaven's Command as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Great travel accounts.


Book cover of The Cause: The American Revolution and its Discontents, 1773-1783

Thomas Dresser Author Of Hidden History of Martha's Vineyard

From my list on defining a place both quirky and unique.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a washashore who’s lived on Martha’s Vineyard for 25 years. I’ve worked small businesses, drove school and tour buses, volunteered, toured and given walking tours. I know the Island. In my writing I’ve focused my love of American history on the backstory of Martha’s Vineyard. Hence my books comprise a wealth of research and information on each topic. I love what I do. And I like to think it shows.

Thomas' book list on defining a place both quirky and unique

Thomas Dresser Why did Thomas love this book?

Ellis has done his research for The Cause on both sides of the Atlantic. He presents his perspective on what happened during the Revolution and how close we came to defeat before we even got started.

I’m devoted to accurate research in all my books. The point of non-fiction, as Ellis demonstrates, is to report the facts and assess the results, without emotional or personal perspective.

This tome was a joy to read.  

I learned a great deal from The Cause.

My book on the American Revolution was published prior to The Cause, which made it so intriguing for me to read. 

By Joseph J. Ellis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

George Washington claimed that anyone who attempted to provide an accurate account of the war for independence would be accused of writing fiction. At the time, no one called it the "American Revolution": former colonists still regarded themselves as Virginians or Pennsylvanians, not Americans, while John Adams insisted that the British were the real revolutionaries, for attempting to impose radical change without their colonists' consent.

With The Cause, Ellis takes a fresh look at the events between 1773 and 1783, recovering a war more brutal than any in American history save the Civil War and discovering a strange breed of…


Book cover of Resisting Independence

Wim Klooster Author Of Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History

From my list on the Age of Revolutions.

Why am I passionate about this?

To an Atlantic historian like me, the era of revolutions is one of the most dramatic historical periods, which erased many of the structures on which the Atlantic world had been built for centuries. It raised many hopes, which were often defeated, but lasting advances were made nonetheless.  

Wim's book list on the Age of Revolutions

Wim Klooster Why did Wim love this book?

This is probably the most comprehensive discussion of Loyalism to date. By detailing the Loyalist perspective on the growing crisis in the British empire and the ensuing American Revolution in four cities (Glasgow, Halifax, New York, and Kingston), Jones reveals the Loyalism shared in these places and shows how local issues led to new relationships with the Crown. One element integral to Loyalism was the notion of rights and liberties that British subjects enjoyed.    

By Brad A. Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Resisting Independence, Brad A. Jones maps the loyal British Atlantic's reaction to the American Revolution. Through close study of four important British Atlantic port cities-New York City; Kingston, Jamaica; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Glasgow, Scotland-Jones argues that the revolution helped trigger a new understanding of loyalty to the Crown and empire. This compelling account reimagines Loyalism as a shared transatlantic ideology, no less committed to ideas of liberty and freedom than the American cause and not limited to the inhabitants of the thirteen American colonies.

Jones reminds readers that the American Revolution was as much a story of loyalty…


Book cover of Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570-1740

Rebecca Simon Author Of Why We Love Pirates: The Hunt for Captain Kidd and How He Changed Piracy Forever

From my list on the lives of pirates.

Why am I passionate about this?

I always had an interest in pirates, being a SoCal native who went to Disneyland every year, and history was always my favorite subject in school. I went on to grad school and decided to make piracy my subject. My Master’s was about how the novel Treasure Island changed perceptions of piracy. I then continued my studies and earned my doctorate at King’s College London in 2017 about public executions of pirates and their cultural/legal representations in the British-Atlantic World. Since then, I have been featured on numerous podcasts such as History Hit, History Extra, and You’re Dead To Me, and on documentaries such as BBC’s Britain’s Rogues, History Channels Oak Island, and Netflix’s Lost Pirate Kingdom while publishing both academic and popular articles before my first book.

Rebecca's book list on the lives of pirates

Rebecca Simon Why did Rebecca love this book?

This book is pretty recent, having been published in 2015. In my opinion, it is the best book ever written about Atlantic piracy. Hanna dissects pirates to examine who they were and why they became pirates. What is unique about this work, is that he argues that pirates were just as significant on land as they were at sea. Without pirates, there would be no rise of a British Empire in the American colonies. This book was released during the last year of my doctoral research and I probably would not have been as successful in its completion without Pirate Nests!

By Mark G. Hanna,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570-1740 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Analyzing the rise and subsequent fall of international piracy from the perspective of colonial hinterlands, Mark G. Hanna explores the often overt support of sea marauders in maritime communities from the inception of England's burgeoning empire in the 1570s to its administrative consolidation by the 1740s. Although traditionally depicted as swashbuckling adventurers on the high seas, pirates played a crucial role on land. Far from a hindrance to trade, their enterprises contributed to commercial development and to the economic infrastructure of port towns.

English piracy and unregulated privateering flourished in the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean because of…


Book cover of Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America

John Gilbert McCurdy Author Of Quarters: The Accommodation of the British Army and the Coming of the American Revolution

From my list on the what caused the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of the American Revolution. I am interested in the war that created the United States, why it happened, and its lasting effects on the world today. The British government kept meticulous records of the lead-up to American independence and I have scoured these for new and interesting stories that historians have missed. I teach history at Eastern Michigan University, and I am currently completing a book on buggery in the British army that will be out in 2024.

John's book list on the what caused the American Revolution

John Gilbert McCurdy Why did John love this book?

Also key to the coming of the Revolution was the Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773, when colonists tossed thousands of pounds of tea into the harbor. Benjamin Carp looks at the Tea Act of 1773, which lowered the duty on tea as a means of convincing Americans to agree to taxation without representation. He also traces the affairs of the East India Company in Asia and asks how its priorities affected America. Carp also investigates the protests against the Tea Act (of which the party in Boston was but one), asking how colonial resistance affected American politics. The defiance of the Patriots detailed here is not just a refutation of British imperial rule, but of a corrupt placemen and political inequality. 

By Benjamin L. Carp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An evocative and enthralling account of a defining event in American history

This thrilling book tells the full story of the an iconic episode in American history, the Boston Tea Party-exploding myths, exploring the unique city life of eighteenth-century Boston, and setting this audacious prelude to the American Revolution in a global context for the first time. Bringing vividly to life the diverse array of people and places that the Tea Party brought together-from Chinese tea-pickers to English businessmen, Native American tribes, sugar plantation slaves, and Boston's ladies of leisure-Benjamin L. Carp illuminates how a determined group of New Englanders…


Book cover of Reordering the World: Essays on Liberalism and Empire

Dillon S. Tatum Author Of Liberalism and Transformation: The Global Politics of Violence and Intervention

From my list on liberalism and politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dillon Stone Tatum is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Francis Marion University. His research interests are on the history, development, and politics of liberal internationalism, international political theory, and critical security studies.

Dillon's book list on liberalism and politics

Dillon S. Tatum Why did Dillon love this book?

Duncan Bell’s collection of essays, Reordering the World, analyzes Victorian (and Victorian-adjacent) liberal imaginaries of empire and world politics. Of specific interest for Bell is the central place settler colonialism had in the constitution of liberal intellectual traditions, and the complex relationship between liberalism as an ideology and liberalism as part-and-parcel of the British empire. Of particular note in this collection are the essays in part I, which I have found to be indispensable in my own grappling with the contours of liberalism as a political and intellectual tradition.

By Duncan Bell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A leading scholar of British political thought explores the relationship between liberalism and empire

Reordering the World is a penetrating account of the complexity and contradictions found in liberal visions of empire. Focusing mainly on nineteenth-century Britain-at the time the largest empire in history and a key incubator of liberal political thought-Duncan Bell sheds new light on some of the most important themes in modern imperial ideology.

The book ranges widely across Victorian intellectual life and beyond. The opening essays explore the nature of liberalism, varieties of imperial ideology, the uses and abuses of ancient history, the imaginative functions of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in colonies, the British Empire, and the American Revolution?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about colonies, the British Empire, and the American Revolution.

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