59 books like The Lady Tars

By Hannah Snell, Mary Lacy, Mary Anne Talbot

Here are 59 books that The Lady Tars fans have personally recommended if you like The Lady Tars. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier

Linda Collison Author Of Star-Crossed

From my list on 18th and 19th century crossdressers.

Who am I?

The custom of Masquerade, of dressing as Other, has long fascinated me. In writing Star-Crossed, I set out to investigate how and why one girl might pass as a boy in an era when gender roles were sharply differentiated. I once crossed an ocean working aboard a wooden, three-masted ship – a 20th-century replica of the Bark Endeavour, circumnavigating in 1999. Sleeping in hammocks and working aloft in the rigging, I discovered this life required teamwork, stamina – and a sturdy, practical costume. Trousers, not petticoats! I have worked as a registered nurse and I earned a degree in History; these experiences combine in Star-Crossed. 

Linda's book list on 18th and 19th century crossdressers

Linda Collison Why did Linda love this book?

It took Americans a very long time to honor the ordinary foot soldiers and seamen of the Revolution. It took even longer to recover the women of the Revolution, historian Alfred F. Young tells us. The author parses through various historical records to present a realistic picture of the female soldier Deborah Sampson. Deborah was not the only woman to volunteer as a soldier – dressed as a man. Her record was exemplary. Sampson became known only after the war was over, and then only to a few people. This biography is among the most thorough of crossdressing fighting women, and it gives a good picture of colonial life at the time of the American Revolution. 

By Alfred F. Young,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Masquerade, Alfred F. Young scrapes through layers of fiction and myth to uncover the story of Deborah Sampson, a Massachusetts woman who passed as a man and fought as a soldier for seventeen months toward the end of the American Revolution.

Deborah Sampson was not the only woman to pose as a male and fight in the war, but she was certainly one of the most successful and celebrated. She managed to fight in combat and earn the respect of her officers and peers, and in later years she toured the country lecturing about her experiences and was partially…


Book cover of Female Tars: Women Aboard Ship in the Age of Sail

Linda Collison Author Of Star-Crossed

From my list on 18th and 19th century crossdressers.

Who am I?

The custom of Masquerade, of dressing as Other, has long fascinated me. In writing Star-Crossed, I set out to investigate how and why one girl might pass as a boy in an era when gender roles were sharply differentiated. I once crossed an ocean working aboard a wooden, three-masted ship – a 20th-century replica of the Bark Endeavour, circumnavigating in 1999. Sleeping in hammocks and working aloft in the rigging, I discovered this life required teamwork, stamina – and a sturdy, practical costume. Trousers, not petticoats! I have worked as a registered nurse and I earned a degree in History; these experiences combine in Star-Crossed. 

Linda's book list on 18th and 19th century crossdressers

Linda Collison Why did Linda love this book?

This was the first nonfiction book I read that fired up my interest and started my research for my own historical novel. Stark gives a picture of the females to be found aboard ships in the British Royal Navy, most of whom were not posing as men but were wives of warrant officers. One chapter is devoted to women in disguise in naval crews. The last chapter is devoted to the crossdresser Mary Lacy, who passed as William Chandler, and worked as a shipwright. With illustrations and endnotes, Female Tars sheds light on the women who are seldom mentioned in official naval records, but were there, a part of history. 

By Suzanne J Stark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For a very long time now I have delighted in histories, letters, records, and memoirs to do with the Royal Navy in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century; but Suzanne Stark's book has told me many, many things I did not know, and I shall keep it on an honored shelf."--Patrick O'Brian

The wives and female guests of commissioned officers often went to sea in the sailing ships of Britain's Royal Navy in the 18th and 19th centuries, but there were other women on board as well, rarely mentioned in print. Suzanne Stark thoroughly investigates the custom of allowing prostitutes…


Book cover of The Perfect Gentleman

Alina Rubin Author Of A Girl with a Knife

From my list on making you glad for modern medicine.

Who am I?

Stuck at home during the pandemic, I started watching historical fiction and fell in love with the British miniseries, Hornblower. Suddenly I found myself writing my own stories about an imprisoned midshipman and Ella Parker, a surgeon that saves him. But there was a plot hole. Women could not be doctors in 19th-century England, leave alone ship surgeons. Thus, I sent Ella into medical school disguised as a man, and Hearts and Sails series was born. Looking for interesting cases for Ella to observe and treat, I became obsessed with the history of modern medicine. I also wanted my character to overcome great obstacles and eventually prove to others what a woman can do.

Alina's book list on making you glad for modern medicine

Alina Rubin Why did Alina love this book?

I’m often asked if Ella Parker is based on Dr. James Barry. She’s not. But I was glad to confirm that history recorded at least one woman was able to disguise herself as a man and become a distinguished doctor. The biography of Dr. Barry is intriguing, well-written, and shows how brilliant and mysterious an individual he was. The best find for me was the list of classes Barry attended at the University of Edinburgh. I sent my main character into the same classes, including the optional midwifery, and the private class with a prestigious teacher. This biography gave me many answers about this remarkable doctor, but also left me with questions. 

By June Rose,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

James Barry was one of the most outstanding doctors of the nineteenth century – a brilliant surgeon, a tireless campaigner for medical reform, and a compassionate Inspector-General of the Army.

But throughout a long and distinguished career an air of secrecy, even of scandal, always clung to Barry. The shrill voice, the diminutive build, the almost ostentatious humanity – all struck a discordant note in the stiff, conventional world of the officers’ mess. Only after the doctor’s death in 1865 did the incredible truth come to light:

Dr. James Barry was a woman.

What was her real identity? How did…


Book cover of Monsieur D'Eon is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade

Linda Collison Author Of Star-Crossed

From my list on 18th and 19th century crossdressers.

Who am I?

The custom of Masquerade, of dressing as Other, has long fascinated me. In writing Star-Crossed, I set out to investigate how and why one girl might pass as a boy in an era when gender roles were sharply differentiated. I once crossed an ocean working aboard a wooden, three-masted ship – a 20th-century replica of the Bark Endeavour, circumnavigating in 1999. Sleeping in hammocks and working aloft in the rigging, I discovered this life required teamwork, stamina – and a sturdy, practical costume. Trousers, not petticoats! I have worked as a registered nurse and I earned a degree in History; these experiences combine in Star-Crossed. 

Linda's book list on 18th and 19th century crossdressers

Linda Collison Why did Linda love this book?

Who was s/he – a man, a woman masquerading as a man, or a gender fluid person?

The Chevalier d'Eon was a French courtier and diplomat, decorated military officer, writer – and a cross-dressing spy for Louis XV in a clandestine foreign policy organization known as the Secret du Roi. A well-researched account, Kates' political "thriller" is quite unlike any other crossdresser's biography I've read; it kindles a conception of 18th-century gender fluidity that reflects perception, influence, and political power in a European age when clothes indeed, made the man.

By Gary Kates,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monsieur D'Eon is a Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Born in 1728, French aristocrat Charles d'Eon de Beaumont had served his country as a diplomat, soldier, and spy for fifteen years when rumors that he was a woman began to circulate in the courts of Europe. D'Eon denied nothing and was finally compelled by Louis XVI to give up male attire and live as a woman, something d'Eon did without complaint for the next three decades. Although celebrated as one of the century's most remarkable women, d'Eon was revealed, after his death in 1810, to have been unambiguously male. Gary Kates's acclaimed biography of d'Eon recreates eighteenth-century European society…


Book cover of The Female Soldier or the Surprising Life and Adventures of Hannah Snell

Julie Walker Author Of Bonny & Read

From my list on female pirates and their inspiration.

Who am I?

I’ve been obsessed by the story of Anne Bonny and Mary Read since I heard about them in an Adam Ant song "Five Guns West". I know more than is good for me about pirates and wanted to share some of the fantastic books that inspired me when I wrote the novel Bonny & Read. Eighty years before Pride and Prejudice was written there were women armed with cutlasses roaming the Caribbean looking for ships to plunder – I want to give everyone the opportunity to learn more about this incredible hidden history.

Julie's book list on female pirates and their inspiration

Julie Walker Why did Julie love this book?

Hannah Snell disguised herself as a man and served in the Royal Marines in the mid-1700s.

She brought her experience to a popular stage show when she was discovered and discharged from the regiment. She was the first woman to be given a Royal pension in recognition of her service, and went on to live as a Chelsea Pensioner in London.

By Anonymous,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Female Soldier or the Surprising Life and Adventures of Hannah Snell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This collection of literature attempts to compile many of the classic works that have stood the test of time and offer them at a reduced, affordable price, in an attractive volume so that everyone can enjoy them.


Book cover of The Far Side of the World

Katie Daysh Author Of Leeward

From my list on to get lost at sea with.

Who am I?

I’m an author of queer historical fiction and I love to explore stories set on the sea. I adore the drama of it, the beauty, the awe, the timelessness, and the wild backdrop that allows characters to confront themselves and their journeys. Having lived by the sea all my life on an island rich with nautical and smuggling history, it has never been far away from me. I like to read a mixture of fiction and non-fiction; both have strongly influenced my own writing. The books on this list capture the diverse reasons I am drawn to sea tales!

Katie's book list on to get lost at sea with

Katie Daysh Why did Katie love this book?

Patrick O’Brian is the master of nautical fiction. I enjoyed every one of his Aubrey—Maturin series but this one shines out.

I believe that, in maritime fiction, the sea should be its own character, and this book brings to life every face of it. His intricate prose captures the daily life onboard Napoleonic-era ships in painstaking detail and throws the reader into a totally immersive world.

But mostly, I love how this book embodies the friendship between Jack and Stephen. Although they are such different characters, they have such a beautiful connection and when they are separated from their ship, they rely on each other to survive.

I love exploring the various relationships of men and women, in platonic, familial, and romantic senses. 

By Patrick O'Brian,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The war of 1812 continues, and Jack Aubrey sets course for Cape Horn on a mission after his own heart: intercepting a powerful American frigate outward bound to play havoc with the British whaling trade. Stephen Maturin has fish of his own to fry in the world of secret intelligence. Disaster in various guises awaits them in the Great South Sea and in the far reaches of the Pacific: typhoons, castaways, shipwrecks, murder, and criminal insanity.


Book cover of The Private War of Seaman Stumpf: The Unique Diaries of a Young German in the Great War

Steve Dunn Author Of The Petrol Navy: British, American and Other Naval Motor Boats at War 1914 - 1920

From my list on how the Royal Navy won the First World War.

Who am I?

I’m Steve R Dunn, a naval historian and author of twelve books of naval history, with two more commissioned for 2024 and 2025. As a child I used to invent naval fleets and have always loved the water.  Now, I write about little-known aspects of the First World War at sea, and try to demonstrate that, despite the mass slaughter and ultimate victory on the Western Front, if Britain had lost command of the sea, the war would have been lost. The combination of recognisably modern weapons with Nelsonian command and control systems renders the naval side of WW1 endlessly fascinating to me.

Steve's book list on how the Royal Navy won the First World War

Steve Dunn Why did Steve love this book?

Stumpf was an ordinary seaman in the German Imperial Navy.

He tells the story of the war at sea from a personal perspective. His autobiography shows how the gap between officers and men, poor food, a sense of inferiority to the Royal Navy and limited scope for naval action all contributed to the decline of the morale of the Imperial Fleet, leading to mutiny in 1918. It is necessary reading if you want to begin to understand the war at sea from a non-British perspective.

By Daniel Horn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Private War of Seaman Stumpf The Unique Diaries of a Young German in the Great War was written by Daniel Horn, published by Leslie Frewin and was printed in 1969 in a Hardcover binding.


Book cover of The British Way of War: Julian Corbett and the Battle for a National Strategy

Steve Dunn Author Of The Petrol Navy: British, American and Other Naval Motor Boats at War 1914 - 1920

From my list on how the Royal Navy won the First World War.

Who am I?

I’m Steve R Dunn, a naval historian and author of twelve books of naval history, with two more commissioned for 2024 and 2025. As a child I used to invent naval fleets and have always loved the water.  Now, I write about little-known aspects of the First World War at sea, and try to demonstrate that, despite the mass slaughter and ultimate victory on the Western Front, if Britain had lost command of the sea, the war would have been lost. The combination of recognisably modern weapons with Nelsonian command and control systems renders the naval side of WW1 endlessly fascinating to me.

Steve's book list on how the Royal Navy won the First World War

Steve Dunn Why did Steve love this book?

Professor Lambert is the doyen of present-day naval historians.

In this book he tells the story of an incomparably great strategist and historian, Julian Corbett, whose pre-war views on naval strategy were well constructed and sought by men such as Admiral Jacky Fisher, the founder of the modern navy. Unfortunately, Corbett’s ideas were catastrophically ignored in 1914 but shaped Britain’s success in the Second World War and beyond.

By Andrew Lambert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How a strategist's ideas were catastrophically ignored in 1914-but shaped Britain's success in the Second World War and beyond

Leading historian Andrew Lambert shows how, as a lawyer, civilian, and Liberal, Julian Corbett (1854-1922) brought a new level of logic, advocacy, and intellectual precision to the development of strategy.

Corbett skillfully integrated classical strategic theory, British history, and emerging trends in technology, geopolitics, and conflict to prepare the British state for war. He emphasized that strategy is a unique national construct, rather than a set of universal principles, and recognized the importance of domestic social reform and the evolving British…


Book cover of The Shetland Bus: A WWII Epic Of Courage, Endurance, and Survival

J.L. Oakley Author Of The Jossing Affair

From my list on Norway during WWII.

Who am I?

I am a trained historian and past educator at a historical museum. I fell into my passion for Norway during WWII after I dreamed about a man in the snow surrounded by German soldiers. I was encouraged to write the scene down. That scene became the prologue to The Jøssing Affair, but not before going to libraries and reading countless secondary and primary resources, interviewing numbers of Norwegian-Americans who settled in my area in the 1950s, and eating a lot of lefse. This passion of over 28 years has taken me to Norway to walk Trondheim where my novels take place and forge friendships with local historians and experts.

J.L.'s book list on Norway during WWII

J.L. Oakley Why did J.L. love this book?

The Shetland Bus was a great operation fighting against the German occupation of Norway and David Howarth, second in command of the organization, brings a personal and knowledgeable telling of its history in The Shetland Bus. This book inspired me to write my novel. It is an amazing story of courage and skill. Fishermen on the west coast of Norway began to run fishing boats to England at the beginning of the war. Known as the North Sea Traffic, it eventually became formalized under British command. The Bus only worked during the dark of winter, when sea and weather conditions were dangerous, bringing over arms and agents, taking back refugees. Later, submarine chasers, the Hessa, Hitra, and Vigra, served from 1943 to the end of the war. 

By David Howarth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of We Die Alone, The Shetland Bus recounts the hundreds of crossings of small boats from the Shetland Islands to German-occupied Norway to supply arms to the Resistors and to rescue refugees-all under constant threat by German U-boats and winter storms.


Book cover of HMS Saracen

Antoine Vanner Author Of Britannia's Innocent

From my list on war at sea by writers who’ve survived it.

Who am I?

In a long international business career, I’ve survived military coups, a guerrilla war, storms at sea, life in mangrove swamps, tropical forest, offshore oil platforms, and boardrooms. My passion for nineteenth-century history, and my understanding of the cutting-edge technology of that time, have inspired the Dawlish Chronicles. The Royal Navy officer, Nicholas Dawlish, and Florence, the love of his life, are real people to me. The challenges they face are strongly linked to actual events both overseas and in Britain in the late 19th century and I know most of the settings from personal experience.

Antoine's book list on war at sea by writers who’ve survived it

Antoine Vanner Why did Antoine love this book?

I met Douglas Reeman only once but I owe him a debt since he inspired me on that occasion to start writing seriously. He served as a Royal Navy officer in WW2 and saw extensive service in destroyers and motor torpedo boats. He survived a sinking, during which he was injured, and was wounded again off Normandy. He wrote many novels about war at sea—those of WW1 and WW2 under his own name, and as “Alexander Kent” about the Age of Fighting Sail. They’re all splendidly exciting reads in which fortitude, duty, and loyalty—to one’s ship, crew, and country—and the brutal realities of war are portrayed with a great feel of realism. He claimed HMS Saracen as his favourite—and, when read, it’s easy to see why!

By Douglas Reeman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Malta 1941. To most people HMS Saracen is just an ugly, obsolete ship with an equally ugly recent history: her last commander is due for court-martial after shelling the troops he was sent to protect. But to Captain Richard Chesnaye she brings back memories-memories of the First World War when he and the old monitor went through the Gallipoli campaign together. It seems that captain and ship are both past their best. But as the war enters a new phase, Chesnaye senses the possibility of a fresh, significant role-for him and the Saracen.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the British Royal Navy, World War 1, and the Napoleonic Wars?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the British Royal Navy, World War 1, and the Napoleonic Wars.

The British Royal Navy Explore 58 books about the British Royal Navy
World War 1 Explore 857 books about World War 1
The Napoleonic Wars Explore 65 books about the Napoleonic Wars