94 books like The Poems of Robert Henryson

By Robert Henryson,

Here are 94 books that The Poems of Robert Henryson fans have personally recommended if you like The Poems of Robert Henryson. 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 An Instance of the Fingerpost

Robert J. Lloyd Author Of The Bloodless Boy

From my list on science-based historical fiction novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write as Robert J. Lloyd, but my friends call me Rob. Having studied Fine Art at a BA degree level (starting as a landscape painter but becoming a sculpture/photography/installation/performance generalist), I then moved to writing. During my MA degree in The History of Ideas, I happened to read Robert Hooke’s diary, detailing the life and experiments of this extraordinary and fascinating man. My MA thesis and my Hooke & Hunt series of historical thrillers are all about him. I’m fascinated by early science, which was the initial ‘pull’ into writing these stories, but the political background of the times (The Popish Plot and the Exclusion Crisis, for example) is just as enticing. 

Robert's book list on science-based historical fiction novels

Robert J. Lloyd Why did Robert love this book?

This is the only ‘whodunnit’ on my list, but it’s so much more. (As are all the best ‘whodunnits’.)

For a start, it’s told from four different points of view. My own books use the early history of the Royal Society, its science, and various of its actual ‘Fellows,’ and this book was undeniably an influence. Pears details the politics and religious turmoil of the time and the excitement of new scientific discoveries.

The mid-17th century’s rigid social structure and manners are shown starkly, as is the misogyny. I found it dark, layered, and although complex, it’s immediately engaging. A very satisfying book indeed!

By Iain Pears,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked An Instance of the Fingerpost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A fictional tour de force which combines erudition with mystery' PD James

Set in Oxford in the 1660s - a time and place of great intellectual, religious, scientific and political ferment - this remarkable novel centres around a young woman, Sarah Blundy, who stands accused of the murder of Robert Grove, a fellow of New College. Four witnesses describe the events surrounding his death: Marco da Cola, a Venetian Catholic intent on claiming credit for the invention of blood transfusion;Jack Prescott, the son of a supposed traitor to the Royalist cause, determined to vindicate his father; John Wallis, chief cryptographer…


Book cover of Fingersmith

Rachel Cochran Author Of The Gulf

From my list on queer mystery and crime books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a queer writer who lovers to read and write mystery and crime fiction. The history of these genres is often full of homophobic stereotypes and scapegoating of queer characters. While I think it’s important to show queer characters as flawed, I also want to make sure to celebrate the contributions of queer writers to these messy, wonderful genres.

Rachel's book list on queer mystery and crime books

Rachel Cochran Why did Rachel love this book?

Whenever I’m pressed to name a favorite novel of all time, this is the title I turn to.

It’s so many things all at once: a perfectly plotted slow-burn of a crime caper with several killer surprises, an absorbing lesbian romance that burns with passionate intensity, and a fully realized, deeply immersive historical drama that displays masterful research by leaning into the weirder, hidden corners of its familiar Victorian setting.

As a writer, this book fills me with delicious envy; as a reader, it bowls me over with tension and awe.

By Sarah Waters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Oliver Twist with a twist…Waters spins an absorbing tale that withholds as much as it discloses. A pulsating story.”—The New York Times Book Review

Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, a "baby farmer," who raised her with unusual tenderness, as if Sue were her own. Mrs. Sucksby’s household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves—fingersmiths—for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home.

One day, the most beloved thief of all arrives—Gentleman, an elegant con man,…


Book cover of A Thousand Notable Things On Various Subjects

Shirley McKay Author Of Queen & Country

From my list on connecting with the thinking, feeling past.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Hew Cullan stories are historical crime fiction set at the university of St Andrews, Scotland, in the late sixteenth century. I was a student at St Andrews in the 1980s and now live nearby in the East Neuk of Fife, where the imprint of the town and its surrounding landscapes have remained unchanged since medieval times. What interests me most in writing of the past is how people thought and felt, lived and died and dreamt, and I have chosen books which capture that sense of the inner life, of a moment that belongs to a single time and place, and make it true and permanent.

Shirley's book list on connecting with the thinking, feeling past

Shirley McKay Why did Shirley love this book?

A Thousand Notable Things was first published in 1579, coincidently the year in which my first Hew Cullan story is set. A miscellany of marvels, magic, myths and medicine, ‘facts’ and household tips designed to entertain rather than instruct, it’s a fascinating glimpse into the sixteenth-century mindset to be taken, like its remedies, with a pinch of salt. Where else can you find, in the space of a heartbeat, that robins will cover dead faces with moss; that a married man made impotent by witchcraft should ‘make water’ through his wedding ring to remove the spell; or that basil causes scorpions to breed inside the brain? "Take heed therefore ye smellers of basil." A thousand times diverting. "This is proved and true."

By Thomas Lupton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Thousand Notable Things On Various Subjects as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.


Book cover of They Were Defeated: The Classic Novel Set in the Reign of King Charles I

Shirley McKay Author Of Queen & Country

From my list on connecting with the thinking, feeling past.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Hew Cullan stories are historical crime fiction set at the university of St Andrews, Scotland, in the late sixteenth century. I was a student at St Andrews in the 1980s and now live nearby in the East Neuk of Fife, where the imprint of the town and its surrounding landscapes have remained unchanged since medieval times. What interests me most in writing of the past is how people thought and felt, lived and died and dreamt, and I have chosen books which capture that sense of the inner life, of a moment that belongs to a single time and place, and make it true and permanent.

Shirley's book list on connecting with the thinking, feeling past

Shirley McKay Why did Shirley love this book?

I first read They Were Defeated over thirty years ago, and recently reread to see if it had the power to move me still today. It does. Set in 1641, in Devonshire and Cambridge at the very brink of the Civil War, it reads like a love letter to a lost world, where the poets and Platonists are illuminated in already fading light, beautifully and tenderly observed. Rose Macaulay wrote that she had done her best "to make no person in this work use in conversation any word, phrase or idiom" not used at the time. "Ghosts of words," she calls them, after Thomas Browne. An astonishing feat in the pre-digital age. Yet the language of her ghosts is clear and true and natural. And the still moment, at the very heart of her heart-breaking story, transcends the factions that surround it and stays fixed for all time. This is…

By Rose Macaulay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THEY WERE DEFEATED begins in 1640 at a harvest festival - but religious persecution is in the air, and the idyllic rural scene is soon darkened by the threat of a witch hunt...Rose Macaulay interweaves the lives of Robert Herrick and other contemporary poets with those of a small group of fictional characters. Their lives, and in particular the life of her heroine Julian, are set vividly before us against a period which was one of the most dramatic and unsetttled in English history. Skilfully intertwining tragedy, comedy and beauty, THEY WERE DEFEATED was Rose Macaulay's only historical novel, and…


Book cover of The Mercat Anthology of Early Scottish Literature, 1375-1707

Billy Kay Author Of Scots: The Mither Tongue

From my list on celebrating the Scots language.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a strong Scots–speaking environment just before the advent of television, so very much a Scottish village rather than the global village. Speaking several foreign languages and being able to study Scots language and literature at Edinburgh University gave me confidence and the realisation of how special Scots was, and how closely it is tied to the identity of the people and the land. The book is local, national, and international in outlook and is written from the heart and soul, with a strong influence of the Democratic Intellect thrown in to balance the passion. You can also hear me reading the book on Audible.

Billy's book list on celebrating the Scots language

Billy Kay Why did Billy love this book?

I want to reveal to people the superb achievement of the medieval Scots Makars who produced arguably the greatest poetry anywhere in Europe or Britain between roughly 1450 to 1550. John Barbour, William Dunbar, Robert Henryson, Gavin Douglas, and Sir David Lyndsay are the greatest of them but there are more excellent exponents of Scots in this, one of its golden ages, and they are all represented here. I quote many of them in my book.

By R.D.S. Jack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mercat Anthology of Early Scottish Literature, 1375-1707 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This anthology is intended to answer the need for a large-scale anthology of early Scottish Literature, which is felt particularly acutely in the academic field. It has been designed as a teaching text suitable for use by students and at advanced level in schools. Longer works are either presented complete - e.g. James I, 'Kingis Quair'; or by sections which sum up the main themes and concerns of the text - e.g Barbour's 'Bruce' Book I. There are full critical and linguistic introductions; brief biographical and bibliographic introductions for each author or subsection; the texts have all been re-edited; every…


Book cover of The Steel Bonnets: The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers

Andrew Greig Author Of Rose Nicolson: Memoir of William Fowler of Edinburgh

From my list on the wild side of the Scotland-England borderlands.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in rural Bannockburn in Scotland, two fields from the site of the famous Battle (a rare victory over England) of 1314. From the start, the Past has always been very present to me. I have written 22 books: novels, non-fiction memoir, and poetry. In differing ways they all explore aspects of Scotland and being Scottish – our landscape, geology, history, culture, and psyche. I was brought up in East Fife, near St Andrews, and live in Edinburgh and Orkney; my mother was English, as is my wife, novelist Lesley Glaister. Which is by way of saying I am interested in writing the joys, aches, and complexities of being human, in the universal and the local, in our present and the Past that shapes it.

Andrew's book list on the wild side of the Scotland-England borderlands

Andrew Greig Why did Andrew love this book?

By the author of the wonderfully wicked Flashman novels, this is simply the best book I know on the Reivers (Rustlers) of the Scottish-English Borderlands C14-16th. I referred to it often when constructing Rose Nicolson and Fair Helen. As with Flashman, it depicts resourceful, desperate men and women, trying to survive and prosper amid the shambles of History – in this case, the ungovernable Borderlands. Finely researched, vivid and balanced, Fraser brings to life the extraordinary people of Borders myth and history. Imagine a Wild West that lasted some 300 years of horse and cattle rustling, kidnap and ransom, protection rackets (the words gang and blackmail - black meal or black rent - come from the reivers exploits), with some great narrative poetry and jokes grim or hilarious. A Borderer himself, Fraser gets the romance and the less romantic necessities that governed these intensely-lived, skillful, precarious lives.

By George MacDonald Fraser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Title: The Steel Bonnets( The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers) <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: GeorgeMacDonaldFraser <>Publisher: SkyhorsePublishing


Book cover of Under the Skin

Maud Woolf Author Of Thirteen Ways to Kill Lulabelle Rock

From my list on science fiction novels about deadly women.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writing science fiction was the natural result of a lifetime of reading it for pleasure and studying whenever I could as part of my English Lit course at University. When I started writing, it was really important to me as a woman (especially a gay woman) to write female characters that weren’t just strong and likable; I wanted them to be interesting, unpalatable, and tough. Above all, not easy to dismiss. All of the women in the books I’ve listed fulfill at least some of these categories, which is the core of why these novels hold such a special place in my heart. 

Maud's book list on science fiction novels about deadly women

Maud Woolf Why did Maud love this book?

This is one of the most unsettling books I’ve ever read.

For weeks after finishing it, I would find myself coming back to scenes I remembered and feeling a prickle down the back of my neck. Isserly, the main character of the book, isn’t really a woman but an alien wearing a human suit to draw in her victims while driving around rural Scotland.

I’m Scottish myself, and recently, I found myself feeling a genuine sense of paranoia while out hillwalking and seeing a lone figure in the distance. It’s a hard read, almost sickening at times, but I’m not exaggerating when I say I believe I will be thinking about it for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t recommend it for the faint-hearted, and it’s definitely not a comfort read, but if you have the stomach for it, this is a truly remarkable novel. 

By Michel Faber,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Under the Skin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With an introduction by David Mitchell

Isserley spends most of her time driving. But why is she so interested in picking up hitchhikers? And why are they always male, well-built and alone?

An utterly unpredictable and macabre mystery, Under the Skin is a genre-defying masterpiece.


Book cover of See Them Run

Robert Darke Author Of The Accidental Courier

From my list on thrillers to keep you reading until the wee hours.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a thrill seeker ever since I was a child when I was often in trouble for going on some adventure or other. Before turning to writing, my career included investigative elements from being a customs officer catching smugglers to detecting fraudsters. Later in life, I learned to ride motorcycles and biking has become a new passion of mine. Small wonder then that I enjoy reading thrillers, and now writing them. I’ve published two fast-paced novels and am currently working on my next full-length project. I sincerely hope you get the same pleasure and enjoyment as I did from my book recommendations. 

Robert's book list on thrillers to keep you reading until the wee hours

Robert Darke Why did Robert love this book?

I love finding new authors! Which is why I’m recommending another debut novel—this time from Marion Todd. It won the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut Novel of the Year 2020. Since then she has published (at the time of writing) a further 4 novels in her series about detective inspector Clare Mackay. I wish I could write that fast! Her serial killer haunts St Andrews, Scotland by luring victims to a stretch of road and then running them over—simple but effective. It can be difficult to write a pacey thriller and develop interesting characters at the same time but Todd manages this admirably. As soon as I finished this novel, I went straight on to the second in the series which is equally as good and I look forward to reading the rest.

By Marion Todd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BLOODY SCOTLAND SCOTTISH CRIME DEBUT OF THE YEAR 2020

In a famous Scottish town, someone is bent on murder - but why?

On the night of a wedding celebration, one guest meets a grisly end when he's killed in a hit-and-run. A card bearing the number '5' has been placed on the victim's chest. DI Clare Mackay, who recently moved from Glasgow to join the St Andrews force, leads the investigation. The following night another victim is struck down and a number '4' card is at the scene. Clare and her team realise they're against the clock…


Book cover of Young Adam

Iain Hood Author Of This Good Book

From my list on Scottish reads about moments of madness.

Why am I passionate about this?

Scotland’s greatest poet since Burns, Hugh MacDiarmid, said that there were no traditions in writing, only precedents. He was thinking that, were traditions followed, adhered to, applauded, and praised, and prized too highly, then the danger of slavish repetition rather than creative divergence was too high. We need the mad moments, when all bets are off and something truly unpredictable will happen. I write with Scots modernist, postmodernist, and experimental precedents in mind. I want there to be Scots literature that reflects a divergent, creative nation, willing to experiment with words and life, and, in Alasdair Gray’s formulation, “work as though in the early days of a better nation.”

Iain's book list on Scottish reads about moments of madness

Iain Hood Why did Iain love this book?

A Trocchi renaissance, including a film of Young Adam starring A-Listers Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, and Emily Mortimer, added to a growing reappraisal of Trocchi as a great Scottish writer, his reputation having been tarnished, fairly or unfairly, with drug use, indolence, and writer’s block.

Young Adam is a Scots crime novel the way James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner is a high-jinx picaresque, which is to say only technically, and on the understanding that Hogg and Trocchi sit head, shoulders and in fact a full body length above these genres. But moment of madness there is, and arrest, trial, judgment, and condemnation. But the twist is that Trocchi’s own judgment and condemnation of society is what matters.

By Alexander Trocchi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set on a canal linking Glasgow and Edinburgh, Young Adam is the masterly literary debut by one of the most important British post-war novelists. Trocchi's narrator is an outsider, a drifter working for the skipper of a barge. Together they discover a young woman's corpse floating in the canal, and tensions increase further in cramped confines with the narrator's highly charged seduction of the skipper's wife. Conventional morality and the objective meaning of events are stripped away in a work that proves compulsively readable.


Book cover of Kidnapped

David Cairns Author Of The Case of the Wandering Corpse

From my list on 19th century murder, mystery and mayhem.

Why am I passionate about this?

History has always been a captivating adventure for me, a stage to rekindle the echoes of times long past. My journey began amid musty archives in Hobart, where I stumbled upon a handwritten prison record about my wife's feisty ancestor, transported in the 1830s. There and then, I resolved to breathe life into the fading embers of her existence, and after extensive research, I wrote my first novel, a tapestry of historical events intertwined with the resurrection of long-forgotten souls. Since then, I've applied lessons from masters like Conan Doyle to create exciting, atmospheric stories that turn us all into time travelers on an exhilarating voyage.

David's book list on 19th century murder, mystery and mayhem

David Cairns Why did David love this book?

This is an enthralling adventure story that drags the reader across the rugged mountains, glens, and cities of 18th-century Scotland as the hero seeks to recover his stolen inheritance.

The story gallops along with vivid descriptions that transport the reader back to a time when loyalty and honour were really cherished. The character development, as David Balfour and Alan Breck risk all amongst the failed Jacobite uprising, is exceptional. This is another timeless classic that transports the reader to another age.

I love the interplay of real characters and real events with the underlying story, a technique that I use fully in my novels; it adds depth, veracity, and interest. Stevenson’s prose is also exceptional, creating images that make this a compelling and memorable adventure story.

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Kidnapped as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12.

What is this book about?

Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, swashbuckling novel about a young boy who is forced to go to sea and who is then caught up in high drama, daring adventure and political intrigue.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is introduced by Louise Welsh and features black and white illustrations.

Headstrong David Balfour, orphaned at seventeen, sets out from the Scottish Lowlands to seek his fortune in Edinburgh. Betrayed by his wealthy Uncle…


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11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Scotland, presidential biography, and the Scottish Highlands.

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