100 books like Weeping Britannia

By Thomas Dixon,

Here are 100 books that Weeping Britannia fans have personally recommended if you like Weeping Britannia. 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 The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic—And How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

Hannah Wunsch Author Of The Autumn Ghost: How the Battle Against a Polio Epidemic Revolutionized Modern Medical Care

From my list on medical history that reads like fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a critical care doctor, I love pausing when taking care of patients in a modern ICU to reflect on how far we’ve come in the care we can provide. I want to be entertained while learning about the past, and so I seek out books on medical history that find the wonder and the beauty (and the bizarre and chilling) and make it come alive. I get excited when medical history can be shared in a way that isn’t dry, or academic. These books all do that for me and capture some part of that crazy journey through time. 

Hannah's book list on medical history that reads like fiction

Hannah Wunsch Why did Hannah love this book?

The Ghost Map is the fantastic story of an important Cholera epidemic in London in 1854.

The book swept me along with its narrative, plunging straight into the fetid world of Victorian London. Johnson weaves together the stories of the people affected, and the desperate hunt by Dr. John Snow to understand the cause of the disease. He also provides fascinating descriptions of the dangers to life in a time before sewers, and the evolution of such systems that ultimately transformed city life.

I definitely look at toilets, pipes, and sewer grates differently after reading this book.

By Steven Johnson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Ghost Map as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A National Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year

It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure-garbage removal, clean water, sewers-necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.

In a triumph of…


Book cover of London's West End: Creating the Pleasure District, 1800-1914

Susie Steinbach Author Of Understanding the Victorians: Politics, Culture and Society in Nineteenth-Century Britain

From my list on will make you love Victorian Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a historian. But I’ve never been interested in Parliamentary debates, or important politicians. I’m much more interested in things like gender and entertainment. I always say that a lot more people have sex than become prime minister, so it makes more sense to study marriage than high politics! I like to learn about ordinary people, living their lives and loving their families, working and surviving, and trying to have a little fun along the way. I also love history of more fun and glamorous things—celebrities and scandals and spectacles and causes célèbres, hit plays, and best-selling novels. I have history degrees from Harvard and Yale and I’ve been publishing on nineteenth-century British history since 2000.

Susie's book list on will make you love Victorian Britain

Susie Steinbach Why did Susie love this book?

This book is my favorite historian, Rohan McWilliam, writing about his favorite thing, London’s West End.

It’s about actors and singers and dancers and the audiences that flocked to their performances. It’s about the West End being a place of extremes, where cutting-edge ‘high culture’ lived next to accessible popular culture and sex work. McWilliam’s notion of the West End as the first ‘pleasure district’ was the first time I understood how opera houses and theaters and department stores and nightclubs and restaurants and street performers somehow all go together and add up to more than the sum of the parts.

It’s a scholarly achievement and an entertaining read. 

By Rohan McWilliam,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How did the West End of London become the world's leading pleasure district? What is the source of its magnetic appeal? How did the centre of London become Theatreland? London's West End, 1800-1914 is the first ever history of the area which has enthralled millions. The reader will discover the growth of theatres, opera houses, galleries, restaurants, department stores, casinos, exhibition centres, night clubs, street life, and the sex industry. The area from the Strand to Oxford Street came to stand for sensation and vulgarity but also the promotion of high culture. The West End produced shows and fashions whose…


Book cover of Britain's Black Past

Susie Steinbach Author Of Understanding the Victorians: Politics, Culture and Society in Nineteenth-Century Britain

From my list on will make you love Victorian Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a historian. But I’ve never been interested in Parliamentary debates, or important politicians. I’m much more interested in things like gender and entertainment. I always say that a lot more people have sex than become prime minister, so it makes more sense to study marriage than high politics! I like to learn about ordinary people, living their lives and loving their families, working and surviving, and trying to have a little fun along the way. I also love history of more fun and glamorous things—celebrities and scandals and spectacles and causes célèbres, hit plays, and best-selling novels. I have history degrees from Harvard and Yale and I’ve been publishing on nineteenth-century British history since 2000.

Susie's book list on will make you love Victorian Britain

Susie Steinbach Why did Susie love this book?

As some reactions to the first season of the television show Bridgerton have made clear, many people need to believe that Black people first arrived in Britain after World War II, and that Britain + the past = whites only. But it wasn’t so!

Black people have been British, and part of British history, for hundreds of years. I’m embarrassed how little I learned about Black Britons in studying British history in college and graduate school; this book has been a fantastic way to learn more.

By Gretchen H. Gerzina (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Expanding upon the 2017 Radio 4 series 'Britain's Black Past', this book presents those stories and analyses through the lens of a recovered past. Even those who may be familiar with some of the materials will find much that they had not previously known, and will be introduced to people, places, and stories brought to light by new research. In a time of international racial unrest and migration, it is important not to lose sight of similar situations that took place in an earlier time. In chapters written by scholars, artists, and independent researchers, readers will learn of an early…


Book cover of Empress: Queen Victoria and India

Susie Steinbach Author Of Understanding the Victorians: Politics, Culture and Society in Nineteenth-Century Britain

From my list on will make you love Victorian Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a historian. But I’ve never been interested in Parliamentary debates, or important politicians. I’m much more interested in things like gender and entertainment. I always say that a lot more people have sex than become prime minister, so it makes more sense to study marriage than high politics! I like to learn about ordinary people, living their lives and loving their families, working and surviving, and trying to have a little fun along the way. I also love history of more fun and glamorous things—celebrities and scandals and spectacles and causes célèbres, hit plays, and best-selling novels. I have history degrees from Harvard and Yale and I’ve been publishing on nineteenth-century British history since 2000.

Susie's book list on will make you love Victorian Britain

Susie Steinbach Why did Susie love this book?

I thought I had read enough about Queen Victoria to last a lifetime, but I was wrong! This amazing book offers a new perspective on Queen Victoria as “an Indian Maharani” as well as  “British monarch,”  and explores not just what India meant to the queen, but what the queen meant to Indians.

By Miles Taylor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An entirely original account of Victoria's relationship with the Raj, which shows how India was central to the Victorian monarchy from as early as 1837

"A widely and deeply researched, elegantly written, and vital portrayal of [Queen Victoria's] place in colonial Indian affairs."-Journal of Modern History

In this engaging and controversial book, Miles Taylor shows how both Victoria and Albert were spellbound by India, and argues that the Queen was humanely, intelligently, and passionately involved with the country throughout her reign and not just in the last decades. Taylor also reveals the way in which Victoria's influence as empress contributed…


Book cover of The Crying Book

Marin Sardy Author Of The Edge of Every Day: Sketches of Schizophrenia

From my list on empowering personal stories of mental illness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in the shadow of my mother’s untreated and very damaging mental illness, and despite how much I loved her, I struggled with having few ways to articulate or even understand how it shaped our lives. I went on to study biology and writing, and I now often weave psychology and neuroscience into my literary essays and memoir. I write to fill the gaps between my own experiences and the ways I have seen mental illness represented—or more often, misrepresented—in our culture. I write to explore mental health as it exists in real families and communities, and to tell nuanced, loving stories that fight against stigma.

Marin's book list on empowering personal stories of mental illness

Marin Sardy Why did Marin love this book?

This lyrical, book-length essay is a meditation not so much on a diagnosis as on one of its most visible expressions—tears. Exploring depression through the lens of the phenomenon of crying, The Crying Book is loaded with facts both esoteric and banal. Yet it is also deeply personalized by author Heather Christle’s reflections on her own struggles with depressive episodes, as well as on the deaths of other poets to suicide, and the allure and danger of romanticizing such acts. Christle’s loose, fragmentary approach gives her the freedom to wander far and wide as she considers the art and act of crying, allowing depression to surface as an experience that is at once individual and deeply embedded in its cultural and historical contexts.

By Heather Christle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

"A poignant and piercing examination of the phenomenon of tears—exhaustive, yes, but also open-ended. . . A deeply felt, and genuinely touching, book." —Esmé Weijun Wang, author of The Collected Schizophrenias

"Spellbinding and propulsive—the map of a luminous mind in conversation with books, songs, friends, scientific theories, literary histories, her own jagged joy, and despair. Heather Christle is a visionary writer." —Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks

Heather Christle has just lost a dear friend to suicide and now must reckon with her own depression and the birth of her first child. As she faces her grief and…


Book cover of 100 Ways to Calm the Crying

Beth Macgregor Author Of Helping Your Baby to Sleep: Why Gentle Techniques Work Best

From my list on for tired and frazzled parents.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for children’s welfare began as a psychology undergraduate over 30 years ago and burns just as fiercely today. As a trainer and author, I share with parents and professionals recent advances in research that reveal the small but powerful steps adults can take to help children flourish and thrive. This requires letting go of outdated and harmful views of children and offering them the tender care and guidance they need to come to believe that they are loved, worthy and capable. I absolutely believe that by taking these steps together we can build a more harmonious and loving society.

Beth's book list on for tired and frazzled parents

Beth Macgregor Why did Beth love this book?

You can trust Pinky McKay. A Lactation Consultant with decades of experience who has worked with thousands of parents, there’s not a baby problem that she hasn’t encountered and solved. This compassionate book covers the many reasons baby may be crying and is loaded with solid, kind, useful, practical advice to help frazzled parents soothe their precious bundles. Importantly, it also has baby feeding information you can trust. Written with bite-size ideas so that tired parents can read it in five-minute chunks if they choose, Pinky’s empathy for babies and parents can be felt on every page.

By Pinky McKay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 100 Ways to Calm the Crying as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

100 Ways to Calm the Crying addresses the reasons babies cry, from the normal developmental changes that may make them more sensitive, to painful conditions such as colic and reflux. Along the way, Pink McKay offers gentle strategies to help you calm and connect with your baby, practical tips to help you cope with crying and sleepless nights, and ways to identify symptoms that may require professional help.


Book cover of The Gates Of Janus

Jonathan R.P. Taylor Author Of Meat: Memoirs Of A Psychopath

From my list on most disturbing stories that you can not put down.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an award-winning British singer/songwriter who you have probably never heard of. Since completing my first novel I’ve also titled many other multi-genre works. My passion is based on anything and everything that has never been done before. I say this; “If you wish to feel happy, take a pill - if you seek a cure, then face the truth.” I’ve written songs about 9/11, The Holocaust, Execution by hanging in Iran – all themes that many would say are ‘unapproachable’. I am a Neurodiverse writer who won the Principal’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Education – let me share that success with you. My disability is a gift, not a curse.

Jonathan's book list on most disturbing stories that you can not put down

Jonathan R.P. Taylor Why did Jonathan love this book?

This infamous child killers work remains banned in my home country (UK) but is widely available online. Brady and Hindley (his partner) were child killers, both incarcerated for life and both died in prison.

This book was read for curiosity only, whilst writing my own ‘inside the mind of a psychopathic killer’ narrative, I wanted to understand how a ‘real serial killer’ would really think. He wrote The Gates of Janus whilst incarcerated at Ashworth high-security psychiatric hospital.

Brady’s intention was that it be published anonymously, however, this could never be allowed to happen. It is in 2 parts 1) He describes his involvement in the 6 murders from the perspective of ‘understanding himself’ and part 2) His advice as offered to law enforcement in solving such future cases (in this it falls flat).

I recommend it only if you want to understand his thought process – just as Hitler’s Mein…

By Ian Brady,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley's spree of torture, sexual abuse, and murder of children in the 1960s was one of the most appalling series of crimes ever committed in England, and remains almost daily fixated upon by the tabloid press. In The Gates of Janus, Ian Brady himself allows us a glimpse into the mind of a murderer as he analyzes a dozen other serial crimes and killers.

Criminal profiling by a criminal was not invented by the dramatists of Dexter.

Novelist and true-crime writer Colin Wilson, author of the famous and influential book The Outsider, remarks in his introduction…


Book cover of The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century

Jean E. Rhodes Author Of Older and Wiser: New Ideas for Youth Mentoring in the 21st Century

From my list on understanding the psychology of deception.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm clinical psychology professor at UMass Boston and expert on mentoring relationships. When I was a senior in high school, my dad left behind thirty years of marriage, four kids, and a complicated legal and financial history to start a new life. I couldn't fully comprehend the FBI investigation that forced his departure—any more than I could've fathomed the fact that my classmate Jim Comey would eventually lead that agency. I was also reeling from a discovery that my dad had “shortened” his name from Rosenzweig to Rhodes, a common response to anti-Semitism. It was during that period that I experienced the benefits of mentors and the joy of books about hidden agendas and subtexts.

Jean's book list on understanding the psychology of deception

Jean E. Rhodes Why did Jean love this book?

This book, by Kirk Wallace Johnson tells the story of a bizarre heist that took place at the British Museum of Natural History in 2009.

The thief, Edwin Rist, was a 20-year-old American flute student who broke into the museum to steal hundreds of priceless, exotic bird specimens, many of which were collected by the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in the 19th century.

What first drew me to the book was that I knew Edwin’s dad back when I was in grad school. But what kept me turning the pages was the writing and story. The book explores the world of Victorian-era fly-tying and the obsession that collectors have with rare feathers.

Rist, who was also an avid fly-tier, had planned the heist to obtain feathers for his own collection, which he intended to sell to other collectors. Many of the collectors and fly-tying enthusiasts knew that the feathers probably…

By Kirk Wallace Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As heard on NPR's This American Life

"Absorbing . . . Though it's non-fiction, The Feather Thief contains many of the elements of a classic thriller." -Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

"One of the most peculiar and memorable true-crime books ever." -Christian Science Monitor

A rollicking true-crime adventure and a captivating journey into an underground world of fanatical fly-tiers and plume peddlers, for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief.

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London's Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin…


Book cover of If You Should Fail: Why Success Eludes Us and Why It Doesn't Matter

Kieran Setiya Author Of Life Is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way

From my list on finding solidarity in suffering.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I work on ethics and related questions about human agency and human knowledge. My interest in adversity is both personal and philosophical: it comes from my own experience with chronic pain and from a desire to revive the tradition of moral philosophy as a medium of self-help. My last book was Midlife: A Philosophical Guide, and I have also written about baseball and philosophy, stand-up comedy, and the American author H. P. Lovecraft.

Kieran's book list on finding solidarity in suffering

Kieran Setiya Why did Kieran love this book?

I don’t know if misery loves company but I’m convinced that failure does. When their projects fall flat, my kid likes nothing better than to hear about the wreckage of mine: romantic fiascos, flunked tests, athletic defeats. Joe Moran’s “book of solace,” If You Should Fail, is in part a compendium of stories like these, in part an effort to dislodge our tendency to think of human beings as winners or losers at all. “To call any life a failure, or a success, is to miss the infinite granularity, the inexhaustible miscellany of all lives,” Moran writes. “A life can’t really succeed or fail at all; it can only be lived.” 

By Joe Moran,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If You Should Fail as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'There is an honesty and a clarity in Joe Moran's book If You Should Fail that normalises and softens the usual blows of life that enables us to accept and live with them rather than be diminished/wounded by them' Julia Samuel, author of Grief Works and This Too Shall Pass

'Full of wise insight and honesty. Moran manages to be funny, erudite and kindly: a rare - and compelling - combination. This is the essential antidote to a culture obsessed with success. Read it' Madeleine Bunting

Failure is the small print in life's terms and conditions.

Covering everything from examination…


Book cover of Live from Number Ten: The Inside Story of Prime Ministers and Television

Richard Toye Author Of Winston Churchill: A Life in the News

From my list on sidelights on British politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Richard Toye is a Professor of Modern History at the University of Exeter. He has published 19 non-fiction books on historical topics and was the co-presenter of the 2018 Channel 4 documentary Churchill's Secret Affair. In 2007 he won the Times Higher Education Young Academic of the Year Award for his book Lloyd George and Churchill: Rivals for Greatness

Richard's book list on sidelights on British politics

Richard Toye Why did Richard love this book?

This is the book that really turned me on to political history – though I suppose I must have been interested already, or my parents wouldn’t have bought it for me for my fourteenth birthday! It’s a fairly light read, but it’s a great way of learning the outlines of what happened in British politics in the thirty-odd years after 1945. When it was published it still seemed as though Margaret Thatcher would be Prime Minister forever …

By Michael Cockerell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Live from Number Ten as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As BBC's "Panorama's" chief political reporter for 13 years, Michael Cockerell won three major television awards. Apart from this book he also made a two-part documentary on television and Number 10. His previous book is "Sources Close to the Prime Minister".


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