The most recommended books about aristocracy

Who picked these books? Meet our 32 experts.

32 authors created a book list connected to aristocracy, and here are their favorite aristocracy books.
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Book cover of The Duke and I

Cassiopeia Fletcher Author Of The World Over

From my list on writing a “realistic” zombie apocalypse.

Who am I?

Zombies are not my writer’s passion, family is. I chose the zombie backdrop to showcase the family I wanted to write about at both their best and worst moments. Because when it all comes down to the end of the world, it really doesn’t matter what happened to end it. But who you’re with at the end can make all the difference.

Cassiopeia's book list on writing a “realistic” zombie apocalypse

Cassiopeia Fletcher Why did Cassiopeia love this book?

In a list about zombie apocalypse references, this is definitely a quirky entry. But it is important for all writers to read outside of their genre, or they run the risk of becoming generic. 

Far more important than the story’s backdrop is the story’s focus. People predominantly care and read about people.

Whether that means writing about people resisting zombies, as is the case with most zombie stories, or writing about zombies doing their best to become human—as seen in Elantris and The Girl With All The Gifts—writers need to know how to tell stories about people.

I don’t write books about zombies, I write books about families. And there is probably no more famous family right now than the Bridgertons (though if I had one more recommendation, it would definitely be Swiss Family Robinson).

By reading books about strong families, I’m better able to translate my own…

By Julia Quinn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


A #1 New York Times Bestseller

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn comes the story of Daphne Bridgerton, in the first of her beloved Regency-set novels featuring the charming, powerful Bridgerton family, now a series created by Shondaland for Netflix.

In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince-while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable...but not too amiable.…


Book cover of The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh

Allison Epstein Author Of A Tip for the Hangman

From my list on for people who don’t read historical fiction.

Who am I?

I love historical fiction in all its forms, from the multi-volume family epics to the Dear America middle-grade books I grew up with. And I really, truly don’t understand why historical fiction has a reputation for being dry, dull, or worst of all, like homework. Sure, there are some novels written for history buffs only, but the vast majority aren’t, and neither is mine. When I wrote A Tip for the Hangman, my goal was to write historical fiction that reads like a page-turner, not a textbook. The books on this list all pull off that trick beautifully, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Allison's book list on for people who don’t read historical fiction

Allison Epstein Why did Allison love this book?

If you’re not a dyed-in-the-wool historical fiction reader, you might think Jane Austen retellings aren’t for you. That’s only because you haven’t read The Heiress yet. This stunning, dreamy, gothic-infused book takes a minor character from Pride and Prejudice who hardly gets any lines and spins up a story about finding your voice in a world that wants to keep you silent. Anne’s struggle against addiction and desperate desire to embrace the beauty of life feels like it could have taken place yesterday. Also, it’s got lesbian yearning that’s both sweet and sexy, aka the dream. Give me that queer pining, please and thank you. 

By Molly Greeley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'With stunningly lyrical writing, Greeley elevates Austen-inspired fiction onto a whole new plane.' - Natalie Jenner, author of The Jane Austen Society

As a fussy baby, Anne was prescribed laudanum to quiet her and has been given the opium-heavy syrup ever since on account of her continuing ill health. While her mother is outraged when Darcy chooses not to marry Anne, as has been long planned, Anne can barely raise her head to acknowledge the fact.

But little by little, she comes to see that what she has always been told is an affliction of nature might in fact be…


Book cover of Lakeshire Park

Rachel Fordham Author Of A Lady in Attendance

From my list on historical romance that transport you in time.

Who am I?

My fascination for historical novels began long before I ever penned one of my own. As a child, I often sought out books that took me back in time. Before I was even a teenager I began gravitating toward historical novels with romantic threads (give me all the sweet romance). My love of all things historical has only grown through the years. My children have come to expect our vacations to include stops at museums and historical sites. I have four published novels (as of 2021), files of future ideas, and stacks of novels beside my bed ready to take me for a historical ride.

Rachel's book list on historical romance that transport you in time

Rachel Fordham Why did Rachel love this book?

There is something alluring about the regency era that makes you want to curl your hair and go to a ball. The genre is full of beautiful, well-written books. Lakeshire Park stands out in the crowd thanks to its gentle honesty, delightful prose, and believable romance. Sprinkled with comedic scenes, regency-era details, and a couple you can’t help rooting for! I read this one in one sitting and didn’t want to come back to reality. 

By Megan Walker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brighton, England 1820 Amelia Moore wants only one thing--to secure the future happiness of her younger sister, Clara. With their stepfather's looming death, the two sisters will soon be on their own--without family, a home, or a penny to their names. When an invitation arrives to join a house party at Lakeshire Park, Amelia grasps at the chance. If she can encourage a match between Clara and their host, Sir Ronald, then at least her sister will be taken care of.  
Little does she know that another guest, the arrogant and overconfident Mr. Peter Wood, is after the same goal…


Book cover of A Perfect Equation

Stacy Travis Author Of Playing for You

From my list on romance with brilliant, brainy heroines.

Who am I?

After a long career in other forms of writing including but not limited to journalism, TV writing, nonfiction book authoring, I began writing contemporary romance novels two years ago and I haven’t gotten off the couch or closed my laptop since then. I write sweet, spicy books about quirky heroines and the men who can’t live without them. When I’m not writing, I’m perfecting the right ratio of coffee to milk, hustling my 2 rescue dogs around the neighborhood, or running up a hill in search of a view. 

Stacy's book list on romance with brilliant, brainy heroines

Stacy Travis Why did Stacy love this book?

Who says math can’t be sexy? This is the second book in the Secret Scientists of Love series, and the enemies to lovers journey of Letty and Grey hits all the right notes with swoony banter and hot chemistry. I love the friendships between the brainy female scientists at their secret lab and the humor—Everett always brings the humor in big, satisfying doses.

By Elizabeth Everett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A PopSugar and BookBub Most Anticipated Romance of 2022!

How do you solve the Perfect Equation? Add one sharp-tongued mathematician to an aloof, handsome nobleman. Divide by conflicting loyalties and multiply by a daring group of women hell-bent on conducting their scientific experiments. The solution is a romance that will break every rule.

Six years ago, Miss Letitia Fenley made a mistake, and she’s lived with the consequences ever since. Readying herself to compete for the prestigious Rosewood Prize for Mathematics, she is suddenly asked to take on another responsibility—managing Athena’s Retreat, a secret haven for England’s women scientists. Having…


Book cover of When Beauty Tamed the Beast

Sophie Barnes Author Of Mr. Dale and the Divorcée

From my list on historical romance by contemporary authors.

Who am I?

I’ve been writing historical romance novels and novellas for over ten years now and have read extensively from this genre during that time. I’m currently working on my 42nd book where a governess in her mid-thirties finds love with her wealthy boss. Writing romance may seem easy, but it actually requires a lot of research and poses the challenge of being dependent on the gradual emotional development of two protagonists whose journeys intertwine. As a former editor of mine once put it, there are a lot of gears in motion, all of which have to work smoothly together. The stories I’ve chosen to mention are excellent examples of this. I hope you’ll enjoy each one.

Sophie's book list on historical romance by contemporary authors

Sophie Barnes Why did Sophie love this book?

I think this was the first historical romance I read where the hero had a disability, which added great depth of character. It was also the first historical romance I read where the hero had a medical profession. This subject matter – medicine during the early to mid 19th Century – piqued my interest so greatly I’ve since written several novels in which the hero or heroine is medically trained. I’m especially keen on challenging various misconceptions relating to medicinal practices during this period, like the fact that hand washing is still being credited to Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865) even though William Buchan (1729-1805) wrote about the importance of it nearly 100 years earlier in his book titled, Domestic Medicine. Just one of those things that gets my goat…

By Eloisa James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Beauty Tamed the Beast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Eloisa James’s writing is absolutely exquisite.”
—New York Times bestselling author Teresa Medeiros

 

“Nothing gets me to a bookstore faster than a new novel by Eloisa James.”

—New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn

 

A wonderful spin on a much-beloved fairy tale, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James’s When Beauty Tamed the Beast is heart-soaring and fun historical romance at its finest.

Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she's betrothed to a Beast.

Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he…


Book cover of Frederica

Victoria Chatham Author Of His Unexpected Muse

From my list on endings with happy everafters for any era.

Who am I?

I was born in Clifton, in the city of Bristol, England. Clifton is known for its elegant Georgian and Regency architecture. Growing up in these surroundings gave me an impression of what life might have been like for the people who lived there, the families upstairs and servants belowstairs. In front of a few houses on some streets, there are still stone blocks at the curb, worn smooth from countless feet entering and exiting their carriages. I have used Clifton as a setting in some of the books I have written, hoping to make those scenes more realistic and bring history alive for my readers. 

Victoria's book list on endings with happy everafters for any era

Victoria Chatham Why did Victoria love this book?

Anyone who reads Regency romance is sure to have heard of, if not read, Georgette Heyer. She authored twenty-six books in this genre and I have read all of them many times, but Frederica is by far my favorite. It is full of wit and charm, and Frederica’s younger siblings come across as fresh and funny as the first time I read the book.

By Georgette Heyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times bestselling author Georgette Heyer's beloved tale of an entertaining heroine stumbling on happiness when her marital machinations for her sister go awry.

Determined to secure a brilliant marriage for her beautiful sister, Frederica seeks out their distant cousin the Marquis of Alverstoke. Lovely, competent, and refreshingly straightforward, Frederica makes such a strong impression on him that to his own amazement, the Marquis agrees to help launch them all into society.

Normally Lord Alverstoke keeps his distance from his family, which includes two overbearing sisters and innumerable favor-seekers. But with his enterprising—and altogether entertaining—country cousins chasing wishes and…


Book cover of The Complete Works

James Strock Author Of Serve to Lead: 21st Century Leaders Manual

From my list on approaching life and work as an artist.

Who am I?

Service and leadership have been a primary focus of my life and work for many years. Though today these are matters of academic study, they weren’t when I was in school. I’ve written and spoken extensively on these topics to corporate, military, academic, governmental, and NGO organizations. I strive to narrow the gap between those who study leadership and management and those who apply the principles in practice. My approach is to pose questions and share the experiences of those who have made significant contributions throughout history into the present moment. The books on my list have meant a lot to me and many others. I hope you’ll find value in them, too.  

James' book list on approaching life and work as an artist

James Strock Why did James love this book?

Montaigne, a 16th-century French aristocrat, is regarded as a pioneer of the essay as a form of written expression.

This collection is skillfully edited and beautifully designed. The essays run the gamut of human experience, continuing to have resonance for readers and writers alike.

Topics include: politics and history; virtues and vices; personal interactions with friends and others; travel; viewpoints of life at various ages and stages.

By Michel de Montaigne, Donald M. Frame (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Humanist, skeptic, acute observer of himself and others, Michel de Montaigne (1533—92) was the first to use the term “essay” to refer to the form he pioneered, and he has remained one of its most famous practitioners. He reflected on the great themes of existence in his wise and engaging writings, his subjects ranging from proper conversation and good reading, to the raising of children and the endurance of pain, from solitude, destiny, time, and custom, to truth, consciousness, and death. Having stood the test of time, his essays continue to influence writers nearly five hundred years later.

 

Also included…


Book cover of Once a Duchess

Alina K. Field Author Of Fated Hearts

From my list on intricacies and perils of divorce in Regency-era.

Who am I?

I’m a writer of Regency Romance fiction with a perfectionist’s zeal to get the details right. Most Regency Romances are tales of aristocrats falling in love and marrying—or marrying and then falling in love! But in real life, romantic love was often not an essential aspect of courtship in this era. Aristocratic families might ensure that a couple was “suited”, but they arranged unions for bloodlines and wealth, and the ties were almost impossible to break. Enjoy these true tales of marriage and divorce, and the two novels of heartbreak, divorce, and happy-ever-after.

Alina's book list on intricacies and perils of divorce in Regency-era

Alina K. Field Why did Alina love this book?

Divorce is good fodder for drama and can be employed in different ways in fiction. In this second-chance Regency romance, the reunited lovers are divorced. Convinced by his duplicitous mother of his wife’s infidelity, the hero, a duke divorced his wife and left her penniless. The heroine’s only income is an allowance from her brother, which he ends in a fit of pique when her scandal impacts his marital prospects. (Divorce in this era might shame the entire family). Forced to earn a living, the heroine takes employment as a cook at an inn, where her former husband encounters her and is shocked at how far she has fallen. Read this book to see how the perils of divorce—and remarriage—are dramatized by a skilled romance writer. 

By Elizabeth Boyce,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The ex-duchess of Monthwaite had her life ruined by her now ex-husband-now she has no choice but to face him in order to clear her name of wrongful accusations.

Isabelle Lockwood was a duchess, until her husband of only a few months wrongfully divorced her for adultery. Since then she's been a pariah, living in anonymous exile to escape the prying eyes and wagging tongues of the town. More than anything, Isabelle longs for a family of her own, and so has to marry again. But society is ruthlessly unforgiving. To clear her name, Isabelle must face down her past-and…


Book cover of It Started with a Scandal

Clyve Rose Author Of The King's Mistress

From my list on historical romance reads with lessons in love.

Who am I?

I’ve been a romance author for two decades now, and a romance reader for decades before that. It’s my favourite genre to read, critique, and write, closely followed by paranormal reads and mysteries. I’ve had the good fortune to win several awards for my romance novels, including a Gold Medal and an Irwin. My limited-release novellas have also been long-listed for ‘Best Romance’ and ‘Best Historical Romance’ many times. I’m a compulsive researcher too! I spend hours poring over old maps and out-of-print glossaries. I also visit graveyards quite a lot to learn names and life spans, and the how so many stories end.

Clyve's book list on historical romance reads with lessons in love

Clyve Rose Why did Clyve love this book?

Lord Lavay is determined to recapture his family’s fortune. His housekeeper is just as determined not to fail her fatherless son. Drama and growth – the best ingredients of the most moving stories.

This novel was the first one I read in the Pennyroyal Green series from this author. I almost gave up writing then and there because she wrote so well, so powerfully that I doubted my ability to become as good as her. This novel now serves as my measure, against which every romance novel is placed – including my own.

The way her characters are drawn on the page, the way they move through their own journeys, and still come together at the end, is seamless. Great characters, flawed and relatable. Excellent plot and pacing, including the world building.

By Julie Anne Long,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It Started with a Scandal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lord Philippe Lavay once took to the high seas armed with charm as lethal as his sword, and a stone-cold conviction: he'll restore his family's fortune and honor, no matter the cost. Victory is at last within reach-when a brutal attack snatches it from his grasp and lands him in Pennyroyal Green. An afternoon of bliss brings a cascade of consequences for Elise Fountain. She is shunned by her family and ousted from a job she loves, and her survival means a plummet down the social ladder to a position no woman has yet been able to keep: housekeeper to…


Book cover of Nooks & Crannies

Courtney King Walker Author Of Molly Pepper & the Night Train

From my list on children’s mysteries with heart taking place in the real world.

Who am I?

I grew up believing there was a mystery or puzzle around every corner. That guy holding a paper bag by the garbage can? Definitely a Russian spy about to make a drop. The giant house at the top of the street? For sure, haunted (or at least hiding buried treasure). My love for clue games and solving puzzles stemmed from the books and movies I loved as a child. Now, as a children’s author, I get to continue conjuring up clue games and secret spies and puzzling old houses from an ordinary world, one that with the right imagination can turn heartache and heavy things into something close to magic.

Courtney's book list on children’s mysteries with heart taking place in the real world

Courtney King Walker Why did Courtney love this book?

This story differs from the others on my list, as it takes place in England in the early twentieth century. Setting and time period aside, the plucky main character Tabitha along with her pet rat and fellow detective (in her mind) steal the show and our hearts. We can’t help but root for her despite all she comes up against and all who belittle her as she follows clues in her unique and endearing manner through a giant and possibly haunted estate. Nooks & Crannies does a fine job balancing humor and wit with more serious subjects such as murder and abuse, and is sure to appeal to fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

By Jessica Lawson, Natalie Andrewson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Nooks & Crannies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Clue when six children navigate a mansion full of secrets—and maybe money—in this “delightful gem” (School Library Journal, starred review) with heart.

Sweet, shy Tabitha Crum, the neglected only child of two parents straight out of a Roald Dahl book, doesn’t have a friend in the world—except for her pet mouse, Pemberley, whom she loves dearly. But on the day she receives one of six invitations to the country estate of wealthy Countess Camilla DeMoss, her life changes forever.

Upon the children’s arrival at the sprawling, possibly haunted mansion, it turns out the countess…