The best Victorian books 📚

Browse the best books on Victorian as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Victorian Cakes: A Reminiscence With Recipes

Victorian Cakes: A Reminiscence With Recipes

By Caroline B. King

Why this book?

This delightful memoir/cookbook of a girl and her sisters growing up near Chicago in the late 1800s gives us a glimpse of what kinds of things a middle-class family ate--there were trendy foods back then, just like we have now!

What’s it like? Just imagine if you took all your favorite 19th-century children's books, mashed them all together, and edited out everything except talking about cake. Oh and maybe keep in a few things about fancy outfits and picnics.

From the list:

The best books on food and cooking in Victorian America

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Book cover of Around the World in Seventy-Two Days

Around the World in Seventy-Two Days

By Nellie Bly

Why this book?

Bly was a brilliant investigative journalist best known in the United States for her exposé of the Women’s Lunatic Asylum based on her feigning of insanity as an undercover patient … until she became even more famous for her circumnavigation of the globe, inspired by Jules Verne’s fictional Around the World in 80 Days. Sponsored and encouraged by Joseph Pulitzer (editor of the tabloid newspaper, The New York World) and written in a witty, breezy style, Bly’s pithily-told tale upends every stereotype of fragile Victorian womanhood; her gutsy candor about her madcap race around what was supposed to…
From the list:

The best books on travel and exploration written by women in the Victorian Era

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Book cover of Visit to Iceland and the Scandinavian North

Visit to Iceland and the Scandinavian North

By Madame Ida Pfeiffer

Why this book?

In 1842, after 45 years of frustratingly sedentary domesticity, the Austrian-born Ida Pfeiffer gave full vent to her wanderlust. Within five years, her jaw-dropping round-the-world journeys would make her one of the most widely-traveled persons of that century, while her talent for vivid portrayals made her one of the most well-known travel writers. Of her many chronicles, I especially enjoy this tale of her 1845 trip to the northern reaches of Scandinavia and Iceland—a place almost no continental Europeans had visited and few even knew existed. Pfeiffer’s insights and thoughtful reportage, as well as a newly emerging fascination with Iceland…
From the list:

The best books on travel and exploration written by women in the Victorian Era

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Book cover of Delicious

Delicious

By Shayla Black

Why this book?

Wow. This book almost broke my kindle. I cried so much, I nearly shorted it out. Talk about flawed characters – this story has two of the best. Alyssa had been through hell and back and come out stronger for it. Ironically, she is a stripper and a virgin. I ate this stuff up! Plus, Luc, the hero was such a hard head. I enjoyed his come to Jesus moment when he realized what he was letting slip through his fingers. Merciful heaven, this book set a standard for me that I have strived to attain as far as weaving…

From the list:

The best romance novels full of emotion, adventure, and enough heat to keep you warm

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Book cover of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery

By Alan Bradley

Why this book?

Okay, so I’m cheating right off the bat because many will argue that the Flavia De Luce series, though it has an 11-year-old girl as its central character/narrator, is not YA. And, I admit, the brilliant Alan Bradley series is found in the general fiction section in many libraries. But, I don’t care. Teens who haven’t read the books should read the books. And for those readers who also want to write fiction, Bradley’s creation of the wonderful cast of characters, highlighted by the precocious, brilliant, laugh-out-loud funny Flavia is a creative writing class everyone needs to pay very close…

From the list:

The best YA mysteries that inspire writers (like me) to get to work

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Book cover of The Face of a Stranger

The Face of a Stranger

By Anne Perry

Why this book?

A prolific writer, Anne Perry has a different series for a number of eras, from the Crimean to the Great War, each with fascinating protagonists. My favorite is The Face of a Stranger. This is the William Monk series set in the Nineteenth Century following the Crimean War. 

William Monk is a police detective who has to carry on with his work after sustaining a case of amnesia due to an accident. Without memory of who are his enemies, be they on the police force or in dens of iniquity, each case he undertakes is full of tension.

Anne…

From the list:

The best British mystery books

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