Tagged with historical fiction

They Were Defeated (1932) by Rose Macaulay

Book Review by Mary Grover: They were Defeated was said to be Rose Macaulay’s favorite novel. Published in 1932, this historical novel about intellectual life during the mid seventeenth century was well reviewed but never proved as popular as her contemporary novels. There is a double focus: the poetry and opinions of the real poet … Continue reading

“Mr Rowl” (1924) by D.K. Broster

Book review by Mary G: Ever since I was a young teenager I have had a horror of the Hulks, decommissioned ships which were used as prisons during the Napoleonic Wars. I had gradually attached the horrific experiences associated with these floating death camps with Great Expectations. The crucible of Magwitch’s fearsome appearance and ferocity … Continue reading

Ships in the Bay! (1931) by D.K. Broster

Book review by George S. Ships in the Bay! is a historical romance set during the French revolutionary wars. In 1796 there was an abortive French attempt to invade Ireland, and in 1798 a small and soon-foiled invasion at the Welsh town of Fishguard. Ships in the Bay! is based on the unwilling involvement in … Continue reading

Sylvester (1957) by Georgette Heyer

By Val Hewson I have been a fan of Georgette Heyer since a teacher recommended her, in an attempt to get the class in the mood for our Year 10 set book, Pride and Prejudice. She is an under-rated writer, whose work has long been scorned. Romance? Historical fiction? Comedy? Written by a woman and … Continue reading

The Toll-Gate (1955) by Georgette Heyer

Book Review by George S.: I’ve read reviews on the internet complaining that The Toll-Gate is not a proper ‘Regency Romance’ in the usual Georgette Heyer manner. It isn’t. It’s more of a comedy-thriller romp set in the past – and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The hero is Jack Staple, a huge man, a Captain … Continue reading

Summer Will Show (1936) by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Book Review by George S: Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Lolly Willowes (1926) is about a woman leaving an ordinary environment and developing in extraordinary ways (she becomes a witch). Summer Will Show also describes the extraordinary progress and liberation of a previously conventional woman, but this time the process of liberation is not magical but emotional … Continue reading

All Things Betray Thee (1949) by Gwyn Thomas

Book Review by Sylvia D. Gwyn Thomas (1913-1981)is one of Wales’s great literary figures. He was born in the Rhondda and won a scholarship to read Spanish at Oxford where, Chris tells me, he was very unhappy because he felt totally out of place.

Robert Peckham (1930) by Maurice Baring

Book review by Sylvia D: Maurice Baring OBE (1874-1945) was the eighth child and fifth son, of Edward Charles Baring, first Baron Revelstoke, of the Baring banking family. His published works date from 1903 and include drama, poetry, translations, essays and novels. Robert Peckham which was first published by Heinemann in 1930 is a fictional … Continue reading