Seattle Picks: Historical Fiction--16th-19th Century

Island Beneath the Sea
Island Beneath the Sea A Novel By Allende, Isabel Book - 2010 FIC ALLENDE 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:Set in 18th-century Haiti and New Orleans, this epic novel follows the life of a young slave woman as she tries – amidst oppression and violence – to take control of her own future.

The Blood of Flowers
The Blood of Flowers A Novel By Amirrezvani, Anita Book - 2007 FIC AMIRREZ 2007 Available in some locations

Annotation:This novel, rich with visual details, follows the plight of a young female carpet maker in 17th-century Persia who is pressured into an undesirable marriage due to her low social status.

Burning Bright
Burning Bright By Chevalier, Tracy Book - 2007 FIC CHEVALI 2007 Available in some locations

Annotation:Young Jem Kellaway struggles to find his way through the richness and squalor of Georgian London, and the upheavals of love and politics, helped along by his neighbor, poet William Blake.

The Creation of Eve
The Creation of Eve By Cullen, Lynn Book - 2010 FIC CULLEN 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:A female painter in Renaissance Italy accepts an invitation to become art instructor and lady-in-waiting to the young Queen of Spain, and becomes entangled in intrigue and romantic rivalry at the Spanish court.

The March
The March A Novel By Doctorow, E. L. Book - 2005 FIC DOCTORO 2005 Available in some locations

Annotation:Near the end of the U.S. Civil War, General Sherman marches 60,000 Union soldiers across Georgia and the Carolinas, leaving a path of destruction that comes to life through the eyes of real and fictional characters.

Sacred Hearts
Sacred Hearts A Novel By Dunant, Sarah Book - 2009 FIC DUNANT 2009 Available in some locations

Annotation:In 16th-century Italy, a strong-willed young woman is sent to a convent after having an illicit affair with her music teacher. Dunant includes richly detailed descriptions of convent life.

The Rebellion of Jane Clarke
The Rebellion of Jane Clarke By Gunning, Sally Book - 2010 FIC GUNNING 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:When Jane Clarke refuses to marry the man chosen by her father, she is sent to live with her aunt in Revolutionary War-era Boston, where she becomes caught up in the growing political turbulence.

Homeland A Novel By Hambly, Barbara Book - 2009 FIC HAMBLY 2009 Available in some locations

Annotation:Two women – a southerner and a northerner – exchange letters during the U.S. Civil War, finding solace in their friendship as they both face suffering, hardship and torn loyalties.

Mistress Shakespeare
Mistress Shakespeare By Harper, Karen Book - 2009 FIC HARPER 2009 Available in some locations

Annotation:Shakespeare’s mistress and muse recounts her tempestuous relationship with the famous bard, bringing to life London’s bustling streets and the backstage world of the Globe Theatre. Lines from Shakespeare’s poetry thread through this literary novel.

The Heretic's Daughter
The Heretic's Daughter A Novel By Kent, Kathleen Book - 2008 FIC KENT 2008 Available in some locations

Annotation:The daughter of accused witch Martha Carrier narrates this stark tale of the Salem Witch trials. Though mother and daughter were often at odds, the terrible ordeal of accusations and imprisonment brings them closer.

The Daughter's Walk
The Daughter's Walk A Novel By Kirkpatrick, Jane Book - 2011 FIC KIRKPAT 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:An engrossing tale based on real events. A mother and daughter in the 1890s try to save their family farm by walking from Spokane to New York; afterwards, the daughter decides to continue walking solo.

The Devil's Company
The Devil's Company A Novel By Liss, David Book - 2009 FIC LISS 2009 Available in some locations

Annotation:In this complex thriller set in 18th-century London, a Jewish ex-boxer tries to uncover conspiracies and spies amidst rival corporate factions of the East India Company.

Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall A Novel By Mantel, Hilary Book - 2009 FIC MANTEL 2009 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 24 on 12 copies

Annotation:This character-driven novel focuses on Thomas Cromwell, who as a youth fled his abusive blacksmith father to make his way in the world, first as a mercenary soldier and eventually as King Henry VIII’s chief minister.

The Rose of Sebastopol
The Rose of Sebastopol By McMahon, Katharine Book - 2009 FIC MCMAHON 2009 Available in some locations

Annotation:Rosa, an adventurous young Englishwoman, travels to the Crimean battlefield in 1854 to work with Florence Nightingale’s nursing corps. When Rosa is reported missing, her less adventurous cousin searches for her, uncovering disturbing secrets.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet A Novel By Mitchell, David Book - 2010 FIC MITCHEL 2010 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 23 copies

Annotation:At the close of the 18th century in Japan, a young Dutch East Indies official falls in love with a disfigured midwife. This long, lyrical novel is filled with many well-developed characters and plot twists.

Madame Tussaud
Madame Tussaud A Novel of the French Revolution By Moran, Michelle Book - 2011 FIC MORAN 2011 Available in some locations

Annotation:Madame Tussaud, of wax museum fame, narrates this riveting account of the French Revolution, providing a first-person view of a disintegrating society during the Reign of Terror.

My Name Is Mary Sutter
My Name Is Mary Sutter By Oliveira, Robin Book - 2010 FIC OLIVEIR 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:A talented, ambitious midwife from Albany, NY volunteers as a nurse during the U.S. Civil War; from the exhausting work, she learns a great deal about medicine, suffering and love.

Daughters of the Witching Hill
Daughters of the Witching Hill By Sharratt, Mary Book - 2010 FIC SHARRAT 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:A poor widow and her feisty granddaughter, both skilled in herbal healing, find themselves caught up in the hysteria of a witch hunt in rural 17th-century England.

Shadow Princess
Shadow Princess A Novel By Sundaresan, Indu Book - 2010 FIC SUNDARE 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:Princesses of the Mughal Empire jostle for power as their father builds the Taj Mahal in tribute to his beloved wife. Lush with details of life in the royal court of 17th-century India.

The Lady Elizabeth
The Lady Elizabeth A Novel By Weir, Alison Book - 2008 FIC WEIR 2008 Available in some locations

Annotation:Based on the true story of Queen Elizabeth I, whose life was filled with danger and drama before ascending to the throne, this novel focuses on psychological character as well as descriptions of daily life.

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A selection of novels set in a variety of locales around the world from the 1500s through the 1800s.