History Bloggers Reveal What You Should Be Reading This Winter

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The nights are getting darker, the heating's on and it's never been more tempting to close the windows to the gales, rain and frost and snuggle up under your duvet with a good book. But with so many excellent books for us history lovers out there, where do you start? 

I asked five fantastic history bloggers for their book recommendations. Get ready to add these to your winter reading list. 

Happy reading! 

Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash

If you're into the Stuarts, this book on the events of this year in Charles II's reign could be a perfect read. It analyses the effects of the plague, Dutch wars and the Great Fire and has been praised for drawing on little known sources and having a smooth, novel-like style. "It was one of the most exciting historical narratives I have read this year," says Daisy. "Rideal combines brilliant research with a fluid and quick-paced writing style and the result is a fascinating look at one of the most turbulent years in British history." 

Daughters of Chivalry, Kelsey Wilson-Lee
Medieval fans, this one's for you. Daughters of Chivalry shines a light on the lives of Edward I's daughters, largely forgotten by historians in favour of the boys. "I love finding out about less well-known Royal women (princesses tend to get left behind if they don't marry a monarch) so it was lovely to read about the surviving daughters of King Edward I," Katie tells us. "Wilson-Lee does a great job of describing the political considerations around their lives, without getting bogged down and making the book all about their father, with them getting a passing mention... really can't recommend this book enough." 

The Other Queen, Philippa Gregory
Elizabeth has read this one before, but she's re-reading it this winter. The Other Queen is set amid the backdrop of Mary Queen of Scots trying to regain her kingdom while under the careful watch of Bess of Hardwick, while prisoner in England. "I still remember being totally gripped by the alternating first person accounts of 'Bess' and 'Mary'," she tells us. As a fan of the sixteenth century I'm adding this one to my wish list!

The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
"One of my favourite ever books is The Mists of Avalon, the perfect book to get stuck in as the cosy season is upon us," says Rosie. "All about the Arthurian legend but from the female perspective, it follows love, heartbreak, religion and death to make for an epic tale. I know Arthur probably isn't real, but he really comes to life in this story." Rosie adds that as well as enjoying the story, history lovers can get their fact fix as it's centred around the time Christianity came to Britain - and so provides an insight to the period. 

Author Annie Whitehead says that this book is one of her "enduring favourites". "Technically," she says, "this is four separate books but my copy is a single paperback and I sat down and read it all the way through as one book. If you want something to see you through a few long, dark and cold winter evenings then this is the book to settle down with. It centres around Llewelyn the Last, prince of Wales, and in that respect there is some crossover with the Welsh Princes trilogy by Sharon Penman. The story tells of Llewelyn's struggles against the English king and against his own brothers, and also charts the incredible love story between him and his bride, Eleanor de Montfort. Medieval Wales is brought vividly to life." 

My 'to be read' pile just got taller! 
Thank you to the amazing bloggers and writers for taking part! 
Please do click through to their sites and check out their work. 

Have you read or do you think you will read any of these? What do you think? Do you have any recommendations you'd add? Let me know in the comments below. 

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