Beric the Briton: A Story of the Roman Invasion

Beric the Briton: A Story of the Roman Invasion

G. A. Henty

Beric the Briton: A Story of the Roman Invasion, by G.A. Henty, tells the story of Beric, the young Briton chieftan. Beric and his fellow tribesmen bristle under Roman rule during the reign of the tyrant emperor Nero. When Boadicea, queen of a powerful tribe of Britons, is disgraced by the Roman authorities, the Britons join together in rebellion, but can the Britons overcome their powerful Roman masters?

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The Last Days of Pompeii

The Last Days of Pompeii

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Inspired by the painting The Last Day of Pompeii by the Russian painter Karl Briullov, this book contrasts the decadent culture of 1st-century Rome with both older cultures and coming trends, and culminates in the cataclysmic destruction of the city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

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The Gadfly

The Gadfly

Ethel Voynich

Set in 1840s Italy, which at the time was under the dominance of Austria, The Gadfly centres on the life of the protagonist, Arthur Burton, a member of the Youth movement, and his antagonist Padre Montanelli. Arthur becomes a journalist, expounding radical ideas in brilliant satirical tracts published under the pseudonym “the gadfly”. The local authorities are soon dedicated to capturing him…

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Father Goriot

Father Goriot

Honore de Balzac

Part of the Scènes de la vie privée section of Honore de Balzac’s series La Comédie humaine. Set in Paris in 1819, it follows the intertwined lives of three characters: the elderly doting Goriot; a mysterious criminal-in-hiding named Vautrin; and a naive law student named Eugène de Rastignac.

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The Fifth Queen Trilogy

The Fifth Queen Trilogy

Ford Madox Ford

This edition consists of three novels; The Fifth Queen, And How She Came to Court (1906); Privy Seal (1907); and, The Fifth Queen Crowned (1908); all of which present a highly fictionalised account of Katharine Howard’s arrival at the Court of Henry VIII, her eventual marriage to the king, and her death.

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A Bride of the Plains

A Bride of the Plains

Baroness Orczy

A Bride of the Plains is a historical novel. It is dedicated to the memory of Lajos Kossuth, and in the dedication the author cries out to the dead Hungarian patriot and asks him: “What would YOU have said now had vou lived to see your country tied to Austria’s chariot-wheels, the catspaw and tool of the Teutonic race which you abhorred?”

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The Purcell Papers

The Purcell Papers

Sheridan Le Fanu

The Purcell Papers are a collection of thirteen Gothic, supernatural, historical and humorous short stories. Included are: The Ghost and the Bone-Setter; The Fortunes of Sir Robert Ardagh; The Last Heir of Castle Connor; The Drunkard’s Dream; Passage in the Secret History of an Irish Countess; The Bridal of Carrigvarah; Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter; Scraps of Hibernian Ballads; Jim Sulivan’s Adventures…

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Romola

Romola

George Eliot

An historical novel by George Eliot set in the fifteenth century. Florence, 1492: Christopher Columbus has sailed towards the New World, and Florence has just mourned the death of its legendary leader, Lorenzo de’ Medici. In this setting, a Florentine trader meets a shipwrecked stranger, who introduces himself as Tito Melema, a young Italianate-Greek scholar. Tito becomes acquainted with several other…

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Castle Rackrent

Castle Rackrent

Maria Edgeworth

Set in Ireland prior to its achieving legislative independence from Britain in 1782, Castle Rackrent tells the story of three generations of an estate–owning family as seen through the eyes—and as told in the voice—of their longtime servant, Thady Quirk, recorded and commented on by an anonymous Editor.

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The Knights of the Cross

The Knights of the Cross

Henryk Sienkiewicz

The Knights of the Cross or The Teutonic Knights (Polish: Krzyżacy) is a 1900 historical novel written by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It tells the story of a young nobleman, Zbyszko of Bogdaniec, who together with his uncle Maćko of Bogdaniec returns from the war against the Order (Knights of the Cross) in nearby Lithuania. In a tavern inn Zbyszko…

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Quo Vadis

Quo Vadis

Henryk Sienkiewicz

Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero, tells of a love that develops between a young Christian woman, Ligia (or Lygia), and Marcus Vinicius, a Roman patrician. It takes place in the city of Rome under the rule of emperor Nero, circa AD 64. “Quo vadis Domine” is Latin for “Where are you going, Lord?” and alludes to the apocryphal Acts…

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Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Lew Wallace

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is considered “the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century”. It became a best-selling American novel, surpassing Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in sales. The story recounts in descriptive detail the adventures of Judah Ben-Hur, a fictional Jewish prince from Jerusalem, who is enslaved by the Romans at the beginning of the 1st century and becomes a charioteer and…

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