Historical Fiction

Roy & Lillie: A Love Story

By Loren D. Estleman

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For many years Judge Roy Bean, the cantankerous self-styled arbiter of rough frontier justice, wrote fan letters to the beautiful actress Lillie Langtry across the sea; occasionally, she wrote back. He even renamed the town in which he lived Langtry in her honor. And they would have met, if Bean had not died shortly before Lillie. After years of this strange but poignant correspondence, Lillie finally kept her promise to visit her distant admirer.

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The Chess Garden, or, The Twilight Letters of Gustav Uyterhoeven

By Brooks Hansen

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"In the fall of 1900, Dr. Gustav Uyterhoeven left the chess garden that he and his wife, Sonja, had created together in Dayton, Ohio, and journeyed to South Africa to serve as a doctor in the British concentration camps of the Boer War. Over the next ten months he sent twelve chess pieces and twelve letters back to Sonja. She set out her husband's gifts as they arrived and welcomed all the most faithful guests of the garden to come and hear what he had written - letters which told nothing of his experience of the camps but described an imagined land called the Antipodes, where all the game pieces that cluttered the sets and drawers of the garden collection came to life to guide the doctor through his fateful and wondrous last adventure."
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Daniel Plainway, or The Holiday Haunting of the Moosepath

By Van Reid

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"In this wonderfully written adventure, Reid introduces Daniel Plainway, a good-hearted country lawyer who sets off on an odyssey that changes his life and the lives of an orphaned child, a big-hearted ballplayer, and an extraordinary woman whom he meets along the way. Filled with lighthearted comedy and touching drama and populated by a rich panoply of memorable characters, Daniel Plainway is a delightful example of magnificent, old-fashioned storytelling that will have readers of all ages enthralled, amused, and curled up in their favorite reading chairs."
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The Yankee at the Seder

By Elka Weber; illustrations by Adam Gustavson

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As a Confederate family prepares for Passover the day after the Civil War has ended, a Yankee arrives on their Virginia doorstep and is invited to share their meal, to the dismay of ten-year-old Jacob. Includes historical notes about Corporal Myer Levy, on whom the story is based, and his prominent Philadelphia family.
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Don Quixote: Complete and Unabridged

By Miguel de Cervantes

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Widely regarded as the world's first modern novel, and one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain. It was banned in Madrid for the sentence "Works of charity negligently performed are of no worth."

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The Shadow of the Wind

By Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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"Barcelona, 1945--just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel's father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax's work.

"To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love."

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Mischief

By Amanda Quick

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"When the independent Imogen Waterstone convinces infamous explorer Matthias Marshall, Earl of Colchester, to help her lure a ruthless enemy to ruin by posing as her suitor, the result is scandalous passion and sinister threats."
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In the Casa Azul

By Meaghan Delahunt

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The exile of Leon Trotsky and his young wife to the Casa Azul, the Mexican home of muralist Diego Rivera and artist Frida Kahlo is the backdrop for this tale of the political antagonism between Stalin and Trotsky.

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Artemisia

By Alexandra Lapierre

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"Born to the artist Orazio Gentileschi at the beginning of the 1600s, when artists were the celebrities of their day, Artemisia was apprenticed to her father at an early age. She showed such remarkable talent that he came to view her as the most precious thing he owned. But at the age of seventeen Artemisia was raped by her father's best friend and partner, Agostini Tassi. Soon the Gentileschi name was being dragged through scandal, for Artemisia refused, even when tortured, to deny that she had been raped. Indeed, she went farther: she dared to plead her case in court. For eight months all of Rome was riveted by the trial. Artemisia won the case, but in return she was ostracized from Rome and from her father.

"This is a story of the love-hate relationship between master and pupil, father and daughter, at a time when daughters belonged to their fathers and had no legal rights. Artemisia's talent was such that she overturned the prejudices of her time, winning the admiration of wealthy patrons, kings, and queens. Lapierre brings Artemisia Gentileschi to vivid life as she tells of the emotional struggle of this remarkable, fascinating woman."

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The Light Years

By Elizabeth Jane Howard

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In 1937, the coming war is only a distant cloud on Britain's horizon. As the Cazalet households prepare for their summer pilgrimage to the family estate in Sussex, readers meet Edward, in love with but by no means faithful to his wife Villy; Hugh, wounded in the Great War; Rupert, who worships his lovely child-bride Zoe; and Rachel, the spinster sister.
Its sequel, Marking Time, is set during World War II.

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