Free historical fiction Kindle books for 27 Nov 15

Moby Dick

by Herman Melville

Herman Melville was a well-known American novelist in his day, with best-sellers like Typee, but by the time he died in 1891, he had fallen into obscurity. Although his first few books were popular, they too began to collect dust and be forgotten in the country.Then came the Melville Revival in the early 20th century, which breathed life into his legacy and brought his work back to the forefront. Of course, the book that benefited the most from that revival is now considered one of the greatest American novels ever written: Moby Dick.

Moby Dick is still read by nearly every American in school, and the novel, which seems to be about Captain Ahab hunting a whale named Moby Dick, with a sailor named Ishmael narrating the story, is actually a profound work that analyzes themes like good and evil, society and religion. In fact, the novel is full of metaphors and allegories about life itself, wrapped up in a famous sea tale. Melville’s novel was based off actual historical events, including the hunting of a giant albino sperm whale named Mocha Dick in the early 19th century.



A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens needs no formal introduction, having been the most popular English writer of the 19th century and still one of the most popular writers in history today. Dickens was obsessed with reading, making him a natural journalist by the age of 20, when he began a career in journalism. Along the way, he also began writing his own short stories and materials, often serializing them in monthly installments in publications, a popular method of publishing in the 19th century. Unlike most writers, Dickens would not write an entire story before it began its serialization, allowing him to work on the fly and leave plot lines up in the air with each opportunity. 

There have been many classic Christmas stories written over the years but few compare to A Christmas Carol which tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. Illustrations from the story are included.



Middlemarch

by George Eliot

George Eliot was one of the best writers of the 19th century, but By George, this was no man. Instead, George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Anne Evans, a skilled female novelist who wanted to make sure her work was taken seriously by using a masculine pen name. The practice was widely used in Europe in the 19th century, including by the Bronte sisters. 

Regardless of her name, her work became well known in its time for realism and its psychological insight, including novels like Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871-72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of them set in provincial England. Her work also infused religion and politics, and Victorian Era readers were fond of her books’ depictions of society. 



Don Quixote

by Cervantes

You know you’re doing something right when your nation’s language is sometimes referred to by your name. So it was with Miguel de Cervantes, a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright whose Don Quixote is often regarded as the first modern novel and an unquestioned classic of Western literature. Don Quixote’s influence on the Spanish language was so profound that the language is sometimes referred to as la lengua de Cervantes (“the language of Cervantes”). Fittingly, de Cervantes died on April 23, 1616, the very same day Shakespeare died.

Published in two volumes a decade apart (in 1605 and 1615), Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age in the Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published and is sometimes awarded the honor of “best literary work ever written.”



The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, is perhaps America’s favorite author. A quick-witted humorist who wrote travelogues, letters, speeches, and most famously the novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), Twain was so successful that he became America’s biggest celebrity by the end of the 19th century. Despite writing biting satires, he managed to befriend everyone from presidents to European royalty.   

Even today, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered a “Great American Novel”, and arguably the nation’s finest novel. The story is about the adventurous travels of the young boy Huck Finn and a free black man named Jim who travel down the Mississippi and learn all about the harsh realities of the American South. The novel is still a must-read for all American schoolchildren, as it not only tells a story about the tension of the nation’s race relations but also the experience of children living in that region of the country.



Wuthering Heights

by Emily Bronte

Emily Bronte (1848) was an English novelist and poet who didn’t live long enough to give the world all she could have, but she did write Wuthering Heights, her only novel, which is now generally considered a classic in English and Western literature.

Bronte and her sisters attempted to write several different novels and stories, eventually publishing a volume of poems under male pseudonyms entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Most of the poetry was Emily’s, but it didn’t get popular reviews, leading the sisters to begin novels.

Emily’s sisters produced acclaimed novels like Agnes Grey and Jane Eyre, but today it’s Emily’s Wuthering Heights that is considered the best. 



The Count of Monte Cristo

by Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) is one of the most famous French writers in history, known for his historical novels of swashbuckling adventure. Dumas’ work, including The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After, are still widely read in classrooms throughout the world and remain entertaining upon rereading. Dumas’ works were serialized, as he was a magazine correspondent and journalist. Also among Dumas’ best adventures is The Count of Monte Cristo, which is now a staple of Western classrooms and has been made into many movies. 



Persuasion

by Jane Austen

Jane Austen was an English author best known for her books of romantic fiction.  Despite writing many books that are now considered classics, Austen did not gain much fame during her lifetime, likely due to being a woman.  Austen was just 41 years old when she died yet she is still considered one of the best writers of English literature.  

Persuasion was Austen’s last completed novel and tells the story of Anne Elliot who falls in love with an officer in the Royal Navy.



Agnes Grey

by Anne Bronte

Anne Bronte (1820-1849) was an English novelist and poet who didn’t live long enough to give the world all she could have, but she did write Agnes Grey, which is now generally considered a classic in English and Western literature.

Of all the sisters’ works, it is Emily’s Wuthering Heights that has aged the best over time, continuing to retain its place as a classic of English literature. Anne’s Agnes Grey was written as a Volume III to be packaged with Wuthering Heights and was finished within a year of Emily’s novel. Anne is somewhat overshadowed today by her more famous sisters, Charlotte, who wrote Jane Eyre; and Emily with Wuthering Heights. But Anne was a great writer in her own right, and she wrote in a sharper, more realistic style than her two sisters, who focused on romantic prose. 

Agnes Grey is centered around the title character as she works for several well to do families. Agnes Grey, not surprisingly, is largely based on Anne’s own experiences as a governess for five years. The novel, now considered a classic, addresses the precarious position of governess in 19th century England, and how it affected young women. Agnes Grey deals with issues of oppression and abuse, allowing Anne to poignantly write about isolation and empathy.



The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

Jack London was an American writer and social activist best known for the popular classics The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and The Sea-Wolf. The Call of the Wild is a classic still read by many school-aged children today about the adventures of a dog named Buck.



A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

by James Joyce

James Joyce is one of Ireland’s most famous writers, a novelist and poet who is considered the pioneer of modern writing, including avant-garde styles of the early 20th century. His most famous work, Ulysses, embodied the technique referred to as stream of consciousness, influencing all sorts of writers who came after him, but he also wrote other famous works like the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and novels like A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939).



Sense and Sensibility

by Jane Austen

Jane Austen was an English author best known for her books of romantic fiction.  Despite writing many books that are now considered classics, Austen did not gain much fame during her lifetime, likely due to being a woman.  Austen was just 41 years old when she died yet she is still considered one of the best writers of English literature.  

Sense and Sensibility, which was Austen’s first novel, is a romantic fiction set in late 18th century Northwest England.



The Fairy Books of Andrew Lang

by Andrew Lang

Andrew Lang was a Scottish writer best known for collecting folklore, legends, and fairy tales and making a compendium of them to celebrate ethnic heritage.



Mansfield Park

by Jane Austen

Jane Austen was an English author best known for her books of romantic fiction.  Despite writing many books that are now considered classics, Austen did not gain much fame during her lifetime, likely due to being a woman.  Austen was just 41 years old when she died yet she is still considered one of the best writers of English literature.  

Austin’s novel Mansfield Park tells the story of Fanny Price, a young girl who is sent to live with her wealthy relatives.



Anne of Green Gables

by Lucy Maud Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery was a Canadian author best known for writing the classic Anne of Green Gables series.  In total, Montgomery published 20 novels and more than 500 short stories, and Anne of Green Gables is one of history’s most popular titles.



White Fang

by Jack London

Jack London was an American writer and social activist whose most popular works are the classics The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and The Sea-Wolf.  

White Fang is a story of a wild wolfdog that becomes domesticated.  It serves as a companion novel to The Call of the Wild, which is about a domesticated dog who learns to survive in the wild.



The Jungle Book

by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was one of the most well known writers of the 20th century, chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Born in Bombay, he was taken by his family to England when he was five years old, going on to become a famous Briton.

Kipling is best known for his works of fiction, including The Jungle Book, Just So Stories (1902) (1894) (a collection of stories which includes “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”), Kim (1901) (a tale of adventure), many short stories, including “The Man Who Would Be King” (1888); and his poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), The White Man’s Burden (1899) and Ifâ?? (1910). He is regarded as a major “innovator in the art of the short story”; his children’s books are enduring classics of children’s literature; and his best works are said to exhibit “a versatile and luminous narrative gift”



The Hunchback of Notre Dame (De Paris)

by Victor Hugo

In an age full of great French writers like Honore Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, Emile Zola, and others, Victor-Marie Hugo (1802 -1885) may have been the most renowned in his time. Hugo was a poet, playwright, novelist, artist, and human rights activist at the height of the Romantic movement in France.

Hugo initially courted fame through his poetry, but now his novels and other lifetime achievements are best known. In particular, Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame are read the world over. The Hunchback of Notre Dame tells the story of the famous hunchback Quasimodo, who takes care of the bell of the famous cathedral at Notre Dame.



Crossing to Liberty

by John P. DeLuca

Near Savannah, Georgia in 1812 a black slave, Joshua, murders his white master’s overseer in an act of revenge for the rape of his lover, Selma, the unacknowledged daughter of her master. Joshua escapes, not into the wilderness as many slaves did, but to the Bahamas. Over the next ten years he embarks on an odyssey which takes him to Cuba and Jamaica, where he is enslaved again.

Selma is accused of abetting Joshua’s escape. She is beaten, gang raped and sold to a planter in Alabama, where she is partnered with a male slave, Joseph, by whom she has a son. Joseph and Selma, along with the baby escape to Florida, where runaway slaves and their allies, the Seminoles and Choctaws, live in the environs of an abandoned British fort.

The story follows the parallel lives of Joshua and Selma in their quest for freedom, and on a life passage neither could have ever imagined.



Three Men in a Boat

by Jerome K. Jerome

Jerome K. Jerome was an English writer best known for his humorous writing, and his most famous work is the comic travelogue Three Men in a Boat, which details a boating holiday on the River Thames.  Three Men on the Bummel is a humorous sequel to Three Men in a Boat as the same three characters go on a bicycle tour through the German Black Forest.



Romola

by George Eliot

George Eliot was one of the best writers of the 19th century, but By George, this was no man. Instead, George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Anne Evans, a skilled female novelist who wanted to make sure her work was taken seriously by using a masculine pen name. The practice was widely used in Europe in the 19th century, including by the Bronte sisters. 

Regardless of her name, her work became well known in its time for realism and its psychological insight, including novels like Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871-72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of them set in provincial England. Her work also infused religion and politics, and Victorian Era readers were fond of her books’ depictions of society. 



She: A History of Adventure

by H. Rider Haggard

H. Rider Haggard was an English author known for adventure novels set in exotic locations.  Haggard is considered to be one of the first writers of the Lost World genre.  Haggard’s novel She: A History of Adventure is a first-person narrative of 2 men in a lost kingdom.



Barnaby Rudge

by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens needs no formal introduction, having been the most popular English writer of the 19th century and still one of the most popular writers in history today. Dickens was obsessed with reading, making him a natural journalist by the age of 20, when he began a career in journalism. Along the way, he also began writing his own short stories and materials, often serializing them in monthly installments in publications, a popular method of publishing in the 19th century. Unlike most writers, Dickens would not write an entire story before it began its serialization, allowing him to work on the fly and leave plot lines up in the air with each opportunity. 

By the time he died at the relatively young age of 58 from a stroke, he was already Europe’s most famous writer. His obituary noted that Dickens was a “sympathiser with the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed.” Dickens was interred in Westminster Abbey, a rare honor bestowed only among the greatest and most accomplished Britons. 
Many of Dickens’ novels were written with the concept of social reform in mind, and Dickens’ work was often praised for its realism, comic genius and unique personalities. At the same time, however, Dickens’ ability as a writer was nearly unrivaled, with his ability to write in prose unquestioned and unmatched. 



Ethan Frome

by Edith Wharton

In 1921, Edith Wharton became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, earning the award for The Age of Innocence. But Wharton also wrote several other novels, as well as poems and short stories that made her not only famous but popular among her contemporaries. That included her good friend Henry James, and she counted among her acquaintances Teddy Roosevelt and Sinclair Lewis.

Ethan Frome tells the story of a small fictional town in Massachusetts and the ambitions of the title character, Ethan Frome, whose desires lead him through an ironic turn of events that bring unintended consequences. Part of the tale was inspired by real-life events that occurred in Wharton’s own childhood.



Bartleby, The Scrivener

by Herman Melville

Herman Melville was a well-known American novelist in his day, with best-sellers like Typee, but by the time he died in 1891, he had fallen into obscurity. Although his first few books were popular, they too began to collect dust and be forgotten in the country.Then came the Melville Revival in the early 20th century, which breathed life into his legacy and brought his work back to the forefront. Of course, the book that benefited the most from that revival is now considered one of the greatest American novels ever written: Moby Dick.

Bartleby, The Scrivener was first published in 1853, and it’s still considered one of the finest American short stories.



Jane Eyre

by Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) was an English novelist and poet who didn’t live long enough to give the world all she could have, but she is best known as being one of the three critically acclaimed Bronte sisters, along with Anne and Emily, and all three of them wrote novels that are now considered classics of English and Western literature.

Of all the sisters’ works, it is Emily’s Wuthering Heights that has aged the best over time, continuing to retain its place as a classic of English literature. Anne’s Agnes Grey was written as a Volume III to be packaged with Wuthering Heights and was finished within a year of Emily’s novel. But it was Charlotte who survived the other two’s illnesses in 1848-1849, giving her nearly another decade to produce more Jane Eyre and other novels, including The Professor and Emma. 



The Last of the Mohicans

by James Fenimore Cooper

Many are unfamiliar with James Fenimore Cooper, even though every American comes across his work in the class or on TV. Today he is best remembered as a novelist who wrote numerous sea-stories and the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales, featuring frontiersman Natty Bumppo.

Cooper’s most famous novel is The Last of the Mohicans, which was one of the novels comprising The Leatherstocking Tales and was later made into a popular movie.



Frankenstein

by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Shelley’s other writings have grabbed more attention in the last 50 years, but she is still known around the world today for Frankenstein. Shelley had traveled the region in which the story takes place, and the topics of the occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions. The actual storyline came from one of Shelley’s dreams, about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he created. From a literary standpoint, Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Shelley also had an underlying theme in her novel about the expansion of modern man in the Industrial Revolution, which is alluded to in the novel’s subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. The story has spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. 



The Old Wives’ Tale

by Arnold Bennett

Arnold Bennett was a prolific British writer who penned dozens of works across all genres, from adventurous fiction to propaganda and nonfiction. He wrote plays like Judith and historical novels like Tales of the Five Towns.



The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

by Washington Irving

Washington Irving is widely considered America’s first truly great writer, and in the early 19th century he wrote classics like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle.



The Journals of Captain Carew: Rape, Raj and the Regiment

by Geoff Rouse

A triumphant addition to the British war novel genre

1879: South Africa. Captain Carew of the British army narrowly escapes with his life during the Zulu wars having been rescued by Sergeant McBride. They fight their bloody way from Rorkes Drift to Ulundi battling enemies on both sides.

Carew and McBride are sent on a special mission to Lahore which for the last 19 years had been under the British Raj.

The mission? Young white virgins are missing and Carew has to find out who is behind their disappearance. But there are persons unknown that would rather he were not in India and Carew finds Lahore every bit as dangerous as South Africa.

“It is an old fashioned headlong charge of a story. Bone crunching action. Mellow, brassy and vigorous with fast and witty dialogue. Rich in adventure and melancholy. A tale told as if Kipling had returned in today’s world with a chip on his shoulder. Painted over a vast canvas. Incredibly this work of ‘fiction’ is based on actual events from the darkest days of the empire”.

T W Johnson. Canadian Book Review

From the pen of Geoff Rouse winner of the BBC scriptwriting award.

‘It certainly has all the ingredients necessary for an entertaining read. Brilliantly funny, well researched and thoroughly absorbing Carew is a whirlwind of a novel that anyone interested in history, the army or indeed with a sense of humour will enjoy.’


Melrose Books

If you enjoy British historical novels by a cracking British author, you owe it to yourself to download this now!



Uncle Tom’s Cabin

by Harriet Beecher Stowe

In 1852, the United States of America was anything but united. The divisive issue of slavery was roiling the nation, which argued ad nauseam about the extension of slavery in new states as the nation pushed westward. Less than a decade later, Americans would fight each other in a Civil War that would claim over half a million lives before it was all said and done.

That same year, Harriet Beecher Stowe, an ardent abolitionist in the Northeast, published her famous anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which became an instant hit in the United States and spawned Southern responses in literature that depicted slavery as a benign institution. Given the debate that Uncle Tom’s Cabin helped spawn, historians have viewed Stowe’s classic as a harbinger of the Civil War itself. A famous anecdote holds that Abraham Lincoln himself, upon meeting Stowe, described her as “the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

While that quote is likely apocryphal, the historical importance of Uncle Tom’s Cabin remains well understood today, but the book is also remembered today for certain depictions and stereotypes of black people. These stereotypes include the affable “mammy,” the “pickaninny” stereotype of black children; and, of course, an “Uncle Tom”, which has ironically become a pejorative for a person who suffers dutifully for his boss. 



Le Pere Goriot

by Honore de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac (20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright best known for a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon.

Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multi-faceted characters, who are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gustave Flaubert, Henry James, and William Faulkner. Many of Balzac’s works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics.

Le P̬re Goriot (Old Goriot or Father Goriot) is an 1835 novel set in Paris in 1819 that follows the intertwined lives of three characters: the elderly doting Goriot; a mysterious criminal-in-hiding named Vautrin; and a naive law student named Eug̬ne de Rastignac. The novel takes place during the Bourbon Restoration, which brought about profound changes in French society; the struggle of individuals to secure upper-class status is ubiquitous in the book. The city of Paris also impresses itself on the characters Рespecially young Rastignac, who grew up in the provinces of southern France. Balzac analyzes, through Goriot and others, the nature of family and marriage, providing a pessimistic view of these institutions.



A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens needs no formal introduction, having been the most popular English writer of the 19th century and still one of the most popular writers in history today. Dickens was obsessed with reading, making him a natural journalist by the age of 20, when he began a career in journalism. Along the way, he also began writing his own short stories and materials, often serializing them in monthly installments in publications, a popular method of publishing in the 19th century. Unlike most writers, Dickens would not write an entire story before it began its serialization, allowing him to work on the fly and leave plot lines up in the air with each opportunity. 

His two most famous novels are Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities, widely considered two of the West’s best classics. A Tale of Two Cities is often considered the greatest historical fictions of all time. Set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution, the novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry at the hands of the aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, followed by the brutality of the Reign of Terror. Dickens juxtaposes French society with London’s society during the same period while tracking characters in both cities, including Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. The classic touches on social justice, romance, morality, good and evil.



Moll Flanders

by Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe (1660?-1731) was a prolific English writer who became one of the first Western writers to write novels and turn them into a sought after literary genre. During his life, Defoe wrote more than 500 books, pamphlets and journals on topics as wide ranging as politics, crime, religion, psychology, supernatural events, and even economics.

Daniel Defoe is best known for Robinson Crusoe, but one of his more famous works is Moll Flanders, which purports to be a true account of the life of Moll Flanders. The full title of the work provides a summary of the work: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, &c. Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu’d Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv’d Honest, and died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums.



The Story of the Other Wise Man

by Henry Van Dyke

Henry Van Dyke was a late 19th and early 20th century American clergyman who also wrote popular stories like The Mansion and The Story of the Other Wise Man.

Christmas is the most famous holiday of the year, and the word itself evokes images of Santa Claus, reindeer, snow, Christmas trees, egg nog and more. At the same time, it represents Christianity’s most important event, the birth of the baby Jesus. Instantly, well known Christmas carols ring in your ears, pictures of the Nativity Scene become ubiquitous, or maybe you even picture nutcrackers or Scrooge and Tiny Tim. Regardless, Christmas is always the perfect time for holiday cheer, and reading classic Christmas stories. 



The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

by Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, is perhaps America’s favorite author. A quick-witted humorist who wrote travelogues, letters, speeches, and most famously the novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), Twain was so successful that he became America’s biggest celebrity by the end of the 19th century. Despite writing biting satires, he managed to befriend everyone from presidents to European royalty.  

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was written by Twain in 1876 and instantly became popular. Today it is one of the most famous American novels, read by all American schoolchildren. it’s a classic semi-autobiographical story about young boys growing up along the Mississippi River, with the town of “St. Petersburg” being inspired by Twain’s own Hannibal, Missouri. 



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