Free historical fiction Kindle books for 12 Dec 18

The Other Miss Bates: The second book in the Highbury Trilogy, inspired by Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’

by Allie Cresswell

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences make her new life all Jane had hoped for.
While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Jane is kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.
When the handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

Mary’s Story: A girl’s journey from an Appalachian coal mining town to New York City and back again in the early 1900s.

by Mary Ann LaMantia

After living with her grandmother for the first five years of her life, Mary was sent to live with her mom who was pregnant with her fourth child. It was the 1920s and Vintondale’s coal miners were on strike as they tried to unionize with the help of the United Mine Workers Union of America. Food was hard to come by and violence was rampant in this little town isolated in Pennsylvania’s Appalachian mountains.

At 13, Mary was put on a bus and sent to New York City where a stranger would meet her and help her find a job. It was 1932 and the country was in the grips of the Great Depression. Mary’s mom desperately needed the $5.00/month that Mary earned in her first job just to keep her family alive.

In 1942, with her mom enduring her sixteenth pregnancy and awaiting the birth of her ninth child, Mary went back to Vintondale to help. World War II was in full swing and Mary would never leave western Pennsylvania again.

Historical Mysteries: classic versions

by Andrew Lang

Everyone has heard of the case of Elizabeth Canning,’ writes Mr. John Paget; and till recently I agreed with him. But five or six years ago the case of Elizabeth Canning repeated itself in a marvellous way, and then but few persons of my acquaintance had ever heard of that mysterious girl …

Nobody’s Man

by E. Phillips Oppenheim

Andrew Tallente is a middle aged politician whose once bright career has been stymied by jealousy within his own party and by the opposition Democrat/Labour Coalition running against himm. Defeated and unseated he loses his promised cabinet post. He retires to his small farm on the coast of Devon where he discovers his personal secretary has been having an affair with his wife. There he meets Lady Jane Partington, a progressive landowner and strong willed modern woman.

Tallente is recruited to the democratic cause by the charismatic Dartrey, the leading socialist thinker. He meets the free-thinking (in 1920 terms) M who arouses emotions which he has long suppresssed. Meanwhile, the crude and underhanded Miller plots against Tallent with blackmail and intrigue.

Much is made in this novel of the benefits of radical socialism. Given the mess created by governments after the War, the benefits of a centrally planned economy and dictatorial rule were attractive. What truly led Britain to maintain democracy while Germany turned towards National Socialism? This novel offers no analysis, but a contemporaneous recording of the social dialogue that influenced the various social and political classes at the time.

Oppenheim was staunchly conservative and pro-aristocracy in almost all of his writings. This democratic diversion is highly entertaining. In particular his descriptions of the emotional content of conversation are fascinating.

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