Top Hat Books Presents...
The Essential Historical Fiction Reading List
Top Hat books publish fiction that captures the contrasts, the achievements, the optimism and the radicalism of ordinary and extraordinary times across the world. We’re open to all time periods and we strive to go beyond the narrow, foggy slums of Victorian London. Where are the tales of the people of fifteenth-century Australasia? The stories of eighth-century India? The voices from Africa, Arabia, cities and forests, deserts and towns? Our books thrill, excite, delight and inspire.
Here is a selection of our choice titles and readers picks. Click on a book title to begin your adventure in time today..
A series of political and intimate intrigues turn history into thriller when Jennie Lee, elected to parliament aged just twenty-four, five years too young even to vote in 1929 Britain, has the chance to radically change the course of history...
A gripping and evocative story of love, politics, betrayal and bravery, which reimagines events of the interwar years. Jennie Lee was elected to parliament aged just twenty-four, five years too young even to vote in 1929 Britain. From the Labour backbenches, she hurled barbs and bolts of thunder at the likes of Winston Churchill, Lady Astor, even her own party’s Prime Minister, Ramsay McDonald.
The novel intertwines real events with a personal story involving Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons, the future Queen Mother; the womanizing fascist Oswald Mosley; the Great War prime minister Lloyd-George; and the radical Labour MP Aneurin Bevan. A series of political and intimate intrigues turn history into thriller when Jennie has the chance to radically change the course of history for Britain, Europe and the world.
'...marvellous in so many ways… An excellent take on the twisted, dangerous politics of 1930s Britain and a rattling good read.'
C.J. Sansom, author of Dominion and the Shardlake mysteries
The thrilling sequel to The Senator's Assignment
40AD and despite the threat of bloodshed, Senator Vivius Marcianus travels to Jerusalem to investigate the delay in erecting the Emperor's statue in the temple. Failure is not an option. When Vivius is wounded and imprisoned, it is left to Dorio to rescue his heavily pregnant sister and her children and set about proving Vivius's innocence.
A story about the high price of repression, and how one woman, who lost nearly everything, must be willing to reveal the failures of the past in order to save future generations.
Germany, 1934. Rigmor, a young Jewish woman is a patient at Sonnenstein, a premier psychiatric institution known for their curative treatments. But with the tide of eugenics and the Nazis’ rise to power, Rigmor is swept up in a campaign to rid Germany of the mentally ill.
USA, 1984. Sabine, battling crippling panic and depression commits herself to McLean Hospital, but in doing so she has unwittingly agreed to give up her baby. Linking these two generations of women is Inga, who did everything in her power to help her sister, Rigmor. Now with her granddaughter, Sabine, Inga is given a second chance to free someone she loves from oppressive forces, both within and without.
This is a story about hope and redemption, about what we pass on, both genetically and culturally. It is about the high price of repression, and how one woman, who lost nearly everything, must be willing to reveal the failures of the past in order to save future generations. With chilling echoes of our time, Where Madness Lies is based on a true story of the author’s own family.
The greatest undisclosed secret of the war haunts the lives of 4 people across three continents and 15 years.
In this standalone sequel to The Girl From Krakow, the greatest undisclosed secret of the Second World War haunts the lives of four people across three continents and fifteen years.
The only Second World War secret not revealed soon thereafter was that the Allies had broken the German Enigma codes. This secret was kept for 30 years after the war. In the Shadows of Enigma is a 15 year-long narrative of how knowing the secret changed the lives of four people: Rita Feuerstahl, who learned that the German Enigma had been deciphered by the Poles just before she escaped a Polish ghetto, Gil Romero, her prewar lover whom Rita marries after the war, Stefan Sajac, the infant son Rita had smuggled out of the ghetto and lost track of, and Otto Schulke, the German Gestapo detective who apprehended Rita during the war and suspected that she knew the secret of the Enigma’s decoding.
A Hebridean love story, swept up on the tides of WW2, from Naval convoys to Bletchley Park.
In 1937, fisherman's son, John Norman's first encounter of Felicity MacDougall, the daughter of a retired tea planter, is prickly at best. But, a chance meeting during a London air raid leads to a tentative romance, which becomes long distance when John joins the Navy and Felicity takes a job at the infamous, secretive Bletchley Park. Their relationship falls prey to the timeless obstacles of insecurities, doubts and misunderstandings. Can they overcome the distance between them, and also the war?
This love story, forged amid the emotional intensity of WW2, is the beating heart of Liz MacRae Shaw's new novel. John and Felicity's relationship has fateful consequences, not only for them, but beyond, into the next generation...
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