'-------------------------------------------------- Cascoly Books: Historical Fiction

Cascoly Books - Historical Fiction


Ancient Greece & Rome

Ancient Greece

  • Gates of Fire - Thermopylae

  • Tides of War - Alcibiades

    Ancient Rome

  • Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series of novels is the best re-creation of Roman times I've found. The only comparable books are Graves' Claudius books. Filled with intrigue, and complex plots, these books are page turners of the best sort. Even the complexities of Roman names and the intricacies of the Republican government become clear, as you follow the decline of the Roman Republic from the glories of Marius to the dictatorship of Sulla\, the revolt of Spartacus, and the eventual rise and competition between Caesar and Pompey.
  • As a complement to the Masters of Rome books, Steven Saylor's mystery tales of Gordianus the Finder fill in the grittier details of Rome in the days of Cicero, Pompey, Caesar and Spartacus.

  • Medieval & Renaissance

    What McCullough does for Rome, Sharon Kay Penman does for medieval England. 


    Dorothy Dunnett House of Niccolo Books

    King Hereafter - Dunnett's unique retelling of the Macbeth story

    The Flanders Panel - Arturo Perez-Reverte 1990 An appetizing but ultimately unsatisfying murder mystery. Julia is an art restorer who finds clues to a 500 year old murder in a little known painting. When she tries to investigate, a modern day murderer appears to have an interest in her activities. The book revolves around the game of chess that is portrayed in the painting and plays out on multiple levels. Good concept, and it works for the first half of the book, but then the plot seems to run out of steam and it meanders thru the second half before coming to its conclusion. If youre interested in Renaissance painting, art restoration or chess puzzles, Id recommend this book, but otherwise there are better contenders in the genre.

    My Name is Red Orhan Pamuk - intrigue and murder in the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman the Magnificent.


    Neal Stephenson   known more for excellent cyberpunk SciFi, he's also written great historical fiction -- intelligent, complex and captivating-

  • Baroque Cycle Volume 1:Quicksilver -17th century science - historical fiction
  • Baroque Cycle Volume 2: Confusion
  • Baroque Cycle Volume 3: The System of the World

    How the Renaissance influenced the scientific revolution

  • 18th - 19th Century
    American Revolution, Napoleon & Civil War


  • Nautical Fiction
  • Kenneth Roberts - American Revolution
  • Gone for Soldiers [Mexican War]

    Civil War Fiction including Gingrich's Gettysburg and Cornwell's Starbuck

    The Aubrey series by Patrick O'Brian is easily the best nautical series ever written -- far superior to Hornblower, Bolitho and the others.  Use these links to find all the others -- read them in order, or out of sequence, each is a gem.  

    The Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell gives a landsman's view of the Napoleonic war (along with battle of Trafalgar which can stand with the best of O'Brian).  These books trace the adventures of light infantrymanRichard Sharpe in India, Portugal, Spain and France - 1790-1820.  Excellently researched, and full of vivid descriptions and surprising twists.

    Other Early American History books

    Susan Sontag - The Volcano Lover (Horatio Nelson)

    20th Century

  • cover Hopeful Monsters Interplay of biology, physics, philosophy and politics. Going beyond the usual banal comparisons, the author presents the period between the world wars as a political and human investigation into uncertainty, quantum mechanics and relativity. Following 2 young people, a British boy and a German girl, the book proceeds in a series of backlooking narratives that take place in the major cockpits of the 20th century - from Berlin in the 20's to Russia and Spain in the 30's; politics plays a strong part, with Fascism and Communism playing for dominance across the continent. Through all this the characters try to find a way to create a meaningful life. Significant characters whose views permeate the book include the Lamarckian scientists Kammerer and Lysenko, Wittgenstein, Heideigger, Einstein, and many others. Never does the book bog down in didactic presentation, while still presenting a clear understanding of the major intellectual trends of the 20th century. Many other books have used this period as a background, but in this case, it's an essential element to the plot.

    Great for book club discussions - you'll find no end of ways to interpret and discuss this book.

    Another book along these lines is the Calcutta Chromosome

    Neal Stephenson  -Cryptonomicon  - known more for excellent cyberpunk scifi, he's also written great historical fiction -- intelligent, complex and captivating- WWII submarine thriller with modern day techno-adventure Nazi subs, filled with gold, unbreakable codes, and enough paranoia and conspiracy to keep you reading and wishing the book was even longer!

    India  during and after the partition.


    By country
  • Egypt

  • Turkey
  • Indian fiction


    Other links
  • History
  • The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare : The Middle Ages, 768-1487
  • The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare : Renaissance to Revolution, 1492-1792

    Check our Travel pages which also cover world history

  • Elements of Architecture
  • Chronos: Interactive Historical Timelines
  • Antique maps
  • Politics & Economics
  • Historical maps
  • Consumer price index 1790-1990 - incredible, unprecedented inflation of the late 20th century
  • Battlefields
  • Civil War
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