Historical Fiction on Revolts and Revolutions

14 July 2008 — fuzzyhistory

Updated 30 July 2008. Having just concluded one of the most moving books I have ever read – As Meat Loves Salt – and following it with Q by Luther Blissett, it seems a good time to begin to list historical novels about revolutions that came about as a result of oppression. Because such a list could be a book in and of itself, what appears below are representative titles for select uprisings taking place from the late 13th Century to the 20th Century.

Over time, I will expand each subheading individually. The section on English Civil Wars has been expanded.

Use the resources available in Find Books to locate copies of these novels. Green titles comprise those I really enjoyed (Excellent to Very Good rating). If there is no comment following the title, I haven’t read the book.

The American Revolution (1763-1783)

Arundel by Kenneth Roberts. On Benedict Arnold’s invasion of Canada through Quebec.

The Glorious Cause by Jeff Shaara. Sequel to Rise to Rebellion.

Rabble in Arms by Kenneth Roberts. Sequel to Arundel told from the loyalist point of view.

Redcoat by Bernard Cornwell. Loyalist point of view.

Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara. On the Boston Massacre and the days that follow.

American Slave Rebellions (1700s and 1800s)

Amistad by Joyce Annette Barnes. On the 1839 mutiny of the Spanish slave ship, Amistad.

The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron. On Nat Turner’s slave rebellion in 1831.

Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

English Civil Wars (1625-1660)

As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann. The first war provides the background. It deals specifically with the Digger Movement.

The Faithful Lovers by Valerie Anand. Part of the Bridge Over Time series (#4), the English Civil War provides the background.

The Oak Apple by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Part of the Morland Dynasty series (#4), the book opens in 1630 and leads up to the struggle between king and parliament.

Pargeters by Norah Lofts.

The White Witch by Elizabeth Goudge.

The French Revolution (1789–1799)

City of Darkness, City of Light by Marge Piercy.

A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel. Multiple points of view.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

German Peasants’ War (1524-1527)

Perfection by Anita Mason.

Q by Luther Blissett. Currrently reading.

Speak to Her Kindly by Jonathan Rainbow. On the Münster Rebellion, a later (1534-1535) attempt by the Anabaptists to establish a New Jerusalem.

Hundred Years’ War (1339-1453)

The Archer’s Tale by Bernard Cornwell. The U.K. title is Harlequin. This is the first of a trilogy that takes place during the Hundred Years’ War. Vagabond (#2) and Heretic (#3) complete the trilogy.

Kemp Passage At Arms by Daniel Hall.

Sir Nigel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sir Nigel serves King Edward III during the Hundred Years War.

The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sir Nigel now leads a band of English bowmen known as the White Company.

Jacobite Rebellions (1715 and 1745)

Devil Water by Anya Seton. On Catholic nobleman Charles Radcliff and his daughter during the Jacobite rebellion of 1715.

White Rose Rebel by Janet Paisley. Biographical fiction on Anne Farquharson, a female leader during the 1745 uprising.

Peasants’ Revolt (England, 1381)

Company of Rebels by Elizabeth Lord.

Confession of Jack Straw by Simone Zelitch.

The Constant Star by Prudence Andrew.

Russian Revolution of 1917

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak.

The Iron Flood by Alexander Seravimovich.

The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander. On the final days of the Romanov’s.

Petersburg by Emily Hanlon. On events in 1905, a precursor to the 1917 revolution.

The Revolutionist by Robert Littell.

Scottish Wars of Independence (1285-1371)

The Bruce Trilogy  by Nigel Tranter. Biographical fiction about Robert the Bruce. Includes The Steps to the Empty Throne, The Path of the Hero King and The Price of the King’s Peace. Covers the first Scottish War.

The Fields of Bannockburn by Donna Fletcher Crow. Subtitled A Novel of Christian Scotland from Its Origins to Independence, this is an ambitious novel.

The Wallace by Nigel Tranter. On William Wallace, one of the leaders during the first Scottish War against England.