Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

Back in the day... Fantastic feminist historical fiction


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I am a total sucker for good historical fiction - yet it's a genre rife with lazy sterotyping, sexism and the total erasure of women and queer people.

So, here are twenty propulsive works of historical fiction that are glorious reads born of extensive research. They each in their own way raise lost or hidden histories to the surface - offering the best in time travel.

All these stories are set one generation past or beyond. They take us from Palestine (The Parisian) to Australia (A Room Made of Leaves), from a fishing village in Korea at the turn of the last century (Pachinko) to a fishing village on a remote Norwegian island in the 17th Century (The Mercies). We get wildly different settings surrounding the second world war with the haunting Animals At Lockwood Manor during the Blitz and The Shadow King, charting Ethiopia's resistance to Mussolini. And there's some great epics on Boudica, Circe and Lavinia.

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