English Civil War books

Recommended titles grouped by theme/topic ... with a list of English Civil War novels at the bottom.

The lead-up to war
War at sea
Arms and armour
Art and architecture
Ordinary folk
Soldiers and solidering

English Civil War novels


The English Civil Wars: 1640 - 1660, Blair Worden (2010)
Civil War: The Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1638 - 1660, Trevor Royle (2004)
Rebellion or Revolution: England from Civil War to Restoration, G.E. Aylmer (1986)

The lead-up to war

The King's War 1641 - 1647, C.V. Wedgwood (1958)
The King's Peace 1637 - 1641, C.V. Wedgwood (1955)


Religion and the Decline of Magic, Keith Thomas (1975)

War at sea

The Navy in the English Civil War, J.R. Powell (1962)

Arms and armour

Arms & Armour of the English Civil Wars, David Blackmore (1990)
The English Civil War Armies, Peter Young, Osprey (1994)
Soldiers of the English Civil War (1), Keith Roberts, Osprey (1989)
Soldiers of the English Civil War (2), John Tincey, Osprey (1990)


English Civil War Fortifications 1642–51, Peter Harrington, Osprey (2003)


The English Civil Wars - Local Aspects, R.C. Richardson (Ed.) (1997)
The Civil War in the South-West 1642 - 46, John Barratt (2005)
The Battle for London, Stephen Porter and Simon Marsh (2010)

Art and architecture

The Sale of the Late King's Goods
, Jerry Broughton (2006)
Image Wars: Promoting Kings and Commonwealths in England, 1603-1660, Kevin Sharpe (2010)

Ordinary folk

The English Civil War - A People's History, Diana Purkiss (2006)
Going to the Wars: The Experience of the English Civil Wars 1638 - 1651, Charles Carlton (1992)
Fire from Heaven: Life in an English Town in the Seventeenth Century, David Underdown (1994)

Soldiers and soldiering

The Royalist War Effort 1642 - 1626, Ronald Hutton (1982)
Going to the Wars: The Experience of the English Civil Wars 1638 - 1651, Charles Carlton (1992)


The English Civil War Day By Day, Wilfred Emberton (1995)

English Civil War novels

Where the novel is primarily set in the British Isles anytime from the lead-up to war until the Restoration ...

Traitor's Knot - Cryssa Bazos (2017)
Marston Moor - Michael Arnold (2016)
The Serpent's Root - Cornwall 1646 -
 MJ Logue (2016)
Command the Raven - Yorkshire 1643 - MJ Logue (2015)
A Wilderness of Sin - West Country 1645 - MJ Logue (2015)
The Smoke of Her Burning - Selby 1644 - MJ Logue (2015) 
My Silvered Heart - Katherine Clements (2015)
The Last Roundhead - Jemahl Evans (2015)
Warlord's Gold - Michael Arnold (2015)
Red Horse - Edgehill 1642 - MJ Logue (2014)
A Cruel Fate - Lindsey Davis (2014)
Claiming the Rebel's Heart - Alison Stuart (2014)
The Crimson Ribbon - Katherine Clements (2014)
The Licence of War - Claire Letemendia (2014)
Assassin's Reign - Michael Arnold (2013)
Traitor's Field - Robert Wilton (2013)
Brothers' Fury - Giles Kristian (2013)
Secrets in Time - Alison Stuart (2013)
John Saturnall's Feast - Lawrence Norfolk (2012)
The King's Spy - Andrew Swanston (2012)
Crow Boy - Philip Caveney (2012)
The Midwife's Tale - Sam Thomas (2012)
Royalist Rebel - Anita Seymour (2012)
A Ship for the King - Richard Woodman (2012)
The Bleeding Land - Giles Kristian (2012)
For King or Commonwealth - Richard Woodman (2012)
The King's Spy - Andrew Swanston (2012)
The King's Man - Alison Stuart (2012)
By the Sword - Alison Stuart (2012)
Hunter's Rage - Michael Arnold (2012)
Devil’s Charge
 - Michael Arnold (2012)
Traitor's Blood - Michael Arnold (2011)
Cavalier Queen - Fiona Mountain (2011)
Plague Child - Peter Ransley (2011)
The Best of Men - Claire Letemendia (2011)
The Witch's Daughter - Paula Brackston (2011)
The September Queen - Gillian Bagwell (2011)
A Corruptible Crown  - Gillian Bradshaw (2011)
A Ship for the King - Richard Woodman (2011)
The Best of Men - V.C. Letemendia (2011)
Accidents of Providence - Stacia M. Brown (2011)
The Wilding - Maria McCann, (2010)
The Preacher's Bride - Jody Hedlund (2010)
Lady of the Butterflies - Fiona Mountain (2010)
The Vagrant King - E.V. Thompson (2010)
Unter der Asche (Beneath the Ashes) - Tom Finnek (2009)
London in Chains - Gillian Bradshaw (2009)
The Best of Men - Claire Letemendia (2009)
Decision Most Deadly - Mark Turnbull (2009)
Rebels and Traitors - Lindsey Davis (2009)
The Winter Prince - Cheryl Sawyer (2007)
The Last Witchfinder - James Morrow (2006)
Fallen Angels - Pauline Bentley (2003)
As Meat Loves Salt - Maria McCann (2001)
The Cavalier's Masque - Pauline Bentley (2000)
Stand by the Colours - Nicholas Carter (1999, #5 in the Shadow on the Crown series)
Sons and Brothers
- Elizabeth Gibson (1998)

Harvest of Swords - Nicholas Carter (1998, #4 in the Shadow on the Crown series)
And King's Men Crow - Nicholas Carter (1997, #3 in the Shadow on the Crown series)
Storming Party - Nicholas Carter (1996,  #2 in the Shadow on the Crown series)
Turncoat's Drum - Nicholas Carter (1995,  #1 in the Shadow on the Crown series)
The Shield of Honour
- Gilbert Morris (1995)

Garland of Straw - Stella Riley (1994)
The Earth Made of GlassRobert Edric (1994)
Banishment Dinah Lampitt (1994)
The Faithful Lovers - Valerie Anand (1993, #4 in the Bridges Over Time series)
Black Madonna
Stella Riley (1992)

- Adam Thorpe (1992, only really the first chapter/story, but one of the best pieces of writing in this list)
Treason's Gift - Pamela Belle (1992)
A Price Above Rubies - Patricia Lawson (1991)
A Falling Star - Pamela Belle (1990, #3 in the Wintercombe series)
Herald of Joy - Pamela Belle (1989, #2 in the Wintercombe series)
Wintercombe - Pamela Belle (1988, #1 in the Wintercombe series)
The Lodestar - Pamela Belle (1987, #4 in the Heron series)
Destiny our Choice - John Attenborough (1987)
A Splendid Defiance - Stella Riley (1985)
Alathea  - Pamela Belle (1985, #3 in the Heron series)
Pargeters - Norah Lofts (1984)
Myself, My Enemy - Jean Plaidy (1983)
A Crowning Mercy - Bernard Cornwell (1983)
The Relation of My Imprisonment - Russell Banks (1983)
The Quickenberry Tree - Annette Motley (1983)
The Chains of Fate - Pamela Belle (1983, #2 in the Heron series)
The Moon in the Water - Pamela Belle (1982, #1 in the Heron series)
The Rider of the White Horse - Rosemary Sutcliff (1981)
The Devil Prince - Ina Binner (1979)
Saraband for Two Sisters - Philippa Carr (1976)
A Midsummer Tempest - Poul Anderson (1974)
Honours Even - Nigel Tranter (197?)
Triple Alliance - Nigel Tranter (197?)
Comrade Jacob - David Caute (1973)
Montrose: The Captain General - Nigel Tranter (1973)
The Young Montrose - Nigel Tranter (1972)
Cromwell - Arthur Bates (1970) Tie-in with the film.
Place Mill - Barbara Softly (1962)
Charles the King - Evelyn Anthony (1961)
Gamble for a Throne - Henry Garnett (1961)
Seek the Fair Land - Walter Macken (1959)
The White Witch - Elizabeth Goudge (1958)
Scent of Cloves - Norah Lofts (1957)
The Wandering Prince - Jean Plaidy (1956)
Mary of Carisbrooke - Margaret Campbell Barnes (1956)
Simon - Rosemary Sutcliff (1953)
Daughter of Satan - Jean Plaidy (1952)

The King's General - Daphne DuMaurier (1946)
Forges in the Forest - W. Victor Cook (1939)
Royal Escape - Georgette Hayer (1938)
They Were Defeated - Rose Macaulay (1932; The Shadow Flies in the U.S.)
The Dark Frigate - Charles Boardman Hawes (1923)

One of Prince Rupert's Horse
- Herbert Strang and R. Stead (1910)
The Splendid Spur
- A.T. Quiller-Couch (1907)
In Spite of All
- Edna Lyall (1901)
Little Marjorie's Secret - G. Norway (1898?; same characters as The Heroine of the Fire ... both published by the Religious Tract Society)
The Heroine of the Fire, or, Faithful unto Death - Grace Stebbing (1898)

Under the Storm, or, Steadfast's Charge - Charlotte M. Yonge (1887)
The Young Castellan - George Manville (1895)
Fairleigh Hall
- A. D. Crake (Rev.) (1882)
John Inglesant
- Joseph Henry Shorthouse (1881)
They Boy Who Sailed with Blake
- W. H. G. Kingston (1880)
On Both Sides of the Sea
- Elizabeth Rundle Charles (1868)

Children of the New Forest - Frederick Marryat (1847)
Brambletye House: Or, Cavaliers and Roundheads - Horace Smith (1826)

Woodstock - Sir Walter Scott (1826)
Old Mortality - Sir Walter Scott (1816)


  1. Greetings from Down Under!

    Here are few more for your list, which may be of interest:

    * "Destiny Our Choice" by John Attenborough (1987)
    * "Sons And Brothers" by Elizabeth Gibson (1988)
    * "Saraband For Two Sisters" by Philippa Carr (1976) - This was one of my favourites in high school.
    * "Lament For A Lost Lover" by Philippa Carr (1977)
    * "The Wandering Prince" by Jean Plaidy (1956) - This one is about Charles II's early life, including the Civil War and his years in exile.
    * "A Health Unto His Majesty" by Jean Plaidy (1956) - Restoration England.
    * "Here Lies Our Sovereign Lord" by Jean Plaidy (1957) - Continues Charles II's story. They can be also bought in a single volume.
    * "Daughter of Satan" by Jean Plaidy (1952)
    * "The Shield" by Gilbert Morris (1995) - The Wakefield Dynasty #3

  2. Thanks Carolyn - I hadn't heard of any of these. I'll review and add to the list - cheers!

  3. You may also be interested in my new book, "The King's Henchman. Henry Jermyn, Stuart Spymaster and Architect of the British Empire (Gibson Square, 2012) which is about the career of Henry Jermyn (1605-1684), Queen Henrietta Maria's life-long servant and possibly lover. It is about all their lives, but includes a lot about their part in the Civil War - trying to avert it, and then trying to win it. Henry Jermyn has never been studied before so my book casts a new light on this period. The story was fictionalised by Fiona Mountain in Cavalier Queen, a novel you have on your list above. I would have e-mailed you about this privately at first, but cannot find any means of doing so - hence this rather public message!

  4. Hi - I'm not particularly familiar with Jermyn, but he certainly sounds like an interesting character. Do you know whether he ever visited HM at Titchfield (Hants.)?

    PS - contact details are on the About page.

  5. Hello - You may like to know about Keith J Wilson's new novel due to be published on December 1st 2013. Best to go to his website www.keithjwilson.co.uk for full details of 'Letters from the Past'. I'll try and paste his synopsis below, but it's quite long so may not fit. Should be a great novel - well worth checking out.

    No, the synopsis is far too long for here. Briefly, though, it is set in Northamptonshire as the Civil War starts with Ralph Somers - a supporter of the King - enlisting with the Roundhead Army as a spy. It follows the course of the war with clandestine meetings, skirmishes, the major battles, secret letters plus - from the sound of it much, much more. Read Keith's own synopsis on his website. Pre-order now for a preferential price. Should be a page turner.

  6. I don't know if you have Tristram Hunt's 'The English Civil War: At First Hand' published by Windenfeld and Nicolson which has a great collection of primary sources in between the narrative overview of the war. It could be worth adding to your list.

  7. Thanks - I'm aware of it but haven't laid hands on a copy. Will try to get hold of one!

  8. Hi Struan... I have four cross genre historical/romantic novels set in this period
    THE KING'S MAN (based on the Ship's Inn plot of 1654)
    BY THE SWORD (Battle of Worcester)
    CLAIMING THE REBEL'S HEART (inspired by Brilliana Harley and the siege of Brampton Bryan)
    SECRETS IN TIME (a short romantic time travel set around the battle of Naseby)

    Alison Stuart

  9. Hi Alison - thought I had these in there - can you give me the publication dates for each? Thanks.

  10. Alison - these are on the list now. Thanks.

  11. Don't forget Montague Slater's 1949 novel Englishmen with Swords, one of the best fictional accounts of the English Revolution....

  12. There's always my Uncivil Wars series...probably the best series ever written about this period, according to one reader.
    Red Horse - Edgehill 1642. (2014)
    Command the Raven - Yorkshire 1643.(2015)
    A Wilderness of Sin - West Country 1645 (2015)
    The Smoke of Her Burning - Selby 1644 (2015)
    The Serpent's Root - Cornwall 1646 (2016)

  13. Have added these - thanks.

  14. Hi there, I have a debut novel that mainly takes place from 1650 -1651. The title is Traitor's Knot and it's a historical romance. It was just released May 2017.

  15. Thanks Cryssa - will add to the list.

  16. were there ever any books written or surviving muster roll records about the english civil war

  17. The Royal Series - War & Romance A long-running saga of two Families torn apart by war and divided loyalties during the height of the Civil Wars, to the Battle of Worcester, Monmouth Rebellion, and Glorious Revolution. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Loyalty-Divided-Family-Royal-Intrigue-ebook/dp/B0080H62A2

  18. Hi Struan, I've found more historical fiction novels relating to the ECW to add to your list:

    "The King's Spy" (Thomas Hill #1) by Andrew Swanston, 2014
    "The King's Exile" (Thomas Hill #2) by Andrew Swanston, 2014
    "The King's Return" (Thomas Hill #3) by Andrew Swanston, 2015

    And a couple of great non-fiction books:

    Charles I

    "The White King" by Leana de Lisle, 2017

    Charles II

    "To Catch A King: Charles II's Great Escape" by Charles Spender, 2017