What we're about

Welcome all avid fans of historical fiction! We meet every 6-8 weeks on a Monday evening in central London to discuss a historical novel that we have selected beforehand.

We aim to have the book for each meetup selected at least two months ahead so that everyone has plenty of time to get hold of it and read it. All members get the chance to help select the book from a shortlist of five by voting in an online poll.

Our current venue is The Heights bar at the Saint Georges Hotel in central London.

Just to clarify: the "London" in the group name relates to where the group is based. It doesn't relate specifically to London history. We are reading historical fiction set all over the world!

We ask for a voluntary contribution of 50p to £1 if you attend a meetup - just to go towards the cost of hosting the group on Meetup.com, which is actually quite pricey.


NOTE TO AUTHORS, PUBLISHERS, AGENTS, FRIENDS OF AUTHORS AND SUCH LIKE: We do not take kindly to being spammed with promotional messages about new novels that we "absolutely" have to read or discuss. We are all perfectly capable of finding out about new releases by ourselves. If you have joined this Meetup group purely for the purpose of pushing your own or someone else's book, please remove yourself or you will be removed by the organizer.

This does not preclude genuine members from sending a message to the organizer if they hear about interesting events that they feel other members would be interested in or books that they would recommend be considered for selection for future meetups.


See our main page for details of our upcoming meetups.


Our previous group reads were:

"Golden Hill" by Francis Spufford

"Eagle in the Snow" by Wallace Breem

"A Whole Life" by Robert Seethaler

"The Soldier, the Gaolor, the Spy and Her Lover” by Simon Parke

"The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead

“London Lies Beneath” by Stella Duffy

“The Essex Serpent” by Sarah Perry

"The Sky's Dark Labyrinth" by Stuart Clark

“The Petticoat Men” by Barbara Ewing

"Cleopatra's Heir" by Gillian Bradshaw

"Succession" by Livi Michael

"Laurus" by Eugene Vodolazkin

"A Burnable Book" by Bruce Holsinger

"The Last King of Lydia" by Tim Leach

"A Place Called Winter" by Patrick Gale

"A Dead Man in Deptford" by Anthony Burgess

"The Moor's Account" by Laila Lalami

"Devil" by David Churchill

"She Rises" by Kate Worsley

"The White Castle" by Orhan Pamuk

"Lust for Life" by Irving Stone

"The Maid" by Kimberly Cutter

"Some Luck" by Jane Smiley

"Gideon's Angel" by Clifford Beal

"The Lie" by Helen Dunmore

"The Devil in the Marshalsea" by Antonia Hodgson

"A Name in Blood" by Matt Rees

"The Summer Queen" by Elizabeth Chadwick

"After Flodden" by Rosemary Goring

"Augustus" by John Williams

"Burial Rites" by Hannah Kent

"Shadow on the Crown" by Patricia Bracewell

"City of Women" by David Gillham

"The Last Caesar" by Henry Venmore-Rowland

"The Garden of Evening Mists" by Tan Twan Eng

"Death and the Devil" by Frank Schaetzing

"The English Monster" by Lloyd Shepherd

"Jezebel" by Eleanor de Jong

"The Winter Palace" by Eva Stachniak

"The Bone Thief" by V. M. Whitworth

"The King's Diamond" by Will Whitaker

"Theodora" by Stella Duffy

"A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury" by Edith Pargeter

"The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller

"The Ground is Burning" by Samuel Black

"Half of the Human Race" by Anthony Quinn

"Pure" by Andrew Miller

"The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain

"A Moveable Feast" by Ernest Hemingway

"Memoirs of Hadrian" by Marguerite Yourcenar

"The Golden Mean" by Annabel Lyon

"Silent in the Grave" by Deanna Raybourn

"Helena" by Evelyn Waugh

"The Leopard" by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"The Confessions of Catherine de Medici" by CW Gortner

"The Siege" by Helen Dunmore

"As Meat Loves Salt" by Maria McCann

"Spartacus" by Lewis Grassic Gibbon

"The Heretic's Daughter" by Kathleen Kent

"Azincourt" by Bernard Cornwell

"The Fraud" by Barbara Ewing

"Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel

"The Great Stink" by Clare Clark

"The Founding" by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

"Affinity" by Sarah Waters

"Empress Orchid" by Anchee Min

"The Last Queen" by CW Gortner

"The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill House" by Kate Summerscale

"The Floating Book" by Michelle Lovric

"I, Claudius" by Robert Graves

"The Last English King" by Julian Rathbone

"The Lost Diary of Don Juan" by Douglas Carlton Abrams.

New members are welcome at any time. There is no commitment to come more often than you wish, though we have many regulars. All we ask is that you keep your attendance status up to date. If you say you're coming to a meetup but then find you can't, please change your status to No as soon as you know. (You can always change it back again!)

Feel free to simply join up here and you'll get all the updates. If you have any particular questions, please just drop the organizer, Justin, a message.

Upcoming events (2)

January 2019 meetup: “The Winter Isles” by Antonia Senior

Heights Bar and Lounge (15th floor) | Saint Georges Hotel

We will be discussing “The Winter Isles” by Antonia Senior. Thanks to everyone who voted to choose the book. Hope you can make it. ------------ A voluntary contribution of 50p to £1 is requested from all attending each meetup towards the cost of us hosting the group on Meetup.com. ------------- “The Winter Isles” by Antonia Senior (2015) Pages: 400 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1782396608/ Description In twelfth-century Scotland, far removed from the courtly manners of the Lowland, the Winter Isles are riven by vicious warfare, plots and battles. Into this hard, seafaring life is born a boy called Somerled. The son of an ageing chieftain, Somerled must prove his own worth as a warrior. He will rise to lead his men into battle and claim the title of Lord of the Isles - but what must he sacrifice to secure the glory of his name? "The Winter Isles" is an astonishingly vivid recreation of the savage dynastic battles of medieval Scotland: an authentic, emotional, powerful read.­

March meetup: “The Outcasts of Time” by Ian Mortimer

Heights Bar and Lounge (15th floor) | Saint Georges Hotel

We will be discussing “The Outcasts of Time” by Ian Mortimer. Details on the book below. ------------ A voluntary contribution of 50p to £1 is requested from all attending each meetup towards the cost of us hosting the group on Meetup.com. ------------- “The Outcasts of Time” by Ian Mortimer (2017) Pages: 400 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1471146588/­ Description December 1348. With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and go to Hell. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries – living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last. John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them still further. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived. As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the reader travels with them, seeing the world through their eyes as it shifts through disease, progress, enlightenment and war. But their time is running out – can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up?

Past events (90)

July meetup: "Golden Hill” by Francis Spufford

Heights Bar and Lounge (15th floor) | Saint Georges Hotel

Photos (147)