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Books & Authors

Read-Alikes for Poldark on PBS Masterpiece

With the third season of Poldark nearing its end, you might be ready to dive into a book that has a similar feel to the show. Poldark is a gripping saga that is set in the late 18th century against the breathtaking background of the Cornish coast. The show on PBS is drawn from the Poldark family series written by Winston Graham. It touches on many different areas, from the solidarity of people living in community together to the visceral hatred for one's rival. The books below share similar themes and settings with this series, from being set in Georgian England to exploring issues related to love, treachery and war.

For those in the mood for a series

Only Time Will Tell, by Jeffrey Archer

The epic tale of Harry Clifton's life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war." A dock worker in Bristol, Harry never knew his father and expects to continue on at the shipyard, until a remarkable gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys' school, and his life will never be the same again...


The Ravenscar Dynasty, by Barbara Taylor Bradford

Power and money, passion and adultery, ambition and treachery all illuminate a dramatic epic saga that brings to life the glittering Edwardian Era. The Ravenscar Dynasty is based on the familial factions of England's Wars of the Roses, brought to life by the magical, memorable storytelling power that is Barbara Taylor Bradford.


The Forsyte Saga, by John Galsworthy

The three novels which make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commercial upper-middle class Forsyte family between 1886 and 1920. Galsworthy is concerned with the conflict at the heart of English culture between the soulless materialism of wealth and property and the humane instincts of love beauty and art.


Fall of Giants, by Ken Follett

This is an epic of love, hatred, war and revolution. The novel follows five families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women.


For those in the mood for a stand-alone book

Bride of Pendorric, by Victoria Holt

Favel Farrington meets Roc Pendorric on the idyllic Mediterranean island of Capri. Roc sweeps her off her feet, taking her from her home by an emerald sea to the ancient family home of the Pendorrics, in Cornwall. The castle is beautiful in its way, but the atmosphere is foreboding. Favel's fear increases as Roc seems to be growing more and more distant. Has her courtship and marriage been just a deception?


Birdcage Walk, by Helen Dunmore

From a bestselling author comes a new novel set in Bristol at the height of the Romantic Era that follows a freethinking young woman in her new marriage to a ruthlessly ambitious property developer.


The Fair Fight, by Anna Freeman

Set in late 18th century Bristol within the world of female pugilists and their patrons, this is a gripping, page-turning story about people struggling to transcend the circumstances into which they were born and fighting for their own places in society. The Fair Fight is a raucous, intoxicating tale of courage, reinvention, and fighting one’s way to the top.


Burning Bright, by Tracy Chevalier

Poet, artist, and printer William Blake works in obscurity as England is rocked by the shock waves of the French Revolution. Next door, the Kellaway family has just moved in, and country boy Jem Kellaway strikes up a tentative friendship with street savvy Maggie Butterfield. As their stories intertwine with Blake's, the two children navigate the confusing and exhilarating path to adolescence, and inspire the poet to create the work that enshrined his genius.


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