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Historical Fiction about Real Women

One purpose of this micro-genre is to give form and detail to the “lost history of women”. This is the stuff not recorded in history books and not taught in school. Many authors have tried to reconcile this lost history by filling in the gaps: taking what is known about one woman and the era she lived in, and creating an account that brings light to that specific time and place. These novels are steeped in well-researched historically-accurate facts, but are also intimate and personal – showing what it may have been like to walk in these women’s shoes.

Discover Even More "Micro-Genres"



Circling the Sun: A Novel

  • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 16 mins)
  • By Paula McLain
  • Narrated By Katharine McEwan
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(2726)
Performance
(2460)
Story
(2457)

Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe, who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature's delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.

Ilana says: "Pro: It made me want to read "West With the Night""
Circling the Sun
4.4 ( 2726 )

Saint Mazie: A Novel

  • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
  • By Jami Attenberg
  • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(78)
Performance
(65)
Story
(66)

Meet Mazie Phillips: big hearted and bawdy, she's the truth-telling proprietress of The Venice, the famed New York City movie theater. It's the Jazz Age, with romance and booze aplenty - even when Prohibition kicks in - and Mazie never turns down a night on the town. But her high spirits mask a childhood rooted in poverty, and her diary, always close at hand, holds her dearest secrets.

Sara says: "A Rough Gritty Story Of A Hard Life"
Saint Mazie
3.9 ( 78 )

Sisi: Empress on Her Own: A Novel

  • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
  • By Allison Pataki
  • Narrated By Elizabeth Knowelden
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(185)
Performance
(169)
Story
(170)

Married to Emperor Franz Joseph, Elisabeth - fondly known as Sisi - captures the hearts of her people as their "fairy queen", but beneath that dazzling persona lives a far more complex figure. In mid-19th-century Vienna, the halls of the Hofburg Palace buzz not only with imperial waltzes and champagne but with temptations, rivals, and cutthroat intrigue. Feeling stifled by strict protocols and a turbulent marriage, Sisi grows restless. A free-spirited wanderer, she finds solace at her estate outside Budapest.

Linda Saraco says: "outstanding in every way"
Sisi
4.3 ( 185 )

America's First Daughter: A Novel

  • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
  • By Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie
  • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
Overall
(2237)
Performance
(2060)
Story
(2055)

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, best-selling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph - a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

Bernard says: "Absolutely Loved This Story!"
America's First Daughter
4.6 ( 2237 )

The Memoirs of Cleopatra

  • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 55 mins)
  • By Margaret George
  • Narrated By Donada Peters
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(394)
Performance
(247)
Story
(246)

This novel allows the unscrupulous and proud Queen of the Nile to recount her own tale. A masterful recreation of history.

Michael A. Vasquez says: "I felt like I was there"
The Memoirs of Cleopatra
4.2 ( 394 )

The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia

  • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
  • By C. W. Gortner
  • Narrated By Julia Whelan
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(490)
Performance
(464)
Story
(462)

Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias fascinated and terrorized 15th-century Renaissance Italy, and Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the pope, was at the center of the dynasty's ambitions. Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival?

BostonJohn says: "A Masterpiece"
The Vatican Princess
4.4 ( 490 )

Nefertiti

  • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
  • By Michelle Moran
  • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(569)
Performance
(348)
Story
(350)

Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped by all that her strong personality will temper the young Amunhotep's heretical desires.

Dominic says: "Very Interesting"
Nefertiti
4.2 ( 569 )

The Marriage of Opposites

  • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
  • By Alice Hoffman
  • Narrated By Gloria Reuben, Tina Benko, Santino Fontana, and others
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(1750)
Performance
(1601)
Story
(1601)

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel's salvation is their maid Adelle's belief in her strengths and her deep, lifelong friendship with Jestine, Adelle's daughter. But Rachel's life is not her own.

TV says: "Magical!"
The Marriage of Opposites
4.4 ( 1750 )

Hild: A Novel

  • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 37 mins)
  • By Nicola Griffith
  • Narrated By Pearl Hewitt
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(232)
Performance
(214)
Story
(217)

A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages: Hild. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods are struggling, their priests worrying. Hild is the king's youngest niece, and she has a glimmering mind and a natural, noble authority. She will become a fascinating woman and one of the pivotal figures of the Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby.

David says: "I'd give it 10 stars if I could"
Hild
4.0 ( 232 )

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

  • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
  • By Therese Anne Fowler
  • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(992)
Performance
(889)
Story
(889)

When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the "ungettable" Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn't wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed.

LP says: "Attraction to the disillusioning 20's comes alive!"
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fi...
4.3 ( 992 )

Vanessa and Her Sister: A Novel

  • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
  • By Priya Parmar
  • Narrated By Emilia Fox, Clare Corbett, Julian Rhind-Tutt, and others
Overall
(154)
Performance
(135)
Story
(136)

London, 1905: The city is alight with change, and the Stephen siblings are at the forefront. Vanessa, Virginia, Thoby, and Adrian are leaving behind their childhood home and taking a house in the leafy heart of avant-garde Bloomsbury. There they bring together a glittering circle of bright, outrageous artistic friends who will grow into legend and come to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. And at the center of this charmed circle are the devoted, gifted sisters: Vanessa, the painter, and Virginia, the writer.

M. J. Dana says: "Vanessa and her Sister"
Vanessa and Her Sister
4.2 ( 154 )

The Aviator's Wife: A Novel

  • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 24 mins)
  • By Melanie Benjamin
  • Narrated By Lorna Raver
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(1209)
Performance
(1061)
Story
(1077)

For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong.

Audrey says: "The Megalomaniac's Wife"
The Aviator's Wife
4.1 ( 1209 )

The Queen’s Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile

  • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
  • By C. W. Gortner
  • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(134)
Performance
(122)
Story
(122)

“No one believed I was destined for greatness.” So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens - the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a new world. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.

ToniAnn says: "The Queen's Vow"
The Queen’s Vow
4.2 ( 134 )

The 19th Wife: A Novel

  • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 59 mins)
  • By David Ebershoff
  • Narrated By Kimberly Farr, Rebecca Lowman, Arthur Morey
Overall
(635)
Performance
(369)
Story
(369)

It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family's polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.

Kimberly says: "Good history, a little confusing"
The 19th Wife
4.0 ( 635 )

Blonde

  • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
  • By Joyce Carol Oates
  • Narrated By Jayne Atkinson
Overall
(172)
Performance
(97)
Story
(97)

She was an all-American girl who became a legend of unparalleled stature. She inspired the adoration of millions, and her life has beguiled generations of fans and fellow artists. The story of Norma Jeane Baker, better known by her studio name, Marilyn Monroe, has been dissected for more than three decades, but never has it been captured in a narrative as breathtaking and transforming as Blonde.

Tia says: "Why not "unabridged""
Blonde
4.0 ( 172 )

Buffalo Girls

  • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
  • By Larry McMurtry
  • Narrated By Betty Buckley
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(103)
Performance
(84)
Story
(85)

As he describes the insatiable curiosity of Calamity's Indian friend No Ears, Annie Oakley's shooting match with Lord Windhouveren, and other highlights of the tour, Larry McMurtry turns the story of a band of hardy, irrepressible survivors into an unforgettable portrait of love, fellowship, dreams, and heartbreak.

Cookie says: "Come sit by the fire and listen to a story..."
Buffalo Girls
4.1 ( 103 )

Etta: A Novel

  • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
  • By Gerald Kolpan
  • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
Overall
(13)
Performance
(6)
Story
(6)

An electrifying imagining of the life of outlaw Etta Place, known companion of bandits Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in an adventure that crisscrosses America at the dawn of the twentieth century.

Etta
4.2 ( 13 )

Thousand Pieces of Gold

  • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
  • By Ruthanne Lum McCunn
  • Narrated By Emily Zeller
Overall
(231)
Performance
(206)
Story
(207)

Lalu Nathoy's father called his thirteen-year-old daughter his treasure, his "thousand pieces of gold," yet when famine strikes northern China in 1871, he is forced to sell her. Polly, as Lalu is later called, is sold to a brothel, sold again to a slave merchant bound for America, auctioned to a saloonkeeper, and offered as a prize in a poker game. This biographical novel is the extraordinary story of one woman's fight for independence and dignity in the American West.

Susie says: "A Women's Studies Classic"
Thousand Pieces of Gold
3.8 ( 231 )

Lilac Girls: A Novel

  • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 30 mins)
  • By Martha Hall Kelly
  • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Kathleen Gati, Kathrin Kana, and others
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(5699)
Performance
(5191)
Story
(5169)

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline's world is forever changed when Hitler's army invades Poland in September 1939 - and then sets its sights on France. An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement.

Joy Easton says: "The cover is a bit misleading, but..."
Lilac Girls
4.7 ( 5699 )

Fever: A Novel

  • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
  • By Mary Beth Keane
  • Narrated By Candace Thaxton
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(682)
Performance
(622)
Story
(619)

Mary Mallon was a courageous, headstrong Irish immigrant woman who bravely came to America alone, fought hard to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic service ladder, and discovered in herself an uncanny, and coveted, talent for cooking. Working in the kitchens of the upper class, she left a trail of disease in her wake, until one enterprising and ruthless "medical engineer" proposed the inconceivable notion of the "asymptomatic carrier" - and from then on Mary Mallon was a hunted woman.

karen says: ""Faction" at its best"
Fever
4.1 ( 682 )