Books

Top 5 books on Restoration Britain, chosen by Jack Jewers

The director, producer and screenwriter selects five books that focus on Britain's Restoration period

Charles II in robes

Charles II in coronation robes by John Michael Wright. Image: royal.gov.uk / Wikipedia (Public domain; Commons)

The Diaries of Samuel Pepys: A selection edited by Robert Latham

Pepys was on the committee that returned Charles II from exile. His description of the 1661 coronation, after the Restoration is beautiful, but his take on the planning is fascinating and, at times, hilarious.

To Catch a King by Charles Spencer

Charles fled England after his crushing defeat by Cromwell’s forces in 1651. He was lucky to escape at all. This narrative history describes how he got away – and returned to claim the crown.

Fire Catcher by CS Quinn

Quinn’s mystery novels star the roguish thief catcher, Charlie Tuesday. In this, the second of the series, Charlie tracks down a murderer while the Great Fire consumes London.

The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration England by Ian Mortimer

If most history books make your eyes glaze over, Mortimer’s guides to the past are the antidote. It’s the next best thing to actually visiting Restoration England, from what to wear, to staying out of trouble with the law.

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

A 21st century historian discovers a tranche of documents written by a Jewish woman in 1660s London. But who was she? And what is her story? 

Lost Diary Samuel Pepys cover

The Lost Diary of Samuel Pepys by Jack Jewers is out in paperback on May 11  (Moonflower, £8.99). You can buy it from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

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