In our new history books section, we keep track of some of the books coming out by Five Books interviewees and frequently recommended authors. We're also scanning dozens of catalogues and highlighting interesting new history books being published that come to our attention. It's impossible to cover all aspects of history, so these choices inevitably reflect personal preferences and quirks, but do send us an email (email@example.com) if you see a particularly glaring omission on our list!
It's a golden age for historical writing, as well-researched and sometimes quite specialist books by historians are written in an engaging style for a broad audience. Finding an enthusiastic audience among readers then encourages publishers to publish more of the same, in what will hopefully be a virtuous circle.
The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars and Caliphs
by Marc David Baer
The Ruin of All Witches: Life and Death in the New World
by Malcolm Gaskill
Devil-Land: England Under Siege, 1588-1688
by Clare Jackson
Going to Church in Medieval England
by Nicholas Orme
God: An Anatomy
by Francesca Stavrakopoulou
Fallen Idols: Twelve Statues That Made History
by Alex von Tunzelmann
Every year the Wolfson History Prize celebrates books that combine meticulous and original research with great writing, accessible to the general reader. Here, one of the 2022 judges, the eminent Islamic scholar Carole Hillenbrand, guides us through the shortlist to explain why each book is a must-read.