Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set in England

the broke and the bookish

It’s Tuesday! Time for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the fab folks over at The Broke and The Bookish. The topic this week was pretty open-ended – Top Ten Favorite Books With X Setting. So we get to pick the setting! Except I read SUCH a crazy variety of books that it seemed hard to find a setting that I have at least 10 favorite books set in. And then after a while the answer seemed obvious – England! So here we go, my favorite books set in England.

hp kids

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – Well of course. England kind of lurks in the background of the awesome magical world, but it’s there. It’s there.

2. Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde – I love Thursday Next! And these books are set a quirky, alternative reality kind of Britain. Double-awesome.

3. The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence – YES I just finished this book on Saturday. But it was SO awesome. Seriously, so much love. I love Alex’s little tiny town where he grows up.

4. All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness – Well the trilogy isn’t complete yet, and large chunks of the book occur in other countries as well, but the series starts off with the main character doing research at Oxford and the author did a fantastic job helping me picture England in my head. I WANT TO GO THERE.

5. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon – Yeah, this one is a bit of a leap – the books take place in Scotland, England, and America. Still counts!

6. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson – This was such a great book, even if the character was that stereotypical uptight, super-polite English gentleman. He was such an adorable old guy.

austen meme

Austen, you saucy minx.

7. Jane Austen novels – Well I don’t even think this needs explaining.

8. Julia Quinn romances – Historical romances usually take place in old-timey England, with big estates that rich people live at and lots of balls and dances happening. It’s a good swoon-worthy environment.

9. Nightside series by Simon R. Green – This one is a bit of a stretch too, since most of the novel takes place in the Nightside, where it’s always 3 AM and any number of insane things are happening. But the Nightside is located underneath London, so there we have it.

The Tower.

The Tower.

10. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory – This book put me in a total Tudor history phase back when I first read it. I would love to go see the Tower of London someday.

ALL OF THE BEST THINGS COME OUT OF ENGLAND. Well probably not all, but look how many! Not to mention how many of my favorite bloggers are over there…  😀

Alright guys, what are some books set in England that you think should be on this list? What are your favorite book settings? Share! Discuss!

~Sarah

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46 comments

  1. I went for all things British, too! Although I may have neglected Wales and Scotland a bit…so really it was more all things English with a touch of Scottish mad cows, but oh well!

    Great list this week! HP has plenty of scenes in London and such so I think you’re fine! Will have to get round to reading A Discovery of Witches soon and ooo I want to read the Nightside series too!

    Also, The Tower of London is pretty cool. I only just went a few months ago and had a great time looking round everything even though it was super busy. Loved the Ravens and the stories behind them!

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    1. A Discovery of Witches was REALLY good, I hope the author comes out with the last book soon. And I really like the Nightside series, although I need to hurry up and finish it… I think I have about 5 books left or so.

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  2. I may be biased but England is, without a doubt, pretty darn awesome. Great list – HP, Thursday Next and good old Jane…I’m proud of you, England, I really am.

    I really fancy the All Souls trilogy…

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  3. Aside from #9, which I haven’t read, I can say that these are all excellent. I’m so excited for the All Souls Trilogy conclusion – if she ever finishes it. It’s so nice to see a strong heroine in a vampire-witch-romance storyline.

    The Other Boleyn Girl totally put me in a Tudor phase too, which Henry Cavill continued in The Tudors.

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    1. I have to say, Diana Bishop from the All Souls trilogy actually doesn’t strike me quite as a strong female character, and I think that’s what keeps me from loving the series completely. I still enjoy it a lot, but I always squirm a bit because she comes across as helpless a little too often. I can’t remember specifics because it’s been a while since I read them, but I remember thinking about that – she seemed to always be in some sort of distress and needed Matthew to be there for her. I am really excited to see her coming into her powers more, I’m sure that’ll help.

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      1. I’m thinking more of the first book than the second. And I should clarify, the first half of the first book.

        But once she falls in love, helpless female syndrome (if there is such a thing) takes over.

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      2. YES. That was my problem, she was pretty self-reliant until she falls in love, and then all of the sudden she’s kind of weak. I have high hopes though for the third book, it’s still a good series so far.

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  4. Eeep! I went to the Tower of London once! It was every bit as awesome and creepy as I hoped it would be. I hope you’ll make it there one day, it was my favorite part of my trip! (I totally photo opped where Anne Boleyn’s head rolled. I’m macabre that way.)

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  5. I also want to see the Tower of London — that would be incredible! Europe is just so rich in history, I want to soak it all in one day. Great picks! Harry Potter definitely deserves a place on that list, along with Jane Austen’s books. I went through a Tudor phase in elementary and read any book of that era as much as possible. Even though I’m out of that phase now, I would like to read The Other Boleyn Girl.

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    1. Even though I haven’t read any Tudor fiction in ages, The Other Boleyn Girl is still one of my favorite books ever. I know a lot of people get on Philippa Gregory’s case for taking liberties with her stories, but that’s why they’re fiction! It’s just such a good book.

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  6. I am such a fangirl tourist – when I was in London, the first thing I did the second I left Heathrow was to go to King’s Cross to find Platform 9 and 3/4. Books will do that to you, for sure.

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  7. “ALL OF THE BEST THINGS COME OUT OF ENGLAND.” Well, OBVS!

    I have never been inside the Tower of London or even purposely seen it. I… don’t even have a reason for this, but there you go!

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  8. I really need to read more books set in England. I love British TV and movies, I don’t read nearly enough books from there! Love Jane Austen and Harry Potter, of course 🙂

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    1. I feel like I need to watch more British tv. The honeyman is watching a tv series called Survivors, it seems like the British version of The Stand by Stephen King, but maybe without the creepy evil guy (I don’t know, I haven’t seen it yet).

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  9. Other than Rowling and Austen I’ve not read any of the others, and I am English. Nationality solidarity fail. Wonderful list, will bookmark it for future reading ideas. Although, I think of Potter as more Scotland really, just because most of the plot is set in Hogwarts.

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  10. Interesting list I’m so pleased you picked England (not that I’m biased being English and all!). I think you can’t have a list of England based literature without a mention of our love of crime fiction. My list would have to include some Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, and some of Dickens’s mysteries 🙂

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    1. Weirdly enough, crime fiction isn’t usually my thing! I’m hesitant to even try JK Rowling’s new book. I really should read some Sherlock stories someday, before I get my booknerd card revoked 😉

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  11. Love your list!! I also love books set in England 🙂 And Julia Quinn is AWESOME! I love her books!
    Also: you should come to England, I can totally meet you there if you do 😉 It’s only a tiny trip away from Holland 🙂

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    1. I would LOVE to come to England have a blogger meet-up! If the honeyman and I ever get married, I’m totally going to try to talk him into a European honeymoon so I can travel around & meet all my blogger buddies 🙂 Although that kind of defeats the idea of a honeymoon… but whatever 😉

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