Books Set In Yorkshire: Yorkshire Novels
As the biggest county in England, it comes as no surprise that there are an abundance of books set in Yorkshire. With moors, cliffs, castles, abbeys and Tudor houses galore, it has set the scene for many notable authors and has a rich literary heritage.
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Books Set in Yorkshire: Introduction
The most famous authors from the county would have to be the Brontë sisters, who penned many books set in Yorkshire. These include classics such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Shirley.
There are some Booker Prize winners in this list of books set in Yorkshire, such as Possession by A.S. Byatt and Saville by David Storey. Some titles shortlisted for the Booker include A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr, The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota and Elmet by Fiona Mozley (an incredible accomplishment for a first time author).
Some other landmark works amongst these books set in Yorkshire include The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (a children’s classic), All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (tales of a veterinarian), and Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson (a family epic, spanning six generations).
Books Set in Yorkshire: Shortlist
If you’re short on time, these are my personal picks for books set in Yorkshire:
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
- Saville by David Storey
- Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
- God’s Own Country by Ross Raisin
- The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
Books Set In Yorkshire
1. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, 1839
When Nicholas Nickleby is left penniless after his father’s death, he appeals to his wealthy uncle to help him find work and to protect his mother and sister. But Ralph Nickleby proves both hard-hearted and unscrupulous, and Nicholas finds himself forced to make his own way in the world. Note: this is set between Yorkshire and London.
2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, 1847
Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard. But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Note: this is supposedly set in the authors native home of Yorkshire.
3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, 1847
Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before; of the intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class.
4. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë, 1848
In this sensational, hard-hitting and passionate tale of marital cruelty, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall sees a mysterious tenant, Helen Graham, unmasked not as a ‘wicked woman’ as the local gossips would have it, but as the estranged wife of a brutal alcoholic bully, desperate to protect her son. Using her own experiences with her brother Branwell to depict the cruelty and debauchery from which Helen flees, Anne Bronte wrote her masterpiece to reflect the fragile position of women in society and her belief in universal redemption, but scandalized readers of the time.
5. Shirley by Charlotte Brontë, 1849
Set in the industrializing England of the Napoleonic wars and Luddite revolts of 1811-1812, Shirley is the story of two contrasting heroines. One is the shy Caroline Helstone, who is trapped in the oppressive atmosphere of a Yorkshire rectory and whose bare life symbolizes the plight of single women in the nineteenth century. The other is the vivacious Shirley Keeldar, who inherits a local estate and whose wealth liberates her from convention.
6. Dracula by Bram Stoker, 1897
When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client’s castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; beautiful Lucy Westenra slowly succumbs to a mysterious, wasting illness, her blood drained away; and the lunatic Renfield raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘master’. Note: this is set in multiple locations including Transylvania, London and Yorkshire.
7. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1910
The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to.
8. Inheritance by Phyllis Bentley, 1932
Set against the backdrop of the textile industry in the West Riding of Yorkshire, this trilogy chronicles the lives of several families over 153 trouble-torn years, from the Luddite riots of 1812 to the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965. Vividly depicted, and moving to the last, this trilogy is an example of regional fiction at its finest.
9. South Riding by Winifred Holtby, 1936
Winifred Holtby’s masterpiece is a rich evocation of the lives and relationships of the characters of South Riding. Sarah Burton, the fiery young headmistress of the local girls’ school; Mrs Beddows, the district’s first alderwoman – based on Holtby’s own mother; and Robert Carne, the conservative gentleman-farmer locked in a disastrous marriage – with whom the radical Sarah Burton falls in love.
10. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell, 1937
A searing account of George Orwell’s experiences of working-class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire, The Road to Wigan Pier is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time. His graphically unforgettable descriptions of social injustice, slum housing, mining conditions, squalor, hunger and growing unemployment are written with unblinking honesty, fury and great humanity.
11. Testament of Friendship by Vera Brittain, 1940
In Testament of Friendship Brittain tells the story of the woman who helped her survive those tragic years – the writer Winifred Holtby. They met at Somerville College, Oxford, immediately after the war and their friendship continued through Vera’s marriage and their separate but parallel writing careers until Winifred’s untimely death at the age of thirty-seven. When she died her fame as a writer was about to reach its peak with the publication of her greatest novel, South Riding (as listed above).
12. An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley, 1945
The action of this play occurs in an English industrial city, where a young girl commits suicide and an eminently respectable British family is subject to a routine inquiry in connection with the death. An inspector calls to interrogate the family, and during the course of his questioning, all members of the group are implicated lightly or deeply in the girl’s undoing. The family, closely knit and friendly at the beginning of the evening, is shown up as selfish, self-centered or cowardly. Note: this is the most well-known play by Priestley, a Yorkshire native.
13. Venetia by Georgette Heyer, 1958
In all her twenty-five years, lovely Venetia Lanyon has never been further than Harrogate, nor enjoyed the attentions of any but her two wearisomely persistent suitors. Then, in one extraordinary encounter, she meets a neighbour she only knows by reputation – the infamous Lord Damerel – and before she knows better, is egging on a libertine whose way of life has scandalized the North Riding for years.
14. Billy Liar (Billy Liar #1) by Keith Waterhouse, 1959
Billy Liar captures brilliantly the claustrophobic atmosphere of a small town. It tells the story of Billy Fisher, a Yorkshire teenager unable to stop lying – especially to his three girlfriends. Trapped by his boring job and working-class parents, Billy finds that his only happiness lies in grand plans for his future and fantastical day-dreams of the fictional country Ambrosia.
15. A Kind of Loving (Vic Brown Trilogy #1) by Stan Barstow, 1960
All about love, lust, and loneliness, this book introduces Vic Brown, a young working-class Yorkshireman. Vic is attracted to the beautiful but demanding Ingrid, and as their relationship grows and changes, he comes to terms the hard way with adult life and what it really means to love. The influence of Barstow’s novel has been lasting. The literary label ‘lad-lit’ was first applied to this book, and over the years it has been adapted for radio, television, and the big screen.
16. The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer, 1962
At the age of five-and-thirty, Sir Waldo Hawkridge is wealthy, handsome, eligible and illustrious. Known as The Nonesuch for his athletic prowess, when he comes north to inspect his unusual inheritance at Broom Hall in the West Riding, his arrival leads to the most entertaining of ramifications.
17. Kirkland Revels by Victoria Holt, 1962
Kirkland Revels loomed high above the wild and eerie Yorkshire moors like a brooding stone fortress. To some there was an atmosphere of evil about the place, but to innocent young bride Catherine Rockwell, the mansion seemed magnificently romantic. She did not know then of the terrible secrets imprisoned behind its massive walls.
18. A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines, 1968
Life is tough and cheerless for Billy Casper, a troubled teenager growing up in the small Yorkshire mining town of Barnsley. Treated as a failure at school, and unhappy at home, Billy discovers a new passion in life when he finds Kes, a kestrel hawk. Billy identifies with her silent strength and she inspires in him the trust and love that nothing else can, discovering through her the passion missing from his life.
19. All Creatures Great and Small (If Only They Could Talk) by James Herriot, 1970
When the newly qualified vet, James Herriot, arrives in the small Yorkshire village of Darrowby, he has no idea of the new friends he will meet or adventures that lie ahead. From the author whose books inspired the BBC series “All Creatures Great and Small”, this first volume of unforgettable memoirs chronicles James Herriot’s first years as a country vet, with the signature storytelling magic that has made him a favourite the world over. Note: there are 8 books in this series.
20. A Clubbable Woman (Dalziel & Pascoe #1) by Reginald Hill, 1970
Home from Rugby Club after taking a nasty knock in a match, Connon finds his wife even more uncommunicative than ususal. After passing out on his bed for five hours, he comes downstairs to discover communication has been cut off forever – by a hole in the middle of her forehead. Down at the club, passions run high, on and off the field. This is a home game for Detective Superintendent Andrew Dalziel who knows all the players, male and female.
21. A Long Way from Verona by Jane Gardam, 1971
Jessica Vye’s ‘violent experience’ colours her schooldays and her reaction to the world around her – a confining world of Order Marks, wartime restrictions, viyella dresses, nicely-restrained essays and dusty tea shops. For Jessica has been told that she is ‘beyond all possible doubt’, a born writer. With her inability to conform, her absolute compulsion to tell the truth and her dedication to accurately noting her experiences, she knows this anyway. Note: this is a young adult novel.
22. Saville by David Storey, 1976
Saville centers around Colin, a young boy growing up in the fictional Yorkshire mining village of Saxton during the Second World War and the postwar years. This is the story of a miner’s son, and his growth from the 1930s on, his rise in the world by way of grammar school and college. At first there is triumph in this, not least for the father who had spurred him on, but later “alienated from his class, and with nowhere yet to go” Colin finds himself struggling to remain in the place that made him.
23. A Woman of Substance (Emma Harte Saga #1) by Barbara Taylor Bradford, 1979
In the brooding moors above a humble Yorkshire village stood Fairley Hall. There, Emma Harte, its oppressed but resourceful servant girl, acquired a shrewd determination. There, she honed her skills, discovered the meaning of treachery, learned to survive, to become a woman, and vowed to make her mark on the world.
24. A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr, 1980
In J. L. Carr’s deeply charged poetic novel, Tom Birkin, a veteran of the Great War and a broken marriage, arrives in the remote Yorkshire village of Oxgodby where he is to restore a recently discovered medieval mural in the local church. Living in the bell tower, surrounded by the resplendent countryside of high summer, and laboring each day to uncover an anonymous painter’s depiction of the apocalypse, Birkin finds that he himself has been restored to a new, and hopeful, attachment to life.
25. The Woman in Black (The Woman in Black #1) by Susan Hill, 1983
Set on the obligatory English moor, on an isolated causeway, the story has as its hero Arthur Kipps, an up-and-coming young solicitor who has come north from London to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House.
26. Gallows View (Inspector Banks #1) by Peter Robinson, 1987
A Peeping Tom is frightening the women of Eastvale; two glue-sniffing young thugs are breaking into homes and robbing people; an old woman may or may not have been murdered. Investigating these cases is Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, a perceptive, curious and compassionate policeman recently moved to the Yorkshire Dales from London to escape the stress of city life. In addition to all this, Banks has to deal with the local feminists and his attraction to a young psychologist, Jenny Fuller. Note: there are 22 books in this series.
27. Possession by A.S. Byatt, 1990
Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire – from spiritualist séances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany – what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas.
28. Bones and Silence (Dalziel & Pascoe #11) by Reginald Hill, 1990
One woman dead and one threatening to die set Yorkshire’s police superintendent Dalziel and Inspector Pascoe on a chilling hunt for a killer and a potential suicide. A drunken Dalziel witnesses the murder that others insist is a tragic accident. Meanwhile the letters of an anonymous woman say she plans to kill herself in a spectacular way… unless Pascoe can find her first.
29. A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #1) by Deborah Crombie, 1993
A week’s holiday in a luxurious Yorkshire time-share is just what Scotland Yard’s Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But the discovery of a body floating in the whirlpool bath ends Kincaid’s vacation before it’s begun. One of his new acquaintances at Followdale House is dead; another is a killer. Despite a distinct lack of cooperation from the local constabulary, Kincaid’s keen sense of duty won’t allow him to ignore the heinous crime.
30. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson, 1995
Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life at the moment of conception, and from there takes us on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of an English girl determined to learn about her family and its secrets.
31. In a Dry Season (Inspector Banks #10) by Peter Robinson, 1999
When a drought drains the local Thornfield Reservoir, uncovering a long-drowned small village and the skeleton of a murder victim from the 1940s, Detective Alan Banks and Detective Sergeant Annie Cabot must investigate the decades-old crime and unmask an evil secret from the past. Note: there are 22 books in this series.
32. The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps by Michel Faber, 2001
Sian, troubled by dark dreams and seeking distraction, joins an archaeological dig at Whitby. The abbey’s one hundred and ninety-nine steps link the twenty-first century with the ruins of the past and Sian is swept into a mystery involving a long-hidden murder, a fragile manuscript in a bottle and a cast of most peculiar characters. Equal parts historical thriller, romance and ghost story, this is an ingenious literary page-turner and is completely unforgettable.
33. My Summer of Love by Helen Cross, 2001
It’s 1984 and one of the hottest summers Yorkshire’s seen. Mona is 15 years old. She’s a drinker, a thief and a fruit machine addict. Things are already going badly in the pub where she lives with her obese step-brother PorkChop. But when Mona meets posh Tamsin Fakenham, a sassy girl with beautiful breasts, things very quickly get much worse.
34. The Peppered Moth by Margaret Drabble, 2001
In the early 1900s, Bessie Bawtry, a small child with big notions, lives in a South Yorkshire mining town in England. Precocious and refined in a land of little ambition and much mining grime, Bessie waits for the day she can escape the bleak, coarse existence her ancestors had seldom questioned.
35. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor, 2002
Risky in conception, hip and yet soulful, this is a prose poem of a novel – intense, lyrical, and highly evocative – with a mystery at its center, which keeps the reader in suspense until the final page. In a tour de force that could be described as Altmanesque, we are invited into the private lives of the residents of a quiet urban street in England over the course of a single day. Note: the author has stated this is set in Bradford, Yorkshire, his former home.
36. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, 2004
English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory. But at Hurtfew Abbey in Yorkshire, the rich, reclusive Mr Norrell has assembled a wonderful library of lost and forgotten books from England’s magical past and regained some of the powers of England’s magicians.
37. Harriet by Jilly Cooper, 2005
Shy, dreamy, and incurably romantic, Harriet Poole was shattered when her brief affair with Simon Villiers, Oxford’s leading playboy undergraduate, ended abruptly, leaving her penniless, alone and pregnant. Still hopelessly in love with Simon, she took baby William and buried herself in deepest Yorkshire as nanny to the children of Cory Erskine, a somewhat eccentric scriptwriter.
38. Raven’s Gate (The Gatekeepers #1) by Anthony Horowitz, 2005
When Matt Freeman gets into trouble with the police, he’s sent to be fostered in Yorkshire. It’s not long before he senses there’s something wrong with his guardian; with the whole village. Then Matt learns about the Old Ones and begins to understand just how he is different. But no one will believe him; no one can help.
39. Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake #3) by C.J. Sansom, 2006
Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission by his rebellious subjects in York. Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a secret mission for Archbishop Cranmer – to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator who is to be returned to London for interrogation.
40. My Best Friend’s Girl by Dorothy Koomson, 2006
How far would you go for the best friend who broke your heart? This internationally bestselling novel tells an enchanting tale of life’s most unpredictable loves and heartaches, and the unforgettable bond between a single woman and an extraordinary five-year-old girl. From the moment they met in college, best friends Adele Brannon and Kamryn Matika thought nothing could come between them—until Adele did the unthinkable and slept with Kamryn’s fiancé, Nate. Note: this is partly set in Leeds, Yorkshire.
41. The Damned Utd by David Peace, 2006
Overachieving and eccentric football manager Brian Clough was on his way to take over at the country’s most successful, and most reviled football club: Leeds United, home to a generation of fiercely competitive but ageing players. The battle he’d face there would make or break the club – or him.
42. The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Hogwarts Library) by J.K. Rowling, 2007
The Tales of Beedle the Bard contains five richly diverse fairy tales, each with its own magical character, that will variously bring delight, laughter and the thrill of mortal peril. Additional notes for each story penned by Professor Albus Dumbledore will be enjoyed by Muggles and wizards alike, as the Professor muses on the morals illuminated by the tales, and reveals snippets of information about life at Hogwarts. Note: Beedle the Bard is from Yorkshire.
43. God’s Own Country (Out Backward) by Ross Raisin, 2008
Sam Marsdyke is a lonely young man, dogged by an incident in his past and forced to work his family farm instead of attending school in his Yorkshire village. He methodically fills his life with daily routines and adheres to strict boundaries that keep him at a remove from the townspeople. But one day he spies Josephine, his new neighbor from London.
44. The King’s Grace by Anne Easter Smith, 2009
All that history knows of Grace Plantagenet is that she was an illegitimate daughter of Edward IV and one of two attendants aboard the funeral barge of his widowed queen. Thus, she was half sister of the famous young princes, who – when this story begins in 1485 – had been housed in the Tower by their uncle, Richard III, and are presumed dead. Note: this is set between Burgundy and Yorkshire.
45. The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison, 2009
England, 31st August 1939: the world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unhappy relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes – and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair, with tragic consequences.
46. Ours Are the Streets by Sunjeev Sahota, 2011
When Imtiaz Raina leaves England for the first time, to bury his father on his family’s land near Lahore, he exchanges his uncertain life in Sheffield for a road that leads to the mountains of Kashmir and Afghanistan. Once back in Yorkshire, he writes through the night to his young wife Becka and baby daughter Noor, and tries to explain, in a story full of affection and yearning, what has happened to him – and why he has a devastating new sense of home.
47. Walking Home: A Poet’s Journey by Simon Armitage, 2012
In summer 2010 Simon Armitage decided to walk the Pennine Way. The challenging 256-mile route is usually approached from south to north, from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm, the other side of the Scottish border. He resolved to tackle it the other way round: through beautiful and bleak terrain, across lonely fells and into the howling wind, he would be walking home, towards the Yorkshire village where he was born.
48. The Lavender Garden (The Light Behind the Window) by Lucinda Riley, 2012
An aristocratic French family, a legendary château, and buried secrets with the power to destroy two generations torn between duty and desire. La Côte d’Azur, 1998: In the sun-dappled south of France, Emilie de la Martinières, the last of her gilded line, inherits her childhood home, a magnificent château and vineyard. With the property comes a mountain of debt—and almost as many questions. Note: this one is set between Provence, Paris, London and Yorkshire.
49. The Inn at the Top: Tales of Life at the Highest Pub in Britain by Neil Hanson, 2013
The hilarious and delightful tale of a young couple who in the late 1970s arrived as the new landlords of the most remote, bleak and lonely pub – The Tan Hill Inn – in the most remote, bleak and lonely of the Yorkshire Dales. This remarkable story takes us back to deepest Yorkshire and showcases life at a different pace, peppered with a host of fascinating characters.
50. To Catch A Rabbit (Sean Denton #1) by Helen Cadbury, 2013
A dead woman is slumped against the door of a grubby trailer. She’s on Sean Denton’s patch, but who is she, how did she get there, and why doesn’t CID want to investigate? As Doncaster’s youngest PCSO, Denton takes the case into his own hands, but he’s way out of his depth. People are reported missing and Denton must work backwards, before anyone else falls prey to South Yorkshire’s murky underworld of migrants and the sex trade.
51. The Gospel of Loki (Loki #1) by Joanne M. Harris, 2014
The novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods – retold from the point of view of the world’s ultimate trickster, Loki. It tells the story of Loki’s recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself. Using her life-long passion for the Norse myths, Joanne Harris has created a vibrant and powerful fantasy novel. Note: Harris has stated this work was influenced by her Yorkshire roots.
52. The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota, 2015
From one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists and Man Booker Prize nominee Sunjeev Sahota—a sweeping, urgent contemporary epic, set against a vast geographical and historical canvas, astonishing for its richness and texture and scope, and for the utter immersiveness of its reading experience. Three young men, and one unforgettable woman, come together in a journey from India to England, where they hope to begin something new – to support their families; to build their futures; to show their worth; to escape the past. Note: this is set between India and Yorkshire.
53. The Lost Child by Caryl Phillips, 2015
Caryl Phillips’s The Lost Child is a sweeping story of orphans and outcasts, haunted by the past and fighting to liberate themselves from it. At its center is Monica Johnson – cut off from her parents after falling in love with a foreigner – and her bitter struggle to raise her sons in the shadow of the wild moors of the north of England. Phillips intertwines her modern narrative with the childhood of one of literature’s most enigmatic lost boys, as he deftly conjures young Heathcliff, the anti-hero of Wuthering Heights, and his ragged existence before Mr. Earnshaw brought him home to his family.
54. Common Ground by Rob Cowen, 2015
After moving from London to a new home in Yorkshire, Rob Cowen finds himself on unfamiliar territory, disoriented, hemmed in by winter and yearning for the nearest open space. So one night, he sets out to find it – a pylon-slung edge-land, a tangle of wood, meadow, field and river on the outskirts of town. Despite being in the shadow of thousands of houses, it feels unclaimed, forgotten, caught between worlds, and all the more magical for it.
55. Neither Nowt Nor Summat: In Search of the Meaning of Yorkshire by Ian McMillan, 2015
If there were such a thing as a professional Yorkshireman, Ian McMillan would be it. He’s regularly consulted as a home-grown expert, and southerners comment archly on his ‘fruity Yorkshire brogue’. But he has been keeping a secret. His dad was from Lanarkshire, Scotland, making him, as he puts it, only ‘half tyke’. So Ian is worried; is he Yorkshire enough? To try to understand what this means Ian embarks on a journey around the county, starting in the village has lived in his entire life.
56. A Fine Summer’s Day (Inspector Ian Rutledge #17) by Charles Todd, 2015
On a fine summer’s day in June 1914, Ian Rutledge is planning to propose to a woman he deeply loves, despite hints from his family and friends that she may not be the most suitable choice for a policeman’s wife. To the north, another man in love – a Scottish Highlander named Hamish MacLeod – asks his own sweetheart to marry him. Note: this is set in London, Yorkshire, Kent and Somerset.
57. The Ballroom by Anna Hope, 2016
1911: Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors, where men and women are kept apart by high walls and barred windows, there is a ballroom vast and beautiful. For one bright evening every week they come together and dance. When John and Ella meet it is a dance that will change two lives forever.
58. Crowned and Dangerous (Royal Spyness #10) by Rhys Bowen, 2016
Nothing is simple when you’re thirty-fifth in line for the British crown, least of all marriage. But with love on their side, and plans to elope, Lady Georgiana Rannoch and her beau Darcy O’Mara hope to bypass a few royal rules. With Darcy driving me out of London in a borrowed motor car, I soon discover that he isn’t planning to introduce me to the pleasures of sinning in secret – as I had hoped – but to make me his wife! Note: this is set across Ireland and England, including Yorkshire.
59. House of Secrets by Lynda Stacey, 2016
A woman on the run, a broken man and a house with a shocking secret. Madeleine Frost has to get away. Her partner Liam has become increasingly controlling to the point that Maddie fears for her safety, and that of her young daughter Poppy. Desperation leads Maddie to the hotel owned by her estranged father – the extraordinarily beautiful Wrea Head Hall in Yorkshire.
60. The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor, 2017
The author of The Girl Who Came Home turns the clock back one hundred years to a time when two young girls from Cottingley, Yorkshire, convinced the world that they had done the impossible and photographed fairies in their garden. International bestseller Hazel Gaynor reimagines their story.
61. Elmet by Fiona Mozley, 2017
Daniel is heading north. He is looking for someone. The simplicity of his early life with Daddy and Cathy has turned sour and fearful. They lived apart in the house that Daddy built for them with his bare hands. They foraged and hunted. When they were younger, Daniel and Cathy had gone to school. But they were not like the other children then, and they were even less like them now. Sometimes Daddy disappeared, and would return with a rage in his eyes.
62. Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings by Mary Jayne Baker, 2018
Miss Moonshine’s Wonderful Emporium has stood in the pretty Yorkshire town of Haven Bridge for as long as anyone can remember. With her ever-changing stock, Miss Moonshine has a rare gift for providing exactly what her customers need: a fire opal necklace that provides a glimpse of a different life; a novel whose phantom doodler casts a spell over the reader; a music box whose song links love affairs across the generations. One thing is for certain: after visiting Miss Moonshine’s quirky shop, life is never the same again.
63. A Summer of Secrets by Lorna Peel, 2018
Sophia Nelson returns to her hometown in Yorkshire, England to begin a new job as tour guide at Heaton Abbey House. There, she meets the reclusive Thomas, Baron Heaton, a lonely workaholic. Despite having a rule never to become involved with her boss, Sophia can’t deny how she finds him incredibly attractive.
64. The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman, 2019
Ponden Hall is a centuries-old house on the Yorkshire moors, a magical place full of stories. It’s also where Trudy Heaton grew up. And where she ran away from. Now, after the devastating loss of her husband, she is returning home with her young son, Will, who refuses to believe his father is dead. While Trudy tries to do her best for her son, she must also attempt to build bridges with her eccentric mother.
What do you think of these books set in Yorkshire?
Have you been to Yorkshire? Do you know some other great books set in Yorkshire that I’ve missed? Are you planning a trip to Yorkshire soon? I’d love to hear more about your own travels and tips for books set in Yorkshire in the comments below!
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