About C. P. Lesley

C. P. Lesley is the author of ten novels, including Legends of the Five Directions, a historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible. Her next book, Song of the Sisters, will appear in January 2021.
C. P. Lesley, Host, New Books in Historical Fiction
C. P.'s website

NBN Episodes hosted by C. P.:

Historical Fiction November 4, 2020

Beyond the Ghetto Gates

Michelle Cameron

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
The intense interest in the horrors of World War II that has characterized the last few years has tended to overshadow other aspects of the long history of Jewish populations in Europe and the antisemitism that often—although not invariably—complicated that history. Michelle Cameron’s new novel, Beyond the Ghetto Gates (She Writes Press, 2020), explores one little-known episode of that past: the effect of Napoleon’s invasion of 1796–97 on the Italian …
Historical Fiction October 6, 2020

Midnight Fire

P. K. Adams

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
Most novels about the sixteenth century written in English take place in Italy, France, or England—with the occasional foray into Spain or Portugal. P. K. Adams’ Jagiellonian Mystery series is …
Historical Fiction September 24, 2020


Linda Stewart Henley

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
Most people think of Edgar Degas as a French painter of ballerinas. But few have heard that his mother came from New Orleans or that he spent five months in …
Historical Fiction August 26, 2020

The Woman before Wallis

A Novel of Windsors, Vanderbilts, and Royal Scandal

Bryn Turnbull

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
Most modern Americans can identify the names Wallace Simpson and Gloria Vanderbilt. But Simpson was not the first divorced American to win the heart of Great Britain’s future if short-reigned …
Historical Fiction August 6, 2020

The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne

Elsa Hart

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
Lady Cecily Kay has just returned to England when she encounters Sir Barnaby Mayne. It’s 1703, Queen Anne is on the throne, and London’s coffee houses are buzzing with discussions …
Historical Fiction July 30, 2020

The Road to Gesualdo

Erika Rummel

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
The Italian Renaissance introduced—or reintroduced—many valuable concepts to society and culture, giving rise eventually to our modern world. But it was also a time of fierce political infighting, social inequality …
Historical Fiction June 19, 2020

The Library of Legends

Janie Chang

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
Perhaps in anticipation of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the armistice, or just the reality that the last survivors will not be with us much longer, World War II has dominated …
Performing Arts May 12, 2020

Ballet Class

An American History

Melissa R. Klapper

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
For much of the last century, ballet class has been a rite of passage for millions of little girls in the United States. Some of these students have gone on …
Historical Fiction May 6, 2020

The Other Bennet Sister

Janice Hadlow

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
It is well known that the novels of Jane Austen (1775–1817), which enjoyed at best a modest success during her lifetime, have become ever more popular in the last fifty …
Art April 13, 2020

The Pelton Papers

Mari Coates

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
Like the better-known and perhaps luckier Georgia O’Keeffe, the American painter Agnes Pelton also found her unique vision in the western desert. As Mari Coates details in our conversation, Pelton …
Historical Fiction March 12, 2020

An Heiress to Remember

The Gilded Age Girls Club

Maya Rodale

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
As Maya Rodale notes early in this interview, romance novels tend not to get the same respect as other categories of fiction, historical or otherwise. Here, and in her Dangerous …
Fantasy February 20, 2020

Girl of Fire

Gabrielle Mathieu

Hosted by C. P. Lesley
In the fantasy medieval land of Trea—a conservative society that despite its worship of the goddess Amur respects her human daughters only as wives and mothers—eighteen-year-old Berona has limited expectations …