Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast
HomeCultureBooksMeet the Author

Sarah Ferguson: Books that changed my life


14th Sep 2021 Meet the Author

Sarah Ferguson: Books that changed my life

The Duchess of York is the author of two historical non-fiction books and shares the books that changed her

The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki  

Accidental Empress cover

The Accidental Empress takes you on a journey back to 1853, where the Habsburgs are Europe’s most powerful ruling family. Emperor Franz Joseph is young, rich and has an empire stretching across Europe. However, this is not a story about his military missions but rather missions of the heart.

When fifteen-year-old Elisabeth “Sisi”, Duchess of Bavaria travels to the Habsburg Court, she is there to assist her older sister who is due to marry Franz. After spending more time around the young Emperor, it is Sisi who has won his heart. Going back on his earlier proposal, Franz declares his love for Sisi and the two are soon married.

The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander series

The eight-book Outlander series is the perfect mix of historical, romance and fantasy fiction. Think  eighteenth century Downton Abbey meets Doctor Who!

Claire, a nurse in the Second World War, accidentally travels back in time and ends up trying to change the course of history. On her action-packed journey she meets Jamie, a man who has faced unbelievable challenges to protect his family.

Diana Gabaldon transports readers to the Culloden Battle of  1746. Amongst the chaos and brutality of war, Gabaldon also paints a heartwarming picture of love as feelings between Claire and Jamie deepen.

Kingsbridge trilogy by Ken Follett

Ken Follet's Kingbridge trilogy

Set in the city of Kingsbridge, Follett brings his rich historical expertise to this immersive saga—full of captivating characters as they navigate their way through ambition, love and conflict.

The first story centres on the struggles of Prior Phillip and his mason-turned-architect Tom as they attempt to build the greatest gothic cathedral in the medieval world. The characters that Follett weaves are what makes this series so epic. Readers meet villains and heroes, each with their own complex strengths and weaknesses. 

You may want to cancel your plans for the day as you read this page-turning series that is absorbing from start to finish.

Heart for a Compass book cover

Sarah Ferguson's debut novel, Her Heart for a Compass, is published by Mills & Boon in hardback, eBook and audiobook

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter

*This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.


This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit