Historical Fiction Books

Brancaleone, Italy



Pope Leo XIII is another warrior in the fight for the people’s rights. He successfully fought off the mafia’s stranglehold on the country and worked tirelessly against class injustices. With his niece set to marry Peppino, the novel offers a unique glimpse into the personal life of an often solitary figure, whom millions adore but only a handful really know.


Ultimately a story of good versus evil, religion versus God, and hypocrisy versus righteousness, Peppino examines history through the lens of the personal. Through his novel, Coleman offers readers a human story with breathtaking scope.

baroness of Bologna

      Ippolita Bologna 

When I first saw this picture hanging on a wall in Italy I thought she looked like a sad and misunderstood woman...and an interesting subject for a book. Plus, look at the subdued character on that face.

The Setting: Brancaleone, Italy

These pictures provided the inspiration for the story.

Seth Coleman’s Peppino introduces readers to a young Italian boy who is destined for greatness but first must overcome grave obstacles in order to fulfill his potential. Born in nineteenth-century southern Italy, Peppino is the son of the baroness of Bologna. A member of the famous Medici family, one of the most prominent families in European history, the baroness expects her son to claim his role of baron and accept his rightful place among the aristocracy. However, the precocious Peppino rebels against his upper-class position, setting off on his own to fight for the common people.


Also fighting for the rights of commoners is Nicola, a Christian peasant man who risks his life in order to lead a rebellion against the injustices of the Church and—more specifically—the local monsignor, who has ambitions of his own. The aristocracy and religious institutions have long withheld education from the masses as a way to keep them under control and enjoy absolute rule. Tired of this forced servitude and involuntary ignorance, Nicola is determined to change the tide of history. With his friend Abramo, a Hassidic Jewish peasant, acting as Nicola’s second-in-command, the rebels unite under the one God who rules above all religions. Suddenly, anything seems possible.

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By Seth Coleman

Pope Leo XIII

Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci


 Peppino & Friends

 This old photo was one of the inspirations for the novel. I do not know who the two men are that are above Peppino, but  in my author's mind they became Nicola and Abramo. 

"...Coleman...jumps quickly from one action-packed event to another in fast- paced storytelling that's highly enjoyable."

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