Best Books About Charleston, South Carolina

Weather you live here in the Lowcountry or are planning a trip to Charleston you probably already know that the city is steeped in a rich history of of world events, beautiful architecture and pivotal moments in the birth of our Nation. From hidden gardens and haunted houses to murder mysteries and love stories, we have rounded up the must read list of books about Charleston, SC. Our list includes novels, tour guides, history books and some funny stories. The list is also perfect if you need to send someone a gift!

A Short History of Charleston

We will make it easy, start here with this primer from Robert Rosen. The author highlights the last 350 years from Colonial times to present day. It’s perfect to dip your feet into the history of this beautiful place we call home.

Historic Charleston and the Lowcountry

This beautiful hardbound book by Steve Gross and Susan Daley is rich with photography of historic homes, enchanted gardens and beautiful architecture of the Lowcountry.

Hidden History of Old Charleston

If you want to send a book as a gift, let it be this one! One of my favorite books on the list it covers more of the lesser known and exciting things that have happened here in Charleston. Local author Margaret M.R. Eastman has written a few books about Charleston and her local knowledge shines through in this fun read.

Charleston: A Historic Walking Tour

I am sure you have seen this book or one like it in any gift shop or museum lobby through out the country. The faded color front jacket gives it away. However, it’s still a valuable book and good read. I know the city well, but I was even surprised as to some of the history it uncovered. Another one you can use as a gift.

Very Charleston: A Celebration of History, Culture, and Lowcountry Charm

While taking a stroll down the endless cobblestone streets, you’ll find historic homes in near-perfect condition. Follow the intricate wrought-iron gates and you’ll be met with sweet smelling gardens. If you look up, Charleston’s skyline is picturesque with steeples reaching for the sky. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a river harbor bustling with schooners and sailboats!

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Charleston’s Germans: An Enduring Legacy

Through this detailed account, readers will explore the challenges faced by German immigrant families in nineteenth century America as they learned to navigate a Southern culture largely controlled by wealthy slave owners in Charleston. Jones explains how locals in Charleston interacted with the German community up until WWI, WWII, and reconstruction. The author describes how sentiment changed over time as anti-Germanic feelings mounted during the early 1900s.

Lost Charleston

Charleston’s Architectural and Cultural Losses documents the city’s greatest architectural landmarks and cultural institutions that have been lost from 1861 to 2018.

Charleston has not only witnessed a destructive civil war, but also fires, hurricanes and earthquakes in the last 200 years. Some of the most significant losses suffered by the city were from the 1861 Great Fire, which burned many ante-bellum buildings.

Charleston is a city rich in history, and this book captures the essence of what Charleston was like from the beginning of the photographic era. It includes pictures of long-gone markets, mansions, hotels, churches, and businesses that time has forgotten.

Charleston Then and Now

Charleston has changed a lot since 1670. In this book, you’ll find important text and photographs that show Charleston’s prosperous bustling seaport. You’ll be able to get an up close look at the mansions back then and what they look like today. Come along as you are literally walked throughout the history of a town that has a colorful history and how the beautiful city compares today. Charleston Then and Now is a book worth reading and checking out for yourself. This book was chosen because there is so much history from the start of Charleston until now and that needs to be celebrated! 

Charleston! Charleston!

If you’ve ever been curious about the history of Charleson, then this book Charleston! Charleston!, is one worth reading. This book traces the history of the city from the start until now. It discusses the unique qualities of the city and how the people and businesses have shaped the city into who it is today! This book was chosen because of the rich history discussed in this book. 

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A Gullah Guide to Charleston

The really cool thing about A Gullah Guide to Charleston is that it’s written by Alphonso Brown. He is a licensed tour guide for the City of Charleston and owns and operates Gullah Tours. As you read this book and go on a tour, you’ll be guided through black history in the town. You’ll find that Mr. Brown knows a lot about Charlreston and the history that has happened here. This book was chosen because of its living history of the town of Charleston! 

A History Lover’s Guide to Charleston

It’s no secret that there is a lot of history in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. Everyone also knows that this is one of the oldest cities in the USA. A History Lover’s Guide to Charleston has been chosen because you can walk through history with this book. You’ll be able to explore the city, learn about pivotal events, and learn from historian and author Christopher Byrd Downey.

Hidden History of Civil War Charleston

If there’s one thing to be said, it’s that there is a lot of Civil War history in the city of Charleston. This book called the Hidden History of Civil War Charleston will wow all who read it. It’s chosen because Author Margaret Middleton Rivers Eastman talks about the Civil War stories that all took place in this great city. This book will also tell you about the lives of Amarinthia Yates Snowden, William Richard Catheart, and Tom Lockwood (all real life characters of that time period). 

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