Also, I would recommend a book I read recently called "First Light" - an auto-biography of sorts by Geoffry Wellum. The book is based on the true experiences of Wellum's life throughout WWII as a Spitfire pilot, taken from his training, through the Battle of Britain, and eventually to Malta...
I recommend this book to everyone - aircraft lovers & history buffs especially! His writing is captivating and rich - a must read in my oppinion, even if not (yet) recognised as a great national book.
Otherwise look at Dickens, maybe some poets such as Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats, etc. All from the UK.
N.B. All the above just IMHO!