256,845 ratings —
Here’s your all-access pass into the ultimate historical fiction guide: revisionist history, speculative history, and good old-fashioned historical fiction can all be found here, spanning Biblical Ages through to the early new Millennium. 519,927 ratings — Instead of putting together a list of the 223,546 best historical fiction books, I opted instead for adult historical fiction showstoppers that present a wide array of time periods, places, characters, and more.
He does this as well in his most recent novel, Munich. It's jaw-droppingly good. published 1997, avg rating 4.07 —
It remains one of my touchstone novels.
updated Mar 29, 2010 04:33PM — It sets the bar for the way in which historical fiction, grounded in research and vivified by imagination, can enter a historical debate and makes a reasoned, clear-sighted argument. published 2017, avg rating 4.33 — E.L. Doctorow Sherman's March to the Sea near the end of the American Civil War, told through a large and diverse cast of characters. published 1999, avg rating 3.88 — 1949 Finnish novel that was the bestselling foreign novel in the US until 1983. And what does that mean for us, now? published 1989, avg rating 4.12 —
Buy The Mirror and the Light: Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020 (The Wolf Hall Trilogy) 0…
Whittling all historical fiction books into one manageable list is impossible, truly. With a deliciously complicated plot and villains who are on the one hand, really bad, and on the other, really charming, this novel reads like a romp, while at the same time raising serious questions about feminine power and vulnerability—and the deceptions both create.
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published 2001, avg rating 3.87 — Esi EdugyanHighly original story of an interracial jazz band in Berlin and Paris during the early days of World War II.
As the narrator grows closer to Sophie, the novel asks the question I return to over and over: How do we bear the pasts of others once we begin to imagine them? A fictionalized autobiography of the Roman emperor Claudius. It’s centered around the silent, brooding body of a burned English patient as he recuperates in a villa in Italy in 1945 at the end of the war. 138,060 ratings — Hilary MantelBooker Prize winner documenting Thomas Cromwell's rise to power in the court of King Henry VIII. Welcome back. Error rating book. Historical fiction presents a story set in the past, often during a significant time period. published 2007, avg rating 4.27 — This graphic novel does just that, showing the palimpsest of history, and how a place holds the people and the dramas played out upon it, ghosting the landscape.
461,425 ratings — The delight of great historical fiction is the journey backward into a fully realized world, a specific time and place—the best of it working like the Wardrobe into Narnia, a kind of magic of imagination. Umberto EcoA highly-literary murder mystery set in a 14th century Italian monastery.
As I grew from a reader into a writer, I found myself writing that sort of novel and poising those types of questions. Elizabeth Kostova An interweaving of the stories of Vlad the Impaler, Count Dracula, and a 1930s search for Vlad's tomb. A Victorian and a modern novel, a love story and a story overtly questioning the possibility of love within a culture that casts women either as angels or whores, this novel satisfies a longing for a good dive into Victorian fiction, and shows the mechanics of questioning the past by means of recreating it. Weaving actual historical characters with fictional ones, this novel is another war novel that takes place off the battlefield, but shows the conflicts of conscience central to creating warriors.
50 Essential Historical Fiction Books. The Pillars of the Earth book. Lawrence Hill An 18th century woman journeys from freedom in Africa, to slavery in the US, and back to freedom again.
266,412 ratings — ResponsiveHelper.init(isResponsive, isStaticPage, host, url, true); 1,150,125 ratings —
published 2010, avg rating 4.25 — 244,331 ratings — Ken Follett Intrigue surrounds the construction of a cathedral in 12th century England.
At the heart of the story is a poison book—a delicious dare to all who enter it.
Leo TolstoyTolstoy's epic masterpiece depicting the French invasion of Russia during the Napoleonic era. 300,474 ratings — 1,073,923 ratings — published 2003, avg rating 4.15 — This novel is spare and small and mighty, capturing the household of the Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer in the 1600s and imagining the life of the anonymous girl who was his model. Tóibín is a writer who can imagine his way into any corner—of the mind, of a period, or of a point of view. I return to this novel over and over because of its evocative power of place. It shows us a past both active and alive, full of human beings being.
For the actions and experiences of fictional characters, some will say the only limitation is the author's imagination but for non-fictional events and people, the story must stay true to the historical record.
published 2008, avg rating 4.28 — published 2017, avg rating 4.37 — The first in Barker's amazing World War I trilogy, Regeneration dives straight into the moral minefield of how civilizations treat their soldiers' battered minds. At the heart of it is the deep unknowability (and loneliness) of the truth of the past. published 2012, avg rating 4.15 — Arthur Golden The fictional memoir of a geisha, from age nine to adulthood, in pre- and post WWII Japan. Hilary MantelSequel to Wolf Hall, chronicling Cromwell's machinations to rid Henry VIII of Anne Boleyn. I felt like I was reading through hearing between the lines of a time and place.
published 2006, avg rating 4.35 — Read 31 152 reviews from the world's largest comm… published 2016, avg rating 4.16 —
Moving back and forth, our American past and present run literally and figuratively underground and together on the same tracks. 696,041 ratings — Martins, Kim. Geraldine BrooksWinner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize, retells Little Women from the perspective of the absent Mr. March. 339,260 ratings —
published 2001, avg rating 4.08 —
published 2014, avg rating 4.23 —
Shusaku Endo The story of a Portugese Jesuit missionary's persecution in 17th century Japan. published 2006, avg rating 4.25 — Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Sarah Waters An evocative story of London during WWII, told in reverse chronological order.
Byatt's literary and historical ventriloquism is completely inspiring.
Cathy Marie BuchananThe model for Edgar Degas' Little Dancer Aged Fourteen is brought vividly to life. 212,714 ratings — A feast of complicated plotting, Eco's genius is to give us a novel that plays off the nexus of sex and silence, ritual and religion that is the contemporary stereotype of a medieval monastery, creating an unputdownable murder mystery by dint of immense scholarship and a fantastic imagination.
The books listed below include examples of historical fiction by the strictest of definitions, as well as those that fudge the rules a bit - or a lot. Submitted by Kim Martins, published on 02 April 2020 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Tóibín brings to new life the mysterious alchemy at the base of creative genius: a man, a writer, and the work that grows from the struggles between those two. It shows us a past both active and alive, full of human beings being. 197,893 ratings —
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Willa CatherTwo priests travel 1851 New Mexico in the wake of the Mexican-American War. Sigrid Undset 1928 Nobel Prize-winning trilogy depicting Norwegian life in the Middle Ages.
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