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Genre: Fiction

Historical Fiction
Key Authors:


Ken Follett

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Ken Follett is known for riveting tales that focus on well-researched backgrounds, present engaging characters, and offer intriguing and cinematic storylines. In his Historical novels the pacing is compelling but relaxed. Follett's writing is conversational, replete with appropriate military, scientific, and financial jargon, and his carefully researched historical events add to the sense of authenticity reader’s prize in his writing. Start with: Eye of the Needle.

Diana Gabaldon

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Diana Gabaldon's creates robust combinations of Time Travel Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Romance with Scotland as her vividly realized setting of choice, from the mid-18th-century to post WWI. Gabaldon sweeps readers along with brisk prose in character-driven stories. Start with: Outlander.

Susan Vreeland

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In novels and short stories Susan Vreeland combines history, social history, and biography and offers fascinating glimpses into the world of art and artists. Each well-researched title unfolds at a leisurely pace, adding insights into the philosophy that drives the artist. Start with The Girl in Hyacinth Blue.

Jeff Shaara

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Fans of character-centered Historical Fiction and stories that focus on major military events will enjoy Jeff Shaara's detail-rich, insightful dramas. He explores political and military issues as well as the influence of the characters on events, whether generals, politicians, or common men. Readers are pulled into the stories and the plight of the characters as Shaara exposes the thoughts, fears, and hesitations of these heroes. Start with: Rise to Rebellion.

Barbara Kingsolver

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Barbara Kingsolver's evocative prose appeals to readers of fiction and nonfiction, whether they are looking for strong-willed characters, fascinating stories, or lucid observations on the natural world. Her fiction features strong women who carve out places for themselves in new communities. She enjoys exploring how humans can live in both harmony and conflict with nature, treating all with a conversational warmth and gentle humor. Start with: The Bean Trees.

Titles to Try:

The Killer Angels- Michael Shaara

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A gripping novel about the four days of the battle of Gettysburg.  Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet tell the Southern view of the battle at Gettysburg while Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and General John Buford present the Northern view.

The Doomsday Book- Connie Willis

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A crisis linking the past and future, strands an Oxford student in the most dangerous year of the Middle Ages.

Water for Elephants- Sara Gruen
 
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Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. There he meets the freaks, grifters, and misfits that populate this world. Beautifully written, with a luminous sense of time and place, Water for elephants tells of love in a world in which love's a luxury few can afford.

Alaska- James A. Michener

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The prehistory of Alaska does not seem to prepare it for the changes beginning in the 18th century when traders and hunters began to take its resources.

Lionheart   – Sharon Kay Penman

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Richard, the second surviving son of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine, inherits the throne from his brother, before embarking on the Third Crusade, a conflict that is complicated by the schemes of his usurping brother, John.

Historical Fiction Websites - These websites include information about Historical Fiction novels, authors, reviews of books, and other information specifically for the Historical Fiction reader.

A Few thoughts on Historical Fiction

Quotes and links all relating to Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction Network

Information on Authors and books in the historical fiction genre.  

Historical Novel Society

Reviews and information on historical novels.  

Of Ages Past

Recommended reads, articles, and additional information for fans of historical fiction.  

Historical Fiction.com

Reviews of Historical Fiction

Historical Novels

Reviews and information on historical novels, broken into each historical era.

Historical Fiction Newsletters- If you are interested in receiving historical fiction news directly in your email inbox, sign up for one of the following newsletters.

Historical Novel Society

Newsletter from Historical Novel Society. Has reviews and additional information.

Historical Fiction Awards- for more information on award winners, visit the MCLS Book Awards Page (coming soon).

Scott O’Dell Award

The Scott O’Dell award is given annually for a book written for children or young adults that focuses on Historical Fiction.

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