According to most experts, a historical novel is a novel which is set fifty or more years in the past, and one in which the author is writing from research rather than personal experience. Read on to see what's popular or critically acclaimed and to find lists of titles that reflect certain periods, places, or themes.
Lists "best new books."
See the home page, right column, for the top ten historical-fiction bestsellers. To expand the list, click on “Books” in the blue margin across the top, then click on “Top 20,” “Top 30,” and so on.
Overbooked--Historical Fiction Stars
Lists historical fiction and historical crime fiction receiving at least one starred review from Booklist, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, or Library Journal.
Some Place in Time: Suggestions for Reading Historical Fiction
Organizes recommendations by place and/or period.
Twenty Classic Historical Novels and Their Legacy
Lists and summarizes especially influential titles.
Historical Fiction Network—Books by Timeline
Orders historical fiction according to the time period it chronicles.
Indexes historical fiction by period, title, and author's name
Library Booklists--Historical Fiction/History
Provides booklists on a wide range of themes.
Library Thing--Tagmash Search
Searching a type of historical fiction by using the box in the upper righthand corner, next to "mash"--for example, "Egypt, historical, fiction"--is apt to bring up popular books of that type.
Overbooked—Themed Booklists - History
Provides booklists based mostly on a famous historic site or person.
Reader’s Advice—Historical Fiction
Provides booklists on a broad range of themes and periods.
Crime Thru Time
Click on “Timelines” for lists of historical mysteries ordered by the times of their plots, and on “Releases” for what's newly published.
The Detective and the Toga
Supplies plot summaries and cover art for mysteries set in ancient Rome.
Historical Mysteries with Women Sleuths
Gives setting and plot summary for each title.
Historical Mystery Bibliography
Classes selected historical mysteries by time and/or place.
Historical Mystery Fiction
Indexes historical mysteries both by author’s name and by period, giving the setting for each title.
A Medieval Quadrant: The Homepage of Renee Vink
Click on “Medieval Mystery Titles” for lengthy lists of mysteries set before and after 1300 or in exotic locales.
The Sibyl and Sleuth: Historical Mystery Fiction of Ancient Greece
Supplies cover art and an option to see titles broken down by era.
The Nautical Fiction List
Orders fiction, poetry, and drama of the sea by author's name, supplying brief plot summaries.
Town's End Books--20th Century Authors of Nautical Fiction
Indexes titles by author’s name, including brief plot summaries.
Ancient Egypt in Historical and Mainstream Fiction
Indexes over 1500 titles by a wide range of variables, such as genre and time period.
The Complete Review--Index of Real People in Works of Fiction
Indexes fictional works about real people, organized by their names.
Click on “Search Our Database” to find novels and short stories.
Historical Christian Fiction
An overview of mostly recent, popular Christian historical fiction. Produced by the Tulsa City-County Library.
Historical Women in Fiction
Categorizes novels by the names of their female subjects. Produced by the Akron-Summit County Library.
The ORB: On-line Reference Book for Medieval Studies--A List of Fiction for Students of History
Lists fiction set in ancient and medieval times, organized by place.
Indexes over 1000 titles by author, title, and publication date.
Arranges titles set in Rome mostly by time period of their plots.
If you would like to know more about historical fiction, email us through our Ask-A-Librarian service, call us at (410) 396-5484, or mail your questions to:
Enoch Pratt Free Library
State Library Resource Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201