Recommended Historical Fiction

This is the list for your recommendations of good fiction set in a time before the author was born --NOT any old book set in a time that's now past, nor books about modern people who happen to be researching past history! :-) Okay? (Also, let's NOT include alternate world scenarios --just settings in actual history.)
1

by
4.37 avg rating — 1,533,783 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
4.29 avg rating — 982,483 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
4.30 avg rating — 567,274 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
4.46 avg rating — 1,841,029 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
3.83 avg rating — 735,258 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
4.22 avg rating — 692,482 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
4.12 avg rating — 257,114 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
4.24 avg rating — 4,919 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9

by
4.01 avg rating — 488,418 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
4.05 avg rating — 422,851 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
3.39 avg rating — 625,893 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
4.10 avg rating — 1,549,286 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13

by
3.70 avg rating — 80,021 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
3.87 avg rating — 558,911 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
4.43 avg rating — 133,351 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
4.38 avg rating — 130,207 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17

by
4.15 avg rating — 510,297 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
4.07 avg rating — 244,828 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
19

by
4.48 avg rating — 130,488 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
4.25 avg rating — 169,109 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
4.03 avg rating — 204,898 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
4.10 avg rating — 230,900 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
4.17 avg rating — 476,062 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24

by
4.15 avg rating — 3,613 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
4.27 avg rating — 47,418 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
4.31 avg rating — 69,086 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
4.07 avg rating — 110,130 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28

by
4.18 avg rating — 26,685 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.11 avg rating — 40,136 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
30

by
4.11 avg rating — 162,871 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31

by
3.75 avg rating — 78,070 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32

by
4.30 avg rating — 19,374 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
4.06 avg rating — 646,413 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34

by
4.06 avg rating — 125,863 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35

by
3.92 avg rating — 142,285 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
36

by
4.25 avg rating — 58,512 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
4.41 avg rating — 17,982 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
3.86 avg rating — 134,376 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
4.20 avg rating — 66,446 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
4.08 avg rating — 87,917 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
41

by
3.63 avg rating — 36,410 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
42

by
3.98 avg rating — 122,862 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
4.23 avg rating — 36,209 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44

by
4.02 avg rating — 266,277 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
3.85 avg rating — 99,354 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
3.65 avg rating — 333 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47

by
3.23 avg rating — 81,246 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
48

by
4.10 avg rating — 17,983 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
49

by
4.32 avg rating — 246,403 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
4.08 avg rating — 7,564 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
51

by
4.12 avg rating — 175,072 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
4.21 avg rating — 21,750 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
53

by
4.20 avg rating — 7,647 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
4.07 avg rating — 72,293 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
3.85 avg rating — 205,078 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
56

by
4.08 avg rating — 32,860 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
4.30 avg rating — 36,090 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
58

by
4.12 avg rating — 20,560 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
3.80 avg rating — 274,025 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
4.28 avg rating — 225,429 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
61

by
3.79 avg rating — 54,055 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
4.07 avg rating — 61,626 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
63

by
4.29 avg rating — 33,413 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
64

by
3.88 avg rating — 34,051 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
3.90 avg rating — 56,217 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.99 avg rating — 66,914 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
67

by
4.20 avg rating — 6,719 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
68

by
4.01 avg rating — 14,282 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
69

by
4.33 avg rating — 29,761 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
70

by
4.41 avg rating — 24,423 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
71

by
3.84 avg rating — 64 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.88 avg rating — 64,926 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
73

by
4.14 avg rating — 11,686 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
3.99 avg rating — 28,296 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75

by
3.99 avg rating — 151,843 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
76

by
4.22 avg rating — 10,964 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
77

by
4.17 avg rating — 20,439 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
78

by
4.02 avg rating — 88,413 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
4.28 avg rating — 7,563 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80

by
3.94 avg rating — 20,132 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
81

by
3.87 avg rating — 42,843 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
82

by
3.63 avg rating — 64,353 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
4.02 avg rating — 5,499 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
84

by
4.33 avg rating — 764,554 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
4.03 avg rating — 22,519 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
86

by
4.01 avg rating — 118,990 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
4.06 avg rating — 317,131 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
88

by
4.15 avg rating — 23,101 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
89

by
4.29 avg rating — 25,190 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
90

by
4.23 avg rating — 290,377 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
4.25 avg rating — 24,250 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
92

by
3.87 avg rating — 9,823 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
93

by
3.77 avg rating — 22,117 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
94

by
4.27 avg rating — 12,522 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95

by
3.86 avg rating — 76,223 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
96

by
4.01 avg rating — 6,124 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
4.46 avg rating — 3,665 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
98

by
3.67 avg rating — 150,362 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
99

by
4.27 avg rating — 57,330 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
100

by
3.80 avg rating — 26,984 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
2,726 books · 3,005 voters · list created January 18th, 2009 by Werner (votes) .
302 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Werner 1900 books
157 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3090 books
800 friends
Bettie☯ 15063 books
117 friends
Cheryl Niepomnik 651 books
62 friends
Lars 1114 books
62 friends
Anam 620 books
3 friends
Laura 11208 books
270 friends
Hanna 7023 books
80 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 57 (57 new)


message 1: by Seth (new)

Seth Several of these don't seem to fit the requirement of "set before the author was born." Should some librarian go through and prune, or just live with it?


message 2: by Werner (new)

Werner Seth, I'm the list's creator/moderator (and also a Goodreads librarian); but because of limited time, I don't monitor it as closely as I probably should, and I also haven't read a number of the listed books, so can't make that kind of call in most of those cases. I'll give it a going-over now, and delete anything I see that shouldn't be there; but maybe any other librarians who read this will want to help, too? Thanks for letting us know about the problem!


message 3: by Seth (new)

Seth I'm happy to note any books that don't seem right (1984 by Orwell springs to mind... certainly not *historical* to him!). I'm a librarian as well but I don't want to go removing people's votes from a list without either consensus or the list creator approving.


message 4: by Werner (last edited Jun 21, 2010 05:01PM) (new)

Werner Yes, 1984 was one of the five books I just deleted. I jotted down four more titles with 20th- century settings that are "iffy," but I'll need to check the author's birthdates; and I'll be leaving on vacation tomorrow for a week, so can't do that until I return. In the meantime, Seth, you have my permission to remove anything that you know was set in the author's own time; I created this list for genuine historical fiction, in the genre sense!


message 5: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jun 22, 2010 10:41AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Ones that are not historical fiction, in my view:

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (set in 1860s and 70s, LMA was born in 1832)
Fatherland, by Robert Harris (I am very dubious. Hitler wasn't still Fuhrer in our 1961.)
What is the What? by Dave Eggers (set in very recent Sudan)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Set, I believe, in the 1850s, when Mr. Twain was a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi.)


message 6: by Werner (new)

Werner Susanna, thanks for your helpful feedback! (And sorry I took so long to respond; you posted on the day I left on vacation, and I haven't been back long.) Someone else must have deleted the Eggers book, and I evidently got Little Women when I went through the list last week; but I can't believe I missed Huckleberry Finn! I've just deleted that one, and the Harris book as well.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Little Women is still there, I see, so I'll just remove it.


message 8: by Werner (new)

Werner Thanks, Susanna! I've now missed it twice; mea culpa. :-)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Is Am I Not A Man? The Dred Scott Story history, or historical fiction? It looks like history to me from the description, but I haven't read it.


message 10: by Werner (new)

Werner Susanna, I have the same question, but I haven't read it either. I'll do some more checking on that!


message 11: by Werner (new)

Werner Susanna, the Library of Congress' assigned subject headings for the Shurtleff book identify it as fiction, and so does the catalog record for it in World Catalog. So I'd say that it does belong here.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads OK - I honestly couldn't tell from the description! Thanks.


message 13: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Mar 10, 2011 09:02AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I didn't think The Jungle was historical fiction; didn't Sinclair set that novel in his own time?

ETA: Northanger Abbey is historical fiction??


message 14: by Werner (new)

Werner No, Susanna, neither of those are historical fiction! I haven't checked over this list lately; I see I need to do that ASAP. Since I posted clear guidelines at the top, when I created the list, for what goes on it and what doesn't, I never expected a problem; but I guess not everybody actually reads that part. (Sigh!)


message 15: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Mar 10, 2011 09:23AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I'm just shocked Twilight hasn't crept on.


message 16: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Susanna wrote: "I'm just shocked Twilight hasn't crept on."

It will eventually :p


message 17: by Werner (new)

Werner Well, I'm a Twilight series fan myself; but if anyone tries to claim it's historical fiction and puts it on here, either of us that catches it can delete it on sight! :-) Okay, I've deleted the two books you spotted, as well as What Is the What and Elie Wiesel's Night. (I didn't check the last two pages this time, but hopefully they're free of any anomalies.) I'll try to do a more thorough check later.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It's like weeding a garden.


message 19: by Werner (new)

Werner Very true! :-)


message 20: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Mar 10, 2011 10:27AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I think I also saw North and South by Mrs. Gaskell on here; I am dubious about that one as well. Written in 1855; set, I think, a little earlier than that (like a lot of Dickens), but within the author's lifetime (b. 1810). (The same reason I didn't vote for Vanity Fair, a superb novel.)


message 21: by Werner (new)

Werner Thanks, Susanna! I'll be on the lookout for those two.


message 22: by Werner (new)

Werner Susanna, I've checked over the rest of the list, and Vanity Fair was apparently deleted already. North and South is on here; but it turns out to be the one by John Jakes (set during the Civil War), not the one with the same title by Mrs. Gaskell. So, we're in good shape for the moment!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Alrighty then!


message 24: by Werner (new)

Werner No presumption at all --that's clearly not historical fiction in the sense that we're concerned with here! Thanks, Myles.


message 25: by Bill (new)

Bill Whitaker FYI, Gaskell's North and South is back in, along with Jakes's.


message 26: by Werner (new)

Werner Thanks for the heads-up, Bill. I've just tracked it down and deleted it --again. (Sigh!) It's a never-ending job.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

I just spotted The Hunger Games number 343 which needs to be deleted.


message 28: by Werner (new)

Werner Done! Thanks for catching that, Alice.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Werner wrote: "Done! Thanks for catching that, Alice."

I was going down the list last night to see what I missed.


message 30: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jan 24, 2013 01:26PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I see Pride and Prejudice has crept on (currently #51). Miss Austen was writing about her own time. You want me to delete it, Werner?

ETA: Also, Seabiscuit (#69) is non-fiction. As is John Paul Jones: Finding the Forgotten Patriot (#177).

Little Women is back, at #96.


message 31: by Werner (new)

Werner Yes, Susanna, you can delete all four of those! Thanks for your help; it's much appreciated. (Tending to these lists is like keeping a garden weeded; it's a never-ending task!)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads No problem.

I just noticed that All Quiet on the Western Front is at #139.


message 33: by Werner (new)

Werner Thanks for catching that, Susanna! I just deleted that one, too.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads What about To Kill a Mockingbird, which is in the 360s?


message 35: by Werner (last edited Feb 07, 2013 11:18AM) (new)

Werner That's not historical fiction either; Harper Lee was born in 1926, and sets the novel in the mid-1930s, when she was about Scout's age. I'll delete that one too, Susanna, thanks for catching it!


message 36: by Peter (new)

Peter Lahaderne How on Earth is the entire Saxon Stories series by Bernard Cornwell on this list, but none of the Sharpe series?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You could add them; it's easy to add books to lists. At the top of the list, at the tab next to "all votes."


message 38: by Werner (new)

Werner Yes, Peter, by all means add the Sharpe series, if you've read the books and can recommend them! My guess is that whoever added the Saxon series hadn't read the Sharpe books --I haven't either, though I've seen and really liked a couple of the adaptations on DVD. (I do have the first three books of yet another Cornwell series, his Starbuck Chronicles, on my to-read shelf; they were a gift from my son-in-law.)


message 39: by Ankit (new)

Ankit Agrawal I am a great fan of historical fiction. Its my favorite genre along with family saga's. Glad I found this list. It would be my pleasure to contribute to this list and learn from it as well.

Werner and Susanna, you two seem to be doing a great. I would like to help as well.


message 40: by Ankit (new)

Ankit Agrawal I was quite surprised not to see Kane and Abel on the list. So I added that. Its one of my favorites of all time.


message 41: by Werner (new)

Werner Thanks for the encouragement, Ankit! Yes, by all means add any good historical fiction you've read that you'd like to recommend to others; that's how this list (and other lists on here) get built up. (You don't need anybody's permission to add books to a Goodreads list. :-) )


message 42: by Mary (new)

Mary Beth Misfit wrote: "Susanna wrote: "I'm just shocked Twilight hasn't crept on."

It will eventually :p"


That is hilarious, but sadly true!


message 43: by Jeannie (new)

Jeannie Hudson Someone who's read THE RED TENT, what did you think?


message 44: by Jeannie (new)

Jeannie Hudson Jeannie HudsonJeannie Hudson

This my own historical suspense. One of the best! No
kidding. I have the reviews to prove it.


message 45: by Jeannie (new)

Jeannie Hudson Someone who's read THE RED TENT, what did you think?


message 46: by Werner (new)

Werner Jeannie, if you think your book(s) should be on this list, go ahead and add it. Any member of Goodreads can add books to lists, as well as vote for ones that are already here.

I've never read The Red Tent, though it's been recommended to me. But hopefully some of the other people who've commented on this list have!


message 47: by Jeannie (new)

Jeannie Hudson Thanks, Werner. I appreciate your comments.


message 49: by blueemerald (new)

blueemerald Hello~
Wanted to mention a revised reading list that folks might enjoy. It is a Historical Fiction Series list. It is lengthy and well organized into various sections (military, nautical, ancient world, family saga, set in Europe....).

I'm putting this link out there with enthusiastic hopes that someone(s) will discover a new series to dive into!

http://1mpages.com/HistoricalFiction....


message 50: by Mitch (new)

Mitch McCrimmon I scrolled through the first 500 on this list, surprised not to find anything by Susanna Gregory (two great historical series - one set in the mid 1300's in Cambridge, England and another series during restoration England) or Paul Doherty (loved his series set around 1300 featuring crime fighter working for the king, Hugh Corbett)


« previous 1
back to top



Future GPX Cyber Formula Sin Episode 1 English Subbed | Deadpool 2016 2160p UHD BluRay HEVC TrueHD7 1-OMFUG | Splatter (41)