The Best List of Good Historical Fiction Books

historical fictionWhat is Historical Fiction?

When it comes to comparison, historical fiction is different than the mainstream fiction we have been reading all the time. For instance, take a look at the book shelves in the book stores. You will find one historical fiction for every ten books of different genres. This includes popular genres like fiction, fantasy, romance, science fiction, drama.

However, finding historical fiction is often a tough thing to do. Why is it? One common belief is that the historical fiction genre is more popular among historians, soldiers or people who have seen war or any such event that can be converted into a writing and the writers who prefer writing historical fiction are the people who witnessed or went through the tragedies of life in history.

Definition of Historical Fiction

But what exactly is historical fiction? Well, it is not hard to understand. For example; take a look at the definition of historical fiction below to have a proper understanding regarding what it is.

Historical fiction is the type of literary work which has content produced based on imagination as well as history. Historical fiction does not always have to be based on the facts.

Top 8 Must-Read Historical Fiction Books

Now that we have explained what historical fiction is, we are going to take a look at the best list of good historical fiction books for you to read from. We have compiled a list of the best of the bests so the readers have a good time picking up the books and reading them.

Property by Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin wrote Property back in 2003 and it is still one of the most devastatingly beautiful piece of literature you will ever read. The book is honest to the core and brings the slave plantation to life. The book takes place in 1830s and is narrated by Manon, a young woman who is stuck in marriage without love and compassion. She is married to a plantation owner who happens to be ill-mannered and coarse.

The book shows us how Manon decided to rebel against the marriage and goes on the road of self preservation and rediscovery, finding herself again through several acts of bravery.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace is written by Leo Tolstoy and is considered one of the greatest historical fictional ever written. The novel was based in 1869. The novel serves the purpose of chronicling the devastating impacts of Napoleonic wars on the five Russian patrician families. Leo Tolstoy beautifully implemented the technique of literary realism, the same technique he helped develop.Leo Tolstoy beautifully arouses the feeling of the entire world.

The entire narrative of War and Peace shifts between different characters and scenarios but that isn’t the point, the point is how Tolstoy made the transition so perfectly that it leaves you in awe. War and Peace is truly one of the best historical fictions you will ever read. Tolstoy marvelously used the fiction to get the harrowing and chaotic truth of war out in the open and into the words.

The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker

The Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker is one of my favourite trilogies ever written. The trilogy of novels show the story of William Rivers; a psychiatrist and his soaring treatment of numerous world war 1 soldiers. Apart from William Rivers, there are two more interesting characters named Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen; the two soldiers who are being treated at Craiglockhart war hospital that is situated near Edinburgh.

One of the best things about the Regeneration Trilogy is how Pat Barker successfully blended facts with pretense and that resulted in the creation of one of the best trilogies ever. The Regeneration trilogy is quite diverse since apart from war, there are a lot of things that are being talked about like; mental illness, homosexuality and creativity. The third book named ‘The Ghost Road’ won the Booker price in 1995.

The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald

The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald is her last novel that was published back in 1995 before she tragically passed in 2000. Fitzgerald enjoyed a life filled critical success with several amazing novels. The Blue Flower depicts the life of  Friederich von Hardenberg, a German patrician in 18th century, he also happens to be a romantic poet who goes by the name Novalis. The novel focuses around his love in his early 20s, the beautifully written character named  Sophie von Kühn.

The Blue Flower is brilliantly written and shifts beautifully through characters and the scenes and is considered as one of Fitzgerald’s finest work.

The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

The Leopard is Giuseppe’s only published novel that was published in 1958 after his death. The novel gracefully portrays a great patrician order in decline. The novel is actually based on his great grandfather, Giuseppe did a wonderful job at bringing modernist esthesia into the 19th century history by graphing the rambling gilded life of Prince Fabrizio (known as Leopard in the title)

Pure by Andrew Miller

Pure is another great novel in our list; written by Andrew Miller and Published in 2011. The novel takes us to pre-revolutionary and introduces us to a young engineer named Jean-Baptiste Baratte who is given an ungratifying job of monitoring the demolition of the church of Les Innocents as well as the clearing of the cemetery of the church. Apart from telling a story that has the power to tear a hole in your soul, the novel also represents a lot of other facets such as the ever lasting conflict between history and progress as well as remembering and forgetting.

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

The seventh addition in our list is Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín. The novel was published back in 2009 and is set 50 years back, considering we are talking about historical fictions. Brooklyn is Tóibín’s finest work as it portrays Eilis Lacey, an Irish girl who decides to leave her home and move to Brooklyn, America; the land of opportunities. Brooklyn shows how a Eilis suffered from immense excitement as well as desperate isolation. Colm Tóibín restrained himself to Eilis, this only helped making the entire novel feel so realistic and brilliantly written.

Romola by George Elliot

Another great addition to our list is Romola; written by none other than the great George Elliot who happens to be one of the greatest Victorian novelists. It can considered George Elliot’s maraud into historical fiction. Romola is an excellent historical fiction that centres around Renaissance Florence. The character in focus is  Tito Melema who is an Italian-Greek scholar turned into a calculating politician and his wife Romola.

The novel is filled with several vital figures of the time it is set it. these include; Machiavelli as well as Savonarola. Romola is a great piece of historical fiction for all the readers and specially who are well aware of George Elliot’s work.