See what I did there? #tbt has a double meaning… historical fiction plus the whole old-favorite-genre thing… I’ll stop now.
So, you may know* that I used to be a rabid historical fiction fan. I scoured Goodreads for books set in a few select eras that I adored adore. Historical fiction used to be my genre.
*or you may not, and well- now you do.
But, as time passed, I realized that most of the books I could find were either mediocre, middle grade*, or ebooks**, and not enough was coming out fast enough to satisfy my reading speed. I went through a short period of time where I read pretty much only nonfiction before a classics phase and then settling on YA- eventually starting Bookwise. Historical fiction was my first love, though, and so you probably see a few (cough The Historian cough) pop up on my Goodreads, or even here on the blog.
Because of the lack of good historical novels I found, I ended up reading a few authors and books over and over and over. It’s been a few years- and I wasn’t using Goodreads nearly as much as I do now- so I won’t by any means be able to discuss them all today, but I’ll try to have as many as I can!
Shadow on the Crown– the Emma of Normandy Trilogy
I’m still lowkey obsessed with the Anglo-Saxon and Danish cultures of the early 1000s, and have actually ended up adopting several aspects for one of my novels. Emma of Normandy was a pretty incredible person, too, considering the time- and I scoured the world for more books about her.
House of Bathory, The Bloodletter’s Daughter, The Shepherdess of Siena
Erzsebet Bathory… well, if you haven’t heard of her, she was equally (if not even more so) responsible for inspiring the Dracula myth, along with Vlad the Impaler. Combined with modern psychoanalysis and Jung’s Red Book. Anyway, the book wasn’t without its flaws, but the plot ended up getting me excessively interested in Old Bohemia and, later, leading me to my beloved The Historian.
The White Queen- Cousins’ War Series, The Other Boleyn Girl- The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, plus others.
Probably one of my favorite historical writers of all-time. I devoured the Cousins’ War series, watched the show for The White Queen, and currently am waiting for The White Princess at the library. I actually tried to write my own retelling of Elizabeth Woodville’s story, inspired by her novels. I read (and watched) Wolf Hall, found all of the books about the Plantagenet and Tudor dynasties and read them- you get my point. Philippa Gregory’s books sparked even more obsession for this time period.
The Royal Diaries
Eleanor, Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, Cleopatra VII, Daughter of the Nile, Anastasia, the Last Grand Duchess, Catherine, the Great Journey, and more
Definitely one of my favorite middle-grade series ever. I loved these books, reading about the concerns and desires and general everyday life of these historical figures- fictional though they may be. I grew up reading these books, but reread them when I was in the thick of my historical fiction phase.
The Summer Queen
Eleanor of Aquitaine was by far my favorite historical figure- which then, looking back, kinda explains why I love Olenna Tyrell so much.
So it was natural that I’d find and devour this one. This is probably up there with The White Queen in terms of quality historical fiction- both in terms of research and plot.
Catherine, Called Birdy
Adorable and hilarious, though anachronistic middle grade. I loved seeing the daily life and trouble that Birdy got up to, even though at fourteen in 1290, she’d probably be married already and unable to do anything about it.
You may have noticed that these have gotten shorter as I’ve gone on, mainly because at this point it is definitely not noon, as I said I’d have this finished by on Twitter.
Sorry about that.
In my defense, the internet’s been acting up all day, so… don’t kill me.
What favorite genres have you moved on from? Any favorite books you remember?