Parting Thoughts

Historical Fiction: Engaging History

Posted 1 March 2016

Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres to read, listen to, or watch. I am drawn to history to understand how the world got to be the way it is.

Most non-fiction history books, however, are too dry to hold my interest. (There are some notable exceptions, which I’ll list in a future post — what I call “readable history”.)

One of the things you get from good historical fiction that is rarely found in non-fiction is a deep, emotional sense of what it was like to live in those times, and in those roles. Taking advantage of the artistic license that fiction allows, historical fiction can convey rich stories and deep personalities that are representative of the true events and characters.

In most cases, details such as private conversations are not available to non-fiction history, but this dialog brings stories to life. We are at the mercy of the authors, alas, to restrain their creative impulses from introducing too many inaccuracies.

Historical Fiction is a vast genre, covering many periods of time. I will follow this post with a series of posts on historical fiction I’ve enjoyed, initially focusing on great historical fiction about the World Wars and then moving on to other periods of time.

For an extensive listing of historical fiction from all eras, see and Goodreads.