CHECK IT OUT: Historical fiction genre gets a boost

Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 01:31 PM.

Yes, the historical novelist trades mainly in entertainment over instruction, but it would be wise to consider Ezra Pound’s famous definition of literature: “Literature is news that stays news.”

Bernard Cornwell is an outstanding example of a historical fiction writer with his Sharpe series set in 19th-century Europe and India; the Starbuck Chronicles set during the American Civil War; the Grail Quest novels set in mid-14th century England/Normandy; the Warlord Chronicles set in Arthurian Britain, and the Saxon series that I am currently reading set in the pre-England of Alfred the Great. “The Pagan Lord,” the seventh one in that series, has recently been on the New York Times and other best seller lists.

Other outstanding historical fiction novels are listed below. For more information check out our electronic resource “Books & Authors,” where you will find title suggestions in over 100 subgenres of historical fiction, from child-in-peril and family saga to military, political, and religious.

More outstanding historical fiction novels

•"Quo Vadis," by Henryk Sienkiewicz. A love story between a Christian woman and a Roman man during the rule of Nero.

•"I, Claudius," by Robert Graves. A fictionalized autobiography of the Roman emperor Claudius.

•"The Egyptian," by Mika Waltari. 1949 Finnish novel that was the bestselling foreign novel in the U.S. until 1983.

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