Skip to Main Content

On Display at Odum 2022: Historical Fiction

Second Floor Display

Historical Fiction Genre Group's Recommendations

Historical Fiction Travel Through Time and Space with Selected Book Covers

About the Genre

Genre Overview:

Historical fiction is a literary genre in which historical events, settings, or people are used to drive fictional plot and conflict. It is frequently applied to other narrative forms including theatre, cinema, television, video games, and graphic novels. There are differing opinions on what defines historical fiction. Generally, the historical fiction novel is written from research or second-hand information, rather than experience or first-hand accounts. Historical fiction must pay attention to the manners and societal constructs of the period depicted in the novel. Often, historical fiction has bolstered feelings of romantic nationalism - or renewed sense of popular interest in one's own history. Major historic events often take place behind the scenes or outside of the characters' lives, allowing authors to focus instead on society and the human condition

Common Sub-genres:

  • Alternate History; speculative fiction in which one or more historical events resolve differently than how they were in real history.
  • Family Saga; a genre which focuses on chronicling the lives of a family or a number of interconnected families over a period of time.
  • Historical Fantasy; speculative fiction and cross-genre which incorporates fantastical elements into historical settings or events.
  • Historical Romance; a mass-market form focused on romantic relationships in historical periods, popularized in the early 19th century.
  • Mythological Fiction; retellings of myths and ancient cultures through the eyes of lesser-known figures.
  • Prehistoric Fiction; historical fiction that takes place during early human development, based on archaeological evidence rather than written evidence.

Contact us

These lists and genre information are brought to you by the students in our genre literature class in the Master in Library and Information Science program. Thank you for sending in such good books, materials, and information. I hope you had a good time with this project!

If any material listed is problematic or you would like to suggest future recommendations and themes please contact Crystal Miller at! They would love feedback, or just to talk about books!