Historical Fiction Resources and Links



Historical Fiction Forum

A great forum for discussing historical fiction is HistoricalFictionOnline.com. Membership is free and will make you part of a friendly, international group of people who love to read and discuss historical fiction. As I write, the site has over 900 members and is still growing.


Historical Novel Society

A wonderful source of information about the latest historical novels just arriving in bookstores or about to be published is the Historical Novel Society. Many useful features of their website are available to all visitors, but you must be a dues-paying member to get their print magazine, the Historical Novels Review (published quarterly with over 800 novels reviewed every year.


LibraryThing

LibraryThing is a site where you can enter and organize your personal library, whether it consists of the books you own or the books you have read, loved and entered in the library of your heart. It also includes groups where you can discuss books and ask for suggestions. The Historical Fiction group is one of the largest and liveliest.


Published Directories

Sarah Johnson, Associate Professor of Library Services at Eastern Illinois University, is active in the Historical Novel Society and an expert on historical fiction. Her 2005 book, Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre, contains a near-comprehensive listing of historical novels. Her 2009 reference Historical Fiction II is a guide to historical novels published since the first volume. These are both excellent reference books and a must for libraries that serve readers of historical fiction. See my review of Historical Fiction II for more information.

Daniel Hahn's The Oxford Guide to Literary Britain and Ireland covers both contemporary and historical fiction, but is a rich source of historical novels with British, Scottish, Irish and Welsh settings. It was published June 12, 2008, by the Oxford University Press.


Nonfiction Reading for History Nuts

Most reviews on this site include two or three suggested nonfiction titles for readers inspired to learn more about the real-life history behind the fiction. For serious history nuts, historical novelist Elizabeth Chadwick has posted a list of the books in her personal medieval history library on her blog at Elizabeth Chadwick Reference. It's to drool over, and a great list to bring to the library.

Another online resource for those interested in the medieval period is www.Medievalists.net. It includes news about recent archaeological discoveries, interviews with medievalists, and links to serious scholarly articles about medieval history, among other features. Check out the tips on "What to Know About Buying a Medieval Castle."


Historical Fiction in Other Languages:

Eva Weber's Dutch-language site www.historischeroman.nl is devoted to historical fiction set in Belgium and the Netherlands. It includes a nice Timeline (Tijdbalk) page showing when various novels are set.


Selling Your Old Books for Cash or Credit:

Need to make room for more historical novels? You can clear out some of your books in good condition that you no longer read and get cash or credit when you sell them online to Powell's Books. When you enter the ISBN numbers of the books you want to sell, they will inform you instantly online which books they will buy at what price. If you accept their offer, they'll cover shipping costs and pay you either with store credit or in cash via your PayPal account.


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