Historical Fiction II: A Guide to the Genre

Written by Sarah Johnson
Review by Richard Lee

This is the definitive guide to historical fiction, written by professional librarian and our HNR editor, Sarah Johnson.

Entries are admirably informative, yet sober and brief. The scope of the book is immense, arranged by genre but cross-referenced by historical character, place and time, subject, author and title. Not only does it give you brief reviews of the novels, it also sets out the sinews of the genre. Browsing through you can get an idea of what styles of novels are most prevalent, what periods best lend themselves to those styles, and what characters and ages call to writers – and readers – again and again.

This is above all a superb reference book. If you love historical fiction, it is fabulously re-assuring to have on your shelves: here, at your fingertips, is access to details of many hundreds of novels that will satisfy your new interests, your new enthusiasms.