One of the best ways to escape from the stresses of reality is to disappear within the pages of a good book. Take your literary escape one step further, and journey through time with five of the best historical fiction authors as your guides. You’re sure to find adventure and excitement at your next trip to the library.
Philippa Gregory has become an expert on the Tudor era over the years, and her works are a testament to that. Gregory, a former historian, has penned over 30 novels, most of which are set in the 16th and 17th centuries. Her most famous novel, The Other Boleyn Girl, tells the story of King Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn and was adapted into a film starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.
Lauded as one of America’s greatest novelists by former President Barack Obama, and certainly one of the best historical fiction authors of all time, E.L. Doctorow won numerous awards for his literary accomplishments. Unlike some historical fiction authors, Doctorow did not restrict himself to one historical period. His books stretch over many time periods and mix historical figures with fictional characters with ease. For instance, in one of his most popular novels Ragtime, one of the main characters falls into a love affair with vaudeville star Evelyn Nesbit.
Welsh author Ken Follett masterfully creates detailed descriptions that effortlessly transport the reader back in time. His novels accumulated critical acclaim worldwide, and he received several honorary doctorates and literary awards for his work in historical fiction. He wrote several novel series, and each take place in a different historical era. One of his more famous novels, Pillars of the Earth, follows the construction of a cathedral in 12th century England and is his best-selling work to date.
If a historical fiction author who leans a bit heavier on the side of fiction is want you want, consider picking up a book by Diana Gabaldon. Gabaldon wrote a stunning eight-book series that expertly pairs the elements of historical fiction, romance, mystery, and science fiction genres. The Outlander series follows a World War II nurse who is transported back in time to 18th century Scotland, and it was recently adapted into a hit television series.
Carolyn Meyer brings the beauty of historical fiction to young readers. Each novel in her most popular project, Young Royals, focuses on the story of a different female royal throughout history, including Cleopatra and Catherine the Great. Her novels are intended for children and pre-teens, but the stories are so beautifully written that readers of all ages can easily enjoy them.