Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m taking a dive into open waters with a look at reading historical fiction, in the past and now, and how it has impacted my reading. I’ve written a few of these posts previously, and you can read my post about classics here, and fantasy here.
When I was young, there was a brilliant book series called My Story. Each book focused on a different character in a different time period, from the Tudor Court to the Second World War, and spoke about their experiences in a diary. I read each one so many times the pages started to come loose, and my very favourite was one that was a lady in waiting to Anne Boleyn; it got to a point I could almost recite it.
A few years later, and one of my happiest memories of starting secondary school is the librarian telling me, “I can order in any book you want”. I almost grinned so widely I cut my cheeks on my braces. My parents were always happy to fund my book habit, but I read too quickly for even them to keep up with. So having access to a whole library, with the ability to order in books, was brilliant.
I started reading people like Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir when I was about thirteen or so, and I did take up the librarian on her offer, often placing requests for new releases that I couldn’t afford. Some of my friends and I had a bit of a mini book club going where we would share around books we were reading, and I loved bouncing recommendations as well as book swaps around. Often we’d read young adult books, but I wasn’t the only lover of historical fiction.
All of this moved side by side with my love of history as a subject. Neither my love of history or my love of books has decreased over the years, and there have been some really interesting historical fiction books released recently, especially in the last year, looking at anything from historical China to Mevieval English royalty.
Historical fiction holds a special place in my life because of my love of history, but not just because of it. There is something wonderful about reading a book that is so absorbing it can transport you to a different place and time, through the good and the bad, to see things through another set of eyes. It’s a very special genre, holding so many possibilities in their pages. It will always be one of those genres I fall back on for comfort and also for a type of magic that even fantasy novels can’t capture.
Thanks for stopping by today. If you’re a historical fiction fan too, here’s a few books that I’ve loved: