Historical Novels of 2012

The fine folks over at the Historical Novel Society published a list of 399 novels to be released from January to August of 2012. Because I write about the early half of the 20th century, I set about analyzing the HNS list and discovered 129 from that period. That’s roughly 32%. I wonder why authors are excited about this period of the past?

Here’s how the percentages break down:

Note: only one prehistorical novel & one novel in 2nd to 5th centuries; Also, a few novels spanned more than one time period.

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6 Responses

  1. I wonder if the overwhelming popularity of “Downton Abbey” in both England and America has anything to do with this trend? It does appear that trends in film tend to influence trends in books, too. (I am hoping this is good news for my WW2 novel…)

    1. …to continue my thought (sorry, pain meds must be messing with me, plus the late hour!)…

      I meant to say that I wonder if “Downton Abbey” has influenced the trend in the prevalence of so many books set in this time period (WW1 and WW2) being released now.

      1. Once I investigate responses, I will have a sense of how much Downton Abbey has influenced things. It has definitely been mentioned several times. Thanks for your replies, Melissa. I write about this time period as well. Good news, lots of mentions of WWI and WWII in the type of books people read. Good luck with yours.

  2. I haven’t counted by any means, but it really feels that there are more novels set in Depression-era U.S. than I remember being able to find in the past. It still doesn’t feel that there any more WWI novels, which always seem disappointingly in short supply (at least to this reader!)

    One thing to keep in mind is that this round of early 2012 novels contain many set around (or otherwise concerning) the Titanic, which probably inflate the count of 20th century novels. I’d be curious to see how those numbers change next year.

    Regardless, I’m not complaining! Early 20th century is the area I write as well, and I love seeing the greater interest in it!

    1. I count 5 that include The Titanic in their story. With 2014 coming up, you would think we will see more about WWI. I’m not having any luck with publishers so far. Sigh.

      1. Really, only five on the Titanic in your count? Interesting! It feels like I bump into another book about the Titanic every time I turn around…

        And, yes, I’m hoping for the surge of WWI books as we approach 2014!

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