As of today, 1944 people have taken the 2015 reader survey and 104 took the time to comment on why they read historical fiction. A sampling of responses:
The “educational” part is important to me and I tend to pick authors for whom historical accuracy is important.
There is nothing like being transported to another time and place and getting to live a different life you could never live in reality.
Of course I am fascinated with history but I think historical fiction is particularly good at showing the universality of certain feelings and thoughts–of getting at the great truths that transcend time. I also think the distance of history often allows readers a “safe” space to ponder events and issues in their own lives that might present as too painful in a closer/more contemporary setting.
My favorite thing about reading historical fiction is finding out about the every day lives of people in the past.
I like immersive fiction and good histfic is notably immersive!
To better understand how we got to where we are now as well.
To explore what the author sees as timeless human qualities.
My historical fiction reading motivates me to do further reading on time periods and people. It doesn’t stop with the novel in question. The novel is merely the beginning.
Sounds daft I know, but it makes history live again
Just a few responses, later I will categorize and see if any themes emerge.
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.