2015 Historical Fiction survey, 2015 Reader Survey, Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, favourite historical fiction, favourite historical fiction titles, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman, historical fiction about famous people, historical fiction with fictional characters, Katherine by Anya Seton, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman, Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
In 2015, I asked readers to list their favourite historical fiction titles for the first time. Being a little more experienced I limited participants to three choices – clearly a challenge for many. What has emerged is more than 1700 different titles – and no, I won’t be listing them all today – and some clear favourites.
I’ve grouped them into three parts: titles with more than 40 mentions, titles with 20 to 39 mentions and titles with 10 to 19 mentions. Given variations in spelling and the ability of readers to recall exact titles, it’s been a challenge to count the entries and I’ve spent weeks checking and double-checking to be as accurate as possible. I have chosen to put the titles in order but not to show actual counts since I remain concerned about absolute accuracy. For your information, FC means the book is concerned primarily about fictional characters, while FHF refers to famous historical figures.
Participants could not restrain themselves from mentioning series and so I have done my best to accommodate them in the final counts.
No doubt there will be questions – such as: how much influence did the series Outlander and Wolf Hall affect the result? Does the inclusion of All the Light We Cannot See reflect participants’ ability to recall titles from the past compared with new releases? And then there are questions of how the list varies with gender, nationality, and age. I hope to crank the numbers some more, however, right now I have a manuscript to edit 🙂
If you spot any inaccuracies, please let me know.
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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, TIME AND REGRET will be published by Lake Union on August 16, 2016. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.