100+ Historical Fiction Writers

The list starts with the author, then the setting, and then the best book to start with.

  • Bruce Alexander --1760s England, mystery, series, Blind Justice
  • Jean Auel -- Prehistoric Europe, series, The Clan of the Cave Bear
  • Howard Bahr --U.S. Civil War, The Black Flower
  • Kevin Baker -- 1860s-1900s New York City, Dreamland
  • David Ball -- 1870s North Africa, 1565 Malta, Empires of Sand
  • Pat Barker -- WWI, psychology, Regeneration
  • Andrea Barrett -- 1800s, Arctic exploration, naturalists & scientists, Voyage of the Narwhal
  • Gillian Bradshaw -- Byzantine & Roman empires, Ancient Greece, The Bearkeeper’s Daughter
  • Bartle Bull -- Post-WWI Kenya, WWII- era North Africa, Café on the Nile
  • Max Byrd -- 1840s U.S. Southwest, also biographical novels, Shooting the Sun
  • Taylor Caldwell -- Biographical novels, 1800s-1900s family saga, Dear and Glorious Physician
  • Caleb Carr -- 1890s New York City, mystery, The Alienist
  • Jack Cavanaugh -- Colonial U.S.-1960s family saga, series, Christian, The Puritans
  • Elizabeth Chadwick -- Medieval England and Wales, Crusades, romance, The Conquest
  • Barbara Chase- Riboud -- Colonial and 1800s U.S., slavery, Sally Hemings
  • Tracy Chevalier -- Medieval France, 1600s Netherlands, Girl with a Pearl Earring
  • James Clavell -- 1600s Japan, also 1800s China & Hong Kong, Shogun
  • Don Coldsmith -- 1500s-1700s Western U.S., Native Americans, series, Trail of the Spanish Bit
  • Catherine Cookson -- Victorian to WWI-era family saga, romance, The Wingless Bird
  • Bernard Cornwell -- Napoleonic wars, also U.S. Civil War, Arthurian England, Sharpe’s Tiger
  • E. L. Doctorow -- Early 1900s New York, Ragtime
  • Sara Donati -- 1790s New York frontier, romance, series, Into the Wilderness
  • Dorothy Dunnett -- Renaissance Europe, 1550s England & Scotland, series, Niccolo Rising
  • Umberto Eco -- 1300s Italy, Crusades, transl.,The Name of the Rose
  • Howard Fast -- American Revolution, 19th-20th c. U.S., family saga, April Morning
  • Patricia Finney -- Elizabethan England, espionage, Unicorn’s Blood
  • Ken Follett -- Medieval England, also colonial U.S., Pillars of the Earth
  • C. S. Forester -- Napoleonic wars, British Navy, series, Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
  • George MacDonald Fraser -- Victorian Europe, India, and U.S., series, Flashman
  • Alan Furst -- WWII Europe, espionage, Dark Star
  • Diana Gabaldon -- 1700s Scotland & Colonial U.S., romance, time travel, Outlander
  • Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W. Michael Gear -- Prehistoric North America, Native American, People of the Wolf series
  • Pauline Gedge -- Ancient Egypt, Lady of the Reeds
  • Margaret George -- Tudor England & Scotland, Ancient Egypt, biographical, Autobiography of Henry VIII
  • Denise Giardina -- 1890s-1920s Appalachia, labor movement, Storming Heaven
  • Parke Godwin -- Medieval England, also Dark Ages, Robin Hood legend, Sherwood
  • Winston Graham -- Regency & Georgian England, family saga, series, Ross Poldark
  • Robert Graves -- Ancient Rome, I, Claudius
  • Philippa Gregory -- Tudor England, English Civil War and Restoration, The Other Boleyn Girl
  • Sandra Gulland -- Napoleonic France, Josephine Bonaparte, The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B
  • A. B. Guthrie -- 1800s American West, frontier, series, The Big Sky
  • Hella Haasse -- Medieval France & England, also 1500s Italy, transl., In a Dark Wood Wandering
  • Karen Harper -- Elizabethan England, mystery, series, The Poyson Garden
  • Sue Harrison -- Prehistoric North America, Mother Earth, Father Sky
  • Georgette Heyer -- Regency England, romance, The Grand Sophy
  • Cecelia Holland -- Medieval & Renaissance Europe, also Celtic Ireland, Great Maria
  • Christian Jacq -- Ancient Egypt, transl., The Son of Light
  • John Jakes -- U.S. family saga, Civil War, series, North and South
  • Gary Jennings -- 1500s Mexico, Aztec Empire, adventure, Aztec
  • Terry Johnston -- 1800s American West, frontier, Indian campaigns, Carry the Wind
  • Wayne Johnston -- 1900s Newfoundland, polar exploration, Colony of Unrequited Dreams
  • MacKinlay Kantor -- U.S. Civil War, also American Revolution, Andersonville
  • Pamela Kaufman -- Medieval Europe, Crusades, royalty, The Book of Eleanor
  • M. M. Kaye -- British Raj, India, romance, The Far Pavilions
  • Thomas Keneally -- WWII, Holocaust, also 1700s Australia, Schindler’s List
  • Alexander Kent -- 1770s-1800s British Navy, series, Richard Bolitho, Midshipman
  • Dewey Lambdin -- 1780s-1790s British Navy, American Revolution, series, The King’s Coat
  • Louis L’Amour -- American West, family saga, series, Jubal Sackett
  • David Liss -- 1600s Amsterdam, also 1700s London, The Coffee Trader
  • Morgan Llywelyn -- Celtic Ireland, WWI Ireland, medieval Wales, Lion of Ireland
  • William Martin -- Family saga, Annapolis, Boston, Cape Cod, Annapolis
  • Colleen McCullough -- Ancient Rome, series, also 1910s Australia, The First Man in Rome
  • Larry McMurtry -- 1800s American West, Lonesome Dove
  • James Michener -- Multiple places and time periods, Centennial
  • Robert Morgan -- 1900s Appalachia, also American Revolution, Gap Creek
  • Gilbert Morris -- U.S. family sagas, also Tudor England, Christian, series, The Sword of Truth
  • James L. Nelson -- American Revolution, American Navy, military, series, By Force of Arms
  • Patrick O’Brian -- Napoleonic wars, British Navy, series, Master and Commander
  • Janette Oke -- 1800s Canadian frontier, Christian, romance, Love Comes Softly
  • Zoe Oldenbourg -- Medieval France, Palestine, Crusades, The Cornerstone
  • Baroness Orczy -- French Revolution, The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Edith Pargeter -- Medieval Wales, England, The Heaven Tree Trilogy
  • Sharon Kay Penman -- Medieval England, Wales, France, The Sunne in Splendour
  • Jean Plaidy -- Medieval and Tudor England, royalty, Royal Road to Fotheringay
  • Steven Pressfield -- Ancient Greece, Alexander the Great, military, Gates of Fire
  • James Reasoner -- U.S. Civil War, military, series, Savannah
  • Mary Renault -- Ancient Greece, Alexander the Great, Fire From Heaven
  • Alexandra Ripley -- Antebellum and Reconstruction South, romance, Charleston
  • Kenneth Roberts -- Colonial U.S., American Revolution, Northwest Passage
  • Edward Rutherfurd -- Epic family sagas, England, Russia, Sarum
  • Rafael Sabatini -- French Revolution, Renaissance Italy, adventure, Scaramouche
  • Paul Scott -- British Raj, WWII-era India, The Jewel in the Crown
  • Anya Seton -- Medieval and Tudor England, Colonial U.S., Devil Water
  • Mary Lee Settle -- English Civil War, Colonial U.S., U.S. Civil War, O Beulah Land
  • Jeff Shaara -- American Revolution, U.S. Civil War, Rise to Rebellion
  • Michael Shaara -- U.S. Civil War, The Killer Angels
  • Neal Stephenson -- 1600s Europe, Age of Enlightenment, series, Quicksilver
  • Irving Stone -- Biographical novels: Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Darwin, The Agony and the Ecstasy
  • Elswyth Thane -- Colonial U.S.-WWII, family saga, series, Dawn’s Early Light
  • Bodie & Brock Thoene -- Holocaust, also post-WWII Palestine, Christian, series, Vienna Prelude
  • James Alexander Thom -- Colonial U.S., 1700s-1800s frontier, Lewis & Clark, Follow the River
  • Rose Tremain -- 1660s England, royalty, also 1600s Denmark, Restoration
  • Sigrid Undset -- Medieval Norway, transl., Kristin Lavransdatter
  • Leon Uris -- 1840s-1916 Ireland, WWII & post-WWII Europe & Israel, Trinity
  • Gore Vidal -- Biographical novels, American Revolution, U.S. Civil War, Burr
  • Susan Vreeland -- 1600s Amsterdam, Italy, Girl in Hyacinth Blue
  • Mika Waltari transl. -- Ancient Egypt, also Ancient Rome,, The Egyptian
  • Jessamyn West -- U.S. Civil War, Quakers, frontier, The Friendly Persuasion
  • Janice Woods Windle -- 1830s-1940s Texas, family saga, True Women
  • Barbara Wood -- 1800s Australia, also 1800s New York, The Dreaming
  • Richard Woodman -- Napoleonic wars, British Navy, series, An Eye of the Fleet
  • Herman Wouk -- WWII Europe & U.S., post-WWII Israel, family saga, The Winds of War
  • Frank Yerby -- American Revolution, U.S. Civil War, 1800s Africa, The Foxes of Harrow