Eleanor Recommends: My 5 Favorite Historical Fiction Picks [Guest Post] #HistoricalFiction #RecommendedBooks #BookTwitter @notsomoderngirl

“My 5 Favorite Historical Fiction Picks” is a guest post written by Eleanor from the Not-So-Modern Girl blog. Find out more about her at the end of the post!

In October of 2021, I guest-posted for Eleanor and I’m thrilled to welcome her to Reading Ladies today! Connections made in the book blogging community are truly the greatest joys of blogging! Give Eleanor a visit and a follow!

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that Eleanor is speaking my “love language”! I’m thrilled to receive five fresh histfic recommendations from Eleanor, and I hope you will be as well. These five titles are new to me, so let’s explore together!

My 5 Favorite Historical Fiction Picks by Eleanor

5 Favorite Historical Fiction Picks (black text over a tightly focused picture os someone reclining and reading a book

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

First of all, thank you so much to Carol for featuring me on her blog. I’ve loved her blog for a few years now, and I always come over here when I need a new book recommendation! Ever since I was young, I’ve loved reading books set in historical settings around the world. I’ve always loved studying history – so for me, there’s also an element of learning about the past, too. More than anything, I love how historical fiction combines historical settings and past moments with great, relatable, often memorable characters. From Tudor queens to suffragettes, there are just so many fascinating stories to be found in historical fiction. I’ve put together my top picks – I’d love to hear yours in the comments.

‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (cover) Image white text over a dark background...a man's face behind vertical black lines is visible

‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel is an amazing historical fiction trilogy looking at the life of Thomas Cromwell, one of Henry VIII’s chief advisors. The first novel tells the story of Anne Boleyn’s rise to fame at Court, and Catherine of Aragon’s demise. I love Hilary Mantel’s writing style. She goes into incredible detail, and the book is so well-researched. As a history lover, I enjoyed learning more about the period through Cromwell’s eyes.

‘Possession’ by A. S. Byatt

Posession by A.S. Byatt (cover) white text over a background image of a man leaning back on his elbow on the ground and a woman standing and and looking back at him and holding an open book

‘Possession’ by A. S. Byatt follows the story of two modern-day academics researching the love life between two fictional poets from the Victorian era. The book travels in time between the life of the poets and the life of the academics, as they use journals and letters to understand more about these Victorian lovers. It’s a fascinating look at love and history, blending both time periods beautifully.

‘Six Tudor Queens: Katheryn Howard: The Scandalous Queen’ by Alison Weir

Katheryn Howard: The Scandalous Queen (cover) Image: a young woman stands on a green lawn surrounded by trees holding one hand to the side of her brow

  I think you can tell by now that I’m a big Tudor history fan! However, this is a great novel for any historical fiction lover. Katheryn Howard’s story is touching – and it really makes you think about love and one woman’s loss of innocence. I love this book because it offers a different view of Katheryn Howard. She is usually portrayed as traitorous, but this book shows her as a young woman getting swept up in the events of her life.

‘Mrs Hemingway’ by Naomi Wood

Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood (cover) Image: a woman sits on a towel at the seashore looking to the right

‘Mrs Hemingway’ by Naomi Wood looks at the fascinating stories of Ernest Hemingway’s four wives: Hadley Richardson, Pauline Pfeiffer, Martha Gellhorn, and Mary Welsh. Each of his wives has her own story to tell, considering what it was like to live with Ernest and taking a look at their own work, too. I love that this book focuses on the women in Ernest Hemingway’s life, shining a light on characters that have been previously ignored.

‘The Taming of the Queen’ by Philippa Gregory

The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory (cover) a woman in a lime green dress walks away looking at us over her right shoulder

‘The Taming of the Queen’ tells the story of Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife. She is a woman with her own mind, but she knows she needs to keep quiet if she wants to remain Henry’s wife – and possibly even outlive him. I absolutely loved this book when I first read it. I actually attended a book tour talk by Philippa Gregory about this book. It was great to learn a little more about Katherine Parr’s story – and how Philippa Gregory came to tell it.  

Have you read any of these historical fiction picks? I’d love to hear your favorites!

About the Author, Eleanor (Not-So-Modern Girl

Eleanor (Not So Modern Girl)

Eleanor is a lifestyle blogger living in the UK. She first started her blog to write about her favorite books, but she has since opened it up to discuss life as a 20-something freelancer and blogger. Eleanor loves to read books from all genres, particularly those that focus on women’s stories. She is currently working on her own fiction, giving voices to women previously unheard. You can check out her blog or connect with her on Twitter!

5 Favorite Historical Fiction Picks QOTD:

Have you read one of Eleanor’s historical fiction picks?
Are you tempted to put one of Eleanor’s picks on your TBR?
What is your favorite historical fiction recommendation?

Eleanor also contributed to my “Summer’s One Must Read Book 2023” post found here.

You can find a few of my recent favorite histic picks in this post.

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

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I purchase or borrow from the library all books I review unless explicitly stated that the book is free (arc).

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  1. I’ve read Wolf Hall although I personally think Bring Up The Bodies is better. I’ve just bought the latest Phillipa Gregory – it’s a while since I’ve read a book by her.

  2. I love historical fiction. I will definitely read the Phillips Gregory book after your great review Eleanor. My latest 5 star historical fiction read is The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

  3. Great post, Carol and a wonderful idea. I do not read a lot of historical fiction going back as far as these do, but I am tempted by Mrs. Hemmingway.

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