Top Ten Tuesday: My top 10 settings for historical fiction

Top 10 Tuesday new

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Historical Settings You Love/ Ten Historical Settings You’d Love To See or Top Futuristic Books You Love/Ten Futuristic Societies I’d Love To Read in Books — basically this week is all about the past or the future….spin it however you choose!

I do love historical fiction, but I almost decided to skip this week’s topic. Part of my problem is that I enjoy reading about lots of different times and places, but if I read too much of any one in particular, it’s like sensory overload, and I end up having to avoid it ever after. Problems, problems… what’s a reader to do?


Still, I have certain favorites when it comes to historical eras and faraway lands. Here are my top 10, along with a stellar example or two for each:

1) Scotland, 1700s, especially around the time of the Jacobite Rising.
Top pick: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (obviously)


2) Colonial America
Top pick: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Witch of Blackbird Pond

3) Civil War
Top pick: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell or I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe


4) Women’s suffrage movement (US) – early 1900s
Top pick: The Cure For Dreaming by Cat Winters

Cure for Dreaming

5) World War I – battlefield dramas or hospitals or post-war mysteries — all good!
Top pick: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear or In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl

Maisie DobbsIn Falling Snow

6) World War II
Top pick: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr; The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult; The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes… (the list is endless, but these are three recent ones that I read and loved)

All the LightThe Storytellership of brides

7) Tudor England
Top pick: Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

wolf-hallbring up the bodies

8) Australian history
Top pick: The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

Thorn Birds

9) French Revolution
Top pick: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Tale of Two Cities

10) 1400s Spain
Top pick: People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks or Incantation by Alice Hoffman

People of the BookIncantation

Do you have any recommendations for historical novels set during my favorite eras?

Please share your links so I can check out your TTT posts!

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33 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: My top 10 settings for historical fiction

    • I’ve loved so many WWII books, but I find that I need to take a break and really leave space between them, or I start feeling burned out. I have a non-fiction book about women in the Civil War that I want to read (just have to convince myself to start!). Thanks!

    • Oh, it’s such a fantastic book. My book group ended up reading it as well, and then I convinced my husband to give it a try. There’s so much to think about and discuss!

  1. Great list! In retrospect I think I should’ve just listed the world wars instead of listing down WW2 because many of my favourite books and books that really grabbed my attention were set in those times.

    I’d love to read more books set sometime in Australian history and 1400s Spain; perhaps I have read more set in the latter but I just can’t remember any titles atm…

    My TTT

    • Oh wow, twice in one year for Gone With the Wind? That sounds amazing, actually. It’s been a long time since I last read the book, and I probably should read it again (although I feel like I could probably recite parts by heart by this point!). Ah, Rhett… such a dreamboat. 🙂

      • I didn’t even mean to reread it, it just somehow ended up back in my hands and my eyes flew through the pages… hehe. I FELT SO FRICKIN BAD FOR MELANIE THE WHOLE TIME. Sure, she didn’t have too much of a personality, but she was still a human! That pooooooor woman. :O

  2. I love this list! There are a few titles I need to add to my TBR list! Have you read The Killer Angels? It’s set during the Civil War and it alternates between Confederate and Union POVs during the four days of the Battle of Gettysburg. Ugh, so good.

    • Thanks! I’ve never read The Killer Angels, but it’s one of those books that people have been recommending to me for years. 🙂 I really should check it out.

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