Why Read Historical Fiction Books?

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The great thing about historical fiction books is that they take you to a period that was real and re-create it for us - opening up both intriguing stories, plus also informing us of the actual history of the times, people and places - usually with accuracy and attention to historical fidelity.

It is well known that writers of this era create some of the top historical fiction books you can read... simply as reading for pleasure or to learn more of times past in a fun way.

Likewise, there are also historical fiction writers who use different eras of history and different writing styles as settings for crime yarns - some straight forward 'whodunits' (e.g. Lindsey Davis) and some with tongue in the cheek humor such as David Wishart. Other historical fiction books are about the days of Kings and Queens, nobility and protocol, with the church intertwined?

Most people assume that historical fiction books, even those that are closely based on actual persons and events, inherently represent a much lower standard for historical accuracy than typical non-fiction history books.

There are numerous examples of historical fictions that are carefully crafted by authors to be highly accurate in regard to events, people, details, and circumstances of the period portrayed. Unfortunately, without even being read, these novels frequently suffer the disdain of history buffs simply because fictional elements are incorporated into the story.

Can well-written historical fiction books be equivalent in accuracy to books routinely classified as non-fiction? Works of historical non-fiction are founded on the author's interpretation of often vaguely written, contradictory, and incomplete documentation of past events.

Often events that are published as historical non-fiction is simply an educated guess by the author, based on their interpretation of the available material.

By creating authentic scenes and dialogue that may very well have happened, a novelist can enhance our understanding and appreciation of past events and the people who lived in those interesting times.

History buffs exclusively devoted to non-fiction may find that, on occasion, reading a well-crafted historical fiction books can be both enjoyable and educational.

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