Last year, for my December Historical Musings post, I put together a summary of my year in historical fiction. This December I’ve decided to do the same, thinking it would be interesting to make comparisons and see if there have been any significant changes in my reading choices since last year.
I know there are still a few weeks of 2017 left, but I don’t expect to finish many more books before the end of the year – not enough to really have any effect on these statistics anyway!
Time periods read about in 2017
Books set in the 19th and 20th centuries made up almost half of my historical reading this year, with the 15th-18th centuries also quite popular. As usual, it’s the earlier time periods that are under-represented in my reading; I read two books set in Ancient Greece, two in Ancient Rome and one – The Serpent Sword – in the 7th century.
47.3% of the historical fiction authors I read this year were new to me.
Publication dates of books read in 2017
This category shows a similar pattern to last year, with most of the historical fiction I’ve read being published in the 21st century. However, this year I have only read one historical fiction novel published earlier than 1900 – The Red Sphinx by Alexandre Dumas.
9.6% of my historical reads in 2017 were historical mysteries.
I’ve read historical fiction set in 21 different countries this year.
Like last year, nearly half of the historical novels I’ve read have been set in my own country, followed by France and Italy again. However, I have increased the number of different countries I’ve read about from 13 to 21 and hope to continue improving on this in 2018.
Five historical men I’ve read about this year:
Jasper Tudor (First of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson)
Nero (The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George)
The Marquis de Montespan (The Hurlyburly’s Husband by Jean Teulé)
Somerled (The Winter Isles by Antonia Senior)
Thomas Keith (Blood and Sand by Rosemary Sutcliff)
Five historical women I’ve read about this year:
Marie Antoinette (The Empress of Hearts by E Barrington)
Joan of Kent (The Shadow Queen by Anne O’Brien)
Lucrezia Borgia (The Vatican Princess by CW Gortner)
Mata Hari (Mata Hari by Michelle Moran)
Mary Seton (The Queen’s Mary by Sarah Gristwood)
What about you? Have you read any good historical fiction this year? Have you read any of the books or authors I’ve mentioned here?