It’s my final Historical Musings post of 2018, which means it’s time for my annual summary of my year in historical fiction! I have kept the same categories as in the previous two years so that it should be easy to make comparisons and to see if there have been any interesting changes in my reading patterns and choices (my 2017 post is here and 2016 is here).
I know the year is not quite over yet, but I like to stick to a weekend in the middle of the month for my Historical Musings posts – and I don’t think I’ll read enough historical fiction in the final two weeks of the year to significantly affect these statistics anyway.
Time periods read about in 2018
No big surprises here – this is a very similar picture to last year, with books set in the 19th and 20th centuries making up nearly half of my reading. The 16th and 17th centuries were popular again too (all those Tudor and English Civil War/Restoration books). Apart from Ancient Greece, very early periods of history are still poorly represented in my reading. Recommendations are always welcome!
31.2% of the historical fiction authors I read this year were new to me.
Down from 47.3% last year. I’m disappointed I haven’t tried more new authors this year – although it does mean I’ve been enjoying books by favourite authors instead.
Publication dates of books read in 2018
I’ve been reading a lot of new or recent historical fiction again this year, with the rest spread across the 20th century. Sadly, I haven’t read anything published earlier than 1900 but that could change next year as I do have some older historical fiction on my Classics Club list which I’m looking forward to reading.
14.3% of my historical reads in 2018 were historical mysteries.
Up from 9.6% last year – but not a big difference.
I’ve read historical fiction set in 22 different countries this year.
One more country than last year (if I’m allowed to count Martinique, an overseas territory of France). I’m still finding it difficult to get away from mainly reading books set in my own country, England, but while France and Italy occupied the next two positions in both 2017 and 2016, this year Scotland is in second place with France third and Italy a long way behind.
Three books I’ve read set in countries other than my own:
My Beautiful Imperial by Rhiannon Lewis (Chile and Wales)
The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson (Iceland and Algeria)
The English Girl by Katherine Webb (Oman)
Five historical men I’ve read about this year:
Prince Rupert (The Winter Prince by Cheryl Sawyer)
William Marshal (Templar Silks by Elizabeth Chadwick)
Henry Tudor (The Tudor Crown by Joanna Hickson)
René Descartes (The Words in My Hand by Guinevere Glasfurd)
William Lilly (The Magick of Master Lilly by Tobsha Learner)
Five historical women I’ve read about this year:
Jane Seymour (Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir)
Elizabeth I (Young Bess by Margaret Irwin)
Ana de Mendoza, Princess of Eboli (That Lady by Kate O’Brien)
St Hilda (The Abbess of Whitby by Jill Dalladay)
Elizabeth Mortimer (Queen of the North by Anne O’Brien)
Have you read any good historical fiction this year? Have you read any of the books or authors I’ve mentioned here?