Last week’s post on historical mysteries got me thinking about another subset of the historical fiction world: the “big” historical novel.
I’m referring not just to doorstop quality, but epic sweep. Some of these are entirely stand alone, others are the first in a series, but all have that “big” historical feel. So, if you like “big” historical novels, you’ll probably like….
– Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, the absolute archetype of the genre;
– Kathleen Winsor’s Forever Amber;
– Karleen Koen’s Through a Glass Darkly;
– M.M. Kaye’s The Far Pavilions;
– Anya Seton’s Katherine;
– Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander;
– Sara Donati’s Into the Wilderness;
– Judith Merkle Riley’s A Vision of Light;
– John Jakes’ North and South;
– Carole Nelson Douglas’ Fair Wind, Fiery Star;
– Pamela Kaufman’s Shield of Three Lions.
This is one of those off-the-top-of-the-head lists, so I’m sure I’ve left out a ridiculous number of major historical novels. (Upon reflection, I deliberately left out Dumas and Sabatini, since they’re of the historical adventure subgenre.)
Which are your favorite “big” historical novels?