Why Do You Read (and Write) Historicals?

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A few days ago I participated in a social media promotion called #WhyIReadHistoricals / #WhyIWriteHistoricals. I know why I read and write them:  because I love history and can really connect with the characters. British Isles set and, of course, westerns are my favorites.

How about you? As a reader, why historicals?

Writers, same question.

What was the last historical you read? Or which one are you reading now?

I’m flying through Lorraine Heath’s The Duke and The Lady in Red. Fabulous characters and a setting I can disappear into for hours. I tend to shy away from westerns while I’m writing just to keep myself in my own story.

If you had to choose only one book, which historical romance is your absolute favorite read EVER?

All right—let’s talk.


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27 thoughts on “Why Do You Read (and Write) Historicals?”

  1. If I have to choose just one, at this time, it would would be Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    • Another to add to the stack. I’m so glad, Cindy, that you and Minna dropped in this morning. And I’m happy to have two new authors to discover. Thanks!

  2. This is such a difficult question for me, Tracy! There are so many wonderful historical romances out there! I do tend to enjoy the American-set ones more. I’ll have to say Morning Glory by LaVeryle Spencer is at the top of my list that I reread every few years. It’s a very tender story of two people in the South who have been hurt by the world outside and who find love and acceptance and strength through each other. Set in the early 1940s just outside a small town. She’s pregnant (husband died)and needs help with her farm and puts an advertisement in the paper for a husband. Kind of a reverse mail-order bride!

    Can’t wait to see some of the other answers you get today! I also loved Redeeming Love as Cindy mentioned.

  3. I haven’t thought of Morning Glory in years. Thank you……I am going to look it up and read it again!

  4. You are a new author for me so have not had a chance to read your books yet but will. I found a book called Irish Meadows and was hooked from the first paragraph its by Susan Anne Mason.

    • I don’t know that one, either, Kim. I’ll go looking. And thank you for “finding” me. 🙂

  5. I could never just pick one book,,love them all too much,,but i like historicals because i think i should have been born in this era,,electronics dont interest me very much,,i still have a old flip cell phone and can actually go places without it stuck to my face

    • That I can understand, Vickie–although I’m very much tied to my electronic leashes.

  6. I have always loved history and reading Historical novels just seem to go along with that love.

  7. I read all of Arnette Lamb’s historical fiction books when they came out in the 1990’s. She died in 1998, but her books are still available on Amazon as books and ebooks.

    • And another author to add. At this rate, my room isn’t going to be big enough. Thanks, Linda H.

  8. I got hooked on Historicals long, long ago. And hooked on romance along with it. : ) To pick just one would be very, very hard. I love each and every book. Great post, Tracy.

  9. I am down to reading 8 books a week–all historicals. I want to escape current times. My husband reads 3-5 newspapers a day and
    discusses them with me. Why is it we think the “old times” were better? They were not. They had different challenges, different concerns and in many ways were tougher. On the other hand, no matter if they make things “easier” I do not being “hooked up” all the time with all this technology. No, reading historicals gives me time in another place so that I can come back to now better able to cope. Thus saying, I read so many books there is no way to choose which is my favorite. I can read cowboys one day and vikings the next. Please keep writing!

    • Escapism is the best reason there is, Sandra S! I don’t want to go back in time, I just want to escape there for a short visit. 🙂

      I promise I won’t quit, Sandra!

  10. I enjoy reading historicals because of the simpler time. Not easier, just simpler. I’m sure I romanticize that fact, for in our own lives we tend to remember things better than they really were. But I like the escape, the change of brain waves from what I’m facing now to someone else’s challenges and how they handled them. My first historicals were the classics and then I discovered Lauraine Snelling, Francine Rivers, Kristen Heitzmann, Karen Witemeyer, and a host of other authors currently writing great historicals – several of them right her on P&P! My favorite setting is Western, and as an author, that’s what I like to write. Love the cowboys.

    • Davalynn, thanks for dropping by! I didn’t start in on historical fiction until I discovered romance, although I read historical non-fiction. It’s fun to be able to become a cowboy or schoolmarm or any number of people just by turning on my computer.

  11. I loved LaVeryl Spencer’s books and Twice Loved is my favorite. It takes place during the early history of America in 1837. The author presents a dilemma to the heroine who loves 2 different men and how she resolved the issue is a good story ending. Check it out.
    Another of her historicals is set in the West after the Civil War and is called HUMMINGBIRD.
    I only have 9 books on my keeper shelf and 2 are of this author’s books.

  12. Lots of fun to read the comments and find out about writers I haven’t read! I’ve thought about your question off and on all day, and I still can’t pick one favorite. I can, however, recommend “Tumbleweed” by Jane Candia Coleman.


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