New Historical Fiction Set Way Back in Time

Posted by Cybil on October 14, 2021


One of the great pleasures of historical fiction is the time-travel element. In the hands of a skilled author, works of historical fiction can transport the reader to long-gone eras and locales, thereby tinkering with the very fabric of the time-space continuum! Dangerous work! It’s amazing, really, that this industry isn’t regulated.
 
Specialists in this particular genre typically do very meticulous research before assembling their stories. By way of existing writing and other artifacts from the historical record, the author selects those critical details that make the era come to life.
 
It’s always fun to climb into the Way Back Machine, but you know what’s even more fun? The Way-Way Back Machine. Below we’ve collected 33 books with plotlines set, entirely or partially, in the 18th century or earlier. All of these books are recently published, relatively, and have been critically well-received.
 
Perhaps you would like to visit an apothecary’s shop in 1791 London. How about a creepy Puritan settlement outside Boston in 1662? Or a desolate village under Mongol rule, in China, circa 1345? If you really want to go for it, we’ve got the tail-end of Europe’s Dark Ages, the city of Nazareth in the time of Jesus, and even ancient Sparta.  
 
Scroll over the covers below to learn more about each book, and be sure to add the books that pique your interest to your Want to Read shelf!


Fiction Set in the 1700s

Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating

Fiction Set in the 1600s

Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating

Fiction Set in the 1500s and Earlier

Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
Rate this book
Clear rating

Have the perfect book recommendation for some reading set way before our current timeline? Share it with us in the comments below!

Check out more recent articles:
The Top Historical Mysteries of the Past Five Years
Conjure Up Some Enchantment with These New Witchy Books
Reading by Terrifying Horror Tropes

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sue (new)

Sue Frances So many good books on this list.


message 2: by Lazy (new)

Lazy Daizee I enjoy historical fiction because I can learn about the past and enjoy a book at the same time.


message 3: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Wow! So many interesting books on this list! :)


message 4: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Great list


message 5: by Mahaila.M (new)

 Mahaila.M Wonderful list! As a recent graduate of history- I'm excited to drive back into reading for pleasure :)


message 6: by Joan (new)

Joan Kindred by octavia butler is historical fiction as much as it is sci fi tbh


message 7: by Aurora (new)

Aurora Woohoo no ww2 books!


message 8: by Jerin (new)

Jerin Tahapary A time travel’s story is historical fiction’s glory.


message 9: by Jeffery (new)

Jeffery Lee Radatz There are a couple of books that look real good!


message 10: by Lucynda friend (new)

Lucynda friend Good morning everyone online now


message 11: by Lazy (new)

Lazy Daizee I love going back in time when reading.


message 12: by Lucy (new)

Lucy I'm not really sure Sin Eater should be on the list. It's amazing, but v much an alternate/fantasy history


message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I love historical fiction! Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi was my last one


message 14: by Lesly! (new)

Lesly! So many good books! I want to read them all!!


message 15: by Sharon (last edited Oct 17, 2021 01:38PM) (new)

Sharon Robinson My all-time favorite way-back novel: The Corn King and the Spring Queen by Naomi Mitchison

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...


message 16: by Justin (new)

Justin Welsh I'm re-reading 'across the nightingale floor' by Lian Hearn set in a fictional feudal Japan, which is on topic defo worth a read if you haven't!


message 17: by Lucynda friend (new)

Lucynda friend Do all would like a Avon book this next week


message 18: by Lucynda friend (new)

Lucynda friend Hello lesly how are you would you like a Avon book this next week. Or drop it off to you please let me know if you text me for it pls


message 19: by Meg (new)

Meg So happy to see so many female authors on this list! Very exciting to add a lot to my to read list.


message 20: by Theresa (new)

Theresa No love for the 1800s?
Ancient Eqypt?


message 21: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea The Sin Eater is an alternate history at best. It's a fantasy world meant to evoke the Tudor period, but is not actually historical. Just in case anyone is curious.


message 22: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Sharon wrote: "My all-time favorite way-back novel: The Corn King and the Spring Queen by Naomi Mitchison

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3..."


One of my favourites too. Plus of course everything that Mary Renault wrote.


message 23: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Lazy wrote: "I enjoy historical fiction because I can learn about the past and enjoy a book at the same time."

Yes, exactly! I love history and this is an enjoyable way to learn about it! <3


message 24: by T. (new)

T. Wesenberg Iram of the Pillars is set in the earliest days of evolution, at the cradle of civilization, in ancient Mesopotamia and Arabia, before the first Sultans rose to power.
IRAM OF THE PILLARS
IRAM OF THE PILLARS


message 25: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Rodenberg Gosh, thanks so much for including my novel FINDING NAPOLEON on your list. I'm honored. If any of you Goodreads members have book clubs and would like me to Zoom in to chat about Finding Napoleon with your members, be sure to contact me. (Or if you are in the D.C. area,, I can visit in person!) Or feel free to chat with me anytime through Goodreads or my website FindingNapoleon.com. I love Goodreads!


back to top