Culture The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time  

Book Keeper
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Best historical novelists in the world manage to combine a vast knowledge of history with compelling storylines, taking the reader on a journey through time. Putting together a comprehensive list of historical writers is a daunting task, primarily because actual 'historical novels' can include historical fiction, fantasy, romance, and alternate history novels. I've listed what I believe are some of the greatest historical novel writers of all-time here, but I'm sure I've left off far too many. I'm counting on the community of historical novel fans, here. Vote for your favorites (or vote down your least favorites) and, if you know of an historical novelists that isn't on the list, add it!

I've tried to incorporate a wide variety of the best historical novelists on this list: Those authors whose works were penned hundreds of years ago, and more modern writers as well. From the brilliance of Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens to the great modern historical writers like Ken Follett, I've listed as many big names as I can. These authors have written some of the best historical fiction books of all time. Some of the authors on this list are winners of, or nominees for, the prestigious Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction, including David Mitchell ('A Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet') and Robert Harris ('Fatherland,' 'Enigma,' 'Lustrum'). The 'Blue Ribbon' award is given to authors who first publish in either the UK or Ireland.

Who are the best historical novelists of all time? Take a look at this history authors list and see for yourself.

Whether you're a longtime fan of historical novels or a newbie just getting started, hopefully this list can be a guide to help you find new historical writers and books that you'll enjoy! I'm certain I've missed some big names, though, so again, add them to the list. Avid readers might also enjoy these lists of the best fantasy authors, crime authors and young adult authors!
list ordered by
1
1,812 509
Diana Gabaldon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Outlander, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Voyager
2
443 379
Charles Dickens is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol
3
603 423
Dorothy Dunnett is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Scales of Gold, The disorderly knights, Race of Scorpions
4
391 353
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, The Black Tulip
5
268 249
Robert Louis Stevenson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island, The Master of Ballantrae
6
602 445
Ken Follett is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
The Pillars of the Earth, Eye of the Needle, Winter of the World
7
179 167
Mary Renault is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
2probb added The Bull from the Sea, Fire from Heaven, The King Must Die
8
176 163
Hilary Mantel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
2probb added Bring Up the Bodies, Wolf Hall, A Place of Greater Safety
9
244 271
Phillippa Gregory is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Kym Parks added
10
191 214
Walter Scott is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Monastery
11
174 192
Georgette Heyer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Frederica, The Foundling, Regency Buck
12
255 240
James A. Michener is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Hawaii, Texas, Tales of the South Pacific
13
154 165
Leon Uris is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Lon Harris added Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Battle Cry, Exodus
14
203 187
Robert Graves is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
I, Claudius, Goodbye to All That
15
181 161
James Clavell is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Lon Harris added The Great Escape, To Sir, with Love
16
253 198
Bernard Cornwell is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
BeccaMcMaster added The Winter King, The Fort, The bloody ground
17
264 215
Patrick O'Brian is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Desolation Island, The Hundred Days, Master and Commander
18
190 184
Collen McCullough is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
AlfonsoVelascoSendra added
19
163 124
Umberto Eco is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Anna Åhlin added The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
20
117 128
Rosemary Sutcliff is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Pam Thomas added Sword of the Valiant, The Eagle of the Ninth, Sword at Sunset
21
106 81
Anya Seton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
AKat added The Winthrop Woman, Dragonwyck, Avalon
22
60 49
Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Arild Tørum added Anna Karenina, War and Peace, The Death of Ivan Ilyich
23
86 90
Nathaniel Hawthorne is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
2probb added The Scarlet Letter, The Blithedale Romance, The Marble Faun
24
99 78
Sharon Penman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Carolyn Cash added The Sunne in Splendour, Cruel as the grave, Here Be Dragons
25
227 189
Barbara Erskine is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time
Gillian Jones added Encounters, Hiding from the Light, Midnight is a Lonely Place