Historical Fiction: A Fun Way To Learn About The Past

Let’s face it, history books can be very boring except you are a historian of course: but, there are other fun ways to learn about the history of the world without getting bored.

I have always been drawn to history right from my childhood days. My mother happens to be a historian and she was a huge influence. But, I also remember watching movies like ‘The King And I’, ‘My Fair Lady’, etc,  over and over again because I was intrigued by the times they were set in; and though they were fun movies, they also subtly taught me about events that occurred in historical times. For example, as a child, ‘The Sound of Music’ gave me a glimpse of people’s fears about the Nazis, while ‘Escape from Sobibor’, which I saw in my teens, exposed some of the atrocities of the Nazis more clearly than any textbook could. So, by the time I read ‘The Tatooist of Auschwitz’ (my “Book of the Year” for 2019) and which was an account of everyday life in the Nazi concentration camps, it served as the next lesson in my understanding of the painful subject and it also provided a layered perspective of human nature at the time. Side note – I recommend ‘The Tatooist of Auschwitz’ as a must-read. 

It is no surprise that as a bookworm, my favorite genre is historical fiction.

Why do I encourage people to read historical fiction? I would say, it is like a buy-one-get-one-free promo. Apart from the normal satisfaction you get from reading fiction, you also learn something about the history the book is set in.  Learning about past events and the history and cultures of other people helps us to understand that we are similar and share the same human foibles even today; it nudges us to see things from a different perspective and have empathy where necessary. 

My favorite historical fiction author is Philippa Gregory who has written extensively about English history particularly during the times of King Henry VIII and other interesting times. I have also recently enjoyed reading books by M. C. Beaton and Stacey Halls who have written books set in Regency England and during the reign og King James respectively. Check out my reviews on a good number of historical fiction novels on this blog by clicking “Book Reviews” on the home page menu bar. Personally, historical fiction has expanded my knowledge of the world and whenever I have an opportunity to travel outside my home country, I find myself joining tour groups to learn more about the history of the place. Last year, I had a great time touring the beautiful Dunster Castle in England and all my books came to life as I wandered around the grounds.


dunster castle

Dunster Castle, England – July 2019

Have I spurred your interest into reading historical fiction?

I hope so. It is my desire to gather more reading buddies and friends who would share thoughts, chat and fuss over characters, themes, plots, etc, with me.


dunster castle 3

Playing Dress-up as a Kitchen Maid, Dunster Castle, England – July 2019

My current historical fiction reads are “The Foundling” by Stacey Halls and Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt. Watch out for my reviews on these books next week.

Continue to Stay Home and Stay Safe!


Copyright © Biyai Garricks
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