Top 44 Historical Fiction Quotes

Words matter. These are the best Historical Fiction Quotes from famous people such as Geraldine Brooks, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Lauren Willig, Tony Kushner, Thomas Mallon, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.

The thing that most attracts me to historical fiction i

The thing that most attracts me to historical fiction is taking the factual record as far as it is known, using that as scaffolding, and then letting imagination build the structure that fills in those things we can never find out for sure.
Geraldine Brooks
Historical fiction is simply fiction set in the past, and should be judged as such.
Simon Sebag Montefiore
My books fall in the wobbly middle between historical fiction and historical romance.
Lauren Willig
The general consensus among historians, among the ones who can handle the fact that ‘Lincoln’ is, in fact, historical fiction, is that we demonstrate enormous fidelity to history and that, beyond that, we’ve actually contributed a line of thinking about Lincoln’s presidency that’s somewhat original.
Tony Kushner
I often tell people who want to write historical fiction: don’t read all that much about the period you’re writing about; read things from the period that you’re writing about. There’s a tendency to stoke up on a lot of biography and a lot of history, and not to actually get back to the original sources.
Thomas Mallon
If you’re writing something that’s clearly labelled as an alternative history, of course it’s perfectly legitimate to play with known historical characters and events, but less so when you’re writing an essentially straight historical fiction.
Diana Gabaldon
The power of historical fiction for bad and for good can be immense in shaping consciousness of the past.
Antony Beevor
What’s most explosive about historical fiction is to use the fictional elements to pressure the history to new insights.
Matthew Pearl
It’s really important in any historical fiction, I think, to anchor the story in its time. And you do that by weaving in those details, by, believe it or not, by the plumbing.
Jacqueline Winspear
I’m a big fan of historical fiction stuff. Historical battles – ‘Gladiators,’ ‘The Patriot.’
Andrew Luck
‘Dreams from My Father’ was not a memoir or an autobiography; it was instead, in multitudinous ways, without any question a work of historical fiction.
David Garrow
I got nice rejections explaining that historical fiction was a difficult sell. But I kept trying.
Anita Diament
I love historical fiction because there’s a literal truth, and there’s an emotional truth, and what the fiction writer tries to create is that emotional truth.
Jewell Parker Rhodes
What ‘Floating Worlds’ does draw on is Holland’s artistry in bringing the past to life in her historical fiction and depicting the people who inhabited that past.
Pamela Sargent
When I was growing up I loved reading historical fiction, but too often it was about males; or, if it was about females, they were girls who were going to grow up to be famous like Betsy Ross, Clara Barton, or Harriet Tubman. No one ever wrote about plain, normal, everyday girls.
Kathryn Lasky
I go into any movie that’s historical fiction thinking, ‘OK, I’m here to watch a work of art, something delivering a series of opinions, and if it’s a good work of art, these opinions become so deeply embedded in complexity and richness that I won’t even be bothered by the opinions. I’ll make my own mind up.’
Tony Kushner
One of the great lessons I learned about historical fiction from writing ‘Loving Frank’ is that you don’t try to disguise what people did; my approach was to try to understand the characters and why they did what they did.
Nancy Horan
As much as I love historical fiction, my problem with historical fiction is that you always know what’s going to happen.
George R. R. Martin
I have a fondness for historical fiction, something wondrous like ‘Wolf Hall,’ but I’ll read most anything as long as the story grabs my mind or my heart, and preferably both. You would be hard pressed, however, to find science fiction on my shelves.
Sue Monk Kidd
I do believe that sci-fi or historical fiction finds an easy home in comics because there are no budget constraints in regards to the necessary world-building or visual effects necessary to bring those stories to life in other mediums.
Jonathan Hickman
I could write historical fiction, or science fiction, or a mystery but since I find it fascinating to research the clues of some little know period and develop a story based on that, I will probably continue to do it.
Jean M. Auel
I like to write stories that read like historical fiction about great, world-changing events through the lens of a flawed protagonist.
Carol Berg
I like writing historical fiction.
Philippa Gregory
You can’t believe anything that’s written in an historical novel, and yet the author’s job is always to create a believable world that readers can enter. It’s especially so, I think, for writers of historical fiction.
Justin Cartwright
I first started writing historical fiction in the late ’70s and kept pictures of Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers on my refrigerator until my first book was published by Avon in 1982. The biggest advantage of this genre for me is that it allows me to blend fact and fiction.
Virginia Henley
I never sat down and said, ‘I’m going to write historical fiction with strong romantic elements.’ It was just the way the stories went.
Lauren Willig
The thing about being a mystery writer, what marks a mystery writer out from a chick lit author or historical fiction writer, is that you always find a mystery in every situation.
Tana French
As a writer of historical fiction, I believe you don’t want to fictionalize gratuitously; you want the fictional aspects to prod and pressure the history into new and exciting reactions.
Matthew Pearl
Writers of historical fiction are not under the same obligation as historians to find evidence for the statements they make. For us it is sufficient if what we say can’t be disproved or shown to be false.
Barry Unsworth
We’ve all faced the charge that our novels are history lite, and to some extent, that’s true. Yet for some, historical fiction is a way into reading history proper.
Saul David
Much historical fiction that centers on real people has always been deficient in information, lacking in craft and empty in affect.
Hilary Mantel
I've always been drawn to historical fiction.

I’ve always been drawn to historical fiction.
Karin Slaughter
I’m not a great reader of historical fiction; it’s not my favourite genre.
Mal Peet
One of the joys of writing historical fiction is the chance to read as much as you like on a pet subject – so much that you could easily bore your friends senseless on the topic.
Deanna Raybourn
When you’re writing historical fiction, you have to think a little farther into the situation: what the average social interactions were, what was acceptable behavior. What did people think was fun, what did they find unhappy, and why?
Alexander Chee
‘War and Peace’ holds a strange place in literary history, participating in the crowning of realism as a substantial and serious literary mode in America, even as the novel also contributed to the argument that historical fiction could be by nature dangerous, illegitimate, and inaccurate.
Alexander Chee
It’s still funny for me to think of myself as someone who writes historical fiction because it seems like a really fusty, musty term, and yet it clearly applies.
Susan Choi
I have always regarded historical fiction and fantasy as sisters under the skin, two genres separated at birth.
George R. R. Martin
Writing is writing to me. I’m incapable of saying no to any writing job, so I’ve done everything – historical fiction, myths, fairy tales, anything that anybody expresses any interest in me writing, I’ll write. It’s the same reason I used to read as a child: I like going somewhere else and being someone else.
Geraldine McCaughrean
Over the years, more than one reviewer has described my fantasy series, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’, as historical fiction about history that never happened, flavoured with a dash of sorcery and spiced with dragons. I take that as a compliment.
George R. R. Martin
Historical fiction is actually good preparation for reading SF. Both the historical novelist and the science fiction writer are writing about worlds unlike our own.
Pamela Sargent
Cultural concepts are one of the most fascinating things about historical fiction.
Diana Gabaldon
Obviously, I love to do both contemporary and historical fiction. When a hint of a story grabs me, I try to go with it to see where it will take me whatever the setting.
Katherine Paterson
One thing I like about historical fiction is that I’m not constantly focusing on me, or people like me; you’re obliged to concentrate on lives that are completely other than your own.
Emma Donoghue