A subgenre of SpeculativeFiction, Historical Fantasy is similar to UrbanFantasy, except the setting will be a time and place in the past rather than modern times.

Historical fantasy novels will be set in an actually historic and geographic location on our own Earth. Although fantastic elements exist in the novel, these are implied not to have made it into the history books because of TheMasquerade or else were dismissed as myth and superstition by more modern historians. Books of this type are typically LowFantasy, since disguising the epic scope of HighFantasy to {{muggles}} in a real world setting would be very implausible.

Alternately, the world may be obviously meant to be a real, historical place, but names may have been slightly changed and fantastic elements added. This is a subjective area, so please only add examples where a very clear parallel can be drawn between the real and fantasy world.

There can be some overlap with AlternateHistory if the fantastic elements are shown to have actually changed history as we know it. Essentially the inverse of {{Demythtification}}, which is a genre that takes the supernatural elements out of an existing myth or legend. See also HistoricalFiction for non-fantasy works. GaslampFantasy and MedievalEuropeanFantasy are subtropes.


* ''Anime/TheMysteriousCitiesOfGold'' is set in the 16th century during Spain's exploration/exploitation of the New World, but with [[LostTechnology Lost]] {{Magitek}}.
* ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'' is set in the 1920s in America, and features a [[ChurchMilitant nun-with-a-gun]] and [[DealWithTheDevil the demon she's contracted to]] fighting demons and other supernatural threats. The manga also fits under AlternateHistory towards the end, but the anime makes a point of working in the 1981 Pope John Paul II assassination attempt into the finale of the show.
* ''VideoGame/SakuraTaisen'' is 1920s Japan but with demons -- it's also somewhat AlternateHistory, although the [[SchizoTech crazy steam technology]] doesn't seem to have affected the timeline much.
* On that note, ''Manga/InuYasha'' qualifies as well, since it's Sengoku-era Japan but with demons and magic, and yet the timeline appears to be unchanged.
* ''Manga/SamuraiDeeperKyo'' is set in Sengoku Japan with a truckload of FunctionalMagic and LensmanArmsRace levels of new hidden powers coming to the forefront.
* ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' injects [[HermeticMagic alchemy]] (specifically, the [[ImmortalityInducer Elixir of Life]] and [[ArtificialHuman homunculi]]) into the [[{{Gangsterland}} organized crime world]] of the 1930s.
* ''Manga/SamuraiChamploo'' has some minor fantastical elements, like the existence of ki. Zombies, however, are most likely [[MushroomSamba mushroom-induced hallucinations]].
* ''Anime/PrincessMononoke''
* ''Anime/BloodTheLastVampire'' largely takes place in a 1970s Japan that looks very much like the real world deal...[[CaptainObvious except for the aforementioned vampires]] running around.
* ''VideoGame/{{Gatekeepers}}'' likewise is set a bit further back, in 1969-70 Tokyo, with a dash of AlternateHistory. Aside from the Invaders and super powered heroes, it does manage to capture the real economic and social changes in Japan during that time.
* Arguably due to the presence of AnthropomorphicPersonifications, ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' would likely count as well. Especially in the way the Nations are presented in contrast to [[{{Muggles}} their citizens]].
* ''Manga/MariaTheVirginWitch'' takes place during the Hundred Years War.
* The 2003 version of ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' becomes this [[spoiler: near the end of the series and in ''[[Anime/FullmetalAlchemistTheConquerorOfShamballa Conqueror of Shamballa]]'']].
* In ''LightNovel/{{Campione}}'' the modern myths of King Arthur were created and perpetuated by Guinevere. The original story is far different, with "Artos" being a god the Brittish worshipped after he killed a [[HistoricalInJoke Roman general who had become a Campione]] and became their land's protector.

* ''Defoe'' follows a motley group of adventurers as they fight [[ZombieApocalypse zombie hordes]] in the 17th century.
* ''ComicBook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''.
* ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' is set in Gaul under Roman rule, the Gauls village is the last one not to fall to the Romans because their druid is able to provide them with a magic potion that grants them super strength.

* ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell'' by Susanna Clarke is set in RegencyEngland, with TheFairFolk and [[FunctionalMagic magicians]].
* Creator/DavidGemmell has a few series like this, one set in {{ancient Greece}} around the time of Philip II and Alexander the Great, and another in [[KingArthur Arthurian Britain]]. He's also got one set during the siege of Troy, though that one is presented in such a way that almost all of the supernatural things apart from [[CassandraTruth Cassandra's precognition]] have obvious natural explanations.
* Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/{{Stardust}}'' is an odd example, since most of the action takes place outside of historical England. The majority of the mystical parts are contained within the land beyond the wall. The wall is just a low stone wall running across the bottom of a village, which happens to contain a gate to the world that is spoken of in fairy tales. The part of England in that world is full of living stars and lightning smugglers. The real world, however, is so mundane that any part of the fairy realm that isn't at least partly from the real world would not survive the trip, turning into lifeless matter.
* ''Literature/TalesOfTheOtori'' by Lian Hearn.
* ''Literature/KeturahAndLordDeath''. Romance with Death taking place in the Middle ages.
* Sylvain Hotte's ''{{Darhan}}'' series takes place in the time of Genghis Khan.
* Creator/GuyGavrielKay is a specialist of the variant, with ''Literature/{{Tigana}}'' an obvious stand in for Renaissance era Italy, ''Literature/TheLionsOfAlRassan'' for Spain at the time of the Reconquista, ''Literature/TheSarantineMosaic'' for the Byzantine Empire under Justinian, and ''A Song for Arbonne'' for France at the time of the Albigenoise Crusade.
** He has since added ''The Last Light of the Sun'', based on 9th-century England, and ''Under Heaven'', based on the An Lushan Rebellion in Tang dynasty China.
* Creator/MercedesLackey's [[UrbanFantasy urban fantasies]] have a series of books in the same universe set in various time periods in Europe.
* Creator/MercedesLackey and Creator/EricFlint wrote the novels ''Literature/ShadowOfTheLion'' and ''Literature/ThisRoughMagic'', which are set in [[CityOfCanals Venice]] in the 1530's but contain [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons]], elemental spirits, and FunctionalMagic.
* Takashi Matsuoka's ''CloudOfSparrows'' and ''Autumn Bridge'' are set in 19th century Japan, but some members of the Okumichi clan can see the future.
* Colleen [=McCullough's=] novels set in {{ancient Rome}} are all considered historical fiction, but feature a few ambiguous fantastical elements such as various prophecies coming true and omens almost always being accurate.
** Acurate prophecies and omens are fairly common in "realist" fiction, and frequently are not considered fantastical elements. After all, lots of people in the [[RealLife real world]] believes those things to be true. It should also be noted that the Romans themselves placed great stock in fortunetelling and divination.
* Naomi Novik's ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'' series is set during the Napoleonic wars ... with [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragons]] as air support!
* The books in Creator/AnneRice's [[Literature/TheVampireChronicles Vampire cycle]] that are set in the past qualify since they are depictions of history - except with [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]].
** The same is true of the ''VampirePlagues'' series.
* Creator/CarolineStevermer's ''Literature/ScholarlyMagics'' series is set in an AlternateHistory early twentieth century with FunctionalMagic.
* Creator/PatriciaCWrede and Creator/CarolineStevermer's ''Literature/SorceryAndCecelia'' and its sequels (RegencyEngland, but with [[FunctionalMagic mages]]!). Also, Creator/PatriciaCWrede's ''Literature/MairelonTheMagician'' and ''Magician's Ward''.
* Megan Whalen Turner's ''Literature/TheQueensThief'' series is an interesting case. It's set somewhere on the Mediterranean in a culture that's heavily Byzantine, but the countries mentioned are entirely fictional. Turner goes to great pains to make the story feel like real historical fiction. The fantasy comes from the highly active pantheon of gods directing events.
* Most of Andrzej Sapkowski's newer, post-''[[Literature/TheWitcher Witcher]]'' works fall into this cathegory, including the [[FanNickname "Hussite Trilogy"]], a series of Historical Fantasy adventure novels taking place in 15. century Silesia and the Kingdom of Bohemia [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin during the time of the Hussite Wars]]...
* ''Literature/TallTaleAmerica'': a retelling of American history, but focusing less on tariffs and more on people digging the Grand Canyon with their bare hands.
* ''Devil's Tower'' and ''Devil's Engine'' by Mark Sumner: A combination of the fantasy and western genres. The Battle of Shiloh released magic into the world. A generation later the United States and the Confederacy are confined to the east and the western half of the country is broken up into isolated communities run by sheriffs who've mastered some magical powers.
* ''Literature/AbrahamLincolnVampireHunter''
** And ''Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter''
** And ''King Henry VIII: Wolfman''
** And ''Dawn of the Dreadfuls''
** And ''Pride & Prejudice & Zombies''
** And ''Dreadfully Ever After''
** And ''Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters''
* ''Literature/TheStrangelyBeautifulSeries'' involves the guard facing off against Hades, the ruler of the whisper world, during the Victorian era.
* ''Literature/ShadesOfMilkAndHoney'': Mary Robinette Kowal's sweet evocation of Creator/JaneAusten and her own art of puppetry (recast as the magic of illusions). Quietly focused on characterization and a slow-burn romance, but with the magical talents an integral, trivial yet all-pervasive force, building to a quite exciting climax.
** It is RegencyEngland [[InSPACE with Magic!]].
* ''Literature/TheMagiciansAndMrsQuent'': a somewhat barefaced hodgepodge of Creator/JaneAusten, Creator/CharlesDickens, Creator/HenryJames, ''Literature/JaneEyre'', and a couple other 19th century British greats, set in a parallel universe with a really odd sun cycle where magic provides a rationale for some of the gender roles that century is famous for. Clearly evoking the kind of RegencyEngland fantasy Susannah Clarke achieved, but with considerably less subtlety, grace, or prose style.
* Paul Kearney's ''Macht Trilogy''. The first novel, ''The Ten Thousand '' retells Creator/{{Xenophon}}'s ''Literature/{{Anabasis}}''; the remaining novels, ''Corvus'' and ''Kings of Morning'', loosely follow the life of UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat.
* Marie Brennan's ''Literature/OnyxCourt'' series recounts the secret history of London and the faeries living beneath it, from Elizabethan times through the Victorian era.
* Modern retellings of the [[KingArthur Arthurian mythos]] often overlap with HistoricalFiction to show the writer's version of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_basis_for_King_Arthur "true story" behind the legend]]. These are set in a more or less historical Europe in the [[DarkAgeEurope Dark Ages]] (or TheLowMiddleAges) instead of the fantasyland Europe of ChivalricRomance, usually depicted as HighMiddleAges. These may trade the glittering castles and [[KnightinShiningArmor knights in shining plate armor]] for [[{{Demythtification}} wooden hill-forts and horsemen in leather and chain mail]]. But magic and other fantastic elements may remain, thus falling under this trope. Other retellings (listed under {{Demythtification}}) play it straight and omit all fantastic elements.
** Gillian Bradshaw's ''Down the Long Wind'' trilogy. The fantasy elements are strongest in the first book, wherein Gwalchmai (Gawain) receives [[{{Excalibur}} Caledfwlch]] from the Celtic Otherworld and opposes the Dark sorcery of his mother Morgause as a servant of the Light. These elements are less pronounced in the sequels - possibly because of [[SwitchingPOV different narrators]] in each book: Gwalchmai, then his [[KidSidekick Teen Sidekick]] or "squire", then Gwynhwyfar (Guinevere).
** Stephen R. Lawhead's ''Pendragon Cycle'' series contains virtually no "flashy" magic like spell-casting, etc. But Merlin is descended from [[{{Atlantis}} Atlanteans]], who are treated like Tolkien's Elves - including their longevity and application of magic.
** Joan Wolf's ''The Road to Avalon'' has no magical elements except for Arthur and Morgan le Fay (portrayed as Arthur's true love) sharing a telepathic link. Merlin is a Roman-trained engineer.
** Courtway Jones' ''In the Shadow of the Oak King'' similarly strips out the magic except for making Arthur and his half-brother Pelleas telepaths. Pelleas also [[BondCreatures bonds with]] a pack of wolves. Merlin is a blacksmith and general wise man.
** Bernard Cornwell's ''Literature/TheWarlordChronicles'' trilogy takes the MaybeMagicMaybeMundane route for the first two books, but the waters get muddy in the third book due to some {{Contrived Coincidence}}s. It also has an UnreliableNarrator.
** Creator/DavidGemmell's ''Ghost King'' and ''The Last Stone of Power'', much more akin to "fantasy" than "historical" fiction though they're set in post-Roman Britain.
** ''[[Literature/{{Gwenhwyfar}} Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit]]'' by Creator/MercedesLackey.
** ''Mad Merlin'' by J. Robert King and its sequels.
** ''The Coming of the King'' by Nikolai Tolstoy.
** The ''Arthor'' series by A. A. Attanasio.
** ''Literature/TheMistsOfAvalon'' by MarionZimmerBradley. It has a series of prequels set in Britain co-authored with, and then (after Bradley's death) solely written by, Diana L. Paxson.
** ''The White Raven'', a retelling of Tristan and Isolde by Diana L. Paxson. Followed by ''The Hallowed Isle'' series, her own retelling of the Arthurian legends.
* ''Literature/RagnarLodbrokAndHisSons'', a 13th century saga that mixes history and fantasy in its portrayal of the 9th century Viking Age.
* ''Child of the Eagle'' by Creator/EstherFriesner. [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Venus]] appears to [[AncientRome Marcus Brutus]] and convinces him to thwart the assassination of UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar.
* ''Literature/ForgottenGods'' has TheFairFolk returning 18th century Britain.
* ''Literature/ThoseWhoHuntTheNight'' and its sequels, by Creator/BarbaraHambly, features vampires in TheEdwardianEra.
* ''Literature/BrideOfTheRatGod'', also by Hambly, about a cursed artifact that winds up being a prop in a Hollywood film.
* ''Literature/TheCatsOfSeroster'' by Creator/RobertWestall is set in a fairly realistic version of 16th Century France, with the tactics, weaponry and technology of the era preserved intact. It's just that there also happen to be [[{{telepathy}} telepathic]] cats and mystical knives that grant immortality to the wielder.
* ''The Cardinal's Blades'' series by Pierre Pevel is Creator/AlexandreDumas with dragons and dragon-kin, and also a PerspectiveFlip since the heroes are agents of Richelieu.
* ''Literature/TheSeaOfTrolls'' and sequels by Nancy Farmer.
* Ben Kane's Literature/TheForgottenLegion trilogy, set during the last decades of the Roman Republic. One of the main characters is the Etruscan seer Tarquinius, one of the few such genuine ones in the books. His divination skills help his friends, fugitive gladiators Romulus and Brennus, survive various escapades -- from Crassus' defeat in Parthia to serving as mercenaries further East (hence the title), to serving with Caesar in Egypt, leading all the way to the Ides of March. Romulus' twin sister Fabiola, sold to a brothel instead of a ludus, also occasionally has accurate visions regarding her brother.
* ''Literature/TheShadowOfBlackWings'' series by James Calbraith, a steam fantasy set in alternative version of 19th century Wales and Japan.
* ''Literature/KatIncorrigible'' features an alternate Regency, with magic.
* ''Literature/{{Portlandtown}}'' takes place in late 19th century Portland, with subtly magic and unsubtle zombies.
* Creator/EricFlint and DaveFreer's ''Literature/KrimPyramids" books may qualify, taking place largely in Greek and Egyptian myths.
* The ''Literature/{{Wolfsangel}}'' Cycle by M.D. Lachlan.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Carnivale}}'': Fantastic things happened during TheGreatDepression.
* ''Series/YoungBlades'': The Musketeers during the time of Louis XIV, and Cardinal Mazarin is the leader of an evil magical cult.
* ''Series/DaVincisDemons'': A young Leonardo da Vinci defends Medici-controlled Florence and combats a Papal conspiracy with the ancient Sons of Mithras.

* ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}''
* ''Film/SleepyHollow''
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' was set in a loose early 18th century setting until the 4th movie set the year in 1750 and introduced historical characters such as Blackbeard[[note]]He's still alive thanks to Voodoo[[/note]], George II of Britain and Ferdinand VI of Spain.
* ''Franchise/IndianaJones''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}''

* ''Theatre/WitchesTheMusical''

* ''Roleplay/MarkedRP''
* ''Roleplay/AHDotComEternals''
* Any of the ''TabletopGame/{{Gurps}}'' historical volumes can be fantasized to discretion and many contain information on the mythology of the time period as a guide to doing this.
** One common trick is to assume the [=PCs=] think they are in a fantasy world, the way average people in the time period might, and not tell the players running the characters whether or not the GM is running a fantasy world until after the game is over.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Devil Summoner: VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsTheSoullessArmy'' and its sequel are set in Taisho-era Japan, and well, you play as a devil summoner. You summon demons.
* The ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts'' trilogy is set around and after WorldWarI. You even get to recruit Princess Anastasia Romanov as a party member in ''Covenant'', and meet historical figures like Al Capone in ''From The New World''.
* ''Onimusha'' follows a semi-historical person (Hidemitsu Samanosuke Akechi is based on a real person, but very loosely) in games one and three, and a heavily fictionalized YagyuJubei in the second. OdaNobunaga was obviously real, although not fueled by demons in real life.
* ''VideoGame/TheBastardOfKosigan'',a mod for ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'', revolves around a fictionalized version of 14th-century France combined with the StandardFantasySetting inherent in the D&D rules, leading to things like the King of France having a red dragon or two as personal pets. Most of the wider setting isn't detailed, but the Duke of Burgundy seems to have incorporated magic into his court pretty effectively.
* ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' within each era, there's a secret war between the Templars and the Assassins, who are trying to find and utilize the pieces of Eden. The settings take place from the Crusades, the American Revolution, to the present day.
* ''VideoGame/{{Darklands}}'' is a fantasy RPG set in the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire during the 15th century, with various elements from local folklore used to flesh out the fantasy aspects.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica''
* ''Maelstrom'' takes place in Tudor England, with some magic and mostly superstitions to guide the players.
* White Wolf's ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' features a detailed alternate history of the world, in which powerful supernatural forces rage behind the scenes of most major historical events.

* ''Webcomic/MayonakaDensha'' follows the adventures of a [[ButNotTooForeign British-Japanese girl]] named Hatsune Rondo who is transported back from modern day Japan to VictorianLondon of 1888 and ends up joining the [[Literature/SherlockHolmes Baker Street Irregulars]] to fight against UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper and many other criminals of London.
* In ''Webcomic/TheRedStar'', despite the heavy use of {{Magitek}}, the story is about the war between the United Republics of the Red Star and Al'istaan, with maps making the parallels clear.
* ''Webcomic/TheFoxSister'' is set in Seoul, Korea, of 1968, adding FantasticFoxes to the otherwise realistic setting.