Historical Fiction

"Admitting that genius which has familiarized itself with all the relics of an ancient period can sometimes, by the force of its sympathetic divination, restore the missing notes in the "music of humanity," and reconstruct the fragments into a whole which will really bring the remote past nearer to us, and interpret it to our duller apprehension,–this form of imaginative power must always be among the very rarest, because it demands as much accurate and minute knowledge as creative vigour."

This is fiction set in a distinctive historical period other than the one the author lives in, which brushes up against actual historical figures if it doesn't star them outright. Depending on the bent of said author, they may let their biases bleed through via Historical Hero Upgrade or Historical Villain Upgrade. A Historical Beauty Update will make the story more fun without making it much less accurate. Important historical events are at least mentioned in passing if they don't have a strong influence on the plot. Deliberate Values Dissonance is frequent for historical accuracy. Often, the period predates a Trope Breaker (though sometimes the audience doesn't realize that).

This may overlap with Alternate History if the history is shown to play out differently and Historical Fantasy if fantastic elements are present. Compare to Period Piece, which uses the past as a backdrop for the drama, while Historical Fiction is fiction in which historical events significantly affect the plot. Historical Detective Fiction is a common subgenre.

Usually it includes one or more Historical Domain Characters, and may commonly employ Artistic License when the author feels the story is more important than accuracy.

Compare and contrast Field Trip to the Past and Adventures in the Bible, in which characters from the present day go back in time to experience history.


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     Anime & Manga 
See also Jidai Geki.

    Comic Books 
  • From Hell by Alan Moore is an impeccably researched depiction of Victorian London during the Jack the Ripper murders. It mixes historical fiction and accurate detail with Conspiracy Kitchen Sink.
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa, sets its main character in various decades from the 1870s to the 1940s, featuring such characters as Murdo Mac Kenzie, Wyatt Earp, and Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Marvel1602
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman is more like non-fiction. It documents the experiences of Vladek Spiegelman, the author's father, during The Holocaust.
  • Gustav Vasa set in 16th-century Sweden.
  • Three is set in Sparta in the fourth century BC. It features some Historical Domain Characters, but the plot itself is fictional.
  • Les Aigles de Rome is about the Battle of Teutoburg Forest where several Roman legions were destroyed by a Germanic uprising. Numerous characters really did exist (such as Arminius), while others are fictitious.

    Fan Works 
  • The Uplifted series is this. Especially the first trilogy, which takes place during World War II.



    Live Action TV 
See also Historical Series.


    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 


    Web Original 

    Western Animation