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What are the Great Qualities of British historical fiction?

The British have always been a step above the rest regarding historical fiction. There’s just something about their novels that transports readers back in time and makes them feel like they’re a part of the story. From the greats like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens to modern-day authors like Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel, the British have always been leaders in this genre. But what is it that makes their historical fiction so great? Let’s look at some qualities that make British historical fiction stand out.

Ability to Bring History to Life

One of the things that British authors do best is bringing history to life. Their novels are well-researched and written to make the past come alive for readers. You can almost feel transported back when reading a British historical fiction novel.

A Discovery of Witches is a perfect example of this. It’s the first book in the All Souls trilogy, and it’s set in Oxford in the present day. However, the novel also flashes back to the past, specifically the 1500s.

The novel follows Diana Bishop, a historian, and witch, who discovers a lost manuscript in the Bodleian Library. This leads them on a journey to find her family’s history and uncover a plot to bring witches and vampires out into the open.

If you love historical fiction, you’ll enjoy A Discovery of Witches.

Attention to Detail

Another quality that makes British historical fiction great is the attention to detail. British authors take the time to research their subjects, which shows in their writing. They include small details that make the story more believable and give readers a better understanding of the period.

Sense of Place

Another thing that British historical fiction does well creates a sense of place. The author’s descriptions make it easy for readers to imagine the setting and feel like they’re there. You can almost smell the roses in Jane Austen’s novels or feel the cold, damp air in Charles Dickens’ stories.

Great Characters

Of course, no story is without great characters. British historical fiction is filled with lovable (and sometimes not so lovable) characters that readers can’t help but fall in love with. From the schemes of Mr. Wickham in Pride and Prejudice to the courage of Joan of Arc in The Pillars of the Earth, British authors know how to create characters that readers will remember long after they’ve finished the book.

Engaging Plots

Last but not least, British historical fiction always has engaging plots. Even if you have zero interest in the period, you’ll find yourself drawn in by the story. British authors know how to write a good story that keeps you turning the pages until the end.

These qualities make it so great. You’re missing out if you’ve never read a British historical fiction novel. Be sure to pick one up the next time you’re at the bookstore.


British historical fiction is some of the best in the world. There are many reasons, but some of the most important ones are the attention to detail, the excellent writing, and the interesting characters.

One thing that makes British historical fiction so great is the attention to detail. The authors of these novels do their research, and it shows. They include small details that make the story more believable and make the reader feel like they are there.

Another reason it is so great is excellent writing. The authors of these novels know how to tell a story. They keep the reader engaged and made them want to discover what happens next. They also create characters that are easy to relate to and who are interesting.

Lastly, British historical fiction is great because the characters are interesting. They are complex and three-dimensional. They have flaws and strengths. They are people that the reader can care about.

So, if you’re looking for great historical fiction to read, check out British authors, you won’t be disappointed.

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