Although I have never been an avid reader, ever since I was a six year old child I have been fascinated with non-fiction, epic poetry, and anything and everything history related. I have always also enjoyed reading historical fiction despite never being somebody who enjoyed fiction to begin with. Here is a list of some of the greatest historical fiction writers of all time!
Conn Iggulden (1971- ) – Despite being such a new writer, Conn Iggulden has breathed new life into the historical fiction genre and become the leading author in historical fiction in the 21st Century! Everything Iggulden writes is pure magic. The four book Emperor series followed the life of Julius Ceaser, and culminated with the moving series finale, Gods of War, a book that remains to be the only book I’ve ever read that actually made me break down in tears! Iggulden has also begun the Conqueror series that focuses on the lives of Genghis, Ogedai, and Kublai Khan. So far books 1 to 3 have been published, Wolf of the Plains, Lords of the Bow and Bones of the Hills. The latest addition Empire of Silver will be released soon, and it will be followed by two more books to complete the series. I urge everyone to read Iggulden’s books, as he possesses a style that’s very unique indeed!
Edward Rutherfurd (1948- ) – Yet another awesome British author that made the best seller list his home with the publishing of his masterpiece Sarum in 1987. Sarum was a historical novel with a ten thousand year story and became a worldwide sensation. It was followed with five more bestsellers including Russka, The Forest, Dublin: Foundation, and Ireland: Awakening. This is an exceptional author!
Alaxandre Dumas Pere (1802-1870) – Dumas was the French author of historical fiction books such as The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and Twenty Years After. Although the English translations aren’t as good as the original versions in French, the books have been translated in almost a hundred languages. This is one of the all time greats!
James Clavell (1924-1994) – Clavell was a British/American novelist best known for his Asian Saga series, including the masterpiece of his career Shogun (1975), a novel set in feudal Japan. Other notable books include Noble House, Whirlwind, and Gai-Jin!
Ken Follett (1949- ) – Clavell is the author of the bestsellers Pillars of the Earth (1989), Eye of the needle (1978), The Key to Rebecca (1980), and Whiteout (2004). Although primarily a thriller author the exceptional Pillars of the Earth had proven that he is certainly an author that stands out on a global scale!
Bernard Cornwell (1944 – ) – Cornwell is one of the most prolific historical fiction writers especially when taking his Sharpe series of novels following the adventures of Richard Sharpe, an English soldier during the Napoleonic Wars. Other notable works include The Warlord Chronicles, The Starbuck chronicles, and the Grail Quest novels.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi (1943- ) – Manfredi is an Italian historian and writer that has given us some of the best historical fiction ever written! He has written the exceptional Alexander trilogy, The Last Legion, Spartan, and The Oracle! His original writings in Italian get translated by his wife Christine Fedderson Manfredi.
Steven Pressfield (1943- ) – This Spanish born American novelist that has given us some of the most thoroughly researched historical fiction to date! Exceptional books include the epic novel Gates of Fire and Tides of War. Other notable books include Last of the Amazons, and the Afghan Campaign.
Simon Scarrow (1962- ) – This Nigerian born UK based author has written some exceptional novels most notably the Eagle series of Roman military fiction set in the territories of the Roman Empire in Britain. The series has nine books with a tenth being planned for late 2010. He has also written the Revolution series that’s cantered around the life of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Robert Ranke Graves (1895- 1985) – Despite being a successful poet and translator of ancient texts, Graves was also one of the bets historical fiction writers of all time! Graves gave us tremendous works such as I, Claudius; King Jesus, Count Belisarius, Claudius the God, and The White Goddess. He has also written an immense collection of poetry!
Other great authors worth a mention would be Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of The Lake), Wallace Breem (Eagle in the Snow), C. S. Forester (Hornblower series), Lindsey Davis (Falco series), and Colleen McCullough who wrote the exceptional Masters of Rome series.