Friday, August 30, 2019

If You Love Historical Fiction Based on Real Women

You guys know that historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, but I especially love historical fiction based on real women from the past who lived extraordinary lives.  Here are some of my favorite novels inspired by real women. I linked the titles to my reviews when possible. 


1.  That Churchill Woman by Stephanie Barron - This novel focuses on Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill's unconventional American mother.  

2.  A Well Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler - This novel features Ava Vanderbilt, who was so much more than a wealthy woman. 


3.  The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher - I really enjoyed learning more about Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, the younger sister of John F. Kennedy. She led an amazing, but heartbreaking life.

4.  My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie - Most historians and storytellers focus on Alexander Hamilton, but this book features his just-as-interesting wife, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton.


5.  Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory - This novel features three important woman from the Tudor court: Katherine of Aragon, Margaret (Henry VIII's sister) and Margaret's younger sister, Mary. All three led important and fascinating lives. 

6.  The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick - This novel is all about Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the most compelling and powerful queens of all-time.  

7.  Victoria by Daisy Goodwin - This book is the perfect introduction to Queen Victoria's life, especially if you are a fan of the PBS show.

8.  The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki - This novel is a fascinating glimpse into the Hapsburg Empire as well as Empress Sisi's life.


9.  America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie - I had no prior knowledge of Martha "Patsy" Jefferson (the eldest daughter of Thomas Jefferson) before reading this novel, but was pleasantly surprised by her interesting life. 

10.  Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey - Who isn't fascinated by Marie Antoinette's life?


11.  The Invention of Wings by Susan Monk Kidd - I loved learning more about the Grimke Sisters, who are famous abolitionists and suffragists. 

12.  Cousins' War series by Philippa Gregory - Women were just as important in the War of the Roses as men were and Gregory highlights some prominent female women from the time period, such as Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort.  

13.  Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman - This fascinating biography (not exactly historical fiction, but I had to include it on this list!) is all about Georgiana, who is an ancestor to Princess Diana. She lived a wild and fascinating life during George III's reign.

14.  Innocent Traitor by Allison Weir - A heartbreaking, yet compelling story about Lady Jane Grey, infamously referred to as the Nine Days' Queen.

Books on My TBR List:

1.  American Princess by Stephanie Marie Thornton (Alice Roosevelt)
2.  The First Lady and the Rebel by Susan Higginbotham (Mary Todd Lincoln and Emily Todd Helm)
3.  The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blalock (Princess Margaret)


4.  Queen Hereafter by Susan Fraser King (Margaret of Scotland)
5.  The Girl in the White Gloves by Kerri Maher (Grace Kelly)
6.  And They Called It Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton  (Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis)
7.  The Queen's Secret by Karen Harper (Elizabeth, The Queen Mother)

What are some of your favorite historical novels based on real-life women? Have you read any of these novels? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. 


  1. The Invention of Wings looks like something I should read. I also got a copy of Victoria by Daisy Goodwin so I have to put it closer to the top of my pile. :)

    1. I think you'd like Invention of Wings - excellent novel! Victoria is also very good. Do you watch the show on PBS? Thanks for visiting, Joy!

  2. I've read a few of these and have some on my TBR, as well. I love that there seems to be almost limitless possibilities these days for historical fiction with women as the main character!

    1. I know! It's so great! I definitely appreciate that. Thanks for visiting, Angela.


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