Historical fiction offers a great way for authors to transport readers to settings that they might recognize from history, but can then also view in a brand new way. Using a historical setting for a fictional narrative or real historical figures as characters in a fictional tale is something that has been irresistible for both authors and readers for many years and it is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. Here are just five free ebooks that features fictional tales that were inspired by real historical events or people.
by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Everyone is familiar with the ancient Roman town of Pompeii that was destroyed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius back in AD 79. Author Edward Bulwer-Lytton used this historical setting as the backdrop for his 1834 novel, The Last Days of Pompeii, but was actually inspired by a painting of the same name that was created by a Russian painter named Karl Briullov. In the novel an Athenian nobleman falls in love with a Greek beauty shortly after arriving in Pompeii, but has to deal with the schemes of an Egyptian sorcerer. The book became popular enough to inspire numerous theatrical, film and television adaptations over the years.
by G. A. Henty
The English novelist, George Alfred Henty, made quite a name for himself writing historical adventure stories in the late 19th century. One of these is The Lion of St. Mark, which features an English teenager named Francis Hammond ,who lives with his merchant father in Venice of the 14th century. Francis discovers about a political conspiracy that places his life in peril along with his friends. Any readers with an interest in Venice and stories filled with intrigue and action will enjoy The Lion of St. Mark.
by Maurice Hewlett
The protagonist of this 1901 historical fiction novel by Maurice Hewlett is Richard Coeur de Lion, also known as Richard I, King of England. The title of the book originates from the fact that Richard the Lionheart had quite a reputation for terseness as well as self-contradictions. The author uses a narrator that is a contemporary of Richard’s, which unfortunately means he has a penchant for writing that is rather flowery. Nonetheless The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay an interesting read for those who would like to see a different angle to the familiar story of Richard I. The book has everything from danger to romance and sprinkles in lots of historical detail as well.
by Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott was well known for his historical novels and Ivanhoe, which was published in 1820, is perhaps one of his best known and most beloved. The tale is set in 12th-century England and the protagonist, Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, is a Saxon noble. In addition to a number of historical characters, Ivanhoe also features Robin Hood along with his merry men. The chivalric setting of the book, along with the charismatic characters has made it a classic and Ivanhoe has been the basis for many film, television as well as theatrical adaptations.
by James Finimore Cooper
The Leatherstocking Tales consists of five historical fiction novels by author Fenimore Cooper. The books take place during the eighteenth century and stars a frontiersman named Natty Bumppo, also known by various other names by the European-American settlers and Native Americans. The books were published between 1823 and 1840, while the stories span the period between 1740 and 1806. The series consists of The Pioneers, The Last of the Mohicans, The Prairie, The Pathfinder and The Deerslayer. The Last of The Mohicans, which takes place during the French and Indian War is perhaps one of the most well known and inspired numerous films, including one starring Daniel Day-Lewis.