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Favourite Historical Romance authors

Two’s Company, Three’s None by Marcus Stone (c1892)

A very useful Reddit thread recently asked for recommendations on Historical Romance authors. These are my personal ones (I’ve probably left loads out, but will add here when I remember others).

Historical accuracy is important to me, as a large part of the tension of a Historical Romance novel comes from the characters having to operate within the constraints of their time period. It also enables themes such as arranged marriage which don’t really work in the modern era. And it’s interesting to learn about different periods of history, so I appreciate authors that properly research the eras they write about.

Regency authors

  • Jane Austen – no explanation needed!
  • Barbara Cartland – very vintage/soft now, but accurate as to social class and mores of the Regency period
  • Georgette Heyer – more serious, low/no steam, but highly accurate as to historical and period detail
  • Elizabeth Rolls – a more modern Regency writer, but reasonably accurate as to social mores and the class system
  • Mary Balogh – gentle, non-steamy Regency author, reasonable accuracy

Non-Regency authors

  • Victoria Holt – wonderful Gothic romances set in various periods, usually late 19th century
  • Mrs George de Horne Vaizey – (contemporary for her period) Edwardian novels, a lighter version of Austen/not satirical
  • Elinor Glyn – (contemporary for her period) Roaring Twenties, considered very “racy” for her time, melodrama, a bit class/hereditary-obsessed
  • Jane Feather – various periods, extensive accurate historical detail

Vintage Recent

(all contemporary for their period)

  • Jilly Cooper – wonderful “bonkbusters” of the 1970s and 1980s
  • Anne Mather – 1960s and 1970s Mills & Boon, fan favourite
  • Charlotte Lamb – 1970s and 1980s Mills & Boon, fan favourite
  • Mary Burchell – 1930s through 1970s, big focus on music/opera
  • Sara Seale – 1930s through 1970s, more “literary” Mills & Boons, huge age gaps