On Historical Novels in general:
Adamson, Lynda G. A Reference Guide to Historical Fiction for Children and Young Adults. New York: Greenwood Press, 1987. RGHFCYA
420 pages of reviews arranged by author, with good discussions of the techniques of the various authors.
Irwin, Leonard. A Guide to Historical Fiction (For the Use of Schools, Librarians & the General Reader. McKinley Bibliographies, vol 1, 10th edition. Brooklawn (NJ): McKinley Publishing Company, 1971. Pp. 225. IrwinGuide
2025 historical novels listed, 180 ancient, 117 Rome and ANE, 45 Rome (excluding Palestine and Juveniles).
McGarry, Daniel D & Sarah Harriman White. World Historical Fiction Guide: An Annotated, Chronological, Geographical and Topical List of Selected Historical Novels, 2nd ed. Metuchen (NJ):The Scarecrow Press, 1973. WHFG
Includes 495 novels from antiquity, with 43 from Rome & the West to 31 BC; 180 from Roman Empire/Christianity to 180 AD; 43 from Roman Empire/Christianity, 180-400 AD. Listings include author, title, publisher and publication date plus one or two brief sentences giving subject matter and evaluation.
Specifically on Antiquity:
Beall, Hazel, "Historical Fiction on Classical Themes" , Classical World 54.1 (October 1960), pp. 8-12, was followed by a Supplement (54.6, Mar 61) and a Revised List (57.1, Oct 63). Beall CW
The first 2 listed in tabular form 326 novels (including juveniles) with 191 set in Roman times and rated as Young Adult or Adult. For each she gave author, title, grade level (for most of those in 54.1), subject (in 2-5 words) & (for most in 54.1) Beall's recommendation. Note that her Not Recommended rating is specifically "a warning that there is too much of the sensational for indiscriminate use by the immature."
The revised list included 458 novels, but those newly added often lacked some of the earlier details. However, the revised list gave a publisher & publication date (though not always the original).
Buller, Jeffrey, Historical Novels in the Classroom. American Classical League (#B806), 1989
A 44-page booklet on the use of Roman historical novels in class, mainly secondary level ($4;) a good source if you have never used historical novels as class supplements or readings.
Ridington, Edith Farr, "Some Recent Historical Fiction, 1", Classical World vol. 52.4 (January 1959), pp 101-104. Her subsequent 17 installments (which from #6 on added "& Juveniles" to the title): Ridington
#2 (52.7, Apr 59); #3 (55.1, Oct 61); #4, 5 & 6 (56.1/5/9, Oct 62 & Feb/June 63); #7 & 8 (57.2, Nov 63 & 57.8, May 64); #9 & 10 (58.1 Sept 64 & 58.6 Feb 65); #11 & 12 (59.3, Nov 65 & 59.8, Apr 66); #13 (60.9, May 67); #14 (61.6, Feb 68); #15 & 16 (62.4, Dec 68 & 62.9, May 69); #17 (63.4, Dec 69); #18 (64.3, Nov 70).
Most books get a paragraph summary review, often with an indication of appropriateness for younger students. These very useful and often lively capsule reviews are not, of course, limited to Roman novels.
Baker, Ernest A.,A Guide to Historical Fiction. Argosy-Antiquarian, Ltd, 1968. (reprint; first published 1914.)
566 pages of historical novels in English, arranged chronologically by date of setting within geographical categories (British Isles, America, France, etc.). At back, alphabetical index of authors, titles & names. Entries range for a short sentence or two to a short paragraph, mainly telling the subject matter, but often including evaluative judgements as well. Its publication date precludes its having much material from the 20th century.
Fisher, Janet,An Index to Historical Fiction for Children & Young People. Scolar Press, 1994. Pp. 192. 461 entries, arranged alphabetically by author. Indices of titles and subjects. Each entry has a short paragraph giving subject/treatment and summary evaluation plus indication of appropriate grade level. Almost no overlap with Fictional Rome, because there are few ancient novels included & the focus is on children’s books.
Hartman, Donald K & Greg Sapp, Historical Figures in Fiction. Oryx Press, 1994. ISBN 0-89774-718-6.
352 pages listing alphabetically, without comment or rating, 1508 historical figures that appear as major characters in one or more novels in English. Does give short (one sentence biographical identification of the person plus references for reviews of the novel.
Hoberman, Ruth, Gendering Classicism: The Ancient World in Twentieth-Century Women’s Historical Fiction. SUNY Press, 1997. Pp. 199. ISBN 0-7914-3336-6.
13 chapters, some general theory, others focusing on 6 20th- century British feminist writers (Mitchison, Butts, Riding, Bentley, Bryher & Renault) and how they reinterpret the classical age in terms of their own outlooks.
Kaye, James Ross, Historical Fiction Chronologically & Historically Related. Snowdon Publishing, 1920.
747 pages of listings, with heavy scatterings of historical lead-ins to the material in the novles. Some critical comment, but mainly just subject matter & how that segment of time fitted into the period. Alphabetical index of authors & titles.
Lukács, Georg, The Historical Novel. Merlin Press, 1962. Pp. 363.
Published originally in Russian in 1936. The English translation of 1962 is from the German edition of the book. No listings or long indices but a discussion of the theory of the historical novel from Scott to German anti-Fascist literature.
Buller, Jeffrey, Historical Films in the Latin Classroom. American Classical League, 1992. Pp. 57. ISBN 0-939507-39-0.
Introductory essay and study guides to 6 movies (1 Greek, 5 Roman). Includes study questions, paper topics, historical references.etc.
Wyke, Maria, Projecting the Past: Ancient Rome, Cinema & History. Routledge, 1997. Pp. 237. ISBN 0-415-90614-8.
How film-makers in Hollywood and Italy have used & reinterpreted ancient Rome in their movies, with special concentration on films involving Spartacus, Cleopatra, Nero and the destruction of Pompeii.
[ Home |
First Time Users |
What's New |
For Comments or questions regarding this web site, contact Fred Mench