Historical Fiction

Quiz: Pick Your Favorite Period Piece Films, Get a Historical Fiction Recommendation

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Alison Doherty

Senior Contributor

Alison Doherty is a writing teacher and part time assistant professor living in Brooklyn, New York. She has an MFA from The New School in writing for children and teenagers. She loves writing about books on the Internet, listening to audiobooks on the subway, and reading anything with a twisty plot or a happily ever after.

Pick your favorite period piece films and dramas to get a historical fiction recommendation! Whether your favorite thing about watching movies set in the past are the costumes, or the romance, or being immersed in a different time and culture, this quiz will give you a recommendation for a novel that appeals to your taste.

There are some tough matchups here. I myself keep going back and forth on whether I favor Marie Antoinette or Shakespeare in Love. And I definitely didn’t want to choose between Like Water for Chocolate and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. But no matter what you choose, you are getting an exciting, engrossing story to read about from history. And on the off chance you don’t feel thrilled about your answer, you have two options: you can take the quiz again, or you can see all the historical fiction recommendations from the quiz at the bottom of the page.

Among the choices are stories involving romance, war, injustice, science, and murders. In fact, most of the books here involve at least two or three of those elements in their stories. There is everything from sweet romance to dark murder mysteries. And all you have to do to get your recommendation is choose your favorite period movies.

Quiz Results

The Hidden Moon Book Cover

The Hidden Moon by Jeannie Lin

You should read The Hidden Moon by Jeannie Lin. Set in Tang Dynasty China, Wei-wei is an intelligent, headstrong daughter in an aristocratic family who gets pulled into solving a mystery when her older brother is given the job of investigating a series of high profile murders. She turns to Gao, a hustler with street smarts and a scandalous reputation, for help. And even though Gao knows they can never be together because of their difference in status, he cannot resist helping her.

Book cover of A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley

A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley

Patience is an independent, West Indian heiress who has her newborn son and her inheritance stolen from her after her English husband’s death. In order to stay close to her son, she disguises herself as a nanny and reenters her home under the control of her son’s new guardian Busick Strathmore. Her plan is find the documents to secure her fortune and take her son away from England. But when feelings between Patience and Busick develop, will she stay true to her plan?

Book cover of Anatomy: A Love Story

Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz

You should read Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz. This YA historical fiction story follows the quest of a young lady living in 1817 Scotland to become a surgeon instead of marrying. To accomplish this, Hazel needs the help of Jack, a resurrection man who snatches dead bodies for a living. But soon they are embroiled in a macabre mystery that goes deeper than either of them ever expected.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton cover

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

You should read The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins. This book is part murder mystery and part dark romance between a Jamaican maid and her French mistress in 19th century England. After the murder of her employers, the media depicts Frannie as a witch, seductress, and criminal. But in this novel, she tells her own story of being born enslaved in Jamaica to a sadistic, eugenicist scientist and the events that brought her to London. As this woman tells her story to try to convince the judge and jury she is innocent, another larger story of slavery, unethical science, and deep inequality unfolds.

Two Wars and a Wedding Book Cover

Two Wars and a Wedding by Lauren Willig

You should read Two Wars and a Wedding by Lauren Willig. Betsy Hayes is an American heiress who wants to become an archeologist, but instead becomes a nurse in two brutal wars: the Greco-Turkish war in 1896 and the Spanish American War in 1898. Based on a true story, this book explores the depth of friendship and the excitement of romance against the backdrop of two wars that are rarely discussed anymore. It has excellent research (don’t skip the author’s note in the back) and incredibly compelling characters!

the cover of Lessons In Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

You should read Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Elizabeth Zott is a woman in the 1960s who is trying to be taken seriously as a scientist. Unfortunately, despite her strong credentials and brilliant mind for chemistry, her all-male team doesn’t take her seriously. This book is filled with satirical humor as it takes her through an epic love story, journey to motherhood, and eventual fame hosting a very unconventional cooking show.

I hope you find your next engrossing historical fiction read from this quiz! And if not, I hope you at least had fun. To take another fun quiz pick your favorite RomCom movies and get a romance novel recommendation. And for more ideas of historical fiction to read take a look at the best historical fiction novels from the last 10 years.