Historical TV to Books

One of the things I've noticed when it comes to stories set in the past is that a lot of people seem to love to watch them on TV, but not as many love to read about them in books. So today I'm looking at two current, popular historic fictional TV shows and giving suggestions of some fairly recent historical fiction books to try for the people who love them.

First up, Downton Abbey.

If you watch for the upstairs/downstairs contrast and drama:

Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

If you watch for the ladies doing as ladies did (or refusing to act like ladies) during this time period:

Summerset Abbey series by T.J. Brown

If you're interested in the women's rights movement of the time:

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

Next, Reign.

If you watch for the drama & romance set in the past:

The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen

If you watch for the history (yeah, right, but I went in hoping for interesting 1500s drama and got... drama, at least. So I'll say if you originally went in for the history):

The Royal Circle Series by Katherine Longshore

If you watch for the mystery and intrigue:

Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

If you watch for fiery Mary:

The Wild Queen by Carolyn Meyer

Bonus: The Americans.

If you watch for the Cold War intrigue, the spying, and the political tension:

Sekret by Lindsay Smith

Hopefully this will give lovers of these shows some YA historical fiction suggestions to help tide them over for the wait between seasons and maybe expand some horizons! If there are any I missed that you think would be a great match, let me know! Or, do you know of a YA historical fiction novel great for fans of a different historical show? I want to know that too!


  1. Thank you for this post! I LOVE both Downton and Reign! Reign is my new addiction and Downton is still my addiction. lol I want to read some of these books now! Sorry for all the exclamation points, I'm just super excited about the books and your awesome post! :)

    1. I'm so glad you like the post, thank you! :) Loving Reign and Downton are excellent choices and hopefully some of these books will have some of the elements you love from them! I love that you're so excited!

  2. OKAY OKAY JESS I BOUGHT A MAD WICKED FOLLY I promise I'll read it soon! ;)

    Also, how have I not heard about THE WILD QUEEN? Such book lust.

    Your blog is bad for my wallet. <3

    1. YES! Lindsay you are wonderful and so is AMWF; you were meant to be, clearly! ;) Even just the cover for The Wild Queen causes major book lust... I mean, look at how fierce she looks! With Mary as the protagonist I don't know how anyone resists.

      I am very proud of the fact that my blog is bad for your wallet, thank you very much! ;)

  3. What a great idea for a post! I'm more of a Downton fan so I will definitely be checking out those books as well as Sekret!

    1. Thanks Christa! I think there will be elements in those books that will make a Downton fan like yourself very happy. And Sekret is definitely an excellent choice as well :)


I'd love to hear what you think!