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Thirty-Eight Illuminating PLW Historical Fiction Link Lists

By Ana Brazil
December 8, 2023

In honor of PLW’s four years of blogging, I’ve created a list of all thirty-eight of our Link Lists.

There be gems below, fellow historical fiction friends!

For Readers

Fifty States of Historical Fiction by Ana Brazil – “Historical fiction reader and reviewer extraordinaire Erin Davies recently embarked upon a fictional journey of novels from around the world by reading one book set in every country (that she can find). I thought I’d suggest a similar historical fiction journey, but one that travels through the United States.”

Summer Reading: Best All-Time Historical Novels by Michal Strutin – “Historical fiction—including its subgenres: mystery, romance, family saga, etc.—makes an especially good get-away, not only from real life, but also from real time…From ancient history to WWII, the United States and Europe to Asia and Africa, below are “best historical fiction” links from a variety of sources. I chose curated collections over sales statistics, so no Amazon list.”

Books & Coffee: a Love Story by Michal Strutin – “Find a book that calls to you, purchase, then sit down with coffee and a pastry or light lunch and lose yourself in reading. A bookstore café: pure pleasure. Books + coffee, a match made in…Venice, in the sixteenth century?”

Cafe Greco in Rome, 1865

PLW YouTube Gems by Ana Brazil – “Did you know…Paper Lantern Writers has a YouTube Channel! Over the past two years our YouTube Guru C.V. Lee has encouraged all of us writers to share what we know. It turns out that we know a lot about researching, writing, and editing historical fiction. And the book biz. And settings. And slang. And…well, take a look at the twenty-five links below.”

Literary Pilgrimages, Summer 2021 Edition by Ana Brazil – “My literary pilgrimages to Wharton’s The Mount and Alcott’s Orchard House infused me with joy, wonderment, enthusiasm, and, to be honest, envy. After seeing where these women wrote, I wanted to step into their lives, hoping that living where they lived would enable me to write with as much perception and persistence as they did. And, to be honest, enjoy some of their success!”

We Gotta Get Out of This Place… by Ana Brazil – “On the one-year anniversary of sheltering-in-place to prevent COVID-19 transmission, a year in which I left my house only to walk my dog and cat and get groceries, I gotta get out of this place!” If you do to, let’s hop into my favorite time machine and hit the road. And since March is Women’s History Month, how about we visit locales associated with famous American women?

Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts

2020 Reading Recommendations – by Ana Brazil – “Jolabokaflod-PDX weekend is upon us, which means books, books, books! What better opportunity for us to share our favorite books of 2020?”

Eat, Drink, & be Grateful! by Ana Brazil – “How about trying a recipe from Thanksgiving Past this year? Here’s a round up of some online recipe books and menus of the 19th and early 20 centuries that could give your Holiday Season a little more vintage flair.”

“An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you” by Ana Brazil – “Storytellers have been taunting and teasing us for centuries about horrific creatures—about ghosts and golems and monsters—but we’ve only been writing these stories down for the last 250 years (or so). How about we set our mythical time machine to the 19th century and visit three writers whose menacing creatures continue to terrify us?”

For Writers

Small Presses & Hybrid Publishing by Michal Strutin – “Here’s some reliable sites that publish lists of small presses, the links to presses with clear historical fiction interest are listed first.”

Writing a Query, Finding an Agent by Michal Strutin -“December is the month for holidays. It’s also the month to fill in your Excel sheet with the agents you’re going to pitch to in the new year. Plus, it’s time to polish up your query letter: crafting the hook and fashioning a synopsis that’s succinct and compelling. Aggghhh. I’d rather write a NaNoWriMo’s month of words than a one-page query letter.”

markus-winkler via unsplash

Historical Fiction-Friendly Book Reviewers by Ana Brazil – “Since GET BOOK REVIEWS!!!!!!! will be high on our pre-pub & pub checklists, I thought I’d give us (and you, if you’re a fellow author) a head start.”

Writers on Writing: From the Profound to the Hilarious by Rebecca D’Harlingue – “We’ve all heard things like write every day, have a schedule, make a plan, (or be spontaneous), and revise, revise, revise. These links lead to insights that go beyond that, and sometimes even contradict it. If you’re a reader, you’ll get a glimpse into the writing process. If you’re a writer, it can be reassuring to see that the great authors had some of the same difficulties (see the Hemingway quote below).”

Ever Judge a Book by its Cover? by Ana Brazil – “Ever judge a book by its cover? Of course you have! And why not? The cover tells you so much about what’s in the book, where the book is set, the tone of the story, and even what the author/publisher thinks of the book. Since most books are judged by their covers anyway, if you’re an author or a cover artist, why not submit your cover for formal judgment? This month—as PLW blogs about Book Covers—I list links for thirteen Book Cover Contests.”

For Researchers and other Lovers of History

Historically Accurate Movies by Michal Strutin – “Last week, roaming around the internet for the next movie to watch at home, I came upon Master and Commander. It was in a list of the most historically accurate movies. I explored other such links and picked nine movies that each appeared at least three times among those lists.”


Homes for the Holidays by Michal Strutin – “Besides the season’s cheer, most of these historic homes help readers and writers visualize how the wealthy lived in times past: everything from tapestries to knurled newel posts. Pinterest is another good place to see furnishings of the past. Most of the examples below include virtual tours, but if you plan to visit a historic home for the holidays, now’s the time to make your reservations.”

Happy Holiday Postcards by Ana Brazil – “I’m always thrilled to learn that I’m not the only one in the world who loves historic postcards, and I’ve met so many postcard lovers that I’m dedicating this month’s List Link to December Holiday Postcards!”

Portals to the Past by Michal Strutin – “Finding historical information takes time. Hopefully, this curated list of best websites will help.”

That’s Entertainment! by Ana Brazil – “This month I’m sharing links to the history of vaudeville—and a few other select types of entertainment—with you.”

1937 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade photo by Carl Van Vechten via

Finding Historical Images by Michal Strutin – “If you must see what a Roman shield looked like, a Victorian kitchen, a 1940s nurse, or 1800s Chinese furniture, an image search helps. Also, I often find myself perusing old maps. The tabs for Google Images or Google Maps provide obvious go-to links, but so many other image sites exist.”

Eighty Excellent Online Historical Collections by Ana Brazil – “Happy International Archives Day! I’m celebrating the holiday by sharing Eighty Excellent Online Historical Collections.”

8 Links to Food and Eating in Literature by Anne Beggs – “Food and adequate nutrition are not only essential to all life, but make for excellent world building in historical fiction, and lots of tension. Isn’t that what turns pages?”

Fashions for the Ages by Michal Strutin – “When I look at clothes of the past, I’m thankful I live now. Hobble skirts of the early 20th century; crinolines so broad you couldn’t sit down; cinched bodices that constricted breathing; foot-high chopine platform shoes; short, tight doublets for men with padding in strange places. The stylized clothing of the rich told of their elevated position in society.”

How We Traveled by Michal Strutin – “PEOPLE SAY “now that we have global markets…” We’ve always had global markets. People have been trading since prehistoric times, even earlier. What’s different in recent centuries is that people now travel for pleasure and adventure as well as business and finding ways toward a better life. Here’s a brief look at travel from the near-present to ancient times.”

Saloon car on the Orient Express, 1895. (Credit: The Print Collector/Getty Images)

Food, Glorious Food : a Taste of History by Michal Strutin- “In historical fiction, sex may be seductive, combat thrilling, but food is always a draw: from peasant staples to sumptuous feasts….Below: a mixed bag of food sites to whet your appetite for whatever period you’re reading or writing about.”

American History: Libraries Light the Way by Michal Strutin – “I was moved to create a library links page that explores American history. Perhaps these links will help those of you writing in one of the time periods covered. Some links may simply pique your interest.”

Music: the Universal Language by Michal Strutin – “Below is a variety of music from different centuries and many parts of the world, mostly folk music. I haven’t included western classical music because 1. it’s more formal, less folk, 2. this post would scroll on forever.”

Celebrating Women’s History Month by Michal Strutin – “When I’m about to exit an art museum, I often think, “which piece of art would I most like to steal?” If I’m anywhere around a Louise Nevelson sculpture, especially the large ones, that’s what I want.”

Gay Subculture of Regency England by Edie Cay – “My third book, A Lady’s Finder, is coming out on march 1, and to celebrate, i wanted to share some of my internet research gems. Researching this book had me going in so many different directions, and I loved it. First, I needed to dive deeper in to the queer subculture of London—a very rich, deep pool.”

At the Moulin-Rouges, Two Women Waltzing by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Genealogy Links, Anyone? by Ana Brazil – “We’re blogging about family this month, so I thought a few free genealogy links—including how-to tips and resources for researching—would be in order.”

Everyday Life in…. by Ana Brazil – “No matter what century or what locale we’re writing about, every historical fiction author strives to show exactly what “life was like back then”. Getting those details right—whether it’s how people bathed during Tudor times, which book (other than the Bible) was on most 1850’s American and English bookshelves (Uncle Tom’s Cabin), or how to create liquid stockings during WWII—authors continue to research, research, and research that little thing known as “every day life.””

74 Superlative Online Historical College Collections by Ana Brazil – “To Americans of a certain age — ahem! — September will always mean “back to school”. In celebration of this momentous month, I’m pleased to continue our link list tradition and share seventy-four online College and University historical collections.”

Historical Hats and Headdresses

Sixty Sensational Online Historical Archive Collections by Ana Brazil – “It’s International Archives Week (June 7-11), and yes, it’s also MuseumWeek 2021. What an embarrassment of cultural riches we have!”

Fifty Fabulous Online Library Historical Collections by Ana Brazil – “In honor of National Library Week, the Paper Lantern Writers are shining a spotlight on fifty fabulous digital library collections. Fasten your seatbelt as we travel America from coast to coast and century to century.”

Hidden History: Mentioning your Unmentionables by Ana Brazil – “It’s Hidden History month here at Paper Lantern Writers and one of my first thoughts was “Let’s see what kind of under garments women from the past used to hide under their clothing!” You might think you know about historical under garments, but do you really? Do you know the difference between stays and corsets, or how to support a bustle, or what a bum roll is? No shame if you don’t; I had no idea what a bum roll was, and now it’s one of my favorite phrases!”

Links to Hawaii by Linda Ulleseit – “Hawaii is a source of fascination for visitors to the islands. Its tropical beauty is very different from any other place in the United States, and its history is unique, too.”

Not everyone was excited about Hawaii as a state.

Friday Links: “…help Mrs. Thomas Catt with her ‘Rats’” by Ana Brazil – “On Tuesday August 18, 2020 American women celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. With ratification of the 19th, American women could vote! To celebrate this momentous occasion, I’ve put together some links that show the big and small pictures of the struggle for women’s suffrage in America.”

And here’s the Link List that started it all, way back on July 9th, 2020:

Friday Links – “Lugging Around a Camera” by Ana Brazil – “Join me today as I share some of the photographic links that helped me craft FANNY NEWCOMB AND THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER and my short story The Widow Morgan.”



Ana Brazil

Written by Ana Brazil

Ana Brazil writes historical crime fiction celebrating bodacious American heroines. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Historical Novel Society, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers.
Ana’s latest historical mystery is THE RED-HOT BLUES CHANTEUSE, which features murder, mayhem, and music in 1919 San Francisco. Her award-winning historical mystery FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER is set in Gilded Age New Orleans.

View Ana’s PLW Profile

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  1. Anne M Beggs

    What an excellent list! TY and I will be sharing.

  2. Michal Strutin

    Links Lists…all in one place. So useful!


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