Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Fiction Based on Real People

Posted March 24, 2020 by meezcarrie in Christian, historical, romance, Top Ten Tuesday / 19 Comments

Happy Tuesday! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is a genre freebie so I decided to spotlight some awesome historical fiction based on real people who really lived and loved and made a difference in the past – in many cases, a difference that still resonates today.

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With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander tells the love story of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston (who was the governess to the McGavock family during the Civil War) and Captain Roland Ward Jones (who recuperated at Carnton – the McGavock home – from severe injuries sustained during the Battle of Frankfort).


Suzanne Woods Fisher’s Nantucket Legacy series follows the fictional descendants of the very real ‘Great Mary’ – aka Mary Coffin Starbuck, whose first child was the first white baby born on the island of Nantucket. Mary subsequently became a prominent leader in the Quaker community of Nantucket.

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar delves between the lines of Scripture to paint a poignant portrait of Lydia, the seller of purple & a key figure in the early Church.


The Prophets and Kings series from Mesu Andrews takes us vividly into the meticulously researched stories of the prophet Isaiah, his daughter, King Hezekiah, the prophet Daniel, and King Manasseh.

In Newton & Polly, Jody Hedlund tells the story of John Newton (author of the famous hymn Amazing Grace) and Polly Catlett… and their romance.

My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt is a novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s lost love – Maria von Wedemeyer. Bonhoeffer was a renowned German pastor and theologian known for resisting the Nazi regime.


Rosslyn Elliott’s A Saddler’s Legacy series spotlights the Hanby family, prominent figures of the Underground Railroad in Ohio and founders of Otterbein College in Westerville.

The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron features Mable Ringling, wife of John Ringling of the Ringling Brother’s Circus.

Josi S. Kilpack’s The Lady of the Lakes shares the little known love story of Sir Walter Scott and Mina Stuart.

The beloved novel Christy by Catherine Marshall is based on the life of the author’s own mother, Leonora Whitaker.


… And I can’t forget to mention nearly all of Jane Kirkpatrick‘s books which typically are based on real women of history.

What about you? Which of these do you want to read first? What are some other historical fiction novels based on real people?

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19 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Fiction Based on Real People

  1. Megan H

    Stephania McGee’s The Liberator series

    Tricia Goyer’s WWII Liberation series
    All of Sarah Sundin’s series

    Auschwitz Lullably and Children of the Stars by Mario Escobar both

  2. Great list! I featured WWII-era fiction to highlight hope in a dark time. I forgot to add My Dearest Dietrich — argh! Going back to edit the post.

  3. These are great! One of my favorite is Playing by Heart by Carmela Martino, based on the real-life sisters of 18th c. Milan – composer Maria Teresa Agnesi and mathemtician Maria Gaetana Agnesi. It’s a beautifully written award winner!

  4. Patsy Curry

    I love this list! I have read many of them. I would add Jody Hedlund’s Luther and Katharina.

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