We Picked the 11 Best Historical Novels to Read Now (Beyond Pride and Prejudice)

There's something particularly responsive about reading a romantic story versus watching one. Perhaps it has something to do with the depths of our imaginations or how our individual pace creates its own kind of suspense. It could also tap into how reading simply feels personal, so written love has a way of coming across as uniquely intimate. Whatever it is, romance novels are guilty pleasures; they're often dramatic, sometimes indulgent, and readily filled with twists. And when a love story unfolds in a certain time and place, then it's even more likely that the book will be impossible to put down.

That's why we've chosen our 11 favorite historical romance novels, which touch on everything from Regency England up to modern Nigeria. They may not all be set in the faraway past, but they do belong to a time and place that capture a point in history. In fact, you may know a few of these famous characters already, but that's also the beauty of a good fictional love story: It's always worth a second swoon.