Yay! I’m joining in the TopTen Tuesday meme this week hosted by the lovely The Broke and the Bookish writers! I absolutely love the topic of this week – I’m a huge history admirer (note that doesn’t mean a history expert, though I wish I was, hehe) and immediately I started dreaming up all the historical settings I would adore to see more in fiction. So here goes!
Ten Historical Settings You'd Love To See
(in no particular order)
#1 American Revolutionary War (1765-1783)
I wish there were more books set in this time period because I love this time period. This was the age of incredible characters like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Marquis de Lafayette, Abigail Adams, Patrick Henry and countless other memorable people. This was also during the Georgian era with elaborate powdered wigs, breeches, stockings, stomachers and sack-back gowns. Social issues were the burgeoning issue as “common” people began to question the rights and wrongs of their leaders and dream of a better world.
#2 Silla Dynasty, Ancient Korea (57 BC-935 AD)
This is all to blame on the K-drama Queen Seondeok that awakened me to the lavish, gorgeous early period of Korea. The gowns are absolutely stunning and unlike the later strict Confucian period of Korea, excessive jewelry was allowed. There’s so much fodder for entertaining stories – from the intriguing Hwarang warriors that initially started off as only women, three different women rulers, and an extremely strict nobility system that some kings had to fight to gain the throne.
#3 Highlanders/Jacobite Rising (1740s)
I’ve got a soft spot for Highlander stories ever since I watched the film Kidnapped (1960 & 1995 versions) by Robert Louis Stevenson. Though I don’t know a lot details about this time period, it’s an intriguing background with all the political unrest and attempts to put Bonnie Prince Charlie back on the throne. Plus kilts and plaid.
#4 Roaring Twenties (1920s)
Flappers, fringe dresses, gangsters, silent pictures (and later on talkies) – this decade is often noticed for the changing morals and loosening of strict traditions of society. I find the era itself fascinating from the crazy slang (cat’s pajamas, heebie-jeebies, molls, ritzy, torpedo, etc) to the delectable fashion of short, straight dresses, fedoras and pinstripe suits.
#5 Tang Dynasty (618-907)
This period always strikes me as the most beautiful, extravagant of the Chinese dynasties. The clothing was exquisite and the hairstyles often elaborate. Chinese films set during this era often focus on the splendor and pageantry of the Tang Dynasty. It would be so fascinating to see the intricacy of this rich era further explored.
#6 End of Edo Era Japan & Later Rebellions (1853-1877)
The end of the Edo era brought about many changes for Japan including the end of the samurai warrior class. The shogun, the long ruling de facto ruler of Japan, was removed and the Emperor of Japan finally took control. This was a time of conflict and contrast as Japan began to open up to the outside world.
#7 Great Depression (1930s)
An extremely difficult time for America and around the world, the Great Depression impoverished millions of people. During this time, people often went to the movies to watch popular stars like Shirley Temple, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Franklin Roosevelt galvanized the country through this hard time, though it wasn’t until WWII that the depression truly ended.
#8 Qin Dynasty, China (221-206 BC)
The building of the Great Wall of China, the famous Terra Cotta soldiers, the first unification of the Warring States into what is China. The Qin Dynasty was short lived but an intriguing time as China had its first emperor. I’d love to see this timeline further explored in a novel.
#9 Joseon Era, Ancient Korea (1392-1897)
As the longest running dynasty of Korea, the Joseon era is full of fascinating kings, dramatic wars, heartbreaking defeats and emotional stories. From the stunning hanbok clothing to the intricacies of a strict Confucianist society that governed every aspect of society, the Joseon era is a mesmerizing backdrop. Just a few intriguing, emotive stories set during this period are the mysterious, tragic death of Crown Prince Sohyeon; Lady Hyegyeong, whose husband Prince Sado was executed by his own father King Yeongjo, ignored female restrictions to write a book about the truth of what happened; and the Manchu invasion of Korea in 1637.
#10 Qing Dynasty, China (1644-1912)
The last dynasty of China, the Qing Dynasty is noted for both its fascinating culture and the severity that the Manchus used to take power. Considered almost barbarians by the former Ming Dynasty, the Manchus were military strategists and warriors who took over the country. After years went by, the Manchus of the Qing Dynasty were known for their elaborate palaces and royals’ lifestyles rather than wars. The Forbidden City alone is enthralling with its 9,999 rooms!
If you’ve read any books set in the historical settings that I mentioned here, do tell! Also, any historical eras you want to see a story set in? I’d love to hear your thoughts!