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Rosann’s Reading Recs – Historical Fiction

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I don’t know about you, but the falling leaves and the cooler air makes me want to step foot into the past and cozy up in front of a fire. You’ve never read a Larry fic, if you haven’t experienced Larry back in time. There are some amazing historical fics out there in our fandom.

Note that some AO3 fics are available publicly on the server, while some require an Archive of Our Own account/membership to access. If you don’t currently have access, you’ll need to sit on a waitlist – typically for a week or two – to gain access. Get yourself on that list ASAP as some of these require that access to read.

The “Summary” is taken from the author’s own AO3 summary. “Why I Liked It” is my opinion (and only mine). “Content Warning” is a mixture of my own warning and sometimes pulled from the triggers the author has suggested. A note about the content warning in any fic–please read the author notes for trigger warnings. 

If you like this feature, want to chat, or give me suggestions for future themes or recommendations, please hit me up on Twitter. @Rosann_1986 (formally @FlyWishing).

These are NOT in ranked order. 

Summary: Harry has never been much of a fighter, but—as always—where Louis Tomlinson is concerned, a lot of things stop being true. 1940’s AU. Even after six years apart, they can’t forget their shared wartime childhood.

Why I liked It: I loved this gem from 2014. Historical Fiction set in post World War 2 Britain. Harry and Gemma are child escapees from the city and sent to live with the Tomlinsons for a time. Really well written. So good that I felt like it could have had one more chapter or an epilogue, but overall very satisfied.

Content Warning: internal and external homophobia common to the time. 


  1. Atlas at Last by louisandthealien

Summary: Maine to California in ten days. In which Zayn is an open-shirt hippie they meet somewhere in Ohio, Liam’s the pastor’s son running away from home, and Niall’s the number they call on the bathroom wall. It’s 1978. Harry and Louis are just trying to get to San Fran in time for the Queen concert.

Why I liked It: This is a sweet, OT5 road trip to a Queen concert in 1978. Need I say more? Great historical fiction, good characterization of the boys, and just a cute road trip story.

Content Warning: none that I can recall, but read author notes.


  1. Danger I can’t Hide by celticsky

Summary: “Don’t.” Tomlinson’s voice was low, gravelled, hiding out in the night where only Styles could hear it. “Stop it. Calm down. You can’t do anything.” Styles’ chest heaved. Tomlinson had him pinned against the wall, his forearm strong against his ribs. The night air crackled around them and all he could hear was the overlap of their breath, desperation, exquisite need and pain and desire and longing and lingering resistance. He couldn’t take his eyes from Tomlinson’s lips. The way they fell open to expel air against Harry’s jaw. His tongue darting out to wet them between desperate words, making them glisten in what little light there was. His eyes were lidded and unseeing as he himself looked down to stare at Styles’ mouth. ~~~ Flying Officer Styles and Sergeant Tomlinson would have likely never crossed paths in a time of peace, their ordinary lives laid out neatly, predictably before them. But then the world became unrecognisable. All too soon they grew accustomed to fear, surrounded by death and destruction, not even their very freedom a certainty any more. Until they found each other. Comfort. Companionship. Understanding. Another person to lose.

Why I liked It: Amazing, intense. Well researched regarding WW2 and what it was like to be queer and hiding a relationship. I loved the love story, but also the human side of the war. Very well told. Want to read it again as I type this. 

Content Warning: War. There is some angst and harm that come along with that. Internal and external homophobia common to the time.


  1. Here in the Afterglow by FondLeeds

Summary: 1970s AU. In a tiny town in Idaho, Louis’ life is changed forever by the arrival of a curious stranger.

Why I liked It: I’ve talked about this one before, but I can’t exclude it from my historical fiction discussion. 1970s AU. Excellent writing. Good love story. I don’t say it often, but this fic could be a movie or a trad pubbed novel. GREAT depiction of the time–with a fierce love story set against the political climate of the 70s. If you like My Policeman, this is a must read.

Content Warning: lots of internal and external homophobia.


  1. Paint the Sky with Stars by KiwiKero

Summary: Or, the historically accurate Titanic AU with a happy ending.

Why I liked It: Titanic but happy ending for the lovers. Feels well researched. It was insta love, which might not be something everyone loves, but I found it believable. 

Content Warning: Titanic, so you sort of know how it’s going to go…


  1. The Florentine Letters by forreveries

Summary: Oxford University, June, 1935. The edge of summer has just begun to dawn over the university campus, exams are almost over and the dust is just beginning to settle over the desks. Harry Styles, in the last years of his PHD study of The Renaissance, has managed to maintain a safe existence within the walls of his books and classes and late night romances. He’s made a place that’s safe from the expectations of high brow society and the cold stare of his father. That is, until an all too sharp, all too witty, and all too handsome man walks into his life. Louis, the cocky man with the smile, brings with him a strange object – declaring that it’s a puzzle piece from the one and only Leonardo Da Vinci. He speaks of age old mysteries, and puzzles that cannot be solved without Harry’s help. Immediately, Harry is quite literally swept off his feet, and together they take their chances on the find of a life time – Da Vinci’s lost works. But what Louis doesn’t mention is the high stakes game of cat and mouse that comes with chasing things that do not belong to you. A game where nothing, and no one, is as they seem.

Why I liked it: Feels inspired by the Davinci Code. It’s a thriller and there’s a lot of blood, but it’s excellent writing and has a very compelling plot. I love both of the characterizations of the boys, and the alternative POV with the antagonist is a great touch. Kept me on my toes–fast paced but also slow burn.

Content Warning: Read the author’s note. Also, blood. 


  1. The Murmuring of Yearning by mediawhore

Summary: Four years ago, Harry Styles was forced into a marriage of convenience to enrich and ally both his and his promised’s families. The sudden, and slightly suspicious, death of the Marquess of Haxshire, however, brings great disturbance to Crescentfield Hall and, as his late’s husband’s closest male relative, Harry unexpectedly finds himself the head of a family he never felt he belonged to. Between a meddling distant cousin hellbent on inserting himself in Harry’s life, his wicked and mistrustful mother-in-law and his late husband’s advisors refusing to help or take him seriously, Harry struggles in the fight to keep what he’s earned and make the Estate finally feel like home. Luckily, he doesn’t stand completely alone and finds himself an unlikely ally in Mr Tomlinson, the elusive Land Stewart who has been taking care of the property in the shadows for years. Louis Tomlinson is caring, patient, and unlike everyone else, he doesn’t seem to think Harry committed a murder.

Why I liked it: This one is a really good, slow burn written by the author of Tired, Tired Sea. I really loved both Harry and Louis in this one. Rocking Niall as the valet.

Content Warning: sexual assault. Read the author’s notes.


  1. Shelter as we go by fondleeds

Summary: Louis looks at him like his words might break him, glass about to splinter, one wrong footfall away from shattering into a million tiny pieces. “Hey,” Harry breathes, and he knows, meeting Louis’ eyes, that his words could break him easy as anything. He almost wants Louis to bring his boot down. – AU. Nova Scotia, 1968.

Why I liked it: Well written and poetic. Tragic and both are broken. I loved this one. 

Content Warning: angst. Read the author’s notes. 


  1. Howls Like a Beast (You Flower, You Feast) by Indiaalphawhiskey

Summary: France, 1754. Chateau de Versailles. “You don’t love me,” Louis had said, utterly blase as he callously fractured the heart of a Harry that was just barely eighteen. “I do,” Harry had insisted pleadingly, green eyes already watering. Louis had rolled his eyes, exasperated and flippant in the way only beautiful, young boys could be when faced with the affections of a baby prince. He had run his finger down Harry’s cheek then, had forced him to look into his eyes as he delivered the final blow. “You’ll change your mind once you’ve seen more of the world,” Louis had teased, pressing a brutally delicate kiss onto Harry’s lovely, pure cheek. “Once you’ve been properly defiled.” He had whispered filthily, delighted by the gasp he heard, the frantic pink blush that had rested high on Harry’s cheeks, the power he had felt at knowing he could make the Crown Prince squirm.

Why I liked it: Oh goodness. This one is short and sweet and packs such a punch. I don’t want to give away the twist, but because it’s in the author’s notes I will say there’s a supernatural element that comes into play. It’s sexy. It’s tragic. It’s from Louis’ POV and his character is awesome, but so is the baby prince. 

Content Warning: Angst. Regret. 


  1. And down the long and silent street by whimsicule

Summary: Or: Wherein Louis and Harry are on the opposite ends of the social ladder, but their paths still cross on the filthy streets Louis calls his home. The odds are stacked against them from the beginning, and even more when Louis’ past finally catches up with him.

Why I Liked It: Jack the Ripper inspo so if you like that trope, you’ll love this. Well done. 

Content Warning: Murder. Well, it IS Jack the Ripper, so you know what you’re getting. 

Xoxo – Rosann.

Happy reading and thanks for checking out my recommendations. I’d love to hear from you and what you think of my suggestions! Let me know if you have any thoughts for future themes!


@Rosann_1986 on Twitter

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