Jess Kidd is the award-winning author of The Night Ship, Himself, Mr. Flood’s Last Resort, and Things in Jars. Learn more at JessKidd.com.
I adore historical novels, both reading and writing them. My latest, The Night Ship, is based on the real-life maritime horror story of the Dutch East India Company’s flagship, the Batavia, which wrecked off the coast of western Australia in 1629. I tell this story from the narrative viewpoint of children living on the bleak, windswept island where the ship foundered, both at the time and centuries later. I bring together fictional characters and characters based on the people who were really there to tell the human story behind the historical event. Here I chart some of my favorite novels offering unforgettable characters set against backdrops of true historical events.