Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the action takes place in the past. The settings are drawn from history, and often contains historical persons. Works in this genre often portray the manners and social conditions of the persons or times presented in the story, with attention paid to period detail.
Historical fiction presents people and events from the point of view of characters of the time period depicted. Artistic license is permitted in regard to presentation, subject matter, and historical facts.
Lynda Adamson, in her preface to the bibliographic reference work World Historical Fiction, states that while a "generally accepted definition" for the historical novel is a novel "about a time period at least 25 years before it was written", people will view a novel as "historical" if it is about a past time period, even if the author was writing about his or her own time, and she gives Jane Austen as an example.