I have an avid and intense love for historical fiction dramas set in 18-20th century England. The title of the genre is notorious for seeming "boring", but I assure you they are anything but. Below I've listed 8 of my favorite historical fiction dramas that I have had the fortune of stumbling upon in my lifetime. You will not experience a single disappointment.
The show Victoria tackles the many royal journeys of none other than Queen Victoria herself. The show begins in the early 1830s, directly before her coronation and continues to reveal the hardships and joys this historical icon faced as ruler of Victorian England along with what life was like at that time regarding industrialization, political unsettlement, and life as an elite. Though not completely, Victoria loosely settles into the category of a nonfiction drama. (My all time favorite)
If you enjoy the rough history of the Revolutionary War, Poldark is a must see. The catch? The plot is set from the English point of view. Poldark, while a fictional story, doesn't hesitate to convey the harsh realities of living in the late 18th century and the struggles of the less fortunate, POCs, and creating political change. Lighthearted at times too, Poldark captivates its viewers through dramatic plot twists, love stories, and abundant conflict.
Set in the early 1910s and spanning into the 1920s, Downton Abbey takes you through the history of England during this time period through both the lens of the upper class and the lower class. Downton Abbey doesn't hesitate to tackle every aspect imaginable for this time period like the sinking of the Titanic, WWI, scandal, industrialization, and much more.
The title of Dickensian is no coincidence. This show is comprised of a large multitude of characters from all of Charles Dickens' most popular works and condensed into one story. If you are an avid lover of suspense, drama, and plot twists, this Victorian style show will surely not disappoint.
If you are interested in more recent political history, The Crown does a fantastic job of portraying, not only the background of the royal family, their drama, and scandals they had to suffer with, but also the political and social atmosphere of mid 20th century United Kingdom. The Crown, though not fully, fits into the category of a nonfiction drama.
This name is probably very familiar to you. Les Miserables is based off of the popular novel by Victor Hugo. PBS's remarkable take on this classic story does a marvelous job at depicting the story's true colors. There's an abundance of adventure, suspense, drama, love, and so much more.
Call the Midwife
Call of the Midwife depicts the life of midwives and their day to day tasks delivering children and taking care of mothers in 1950s and 1960s London. This show will always keep you on your toes with the intense storylines and lovable characters.
Anne with an E
I'm sure most of you are familiar with the lovely Anne with an E due to Netflix's remarkable adaptation (PBS has an amazing adaptation as well that I grew up with). After remaining an orphan for the majority of her life, Anne with an E will take you on Anne's journey of self-discovery as she learns how to tackle life's tough challenges with a big heart and great friends.