Historical Designations: Genres, Time Periods & Locations

At AAR we classify historical romances using the following broad designations in our reviews for Book Type. Locale Setting & Time Setting narrow things down and are used in conjunction. Time Settings are as narrow as we can make them – ie, Early 1700s would be 1701 – 1710, 1710s would be 1710 – 1719, and so on. If we can’t narrow it down to a decade, we’ll add a King’s reign – ie, King John. Exceptions will be short periods of English history, such as English Civil War, Restoration, and Regency. Therefore, if you were looking for all historicals during the Renaissance, you would search on Book Type = Renaissance. If you were interested in simply the Elizabethan period, instead of searching on Book Type = Renaissance, you would search on Time Setting = Elizabethan.

Historical Romance

An historical romance that doesn’t fit any of the historical designations below orcrosses more than two time periods or countries/parts of the world and/or is set or partially set on the High Seas or other oceans at any point in history.


Traditional Regency Romances – generally set in the Regency era, but some are set in the late Georgian period (we’ll let you know if they do).

Dark Ages

402 – 937 (Dark Ages excludes Viking Romances, which have their own Book Type)


938 – 1485 (Medieval excludes Viking Romances, which have their own Book Type)


1485 – 1603
Tudor: 1485 – 1558 (if set in England)
Elizabethan: 1558 – 1603 (if set in England)


1603 – 1714
English Civil War/Interregnum: (1642 – 1660)
Restoration: (1660 – 1685)

American Historical

1790 – 1900

Civil War/Reconstruction

1861 – 1880 in South

Colonial U.S.

1630 – 1789


Historical westerns and frontier-set historicals in the U.S., Canada, and even Australia


Frontier/Western Historical Romances featuring one Native American lead or where Native American heritage is integral to the story.


1880s – 1920s primarily, with a small town or mid-Western feel

European Historical

1714 – 1914┬áIf set in England:

Georgian: 1714 – 1810
Regency: 1811 – 1820
Victorian: 1832 – 1901

(though Victoria’s reign didn’t begin until 1837, the Reform Act of 1832 starts the era)
Edwardian: 1901 – 1914

Turn of the Century

1890 – 1914