I got a magazine yesterday from the Historical Novel Society, a wonderful organization. It lists the newly-released titles in the genre, and the list is amazing. Compiled by century, the list gives teasers about book after book concerned with history: people and places and events to capture the imagination, entertaining and teaching at once.
The sheer number of historical novels being released each month is daunting for an author, but what a treasure trove for readers! I find myself thinking, "Got to get that one," "Oh, that one sounds good." "Gee, I never thought about reading about her," etc.
It's a readers' market. Authors are climbing over one another to cover historical eras, and readers are eating it up. In January, when my book, MACBETH'S NIECE, came out, a novel about Lady Macbeth was also published. One of my MSs, SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD, which finaled in Amazon's Break-out Novel Contest this year, has a plot that involves John Shakespeare. The HN Society's publication I got yesterday lists a newly-published novel about that very man.
There's nothing new under the sun, or inside the covers, either. Authors all have at their disposal the same historical facts and are sometimes inspired to write a story about a particular time period. As an author, you can't expect that you're the only one with that idea. Just remember that readers don't mind repetition, as long as the finished product is quality.