Sunday, May 16, 2021

Trendspotting: the many new historical novels with "Last" in their titles

Have you noticed that the titles of many new historical novels have a certain air of finality?
The novels above are all from 2021. And that's not the last of them.  It wasn't until I'd read and reviewed a few of these that I realized how many "Last" titles there were. 

(Shown above: The Last Tiara by M.J. Rose; The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly; The Last Green Valley by Mark Sullivan; The Last Night in London by Karen White; The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin; The Last One Home by Shari J. Ryan.)

But that's not all.  Searching online quickly brought up many more. There were so many titles to choose from that I had to be selective.

(Above: Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo; The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan; The Last Dance of the Debutante by Julia Kelly, forthcoming; The Last Days of Ellis Island by Gaelle Josse; The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer; The Last Checkmate by Gabriella Saab. These last two are out later this year.)

When you think about it, "Last" titles are a natural fit for historical novels, as they signal the depiction of a time or event that has since faded into the past.

(Above: The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton; Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams; Millicent Glenn's Last Wish by Tori Whitaker; The Last Passenger by Charles Finch; The Last Tea Bowl Thief by Jonelle Patrick; The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton.)

I'm sure we aren't seeing the last of this title trend.


  1. I hadn't realized this trend until you pointed it out! Great article. Thanks.

  2. Thanks! Once I noticed this trend, I started seeing other titles everywhere.

  3. Also: Elizabeth Wein, The Last Hawk ( and Georgie Blalock, The Last Debutantes (

  4. Thanks for mentioning those two, Kris!

  5. How funny! I’m on the lookout now 🤣

  6. I was surprised to see how many there were, once I started looking!

  7. Like the trends of showing women from the back, and / or headless, on the covers. Of titles "Somebody Somebody's Daughter / Wife.

    In non-fiction it's the "Never Before Told / Secret History Of +++ ."

    Signed, "Take The Last Train to Clarkesville ...." (the Monkees way back in the antediluvian era). :)

  8. I've seen a lot of "Secret History" type nonfiction, now that you mention it.

    There's a nearby town called Clarksville, and I get that song in my head every time we drive through!

  9. I hadn't noticed until I read your post. Now I see them everywhere! :-)

  10. I know, there are so many!