Edward Rutherfurd is a great writer who bases his Historical Fiction around Cities and eras of history in specific regions.
I have read London first, Sarum, and then New York. London really fascinated me with long form historical fiction. The way each chapter built and connected and all the families intertwined made for a wonderful read.
Mr. Rutherfurd is the author I would recommend for anyone wanting to get in a groove of understanding things in a Historical story setting. The scenes right away of Ancient England in London were a hook for an awesome story.
Historical Fiction is when the plot happens in the past. Some books contain way more actual history and some use less. Edward Rutherfurd explains concepts in the English language and Roman conquest of London which was known as Londinium in the Roman Empire, for example.
A lot of this was new to me and convinced me learning more about History requires interesting stories. Historical fiction is great practice for understanding how humans interacted in the past and will provide you better understanding of reading Non-Fiction.
I recommend trying Historical Fiction, Edward Rutherfurd or not. But he is one of my favorite.
Now, a little about Edward Rutherfurd, that isn't his real name. His name is Francis Edward Wintle. His style is to invent families and place them in historical context and have them play off each other through the generations.
He was born in 1948 and is currently writing China.