This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of the book. The book considers the historical novelists who responded to the emergence of industrial capitalism and the nation-state by describing the consequences of modernization and means to cope with them. It explores the way in which communication practices are embedded within and constitutive of the broader cultural and social lives of readers, and more specifically, to how authors and publishers attempted to communicate effectively with people by adapting the historical novel to interests and circumstances. The book expresses that the historical novel was a popular means of contributing to the chronotopic reconstruction of the past – with an eye to the future. It focuses on how authors worked the historical novel to respond to modern conditions, and how other cultural producers (e.g., publishers, editors, playwrights, directors) made such representations available to people.