This article looks at the history and practice of writing historical short fiction. It begins by commenting briefly on the historical context of historical fiction, in particular the short story. It then goes on to contrast this with recent trends in writing historical fiction, and then to discuss the forces that shape, promote and restrict it. It then looks at the problems facing the writer of historical short fiction, both insofar as they share the problems common to writers generally, and the specific difficulties attendant upon them. The article concludes by looking at some examples of short story writing in the context of the discussion.