Recently historical fiction has been selling well with the success of such series as George RR Martin's Game of Thrones which combines fantasy and history for vivid effect and also Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies.
Many of the writers of historical fiction happen to be women and they have found that in order to achieve sales to men they have to publish under gender non specific names such as - SJ Parris, Al Berridge, MJ Carter, MC Scott.
As stated in the Sunday Times magazine (P.Nicol Dec 2013) when writer Miranda Scott published her Rome espionage series as Miranda her readership was 80% female/ 20% male, yet when she published as MC Scott her readers shifted to 50/ 50 male/female.
Philippa Gregory author of the White Queen holds 7 of the top 20 titles and Cornwell is the only male author in the top 15 of best selling historical fiction. .
It should be noted also (!) that not ALL women writers of historical fiction are writing romance tales and that some write of bloody war adventures and intrigue.
Women will read male writers and watch male movies and it helps women to understand the male psyche. A male writer wrote recently that if men want to understand women then they should read the books on women's book shelves and watch the tv and films that women enjoy!
Cathy Renzenbrink, reviewer The Bookseller, ' While more women read books, there is more attention in book-review pages to books written by men. Hilary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies, the second in her Thomas Cromwell series, was a best seller in 2013. She holds the top and third place in the best sellers list and she says,' It is the nature of the World that men and women take men more seriously.'