I was just rereading a trip report I submitted last week and I hadn't realized how much historical fiction (books, not movies) has influenced how meaningful a trip can be for me.
When I think back, the first historical fiction that I remember reading was A Tale of Two Cities in high school many, many, many years ago. Because of that book and multiple readings since, the French Revolution has always been of interest to me and influenced my decision making of what to see in France. Another heavy influencer for France was Les Miserables. I also remember reading that Notre Dame was never really that famous until the Hunchback took up residence and the story influenced the rebuilding and renovation of the cathedral in the 19th century.
Pompeii by Richard Harris had me bouncing up and down when I finally got to visit.
I've had quite a fascination with Elizabeth the 1st and was so excited to see her tomb at Westminster Abbey and also visit Hampton Court Palace thanks most recently to stories by Ken Follett and Bernard Cornwell.
I also get excited when I see plaques for where famous authors lived such as the many for Dickens, or when I saw where Mary Shelley lived in Bath when she wrote Frankenstein. Typically, once I've read fiction that has real historical figures in the plot line I start researching this history so I'm able to separate fact from fiction and when I see the actual placed it adds a new dimension and historical understanding to my travels. However, sometimes I feel like I'm alone on an island, as other people just take their photos and move on or don't even care or understand the relevance of seeing something such as Aethelflaed's plaque in Warwick. Am I alone or has fiction influenced anybody else's travel decisions and added a sense of wonderment once you got there?