Query on Historic Fiction
I have been desirous about historic fiction and a query occurred to me. I see on bookshelves a large number of novels classed historic fiction. It is an overwhelmingly in style style now.
Have any who comply with this style thought concerning the worth of studying tales written within the period you are taken with?
Sherlock Holmes involves thoughts, in addition to O. Henry, The Grapes of Wrath, and plenty of lesser recognized writers and tales.
I wrestle with this method typically but it surely actually can take you proper into one other time.
Comments ( 9 )
go for book thief . One of the best historical fiction of Nazi and WW era
Get this book.
‘What Jane Austen Ate and What Charles Dickens Knew.’ By Daniel Pool.
It explains the difference between a hansom cab and a dog cart, why a bailiff was different from a beadle, and all the other details that pop up in those books.
The value? Struggling with *what* approach, exactly?
It would be helpful to read fiction from that era because it gives an insight into the psychology and additudes of people from those eras in a way that traditional historical records overlook.
Common or nuanced views of what were then political events. The values of the characters and thier behaviors as a microcosm for thier culture/class/profession/ect. Peoples basic understanding of nature and metaphysics.
Often times historical fiction books will have a segment at the end were the author discusses his research, writing process and were he filled in the blanks or added anachronisms for flair.
There’s a lot of value in reading “the classics” even though the composition of the classics is in many ways a product of the oppressive social modalities that we live under, because literature doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Every text is in an implicit or explicit dialogue with it’s predecessors and with the tradition that it is situated in.
Also, a lot of the classics are really good. I don’t mean to suggest that there haven’t been great texts that have been unfairly excluded from the canon on the basis of their authors’ identity, but writing off the classics because of a bad experience with Shakespeare or Jane Austen in high school or because you think that they’re not relevant to you is a terrible loss.
You’ve never read a book before your time?
I do read classics. But I just finished a historical fiction about a medieval barber surgeon who goes under cover in the Islamic world to study medicine with Avicenna. There aren’t readable fun sources for that story in English. The author’s research led to an entertaining book in a niche that didn’t exist before.
The Physician by Noah Gordon.
Please join us on r/ClassicBookClub. That’s what we do. On Monday, we start The Idiot by Dostoyevsky.
Historical Fiction and “fiction written in another era” are not the same thing.
Historical Fiction is a genre more or less defined by people writing stories *set* in the past, as in “the past” from the perspective of the writer, usually several decades or centuries before the writer themselves was born. 20th and 21st century authors writing stories set in the 18th or 19th centuries, etc. Sharon Penman’s novels about the Plantaganet dynasty, or Philippa Gregory’s novels about the Boleyns, for example.
Sherlock Holmes is not historical fiction. It was written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and that’s when it is set. Arthur Conan Doyle was writing fiction set in his own time, not researching some distant past period an creating a story there, nor was he referencing historical figures. Same for Grapes of Wrath, a story about the economic collapse in the 1930’s, written and published during the 1930s.