Historical Fiction: the Dead are Real
Posted by Librarians with Altitude
It discusses the historical fiction genre:
The reputation of historical fiction is unstable.[...] It has difficulty distinguishing itself from its easy sister the historical romance. It is thought to involve irritating ways of talking, or excessive descriptions of clothes.
The writer’s relationship with a historical character is in some ways less intimate than with a fictional one: the historical character is elusive and far away, so there is more distance between them. But there is also more equality between them, and more longing; when he dies, real mourning is possible.
It follows Hilary’s life and her writing:
It occurred to her that she was living in a gothic novel. “All the markers were there,” she says. “The woman travels to a strange place, her life is constrained there, and it’s controlled by a man who seems to change his nature from the situation in which she first met him. There is the moment when she fears she is going mad. And then she has to realize no, I am not going mad, it is the external world that really is persecuting me.” She was keeping a diary and realized that she was almost writing the book already—she just needed to find the core of it.
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