The historical novel is an enduringly popular genre that raises crucial questions about key literary concepts, fact and fiction, identity, history, reading, and writing. In this comprehensive, focused guide, Jerome de Groot offers an accessible introduction to the genre and critical debates that surround it, including:
- the development of the historical novel from early eighteenth-century works through to postmodern and contemporary historical fiction
- different genres, such as sensational or ‘low’ fiction, crime novels, literary works, counterfactual writing and related issues of audience, value, and authenticity
- the many functions of historical fiction, particularly the challenges it poses to accepted histories and postmodern questioning of ‘grand narratives’
- the relationship of the historical novel to the wider cultural sphere with reference to historical theory, the internet, television, and film
- key theoretical concepts such as the authentic fallacy, postcolonialism, Marxism, queer and feminist reading.
Drawing on a wide range of examples from across the centuries and around the globe The Historical Novel is essential reading for students exploring the interface of history and fiction.