Monday, 27 August 2012

Historical Fiction: genre and essay topic

So, regular readers will know that I love me some historical fiction. Heck, I even studied it last year and plan to write a dissertation on the subject! As history is my second love, right after books, you can understand how the two have melted into this perfect genre for me.

Now, here's the problem. A lot of it is set in the Victorian period, you know late nineteenth century, usually focused around Jack the Ripper or the social classes. Sometimes with vampires! Those are good, I love vampire novels. Well, proper vampires, where they're scary and sharp fanged and burn in sunlight. I'm wandering off topic. My point is, I love Victorian H.F but it is not much use to me right now. This is where you, my lovely readers, come in.

I would love some recommendations of books, specifically fictional, preferably young adult, set around the 1790's. You see, I'm writing my dissertation on Georgian historical fiction, using novels to show how the authors imitate the language of the time to portray its historical context and engage the reader in the time period. Still with me? Good. I've already got Den of Thieves, a Cat Royal novel by Julia Golding and Pure by Andrew Miller, both are set around the French Revolution. Another one I've got my eye on is Sovay by Celia Rees, which I haven't read yet but looks promising.

I know, I'm so awkward picking a time period that isn't very popular! But Victorian is so over done! In fact, a student just last year used it as her dissertation topic. And I am all for being original, but I'll admit when I'm having some trouble.

So, I plead with you, my readers, to help me find some books I can use and pick apart for my dissertation. I've got Philippa Gregory and Georgette Heyer in mind but am not sure they have written anything set in my time period. I am, however, willing to be proven wrong! Either would be a great addition to my essay, add some validation to it, you know? To include such well-known authors. Oh, I suppose I should add preferably set in England! France is fine, what with the French Revolution and all that. But to be honest, I have no idea what was going on in that time in the US, and really don't know how that would have affected us English!

I'm a little hesitant to send my dissertation topic into the great beyond of the internet, but I'm sure it will be safe in the hands of the book-blogger community. So finally, I am going to add a request for you to send this on to book-lover friends. You don't even have to send them this as a link, just ask! Please?

Thank you!


  1. I've been suggested Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and Chains and Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson.

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