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For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
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Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 5713
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: "Pine" by Francine Toon
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Wed May 20th, 2015, 8:47 am

I think historical chick-lit is often referred to as "bodice-rippers"!
Currently reading: "Pine" by Francine Toon

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Lisa
Bibliophile
Posts: 1153
Joined: August 2012
Favourite HF book: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Preferred HF: Any time period/location. Timeslip, usually prefer female POV. Also love Gothic melodrama.
Location: Northeast Scotland

Post by Lisa » Wed May 20th, 2015, 1:20 pm

[quote=""Madeleine""]I think historical chick-lit is often referred to as "bodice-rippers"![/quote]

I agree, but I wouldn't say historical chick-lit is exclusively bodice-rippers. I would call Pride and Prejudice historical chick-lit too, as well as the books that tend to take more liberties with the truth to make a 'juicier' story, like The Other Boleyn Girl.

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Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 5713
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: "Pine" by Francine Toon
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Wed May 20th, 2015, 2:16 pm

I wouldn't call P & P historical fiction, as it was written in it's own time ie it would have been a contemporary novel at the time it was first published.
Currently reading: "Pine" by Francine Toon

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Lisa
Bibliophile
Posts: 1153
Joined: August 2012
Favourite HF book: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Preferred HF: Any time period/location. Timeslip, usually prefer female POV. Also love Gothic melodrama.
Location: Northeast Scotland

Post by Lisa » Wed May 20th, 2015, 3:21 pm

[quote=""Madeleine""]I wouldn't call P & P historical fiction, as it was written in it's own time ie it would have been a contemporary novel at the time it was first published.[/quote]

Good point, I wasn't thinking there, I wouldn't call P&P HF. But it is a form of chick-lit, considered nowadays to take place in a historical setting.

Philippa Gregory, Emily/Brandy Purdy, Freda Lightfoot etc... definitely historical chick-lit.

Barcelona
Scribbler
Posts: 13
Joined: April 2015

HF or not HF. That is the question

Post by Barcelona » Sun May 24th, 2015, 8:08 am

Yes, quite so Madeleine! A couple of hours after posting my comment on P&P I realized that at the time it was written it would be considered “contemporary” but I thought it was interesting to let the comment stand anyway. Why? Because categories shift and change over the years. Some minor genres of yesterday are considered to be great literature today, and it might be said this is the case for P&P, just like it might be said that it’s become HF.

Barcelona
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Joined: April 2015

HF or SF or HSF?

Post by Barcelona » Sun May 24th, 2015, 8:18 am

Some time ago I came across a HF writer who stated something along the lines that he’d “changed the outcome of the war, because defeat didn’t fit as well in his story” (He was talking about a real war). As I recall, he added: “After all we’re talking about historical fiction, not a history book”. I wonder, where the line, in terms of categories, should be drawn? For instance, in “The Guns of the South” H. Turtledove changes the outcome of the Civil War (the South wins). Are we talking about HF or SF or HSF?

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Misfit
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Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Sun May 24th, 2015, 3:11 pm

[quote=""Barcelona""]Some time ago I came across a HF writer who stated something along the lines that he’d “changed the outcome of the war, because defeat didn’t fit as well in his story” (He was talking about a real war). As I recall, he added: “After all we’re talking about historical fiction, not a history book”. I wonder, where the line, in terms of categories, should be drawn? For instance, in “The Guns of the South” H. Turtledove changes the outcome of the Civil War (the South wins). Are we talking about HF or SF or HSF?[/quote]

IMO, that would be alternative history. It's one thing to tweak a historical event a bit to make it fit the storyline/characters, but changing who won the war is a whole 'nother ball game. Especially if the author is all over the net promoting it as historical fiction and all the attention to historical detail. Like that one about Eleanor of Provence having an affair with Simon de Montfort.
At home with a good book and the cat...
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun May 24th, 2015, 5:24 pm

Writers keep splitting hairs about whether a book is historical fiction if it was written in the Author's own time, versus being set in a time before the author lived.

Balderdash, I say. Genres are defined by the READER'S experience, not the writer's. The average reader doesn't know or care that most of Dickens was contemporary, whereas his Tale of Two Cities counts as HF. To a modern reader, it's all fiction set in a (to them) historical time.

I read those classics as a child assuming they were historical fiction. And I stand by that definition today.

I've even bowed to the readers who consider novels about the Vietnam War HF. I suppose to some readers, that is now history. Even if the novels were contemporary when I read them. ;)

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Divia
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Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Post by Divia » Mon May 25th, 2015, 2:04 am

Well, I have teens where Vietnam would b Hf to them.

However, I don't think P&P is HF, since as previously stated, it was written during the authors time. Now if a great author wrote something not in their time then that is HF. Twain wrote Personal recollections of Joan of Arc. Clearly not his time period but historical fiction for the author
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