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Why is American History Shunned in HF novels?

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princess garnet
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Post by princess garnet » Mon September 15th, 2008, 11:33 pm

I once found an older HF novel set in colonial Maryland in my division's collection.

There are Christian fiction novels with American settings from different time periods.

Ash
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Post by Ash » Tue September 16th, 2008, 12:17 am

>I do find it awfully difficult to find many readers/reviewers who'll touch a novel set in the American West, even if it has a female protagonist.

Whats funny is that I know many readers who love that stuff. The problem I have with them is the sameness of so many; like watching some Westerns from the 50s,60s that had such pat standard plots that you could figure out who was who and what was what in a few moments. Just not for me.

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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Tue September 16th, 2008, 12:07 pm

What really needs to happen for American History and also all the other neglected parts of history in terms of time and place, is for a huge hit, and then, voila, we will have something similar to what we have with the Tudors at the moment.

I do think there is some American fiction being published, and I like reading it, but I do think there is a lot of merit in the point about so many of us have our backgrounds in Europe, and therefore we are drawn to European history.
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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Tue September 16th, 2008, 1:02 pm

I'm just a reader, and don't concern myself too much with industry trends and marketing categories, but I would imagine the American Civil War being the period most written about. Western European History seems to have a more solid, consistent following, but I also imagine that a lot of American HF is under the radar so to speak, with much of it marketed as Historical Romance, and sneaking in as mainstream literature, but I really don't know. There are probably a lot of interesting women to be written about, but they're quite different from those who are frequently written about in European HF novels (no connections to royalty or nobility, e.g.).

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue September 16th, 2008, 1:38 pm

One thing about Civil War stories I've picked up from chit chat on the romance discussions at Amazon is that many feel we don't have much of them because publishers are so freaking PC these days they're terrified of anything dealing with the slavery issue. :mad:

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Tue September 16th, 2008, 3:42 pm

Years ago in the very un-PC 1970's and 80's our village library was awash with slavery books - of a certain kind I have to add. Racy is perhaps a polite way of describing them! Authors were Kyle Onstott, Lance Horner and Ashley Carter.
Any bets you wouldn't find those ones about now!
Back then I read Andersonville by McKinley Cantor and loved it. There were one or two others but I've mislaid my old reading diary. :o
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Divia
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Post by Divia » Tue September 16th, 2008, 8:39 pm

[quote=""princess garnet""]There are Christian fiction novels with American settings from different time periods.[/quote]

Christian novels are the only type of novels that I find about AH. And no offense to anyoen but I find em dull as dirt. I dont like to be preached to. I read one book about Motzart's sister and it was god this and god that. :rolleyes: I dont need to be beat over the head with it.

Also, you would think that the Americna CW would have more stories about it, but not so much. Is it PC? I dunno.
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue September 16th, 2008, 9:20 pm

So far I've read two CF that I bought off the shelf at Costco without realizing they were. One was dreadful and made the list. The other Measure of a Lady was set in San Francisco and was surprisingly good. Not great but entertaining. She actually wrote some sexual tension into her characters no one was pure as the driven snow.

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Tue September 16th, 2008, 11:47 pm

My perception of how much that's been written about a particular period is probably skewed by the fact that I still don't read much new fiction. I only read a handful of new releases each year. The rest is just catching up on everything else (the usual case of too many books, too little time). Maybe political correct HF hasn't caught up with me yet (and I hope it never does)! :D

Calgal
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Post by Calgal » Wed September 17th, 2008, 12:21 am

This topic reminds me how much I loved historical fiction when I was a child, starting with Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes and Hitty, by Rachel Field and moving on to all of Louisa May Alcott, though her work was more or less contemporary at the time she wrote it. My fourth grade teacher used to read to us, books like Davy Crockett, Geronimo, and Little Men, which fired me up, but it was really Hitty, which I found on my own, that got me going. There were a lot of good books for children like the Wilder books and Caddie Woodlawn I read in third grade. Maybe the publishers still find a market for Americana for children, though not for adults?

I Googled another writer whom I loved, Elswyth Thane, whose Williamsburg cycle, historical romance for teens, enthralled me when I was in high school. Forbes and Field, both Caldecott winners are still in print, but Thane is not. It made me wonder if her brand of fiction is out of style, pushed away by Tolkien and Harry Potter.

I have such pleasant memories of "soft" romance, I wonder if the sexual revolution might have made the overt sexuality of contemporary Romance less intriguing than it once might have been. Now I am really off topic.

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