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Historical Novels are trash??

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Brenna
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Historical Novels are trash??

Post by Brenna » Thu May 17th, 2012, 2:53 pm

I found this on one of the many historicalfiction-related websites I read in the morning. Let the ranting begin!

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/gu ... ry-mantel/
Brenna

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Vanessa
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Post by Vanessa » Thu May 17th, 2012, 2:58 pm

He's entitled to his opinion, I suppose! I wonder how many historical fiction books he has actually read. I do hate literary snobs.
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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Thu May 17th, 2012, 3:32 pm

It sounds like he watched the movies rather than reading the books!
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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Thu May 17th, 2012, 3:35 pm

Yes, this article has created much harrumphing across the HF community and several response articles across the board.

On the very same website, HF author Allan Massie responded as follows:
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/al ... ovels-are/

Essentially, he says that of course most historical novels are bad. Most novels are. HF is no different from any other genre or subset of fiction in that respect.

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Thu May 17th, 2012, 4:02 pm

I do so hate it when smirking little snots who couldn't find their backsides with their hands set themselves up as arbiters of taste. To say that 'most' historical novels are rubbish, he will have to have read copious amounts of them to get a feel for the genre, which it's obvious he hasn't. It's like the reviewers on Amazon who say 'This novel is as rubbishy as a Mills & Boon.' But you know darned well they've never read a Mills & Boon in their life, so how would they know?!
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SGM
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Post by SGM » Thu May 17th, 2012, 4:21 pm

There's one in a similar vein but more in depth on the History Today website with a blog response. There is value on both sides of the argument in that one and some interesting comments which give the issue a better perspective. However, I decided not to post it here for obvious reasons.

However, Hilary Mantel gets an honourable acknowledgement in that one too.
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Thu May 17th, 2012, 6:06 pm

[quote=""EC2""]I do so hate it when smirking little snots who couldn't find their backsides with their hands set themselves up as arbiters of taste. To say that 'most' historical novels are rubbish, he will have to have read copious amounts of them to get a feel for the genre, which it's obvious he hasn't. It's like the reviewers on Amazon who say 'This novel is as rubbishy as a Mills & Boon.' But you know darned well they've never read a Mills & Boon in their life, so how would they know?![/quote]

That's about how I described him. I so loathe people who pidgeon hole genres, especially the put downs to romance in general. It's like you are a second class citizen and first class ignoramous for reading the stuff. They are not all created equal.
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Village
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Post by Village » Thu May 17th, 2012, 9:38 pm

Most Newspaper based blogs are absolute rubbish and the Daily Telegraph is particularly riddled with chin-less idiots fresh out of school who fancy churning out this sort of crap and get to because daddy knows someone. I doubt Guy has even read the whole of Wolf Hall.

Ah! Good to get it off my chest!

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Thu May 17th, 2012, 11:42 pm

Rubbish.

I hate to tell the author but Ms. Mantel hitched her horse up to the gravy train and wrote about..*gasp* THE TUDORS! Whoa! What an easy sell it is! Or rather a person who lived during that time. *yawn*

Bottom line is that people write books to sell. A few write them to be literary giants. However, those that write to be literary works of art rarely sell well. What sells? Stephen King. Furthermore, for every good historical fiction novel of the past there are 10 that are completely horrid.

Um, how did Dickens write historical fiction, when the time period he was writing about I believed was the Victorian Era? :confused: Anyone? help?
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri May 18th, 2012, 2:17 am

A Tale of two Cities would count as historical for Dickens, I believe. The French Revolution started twenty years before he was born, much less wrote anything.

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