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Historical Novels are trash??

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Wed May 23rd, 2012, 11:59 pm

[quote=""Margaret""]Math is not my strong point, but I do recall a few HF classics, like Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo, Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.....[/quote]

And that's the thing. You named the big movers and shakers. But waht about the little guys who wrote bad stuff? Just because there are a FEW expectational HF classics doesn't mean that all the books in the past are awesome. Lets face it, most weren't, just as today.

But again as everyone else has said you get that with EVERY genre. Not all fantasy books are classics. And not all fantasy books can live up to Tolkien. So does that mean the genre is crap with overused characters such as wizards, a lonely man and a hurt woman?
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SCW
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Preferred HF: Lately World Two or the time immediately before and after this period
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Post by SCW » Thu May 24th, 2012, 12:09 pm

i don't think that Guy Stagg (is that his real name?) has ever read a historical novel in his life. He certainly wouldn't have made such an inaccurate generalisation if he had.

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Fri May 25th, 2012, 4:00 pm

I think this is what it boils down to. You need a certain level of interest in history as a subject in order to appreciate HF. And that Guy kid just doesn't have that, I don't think. It's so obvious.

Now what kind of a name is Guy Stagg, anyway? It just sounds of the same sort of ilk as John Drake, Joe Bull, Mike Cockerel or Peter Gander, which would be better suited to a certain other type of industry. :rolleyes:

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Fri May 25th, 2012, 9:43 pm

[quote=""SCW""]i don't think that Guy Stagg (is that his real name?) has ever read a historical novel in his life. He certainly wouldn't have made such an inaccurate generalisation if he had.[/quote]

True. It does sound like a porno name.
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Rhunt
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Post by Rhunt » Sat May 26th, 2012, 7:51 pm

[quote=""Shield-of-Dardania""]I think this is what it boils down to. You need a certain level of interest in history as a subject in order to appreciate HF. And that Guy kid just doesn't have that, I don't think. It's so obvious.

Now what kind of a name is Guy Stagg, anyway? It just sounds of the same sort of ilk as John Drake, Joe Bull, Mike Cockerel or Peter Gander, which would be better suited to a certain other type of industry. :rolleyes: [/quote]

If it really is his name, he would probably be well advised to change it if he expects to be taken seriously. Well, with his premise, he probably wouldn't be taken seriously anyway. ;)
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SGM
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Post by SGM » Sun May 27th, 2012, 6:01 pm

You might find this article interesting

Novelist and academic compared/contrasted (Elton-Mantel)

http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1168
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hackcyn
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Post by hackcyn » Mon May 28th, 2012, 10:30 am

Funny, I thought the Booker Prize had generally been handed out either to contemporary or historical fiction novels over the last forty years.

Just look at this list:

Jamrach's Menagerie
The Sisters Brothers
Half-Blood Blues
3/6 on the 2011 Booker Shortlist

Parrot and Olivier in America
The Long Song
C
3/6 on the 2010 Booker Shortlist

Wolf Hall
The Little Stranger
The Glass Room
The Children's Book
The Quickening Maze
5/6 in 2009

I could go on, but the idea that historical fiction -- or, at least, fiction that deals with history and is set in the past -- is anything other than on intimate terms with the literary establishment is nonsense.

Here's a slightly less polemic take on the issue from a couple of years ago:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksbl ... ary-mantel

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Wed May 30th, 2012, 10:58 pm

[quote=""Rhunt""]If it really is his name, he would probably be well advised to change it if he expects to be taken seriously. Well, with his premise, he probably wouldn't be taken seriously anyway. ;) [/quote]


Rhunt, you live in Wisconsin? Finally someone with whom I can comiserate about our winters. :D

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donroc
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Post by donroc » Thu May 31st, 2012, 1:11 am

Alas, stayed away from commenting because it is typical "faculty lounge" masturbating with inane ideas. Not worth a response.
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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Sun June 3rd, 2012, 1:29 pm

As with LoveHistory, I agree with everyone's responses and hadn't planned on entering anything into this conversation, until I opened today's newspaper and saw that the literary idiots are over on this side of the pond, too. Sorry Brits! You can't claim to have the monopoly. :p :p :p :p LOL Anyway I managed to find an online link to an American review of Mantel's novel: Tale of Cromwell, Boleyn a masterful sequel

To be honest I own a copy of Wolf Hall, and couldn't get into it. Perhaps I should give it another go since it seems Mantel is the only author capable of writing historical fiction worth reading. ;)

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