Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

What makes us choose . . .

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.
Posts: 5
Joined: November 2008

What makes us choose . . .

Post by Annie » Sat December 6th, 2008, 10:52 am

Exploring this forum and noting how we devide into distinct historical periods, I began to wonder what makes us choose a particular time, what influences fired our fascination?
I'm sure the Victorians fascinate me because I spent my formative years in a house where, apart from our clothes and a radio, nothing had changed since the previous century. I was immersed in that era for time had stood still in that great house. So, I suppose it was inevitable that my fascination would stay with me.
Similarly, the Tudors interest me since at age nine I had a strange experience at Hampton Court, which led me to read as much as I could of that time.
Do others know why, specifically, their interest evolved?

User avatar
Avid Reader
Posts: 472
Joined: August 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Post by pat » Sat December 6th, 2008, 11:10 am

My interest has been in phases, that I return to if you know what I mean! I have always loved the Tudors, but then I recently found out that when I was young my mum read all about them and knowing her, she would have talked to me about them! However, I recently felt a break was needed from them.

I have always had an affinity with the Victorians, cant explain why, perhaps a former life!

I have recently started reading about medival times, but that is due to EC! I just wanted to try one of her novels and there I was hooked!
A good book and a good coffee, what more can anyone want? xx

User avatar
Avid Reader
Posts: 428
Joined: September 2008
Location: Adelaide, Australia.

Post by Alaric » Sat December 6th, 2008, 11:58 am

My "favourite era" is the age of discovery/enlightenment and I mainly read stuff within that era. I've no idea why, perhaps because it has such an influence on the way the world is now with the empires. I find books about the warfare of the era - the brightly coloured uniforms, big banners, navies, muskets and cannon - fascinating. Plus the people! Voltaire, Mozart, Moliere, Louis XIV, Peter the Great, Frederick the Great, Wellington, Marlborough, Napoleon ... I could go on forever.

User avatar
Posts: 1042
Joined: August 2008
Location: Travelers Rest SC

Post by Leyland » Sat December 6th, 2008, 1:40 pm

The political and social structure post-1066 through Edward III's reign in western Europe fascinates me for some unknown reason. The feudal system and its effect on the different classes is a magnet for me. Power struggles, the rise of Plantagenet dynasty and all those political alliances based on strategic marriages is akin to studying a human chess game to me.

And the early modern period beginning in the early 1500's through the American War for Independence through the end of the 18th century is as much a magnet for me as well. Innovations in secular and theological thought, science and exploration primarily in England, France, Spain and the Netherlands is an endless source of extreme interest. Humanism, Renaissance, the Reformation -I could go on and on!

Otherwise, I'm pretty much into most periods or eras with few exceptions. I want to know a little something about everything during the past 3500 years or so. How else are we going to know what we are and what we're likely to become?

Posts: 2475
Joined: August 2008
Location: Arizona, USA

Post by Ash » Sat December 6th, 2008, 2:48 pm

I'm pretty eclectic, tho have certain eras and places that draw me: England 1066-1400s, pre WWI-1929, Byzantine Empire, Arab Empire, Crusades, India, Latin America. Im not sure why - I am a Jewish girl of Ukrainian Polish descent, and probably should be interested in those three as well as the 30s and 40s, since thats all my parents usually talked about. School gave us the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks, and I turned to times and eras very much away from those classic histories.

I have also wondered why people get interested in certain hobbies and careers very early in life. I suspect the two are somehow linked

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Posts: 3566
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) » Sat December 6th, 2008, 2:59 pm

I love the centuries when the world became global --1450 to 1650. I tend to shy away from novels set in the industrial revolution or later because I read in order to get a break from technology. A really good story will override that, of course.
My preference is for novels set outside England, or those that show how the world developed. i am rather fascinated with the historical roots that produced the twentieth century, how one part of the world rose in power while the areas that were powerful lost it. Why did Great Britain come to rule the world for almost the entire nineteenth century instead of China or Persia?

The answers to that lie in the renaissance centuries. I am just starting to get a closer look at what was going on in India and China during those years, but there are very few novels set there.

User avatar
Posts: 4435
Joined: August 2008
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Post by Divia » Sat December 6th, 2008, 3:07 pm

this is slightly fickle but I like the clothes. I always thought the big bell dresses were so cool! Then I started to research the time and I began to love the Victorian Era more and more. I thought it was awesome, the women's struggle, ethics, their nonstop rigid rules. Its all very interesting to me.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.

User avatar
Posts: 1963
Joined: August 2008
Location: Northern Virginia

Post by Tanzanite » Sat December 6th, 2008, 3:49 pm

The stuff I read is mostly from 1066 through the Tudors - not really sure why other than perhaps it's the little girl fascination with brave knights, beautiful ladies, castles and dragons (OK, those don't exist but it's still part of the fantasy). Since I discovered how much I can learn about history from reading a great story, I occasionally read about other periods of time, but there are still a lot of them I haven't even touched on yet.

User avatar
Posts: 3661
Joined: August 2008
Location: Nottingham UK

Post by EC2 » Sat December 6th, 2008, 4:18 pm

Great question Annie!
What happened to you at Hampton Court. I'm dying to know know!
My interest as a writer is 1066-1250, and that's mainly due to falling in love with various knightly guys in TV programmes during my teens. I wrote stories about them, wanted those stories to feel real, got researching to do that and became hooked. I guess it's a bit like Divia and her initial interest because of the dresses - only mine was in handsome guys in chain mail :o :D

As a reader, I like any period. I'm not particularly into the period between 1600 and 1800 but even then I'll make exceptions. I did the Tudors and Stuarts for my A levels and I found the Stuarts incredibly boring and was just about put off for life. Those mentioned 200 years are not my period of natural choice, but if someone chose it as a book club read I'd go with it, and it certainly never put me off Diana Gabaldon! I'm also happy to read histories of other cultures and settings other than my homeland. That's about it really.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal


User avatar
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 858
Joined: August 2008
Location: Winter Haven, Florida

Post by donroc » Sat December 6th, 2008, 5:07 pm

Film, when I was a child, got me interested, starting with Robin Hood at age six. I'd see the film and want to read the history, and later the book.

I fantasized, as a boy, to be in the "regiment" commanded by Sir Aubrey Smith, and participate in all the derring-do with Flynn and the stock company at Warners.

My interest in History broadened and intnensified, and now I write whatever story inspires me regardless of century or country.

Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6 ... annel_page

Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”