RARA-AVIS: Historicals

From: Sharon Villines ( sharonvillines@prodigy.net)
Date: 03 Feb 2000

> You're saying a book set in the past that's not idealized isn't an
> historical? Let's say I write a novel set in 1945 and I do my best to
> make it an accurate representation of the times, without any
> idealization or distortion -- what have I written if not an historical?

I suspect it would not be popular with readers of historicals. And the definitions I am interested in are those that have meaning for readers. It might be technically a historical (there are many definitions) but historical readers seem to read for particular historical periods, not just any year.

They read Regency, Tudor, Civil War, Ancient Rome, Victorian, Colonial America, etc. They don't read 1865 or 1236.

It is similar to those who prefer to restrict "hardboiled" to a particular historical period (1930-1950?), not a world view that can be applied to a work written in any period.


Sharon Villines, Editor
MacGuffin Guide to Detective Fiction, http://www.macguffin.net
MacGuffinL, History & Criticism of Detective Fiction

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