Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Historical Fiction Week on VL

n-c-wyeth-knights-swan Historical fiction is the closest thing we have to a time machine. When done right, it can transport you to another time and place as if a history book came alive. Personally, it’s my favorite genre to read and I can distinctly recall the moment a librarian introduced me to the first novel of that type(it was Cecelia Holland’s Firedrake). Since Book Fox Kate has just returned from a conference about the genre, we decided to celebrate it with it’s very own theme week. However, in the interest of fairness, we also have a post from a Fox who is, as they say, not a fan. Whichever way you feel about it, we hope you’ll find something of interest in our historical week.

Monday- Kate describes the wonders of the Historical Fiction Research Network, the ageing of Elizabeth 1, the filmed re-enactments of historical beheadings and the creation of a fictitious Iowan town to teach architecture.

Wednesday- Simon uses The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier to explore his problems with historical fiction.

Friday- Jackie presents one of her favorite series by Candace Robb.

Painting in sepia of King Arthur by master illustrator N.C. Wyeth, found on Pinterest.

4 comments on “Historical Fiction Week on VL

  1. Sunny Lanning
    February 26, 2017

    Fun! I love the Elizabethan works by Philippa Gregory. I think my favorite is The Other Boleyn Girl.

  2. JP Robinson
    February 26, 2017

    I like the comparison to the time machine. Very true. I try to capture the essence of the French court in my trilogy: “Secrets of Versailles”.

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  4. Dave McGowan
    February 26, 2017

    Throughout school many (most) fellow students complained about history and how borrrrring it is. I didn’t find it to be such since I saw the characters presented as people who had the trials and tribulations throughout their efforts that we all experience today.
    Yes, the school tests all demand that we recite the dates associated with historical events because they need some way of proving (?) that the student actually read the material.
    Historical fiction, by its very nature WILL contain elements of entertainment. It should show, not that something happened in ??65 but that it could have happened in 1765 or 1935. It should also demonstrate some of the surrounding forces affecting the event (segregation in 1820 compared to 1980?) and that PEOPLE made it happen and where effected by it. There should also be some emotion created or shared by those people adding to the entertainment value for the reader.
    You know nothing of your past, your history? Read some history with fiction, be entertained, absorb some understanding which can then be used to enrich your present.
    Dave McGowan

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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)
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