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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | Little Dorrit: IV »

April 18, 2009

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Comments

Janice

Oh, I love this line, there: However, as I was composing a romance, and not a history, I deemed it unnecessary to attempt to reconcile discordant accounts. . . .

That's it. I'm dumping history for romance, post haste!

Jonathan Dresner

If I had any facility for dialogue, I'd be right there: there is so much real drama in history that has gone untouched by novelists (and moviemakers).

I don't see any real theoretical problem with including historical fiction as a kind of historiography, as long as both historians and novelists recognize that it goes along with chronicles, polemics and other mythic storytelling -- it's a way of telling history, but not a way of proving anything. It's one point of view and contains all the biases of a political polemic due to the demands of drama (and sometimes, an actual political polemic).

I think we're better off engaging with it, being aware that it forms a huge portion of our audience's historical consciousness, and engaging with it on our terms instead of theirs.

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