15 Oct 2009

MODERN OR HISTORICAL FICTION? - AN UPDATE.

Firstly I'd like to thank all those who contributed to the original post about the classification of modern and historical books - you certainly gave me some food for thought.

As well as on Pen And Paper, we also had this discussion on Book Blogs where several different theories were put forward. My thanks to you all but especially to Jaime Huff over at REVENGE OF THE BOOK NERDS (as well as Book Blogs) who discussed the matter at some length and pointed me towards the following sites which help to clarify the matter.

* Wikipedia.

"Historical fiction is a sub-genre of fiction that often portrays fictional accounts or dramatisation of historical figures or events. Writers of stories in this genre, while penning fiction, nominally attempt to capture the spirit, manners and social conditions of the person or time(s) presented in the story, with due attention paid to period detail and fidelity.

"Historical fiction presents readers with a story that takes place during a significant event in that period. Historical fiction often presents actual events from the point of view of people living in that time period."

* The Historical Novel Society.

"To be deemed historical (in our sense), a novel must have been written at least fifty years after the events described, or have been written by someone who was not alive at the time of those events (who therefore approaches them only in research)".

Petty Witter says: Judging by the definitions supplied by these sites, I think I'll go back and re-classify the three books (Guernica by Dave Boling, The Return by Victoria Hislop and Hamers War by Francis Cottam) mentioned in my original post as it would seem they should indeed be classified as historical rather than modern fiction.
P.S. Having gone back and re-classified those three books, I found several others that really ought to be classed as historical rather than modern fiction - it's amazing how these things snowball.

4 comments:

Jaime said...

Swinging by your place and saying hi!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I am really glad you posted this question over at Book Blogs, it just perplexed me to no end and being the researcher that I like to call myself (HAHA! More like pretend) and had to learn more.

I need to look in to the two that you read that were classified as Modern!

Jaime said...

Sorry, I mean the THREE you read! Great discussion over this, by the way. Very thought provoking.

Kelly said...

Thanks, this does clarify things a lot.

I tend to be a rebel when it comes to classifying books and music anyway....often it's just how I see it, whether it's correct or not!

Melissa (My World) said...

This is interesting to learn. I still have my own way of classifying that just doesn't seem to match up with anyone elses, but don't ask me what it is cause I can't explain it. lol.

I always get caught up in the classifying thing. So many books can go so many ways. I just keep walking around till I find them. lol

But, seriously, thanks for the info on this. I really didn't know how it was classified. Very cool information. Thanks!