The Historical Novel in Europe, 1650-1950

Overview

This book was first published in 2009. A much older genre than is often thought, the historical novel has played a vital role in the development of the novel overall. It began in seventeenth-century France as a distinctive way of combining historical chronologies with fictive narratives. In Romantic Scotland, historical fiction underwent a further transformation, inspired by both antiquarian scholarship and crisis-oriented journalism. The first comprehensive study of its subject for many years, The Historical ...

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Overview

This book was first published in 2009. A much older genre than is often thought, the historical novel has played a vital role in the development of the novel overall. It began in seventeenth-century France as a distinctive way of combining historical chronologies with fictive narratives. In Romantic Scotland, historical fiction underwent a further transformation, inspired by both antiquarian scholarship and crisis-oriented journalism. The first comprehensive study of its subject for many years, The Historical Novel in Europe highlights both the French invention and Scottish re-invention of historical fiction, showing how these two events prepared the genre's broad popularity during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In Europe, as well as in the Americas, the historical novel became as much a way of reading and a set of expectations as a memorable collection of books. The main authors discussed include Madame de Lafayette, the abbé Prévost, Walter Scott, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert and Mark Twain.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dubious or not, it makes an appropriate climax for a book that remains invariably engaging by virtue of its unforeseen directions and conjunctions, its wide range, its critical intelligence, and - not least - its daring."
-Patricia Meyer Spacks,University of Virginia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107404465
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/10/2012
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 332
  • Sales rank: 1,223,833
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Maxwell is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Yale University.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; List of illustrations; Introduction; Part I. Transmissions and Transformations of Historical Fiction: 1. History in glimpses, or, how historical fiction survived the eighteenth century; 2. Inundations of time: Scott's reinvention of the historical novel; Part II. The Franco-Scottish Model for the Historical Fiction: 3. Pretenders in sanctuary: phantoms of the world-historical character; 4. History on the walls: siege novels and the lure of collective heroism; Part III. The English Historical Novel: An Alternative Path: 5. Juvenile: children, play and history; Notes; Chronological list of historical novels; Select bibliography; Index.

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