Historical Fiction

Module code: EN3171

In recent years historical novelists such as Hilary Mantel and Sarah Waters have achieved impressive sales and great critical acclaim. Yet the genre of the historical novel has not always been quite so respectable. This module explores the writing and reception of historical fiction, beginning with excerpts from Walter Scott’s Waverley (1814) – a work often called “the first historical novel” – and running to Rose Tremain's Restoration (1989) and Hilary Mantel’s Booker prize-winning Bring up the Bodies (2012).  We’ll look at publishers’ marketing tactics, readers’ responses, and how individual authors imaginatively transform the past.

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