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Historical fiction is a sub-genre of fiction that often portrays fictional accounts or dramatization of historical figures or events. Writers of stories in this genre, while penning fiction, attempt to capture the spirit, manners, and social conditions of the persons or time(s) presented in the story, with due attention paid to period detail and fidelity.[1] Historical fiction is found in books, magazines,[2] art, television, movies, theater, and other media.

Contents

Definition

Historical fiction presents readers with a story that takes place during a notable period in history, and usually 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.

In some historical fiction, famous events appear from points of view not recorded in history, showing historical figures dealing with actual events while depicting them in a way that has not been previously recorded. Other times, a historical event is used to complement a story's narrative, occurring in the background while characters deal with situations (personal or otherwise) wholly unrelated to that historical event. Sometimes, the names of people and places have been in some way altered.

As this is fiction, artistic license is permitted in regard to presentation and subject matter, so long as it does not deviate in significant ways from established history. If events should deviate significantly, the story may then fall under the genre of alternate history, which is known for speculating on what could have happened if a significant historical event had occurred differently. On a similar note, events occurring in historical fiction must adhere to the laws of physics. Stories that extend into the magical or fantastic are considered historical fantasy.

Literature

Historical literature includes the works of authors that epitomize a specific period in history. Historical literature has been written since at least the 11th century BC.

Media and culture

Works of historical fiction are not reserved exclusively to literature. Many films have been created which attempt to use a historic event or setting as a backdrop and actors portray fictional or historic figures set in these events. Below are a few notable examples in the chronological order that the events took place.

Film and television

Critical reception

Unusually for a fiction genre, much historical fiction has been enthusiastically embraced by the mainstream critical community. In 2009, several of the novels on the Booker Prize longlist were historical fiction.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Search Results for historical fiction - Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  2. ^ See, e.g., Paradox Magazine, which publishes short stories in the historical fiction sub-genre.
  3. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/jul/28/booker-prize-longlist-me-cheeta

External links








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