By Anna Mercer
Today in the ‘Archive Spotlight’ series, we’re delighted to present a post about the changing reception of the historical novel genre across the nineteenth century. Jonathan Taylor and Helen Kingstone have reviewed and studied the periodical reviews of The British Periodical database to explore how attitudes to the qualities of the historical novel genre shifted over time. We’re delighted to share with you their fascinating findings below, discussing, for example, the significant of Sir Walter Scott and how frequently the reviewers commented on historical fidelity. Enjoy!
View the other posts in the ‘Archive Spotlight’ series here.
Archive Spotlight: The changing reception of historical novels in periodicals by Jonathan Taylor and Helen Kingstone
Hybrid, transformative and difficult to define (or even name) without contention, the historical novel or historical romance is a quintessentially Romantic genre. Indelibly associated with Sir Walter Scott, whom many nineteenth-critics erroneously credited with inventing the form, the historical novel has a far longer Romantic history, which Fiona Price has traced back to the middle of the eighteenth century. The historical novel has also enjoyed remarkable longevity, and the immense popularity which Scott bequeathed the genre is a Romantic legacy that has ensured that historical fiction continues to be …read more