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Historical Fiction in the University Library  

Guide to accompany historical fiction display in the University Library
Last Updated: Sep 17, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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The Past

 “The past is another country. They do things differently there.”

 ― L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between

“The past is never dead. It's not even past.”

 ― William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun


Looking for Something to Read?

Like history but find history books dull?  Browse the Historical Fiction display on the first floor of the University Library, near the new book shelving. Good historical fiction authors bring the past alive and entertain as well as educate. 

Sarah Johnson, librarian and author of Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre, volumes I and II, defines historical fiction as “fictional works (mainly novels) set before the middle of the last century, and ones in which the author is writing from research rather than personal experience.”

Some people make a distinction between an historical novel and a novel set in history.  Author Gary Schanbacher, in a guest post on the Reading the Past blog, notes that “For me, the more linked a book is to historically factual characters and events, the more firmly I categorize it as historical fiction. A book dealing with purely fictional characters and imaginary events set during a particular era, I tend to classify as a novel set in history.”

No matter what period/era or geographical setting you’re interested in, you can find a work of historical fiction to enjoy.  Happy reading!

Guides to the Genre


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