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The Historical Novel in Nineteenth-Century Europe – Representations of Reality in History and Fiction - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Historical Novel in Nineteenth-Century Europe: Representations of Reality in History and Fiction

Brian Hamnett


Even at the height of its popularity in the early nineteenth century, the historical novel faced criticism at many levels. After its predominance in the 1810s and 1820s, writers and historians shunned it as a travesty of their respective disciplines. Even so, the historical novel has frequently attracted a wide-ranging public right up to the present day. My book is not a history of the historical novel. I examine key novels which reveal the contradictions in this form of fiction and expose the dilemma writers encountered in their attempt at a representation of reality, linking past and present ... More

Keywords: historical novel, literary history, comparative literature, historiography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199695041
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695041.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Brian Hamnett, author
Research Professor, Department of History, University of Essex