Thursday, 13 August 2009

Historical novels


I listened to Front Row on BBC 4 last night courtesy of the Listen Again feature and enjoyed 30 minutes of discussion about historical novels.
Interesting to hear the different views put forward. Novelists claim to explore and explain the past, while Tristram Hunt is tired of the relentless detail that fills most historical novels.
Phillippa Gregory, Antonia Fraser and others talk about how they see their work. Some cannot write without the facts ..."I never invent anything," while others are prepared to look at the facts and make a stab at interpreting them. Others, unnamed, the narrator said disparagingly, happily change the dates of battles and other facts without a qualm if it will make a better story! An intriguing listen.

I recommended Lisa McMann yesterday. Today I popped over to read through her advice once more and lo and behold the thing is unobtainable. I guess Nathan recommended her and people flew to her site and crashed it. I'll wait a few days and see if it recovers.

The pic? Looking out from the formal gardens at Cragside. That's the road that takes us home.

No comments: