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Topic: Memorable Women in Historical Fiction - by Women

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Subject: Memorable Women in Historical Fiction - by Women
Date Posted: 4/3/2011 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 8
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So many books about women, but most of them written by men!  Lots of "Harlequin romance" stuff, but those are not often memorable, in the sense that the prose, plots and characterizations make the story enjoyable on more than one level.  Few writers have written about women in an historical setting the way Jane Austen has done... I'm not a rampant feminist, nor am I looking for JA clones.  I just can't believe there are so few!

Please add more women writers to:

http://www.paperbackswap.com/Memorable-Women-Historical-Fiction/list/727/

Date Posted: 4/3/2011 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,468
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Oh Rosemary, You may regret that you introduced this topic to this forum! The list may be longer than you think. I've added a few that I found on my BIR list.wink

Date Posted: 4/3/2011 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 8
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Interesting, I had never thought to make Agatha Christie's mysteries historical.  Miss Marple always seems a contemporary, maybe because I'm not so young.  When does historical start?  Does it depend on how old you are and what you perceive as being history?  I was born in 1944 which makes me think that books set in the 60s are contemporary, because they are contemporary with my life!   Has this list ever set any parameters for what is historical?

Date Posted: 4/3/2011 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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Great list!  I added a bunch of my favorites.

Date Posted: 4/3/2011 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,468
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It seems like we had a cut off period on this forum and I want to say it was anything before the 1950's was considered HF. I too was born in 1944, so I know what you're saying about Agatha Christie feeling more contemporary. Agatha's books go way before the 1960's though. I just read Death on the Nile and the copyright is 1937 and her Miss Marple book The Moving Finger has a copyright date of 1942. So, I'd say Miss Marple can safely be categorized as HF. If there is a question about that someone else on this forum will set me straight, I'm sure!

Date Posted: 4/3/2011 11:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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Christie wrote a historical fictional mystery set in Ancient Egypt BC.  I think it is called DEATH COMES AT THE END, or something like that. (I have a copy some where) I remember reading (her bio)  that she  was inspired to write it while accompany her archeologist husband on a dig in Egypt.

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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<<categorized as HF>>

That topic has been debated in this forum (and many others) numerous times.  According to the Historial Novel Society:

To be deemed historical, a novel must have been written at least fifty years after the events described, or have been written by someone who was not alive at the time of those events (who therefore approaches them only by research).

By this definition Dickens and Austen would not be HF, even though it is historical to us in our time period.  I'm not defending this position, only stating it.  Please don't beat me up.

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,468
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No beating up here! I've seen that definition Donna as well as some others and it's obvious that HF is an imperfect "science" - at least the definition is! wink

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Donna, beating up is not allowed here.   That is what wet noodles are for. cheeky

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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The 50-year rule that Donna cites is what I go by -- which is why I don't consider books written by writers such as Austen, Dickens (with the exception of A Tale of Two Cities), or the Bronte sisters, or commonly cited historical works such as All Quiet on the Western Front, The Good Earth, To Kill a Mockingbird, or Uncle Tom's Cabin historical fiction (excellent though they may be).

And I have no qualms about using the wet noodle!wink