In My Opinion: An Inquiry into the Contemporary Novel

By Orville Prescott | Go to book overview

APPENDIX
SOME NOTABLE HISTORICAL NOVELS
The following list is not comprehensive. It merely cites some examples of superior historical fiction published in the last decade which I remember with particular pleasure. They all are marked by the virtues discussed in Chapter IX: sound technical craftsmanship; accurate historical background artfully introduced as the natural world which their characters take for granted; interesting and believable characters; a plausible plot without excessive sensationalism or ridiculous melodramatics.
RED ORME. By Frans Bengtsson. Epic adventures in the days of the Vikings written partly in the manner and wholly in the spirit of the heroic, ignorant, childishly violent Norsemen.
THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH. By Zoe Oldenbourg. Love, war and revenge in twelfth-century France and Palestine.
THE CORNER THAT HELD THEM. By Sylvia Townsend Warner. Thirty years in an English convent in the fourteenth century. The story of a typical medieval institution and a collective impression of many characters associated with it.
FERDINAND AND ISABELLA. By Herman Kesten. Of a queen who mistook her lust for power for the desire to serve God: a novel of religion, politics and power with many grim implications for the present.
AT ME MOON'S INN. By Andrew Lytle. Hernando de Soto and the sixteenth-century Spanish paradox of fanatical religious zeal combined with insatiable avarice and monstrous cruelty.

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