Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Deep in Research

Once more I am deep in research, but I cannot say it is unalloyed pleasure - rather it's making me increasingly uneasy. 
There's a reason I haven't written historical fiction before, but have stuck with fantasy. 

Stepping within the mindframe of an age is so damn hard! Staying true to a time and yet not getting bogged down in detail. Bleah.
I'm beginning to look with longing towards Robin McKinley's 'Damar' which is a made up country... but with a similar relationship to the made up 'Homeland' as India had with Britain in the 19th century. All the perks of elements of the more romantic aspects of colonisation but none of the harsh nitty-gritty stuff. 
Before I get too bogged down, I'm going to make a list of my favourite historic fiction, so I've something to aim for. (This is in no particular order) 

1. The Perilous Guard -Elizabeth Marie Pope
2.The Montmaray Trilogy - Michelle Cooper
3.Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
4.Playing Beattie Bow - Ruth Park
5.Shadow of the Moon - M.M Kaye
6.The Little White Horse - Elizabeth Goudge
7. Mark of the Horse Lord - Rosemary Sutcliffe
8 Dawn Wind - Rosemary Sutcliffe (Most of Rosemary Sutcliffes novels... really...) 
9 Towers in the Mist - Elizabeth Goudge
10 City of Bells - Elizabeth Goudge
11 The Cadfael Novels - Ellis Peters
12 Longsword - Victoria Thorne
13 Marcus Didius Falco Detective Novels - Lindsey Davis
14 The Far Pavilions - M.M. Kaye
15t Trade Winds- M.M Kaye
16 Frederika - Georgette Heye
17 Friday's Child - Georgette Heye
18 Devils Cub - Georgette Heyer (Okay, just about all of Georgette Heyer's Regency Novels, her Medieval... not so much)  
19 The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Spence
20 The Outlaws of Sherwood - Robin McKinley

Some of these (The Perilous Guard, The Little White Horse,) step the way of fantasy, so I find them doubly interesting. Some of these were written long ago about a time even longer ago...

What is it I like so much about these ones? What makes them stand apart from all the other historical fiction I've read? The Perilous Guard by Elizabeth Marie Pope is closest to what I'm aiming for with my about-to-be-commenced-novel, The Toad Lord - so what is it I find most appealing about it? 
Pondering, pondering. (I could always place my story in a parallel time... it's calling to me.. Louder, and Louder and Louder. But it does seem a bit like cheating...) 

How about you - do you have any favourite historical novels - and if so, why did they make your list? 

1 comment: