The Dark Alleys of Historical Novels
I like them – back home my mother was the historical novel fan, and somehow passed the habit to me, if in a less virulent way.
Now, being a reader of fantasy, and sometimes a perpetrator of historical fantasy, I somehow have this sort of inferiority complex towards historical fiction writers (my friend Claire being a case in point).
They are the square ones, the serious ones, the ones that have both literary and historical dignity, that quote primary sources and are asked to give learned lectures and all that.
Me, I’m a hack, one that mixes mummies and Roman legions and tentacled monsters.
But, on the other hand, historical fiction does have a less reputable side – one that goes back to Gold Medal, Fawcett, Paperback Library, NEL and Lancer paperbacks, and continued well into the 1980s, and is just as lurid, preposterous and risqué as the things we hack do write.
So I decided to do a gallery with a few specimens – it made me feel better.
As usual, you can click on an image to see the full-size version.