Historical Novel (British)

(2507 words)
  • Nathan Uglow (Trinity All Saints, Leeds)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The historical novel is a literary genre characterized by the attempt to fuse strong dramatic plot lines and credible human psychology, within a setting constituted from specific historical detail (typically based upon diligent research into actual events, locations, and characters, as well as cultural customs, costume, and speech).

By common consent, the founder of this genre was Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), whose numerous novels starting with Waverley in 1814, unleashed a passion for the historical novel among readers and writers that remains strong to this day. The impact of the genre on Romantic Europe was swift and decisive, contributing to the privileged place that historical consciousness has henceforth come to e…

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Uglow, Nathan. "Historical Novel (British)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1213, accessed 28 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Novelistic Genres
  2. Literary Genres and Modes