Characteristics of Historical fiction

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In a segment on National Radio today, Phil Smith made some comments about the characteristics of historical fiction that I found interesting. He stated:

“The thing with… historical novels are a real difficult beast…you know, they can be fun and all…, but what’s really hard about them, if you think about it, everyone already knows what’s gonna happen in the end. You know, we know already that Anne Boleyn’s head’s gonna be removed at the end of the book…so you have to… you’ve got no way of interesting the audience through, …through the plot alone. [Kathryn Ryan inserts her voice, “You want her to give insight into character, right?” and Smith continues:] Exactly you’ve got to have unbelievably beautiful prose and incredible insight into character.”

Book Review – Bring up the Bodies

Bring up the Bodies, written by Hilary Mantel, published by Fourth Estate and reviewed by Phil Smith. (6′01″)

(http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon Tue 22 May 2012)

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