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Old Times October – Plague Fiction

These are the things I know about the pestilence. It swarms around those who catch it, like a cloud of flies. If you find yourself caught in the cloud – or look in the eyes of somebody who is sick – or offend God – or are loved by someone who offends God – or … Continue reading

Old Times October – The Apothecary – Maile Meloy

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy is as much an adventure as it is historical fiction (but that is the bonus of historical fiction it goes with so many other genres).  What I liked about it was its diverse range of characters and the Cold War mentality.  Some of it was definitely far-fetched (at times it was like the Young Bond … Continue reading

Old Times October – The Devil’s Own

I love the story of the Batavia.  The devil’s own (1990) by Deborah Lisson is a time slip novel written in third person narrative about wrecking of the Batavia in the 1600s. The main character, Julie, is 15 years old and having an awful time on her family sailing holiday. Through a series of events … Continue reading

Old Times October – Celia Rees – Pirates

Many historical novels cross over into other genres such as adventure stories set in historical time frames. For example, Celia Rees’ Pirates (2003) is such a story – a great adventure but also covering the lives of ordinary people -a merchant’s daughter and a black slave girl. The true and remarkable adventures of Minerva Sharpe … Continue reading

Old Times October – A Waltz for Matilda

Jackie French is one of the most prolific Australian YA/Children’s author’s writing historical fiction and some of her work has already been mentioned in Anzac/Australian April.  Recently, I was doing a research guide and curriculum writing on steps to Federation and I came across A Waltz for Matilda.  In this novel, we follow the story … Continue reading

Old Times October – Catherine, called Birdy

Catherine, called Birdy (1994) by Karen Cushman would be a good introduction to historical fiction for young teen girls.  It is set in medieval times and is written in diary form (and similar to many realistic fiction novels) with the secretive overtones and pact between narrator and reader being highly developed.  The reader feels every … Continue reading

Old Times October What makes good historical fiction?

Below is a list of desirable characteristics for historical fiction and it is worth noting that the elements of believability and universal themes and emotions overlap with realistic fiction.  Good historical fiction must (Barone, 2010, p. 68; Nilsen and Donelson, 2009, p. 244;  Gamble and Yates, 2008, p. 138) be accurate, faithfully recreate minds and … Continue reading

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