The Historical Novel Quotes

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The Historical Novel Quotes

If someone had told me in high school that one day Id write an historical novel, I would have rolled my eyes.
— Nancy Horan —

Whether I like it or not, most of my images of what various historical periods feel, smell, or sound like were acquired well before I set foot in any history class. They came from Margaret Mitchell, from Anya Seton, from M.M. Kaye, and a host of other authors, in their crackly plastic library bindings. Whether historians acknowledge it or not, scholarly history's illegitimate cousin, the historical novel, plays a profound role in shaping widely held conceptions of historical realities.

— Lauren Willig

The novel since its origins has been the privatization of history ... the history of private life ... and in that sense every novel is an historical novel ...

— José Emilio Pacheco

If you write a book about a bygone period that lies east of the Mississippi River, then it's a historical novel. If it's west of the Mississippi, it's a western, a different category. There's no sense to it.

— Louis L’Amour

However, the difficulties and pleasures of the writing itself are similar for a novel with a historical setting and a novel with a contemporary setting, as far as I'm concerned.

— Helen Dunmore

Even though the method of 'Harvest' was a historical novel, its intentions were that of a modern novel. I'm asking you to think about land being seized in Brazil by soya barons. It's also a novel about immigration.

— Jim Crace

For me, the historical and genealogical library is the one I use. I'm working on, I'll say, it's a time travel novel. I haven't written very much of it. That's the dirty secret of the Cullman center: The writers don't write their fiction there, they just do their research.

— Andrew Sean Greer

You think you're writing one historical novel and it turns into three, and I'm quite used to a short story turning into a novel - that's happened through my whole career.

— Hilary Mantel

[My wife] liked to collect old encyclopedias from second-hand bookstores, and at one point we had eight of them. When I wrote my first historical novel
back in 1980, before I was online
I used them often as a research tool. For instance, I learned that the Bastille was either 90 feet high or 100 feet or 120 feet. This led me to formulate Wilson's 22nd Law: 'Certitude belongs exclusively to those who only look in one encyclopedia.'

— Robert Anton Wilson

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