Historical fiction used to be the poor relation of the literary world. Variously pigeon-holed as “bodice rippers” and “penny dreadfuls”, historical novels were at best disregarded by the literati and at worst derided scornfully. In the last decade, however, all that has changed.
Some of the writing giants of our age, like Hilary Mantel, Anthony Doerr and Margaret Atwood, write historical novels that pack a punch and hold up mirrors not just to our past, but to our present.
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