Thursday 21st May 2015
6-7:30, Waterstone's, Gower Street WC1E 6EQ
Historical fiction is a significant part of the contemporary literary field. The historical novel occupies its own niche in some bookshops, while literary fiction often centres on history. Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell sequence has not only taken her to a wider audience than ever before, but been adapted to both stage and screen. Meanwhile numerous other writers narrate different moments and segments from history in fictional form, often winning prizes for the effort.
What is the appeal of historical fiction today? Can it teach us about the past? Does it reflect the changing history that is being told and received in our society? Do different nations have different traditions of the historical novel? Does the world-making of historical fiction form a counterpart to that undertaken by science fiction?
At this round table, part of Birkbeck’s Arts Week 2015, three scholars of contemporary fiction will consider such questions. Dr Joe Brooker and Dr Martin Eve (Birkbeck) will be joined by Dr Caroline Magennis (University of Salford).
Image by Mike Licht, used under a CC BY 2.0 licence.