Historical Fantasy

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Sep 15 08:08:31 EDT 2004

Bettina wrote:

>So, if I define "historical fiction" as stories taking place in a
>recognizable past (mentioning some historical events, or taking care to
>describe a cerain era), what titles with fantasy elements can we find?

I thought on the instant of John Whitbourn: would *Popes and Phantoms* fit
the bill? If that's ok (and also his first novel *A Dangerous Energy*),
what about James Blish's *Black Easter* and the rest of that sequence, um,
*After Such Knowledge*, which takes liberties with history but has
recognisable historical stuff and characters in there too?

Gael Baudino did set *Strands of Starlight* in something purporting to be
14th century Europe but with Added Elves; *I* don't think it's historical,
but I have heard people assert that it is.

What about any retelling of Robin Hood that has him set in a specific
period (usually involving Richard I and the Seige of Acre and such)?  He's
fantasy, I'd say.

There's a novel about Queen Elizabeth I that has her being given assistance
by sundry magical entities, but I can't remember who wrote it or what it is
called, and this may drive me mad drat you Bettina.

In *Puck of Pook's Hill* and *Rewards and Fairies* all the stories are in
recognisable historical settings, and involve real historical persons as a
rule, with input from Puck and fantasy.

Tim Powers' recent book set in a WWII that has added fantasy elements might
count, and eventually I'll remember its name.  *The Drawing of the Dark* is
set in a first Siege of Vienna, sort of.  The *Anubis Gates* has bits of
English history as the place things happen.


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