Historical Fantasy

Allison Marles apm at alumni.uwaterloo.ca
Wed Sep 15 11:02:45 EDT 2004

On Wed, Sep 15, 2004 at 11:31:34AM +0200, liril at gmx.net wrote:
> Hello,
> I watched a programm about new books on sunday, among the featured works was
> "Jonathan Stange and Mr. Norell" by Susanna Clarke. The presenter said,
> Clarke had done something new and unique by combinig historical fiction and
> fantasy "like LotR written by Jane Austen". 
> Apart from that being a very very strange metaphor, I thought sponatously:
> That's not true, that has been done before. But somehow I've got
> difficulties finding examples - the frist idea was ObDWJ: In a sudden wild
> Magic it is mentioned that British magic users helped destroy the Spanish
> Armada. But as the story isn't really told, it doesn't count for my
> purposes.

The same probably goes for A Tale of Time City, which has identifiable
bits of WWII, but most of the story is in a different "world".

A lot of the examples I can think of have the problem that they aren't
exactly a historical fiction in that they don't stick to the
recognizable past for the bulk of the story. However, the idea of our 
past having magic in it, and explaining why some historical events
worked out as they did is not a new idea, certainly.

I have a vague memory of a book called Mairelon the Magician, by
Patricia C. Wrede, which was set in Regency-era England.  But I
read it so long ago now, I can't be sure. Does anyone else know
this book ?

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