Historical Fantasy

Margaret Ball margaret at onr.com
Wed Sep 15 11:40:42 EDT 2004

Darn, I wish you Brits didn't all chat in the middle of the night here, 
I'm always coming in on the tail end of a wonderful discussion. I'm glad 
somebody finally mentioned Elizabeth Marie Pope in this context.

Enough said on the subject to establish what a wonderfully well-read 
list this is, but I don't *think* anybody has mentioned Judith Merkle 
Riley's _A Vision of Light_ and _In Pursuit of the Green Lion_, although 
I suppose a fully believing Christian who accepts saints and miracles 
could claim that the first isn't fantasy.

And even though Diana Norman's _Fitzempress' Law_ doesn't really fit the 
parameters, since (a) the historical element is accomplished by time 
travel and (b) there's no fantasy element once she gets her characters 
back in the twelfth century, I want to mention it anyway just because I 
love that book so much.

Can we count short stories, like Connie Willis' "Fire Watch"?

And - okay, this one really doesn't fit - but I want to claim Cecelia 
Holland's "Great Maria" on the grounds that it's the best historical 
novel ever written about the Norman invasion of Sicily EXCEPT that none 
of the events in the novel actually happened. Can you be true to the 
spirit of a historical event while completely changing the actual history?

Margaret Ball

“Americans treat their language with a furiously abundant energy – contriving two words for the price of one, hooking up unlikely neighbors with a hyphen, turning nouns into verbs and verbs into nouns – and generally beating the hell out of it.”

-Pamela Frankau

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