Portrait of Venetia, Lady Digby, by Sir Anthony van Dyck ©WM Commons
The historical novel is a supremely elastic genre. It stretches to lowbrow, bodice-ripping efforts, pings back to highbrow—Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad, for example, or Eliot’s Romola—while maintaining a solid middlebrow, from I, Claudius to The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It can build nations, as Scott’s Waverley novels do, or speak to children, like Rosemary Sutcliffe’s Eagle of the Ninth, or it can tumble sideways, like Woolf’s modernist fantasia Orlando, which can be read as…
Register today to continue reading
You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.
You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.
Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.
Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.
Already a subscriber? Log in here