Sunday, June 8, 2014

Historical fiction, or historical contemporary fiction?

Historical fiction written as historical fiction: Georgette Heyer writing about the Regency, a century or more past her own time.
Then there's Jane Austen writing about her own time... but it's historical for US.

Jane Austen will -- being steeped in it-- probably be faithfully representing the culture and especially language as she perceives it. But she will be blinkered by a narrow perspective and of course the lack of ability to research different viewpoints or see what happens after her own time.

Historical fiction-- greater context, more distance, more understanding of the causes and effects. But the colloquialism of the language might be suspect-- replicating conversations which were not "heard".

Class structure, snobbery, class conflict

In 4:50 from Paddington, Miss Marple refers to an estate owned by a wealthy family. With something like disdain, she says, "Not one of our... families. Victorian millionaires." She goes on to remember that the family fortune is based on cookies: "Crackenthorpe's Fancies. Silly name for a biscuit, I've always thought."