Thursday, November 29, 2007

History? Is it Bunk?

Many publishers, or so I have been told, are not accepting historicals, apparently some say there is no market for these. I feel like yelling down their ears. "HELLO - have you looked around lately?"

History is every where, book stores have shelves of historical books, some novels, some not. Historical series are all over television and at the cinema. Regencies are more popular than ever.

Here on television, we have all kinds of historical related shows. Odd bods and professors are exploring the past. There are shows about archeologists messing about on building sites, discovering all kinds of wonderful stuff. Then there are documentaries, historical re-enacments. History is buzzing at the moment. There is the new film on Elizabeth, and think about Cold Mountain and those other splendid films that have come out of Hollywood. Also not forgetting the Tutankhamen exhibition which has everyone keen to go.

Now in the Autumn we have historical series like The Tudors , Cranford, and coming up Sense and Sensibility and Oliver Twist. What about Rome? HELLO, are you listening, people love history!

Of course they are not all good, can I change tack and talk for a moment about The Tudors? You folks will get to see The Tudors, it is an HBO production, like Rome. Well it is reasonably good, but a bit slow. It is ruined for me by the performance of the kid playing Henry the Eighth. He is lousy in the part, good looking but come on! He plays Henry the Eighth as if he were a spoilt rock star, having lots of tantrums and throwing stuff around. There is no regality in the performance, or anything of the Renaissance man. Henry when he was younger, was all things to all people. He was artistic, talented and masculine. However, the series is saved by the performance of Sam Neil as Cardinal Wolsey. A spellbinding performance from Sam. It helps that he, as ever, dishy!

So if all this history is garnering an audience, why are some people saying the day of the historical novel is dead? I think it is a rumour, probably started by someone from another genre - ha, ha, only joking! But seriously, where do these ideas come from? A poll is only as good as those poled and no one has ever asked me what I think.




margaret blake said...

Sorry about the hilighted historicals, could not get rid of it! Infuriating.


Kathleen said...

I love historical novels. Just read the other Boleyn Girl and I devour Mary Balogh regencies. I admire that you can write historicals. All that research must be daunting.

Sarita Leone said...

Me too. I love them. Recently I reread Amber and loved it just as much the second time around. I also have two Robert Hales on my bedside table, just calling me! Making them wait until I've got some writing done, though. Then I'll be able to dive in without feeling guilty.

Historicals. Really one of my favorite topics. :)

margaret blake said...

Sarita, I am interested to read that you have two Robert Hale novels to read. He is my publisher, I had not realised he was in the States. Did you buy them or obtain them from the library?

Kind regards, Margaret.

Anonymous said...


A friend very kindly gave the books to me. She knows I love them. :)

~Sarita (too lazy to sign back in, lol!)

Debbie Wallace said...

I love history! My favorite place to go is St. Augustine Florida, it's loaded with it! In fact, the girls and I are going to spend the day there on the 8th...can't wait.