Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the narration takes place in a setting located in the past. The term ‘historical fiction’ is usually used as a synonym of ‘ historical novel’, but it can relate to other types of narratives such as theatre, opera, television, video games, cinema and graphic novels.
Some of the most important elements of historical fiction consist of its setting in the past, as well as its attention to the manners and social conditions of a precise time. Authors of historical fiction usually analyse well known historical features, permitting readers to understand how people may have acted to the society and environment of the described time.
Historical fiction works are usually criticised for lacking authenticity due to their genre expectations for accurate details. This issues between historicity and fiction are usually criticised by popular critics; however, scholarly criticism focuses more on investigating the genre themes and features.
Historical fiction, considered as a modern Western literary genre, has started become popular in the early 19th century, with the works of Sir Walter Scott, Honore de Balzac and James Fenimore Cooper. However, the mix between fiction and historical features dates back to the Ancient Greek and Roman literature.
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