The form has been seen as fundamentally unstable, the fiction detracting from the history and vice versa. This is what Manzoni came to feel, though his I promessi sposi (1825) is one of many 19th-cent. novels to acknowledge Scott's example. Bulwer-Lytton's painstakingly researched forays into the past are out of fashion now, but he brought a new seriousness to the problem of ‘how to produce the greatest amount of dramatic effect at the least expense of historical truth’. Dickens was less punctilious, but Barnaby Rudge (1842) perhaps deepened the social concerns of the fiction he wrote when he returned to his own century, and A Tale of Two Cities (1859) has given generations of readers their first picture of the French Revolution. The title of Thackeray's ‘novel without a hero’ suggests his basically moralistic approach, though Vanity Fair (1848) has a sharper and tarter flavour than Lytton manages, while the Victorian taste for religious polemic prompted Charles Kingsley's Hypatia (1853). George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Thomas Hardy continued the tradition, and even a proto-modernist like Ford Madox Ford (1873–1939) based his trilogy The Fifth Queen (1908) on the Tudor period. In our own day the ‘non-fiction novel’ and ‘drama-documentary’ testify to an enduring appetite for the mingling of fact and fiction.
"historical novels." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/historical-novels
"historical novels." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved December 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/historical-novels
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