Historical Fiction and a Passion for the Past
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- 24 Jul 2023
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On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- Explain the development and evolution of the historical novel
- Describe and analyse the way that history is used in different genres of fiction
- Demonstrate an understanding of the place that historical novels have in the public understanding of history
- Evaluate both literary and historiographic scholarship on the historical novel
- Demonstrate an ability to form cohesive and well-researched arguments about literary texts, and present these ideas both orally and in writing.
- A week-by-week guide to the topics you will explore in this subject will be provided in your study materials.
You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:one of
- Other requirements -
Students who have an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion under Macquarie University's Academic Progression Policy are not permitted to enrol in OUA units offered by Macquarie University. Students with an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion who have enrolled in units through OUA will be withdrawn.
Historical fiction is one of the oldest genres of the literary novel, but the past is also used in many different ways in popular mass-market fiction such as romance and fantasy. This unit explores the use of history in narrative forms, including medieval literature, the rise of the novel in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and the explosion of popular genre fiction in the twentieth century. It looks at how the genre became "feminised" and the role of the novelist Georgette Heyer in creating a new subgenre of historical romance. It explores how the past, from the ancient world to Australian history, has been fictionalised. Yet the twenty-first century historical novel is not merely entertaining; it can create debates and challenge public perceptions of the past in unsettling ways. Students will also consider how Australian authors have used historical fiction to retell or offer alternative narratives about the nation. By the end of this unit, students will understand how the past informs literary and popular fiction, and why historical fiction can sometimes be considered a form of historiographical interpretation, especially in novels relating to the Second World War and the Holocaust.
- Participatory task (20%)
- Professional writing task (35%)
- 2000 word essay (45%)
For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).