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Very interesting post Cornflower, as I have both books in my library pile - I requested The Burial but picked up After Flodden by chance.
Not sure what I think about Rosemary's views on historical fiction. If a book is fiction and set 500 years ago - what else can it be but historical fiction?
Or am I being remarkably dim?


I share your view, Liz, as did much of the audience, I think.
Further, Hilary Mantel is best known for her (literary) historical fiction, and I can't see why any writer would not want to be 'classed' with her in the broader sense.


Slightly put off After Flodden now so I will start with The Burial!


It's already dangerous clicking into your blog Cornflower--I know I have to do it with pen in hand as I come away with s list of titles I want to read so have to add them to my wishlist! Interesting to read about Rosemary's thoughts on historical fiction. I rather like the 'genre' though I can sort of understand an author's wish not to be 'pigeon-holed' as there are many readers who will avoid historical fiction thanks to the label. I suspect she doesn't want certain readers to avoid her work if it is labeled thus. But generally speaking I don't like that sort of snobbery in readers or writers as that is equally off putting. I think any really good book will transcend any sort of labels anyway (like Hilary Mantel). It reminds me of John Banville who writes as Benjamin Black for his mystery series, but I think he also doesn't like to be slapped with that genre label either (or Kate Atkinson who says she does not write mysteries).


I agree, Danielle. I can understand writers being wary of been pigeonholed, but I don't see the historical fiction label as some kind of stigma. Rosemary Goring did actually use the word 'snobbery' to explain her dislike of the tag: honest, yes, but possibly alienating.

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