This week's theme is historical fiction.
I enjoy historical fiction and have a developed a special fondness for novels set in Tudor England. When thinking about a couple of my favorites, I was struck by the wide range of styles this category encompasses. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory both deal with Henry VIII's reign, but I'd be hard pressed to list other similarities. They are very different in both approach and purpose.
When I read Wolf Hall earlier this year (my thoughts), I referred to it as historical fiction for the historian. It is slow moving, involved, well-researched, and packed with historical detail. Mantel's award-winning novel focuses on Thomas Cromwell.
Gregory's novel, as the title suggests, deals primarily with Anne Boleyn's sister, Mary. Read in pre-blogging days, The Other Boleyn Girl was a real page-turner. It presented the steamier aspects of Henry's conquests and life at court. I read it in just two or three days, but Wolf Hall required two or three weeks to complete. Both books held my interest, but served to satisfy very different historical fiction moods.
Are you a fan of historical fiction? Do you have a favorite novel set in Tudor England? Visit Sam at Tiny Library for links to other posts on this topic.