Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I love Historical Fiction

Yes, I love historical fiction. It has become my favorite genre. I spend hours reading about them. This has been my favourite genre for the past three years.
I picked up rather started listening to Philippa Gregory's White Queen out of curiosity and now historical fiction has become my obsession. I always loved history and I like it when historical fiction portrays the emotions and struggles behind that history.
I realized that there are many people who do not agree with Philippa Gregory's take on history. There are people who do not like her style of writing too. She introduced me to this genre and I find that her writing very engaging. In an interview she said that she spends days imagining what her characters must have gone through. This is very evident in her books.
I accept that as a school girl, I watched old movies for their lovely gowns and dresses. Slowly as I grew up and recognized social injustices, I started noticing how the society evolved. As the feminist in me grew, I was able to recognize the position and treatment meted out to women. But at that point books about history were not labeled historical fiction. At least not that I was aware of.
Yes, I have read more about English history than Indian history because I see less of propaganda and more of history in their books. Have you noticed that these days Indian history discussions revolve around maligning people from the pages of history. It is presented as though the intention is to correct history but it leaves a bitter taste. Yes, I am all for recognizing for their deeds. Yes, Indian history specially the freedom struggle resembled the corporate environment where the most "visible" ones were the most recognized and loved. As a somewhat introvert, I appreciate all those lesser heard names. But to do so we do not have to malign the popular ones. With the exception of Indu Sundaresan, I have rarely come across Indian authors who are fair to all the sections of the Indian society.
An interest in this genre has led me to discover a few fascinating things. I started following many pages about history on Facebook. Going back to English history, it was amusing and surprising that the Britishers feel so strongly about their royalty.  There people who love Tudors and who hate them. There are blogs supporting Richard 3 or Edward 2. People defend and love them with a passion that I have not come across Indians. I wonder if the Indian royals would have continued the way they did in UK, we probably would have felt the same way too. It is interesting to read the discussions anyway. Another fascinating find was this website - The women in this website discuss the costumes and their podcasts and blogs are quite eye-opening.

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