Historical Novels

The novelists listed below continued a literary tradition begun in the late 18th century, presenting themes of national (and other nations') history in the form of novels. The early 19th century witnessed the climax of the historical novel; it was continued in the later 19th century, but then no longer took a central position within contemporary literature.
The Grimm brothers collected, edited and published their collection of German fairytales (1812-1814). In the same way as historical novels, they were to strengthen German identity among their readers and ban elements such as royalty, society at the royal court into the distant past, into history (when the fairytales were published, Germany still had three dozen ruling dynasties). The Grimm edition was problematic in a number of aspects. The fairytales were originally told in regional dialects, and translated into High German by the Grimms. One might thus argue they were not German, but regional fairytales. On the other hand, the plots told in many of the fairytales reappeared in the fairytales of other nations, as the Grimms themselves observed.

Britain : Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) : Ivanhoe (1791), Rob Roy (1817), Quentin Dirward (1823)
France : Victor Hugo (1802-1885) : The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831); Alexandre Dumas pere (1802-1870), Christina, at Stockholm, Fontainebleau and Rome (1830), The Three Musqueteers (1844), Queen Margot (1845), The Count of Monte Christo (1844-1845), The Man in the Iron Mask (1848-1850)
Russia : Alexander Pushkin, Poltava (1829), Boris Godunov (1831), Mozart and Salieri (1831), History of Pugachev (1833)

Biography of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), from Lucid Cafe
Biography of Victor Hugo (1802-1885), from Books and Writers
Biography of Alexandre Dumas (pere) (1802-1870), from Books and Writers
Biography of Aleksandr Pushkin (1799-1837), from Books and Writers
Biography of the Grimm Brothers, from ajc5656

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on October 5th 2003, last revised on November 16th 2004

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