quote by Louis L'Amour

Historical novels are, without question, the best way of teaching history, for they offer the human stories behind the events and leave the reader with a desire to know more.

— Louis L'Amour

Jaw-dropping Historical Novels quotations

After closely examining my conscience, I venture to state that in my historical novels I intended the content to be just as modern and up-to-date as in the contemporary ones.

The historical novel gives us perspective on our modern lives and helps us connect with the story, which we are continuing ourselves.

There are some varieties of fiction that I never touch - mystery stories, for instance, which I abhor, and historical novels. I also detest the so-called "powerful" novel - full of commonplace obscenities and torrents of dialog.

Historical novels, in particular, allow us to relive the past without the neatness of history, and with all the complexity of the present.

If you write a book set in the past about something that happened east of the Mississippi, it's a 'historical novel.' If you write about something that took place west of the Mississippi, it's a 'Western'- and somehow regarded as a lesser work. I write historical novels about the frontier.

I hated historical novels with fluttering cloaks.

However, the difficulties and pleasures of the writing itself are similar for a novel with a historical setting and a novel with a contemporary setting, as far as I'm concerned.

There were a lot of adventure books for boys, historical novels by Kenneth Roberts, and whatever mystery novels the alarmed librarian imagined might not corrupt an eager but innocent youth.

As far as benefits to reading historical novels, there are several! For one thing, you learn about life in another era. Secondly, these novels help us to develop a deeper understanding of the legacy of women who came before us and the strides made by our ancestors.

The novel since its origins has been the privatization of history.

.. the history of private life ... and in that sense every novel is an historical novel.

For me, the historical and genealogical library is the one I use.

I'm working on, I'll say, it's a time travel novel. I haven't written very much of it. That's the dirty secret of the Cullman center: The writers don't write their fiction there, they just do their research.

My remembrance of the past is a novel I am constantly recomposing;

and it would not be a historical novel, but sheer fiction, if the material events which mark and ballast my career had not their public dates and characters scientifically discoverable.

As a journalist, I would talk to writers, directors, creative people, and discover that for an awful lot of them, the moment they became successful, that was all they were allowed to do. So you end up talking to the bestselling science-fiction author who wrote a historical-fiction novel that everybody loved, but no one would publish.

Actually my first eight books were historical novels, but they were never published

If you write a book about a bygone period that lies east of the Mississippi River, then it's a historical novel. If it's west of the Mississippi, it's a western, a different category. There's no sense to it.

It seems to me that the basic plot of all historical novels is a romance swept aside by history.

I write both, as you know, dozens of ecological and social scientific and historical works, dozens of novels. It's hard to describe a novel that grapples with the horrors of World War II as anything but grueling. But Codex Orféo is somehow...well, I hope, riveting for readers. Deeply provocative. Cinematic in a nearly surreal sense.

I can see myself wanting to write a historical novel - you don't need to worry about references to reality TV or pop music, you can just get on with the basics of story and character.

People who wrote literary novels about the past probably didn't want them pegged as historical fiction. Certainly that was true in England.

My first book was a historical novel.

I started writing in 1974. In those days, historical novels meant ladies with swelling bosoms on the cover. Basically, it meant historical romance. It was not respectable as a genre.

What was fun for me with this book [Lincoln in the Bardo] was to start out with the principle that went, "We're going to fight every day to make this not a novel; make it too short to be a novel." And then with that principle in place, the book sort of starts to say, "Okay, but I really need this. I really need some historical nuggets." And you're like, "All right, but keep it under control."

One of the things that's exciting for me about this novel is that, to me, Brookland and The Testament of Yves Gundron were both, in certain regards, crypto-steampunk. They're both books that are interested in an alternate technological past that in fact didn't historically come to pass. If you were to ask me what my novels were about, I would say, well, these are novels about technology and how we relate to technology and what technology means.

I loved reading historical novels when I was young, but I definitely don't think I wrote one. When I read my book through, when it was completely done and in printed galleys, I was surprised by how uninterested in the passage of time and history the book seemed to be. Even though you can feel it all there, that's just not what it's focused on.

I'm not entirely sure what a historical novel absolutely has to be, but you don't want a reader who loves a very traditional historical novel to go in with the expectation that this is going to deliver the same kind of reading experience. I think what's contemporary about my book has something to do with how condensed things are.

Utopian fiction is really boring. I had to read a lot of it, and it's not that much fun. But they're fascinating to me as historical documents. Cabet [Icaria's founder and author of the utopian novel, Travels in Icaria], is writing in the 1830s, and his idea of the perfect society reveals a lot about his time. But his book is uniquely bad.

Historical novels are about costumery.

I think that's the magic and mystery of fiction. I don't want to write historical fiction but I do want the story to have the feel of history. There's a difference.

I've been told by people who write historical novels that you just sort of write the emotional truth first, the story at the core, and then you go back and research it at the end.

Muse, time has taught me that all metaphysical systems, even historical facts given as truths, are hardly that, so I amuse myself with more agreeable lies; I no longer read anything but novels.

When you read a history or biography you are entitled to imagine that it is as accurate as the authors can make it. That research has gone into it and we say "This is a history of the civil war, this is a biography of Lincoln" whatever. But you don't make any such supposition when you say "This is a historical novel."

You think you're writing one historical novel and it turns into three, and I'm quite used to a short story turning into a novel - that's happened through my whole career.

I sometimes joke that I am the first writer of historical fiction who can look out his window and point to the objects in his novels. I have a view of the entrance to the Bosporus, the old city, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque.

I don't try to take a person out of our world and put them into my world;

that wouldn't work. It's sort of like bad Photoshop: If you see something Photoshopped together - and even if it's done pretty well - the eye catches on it. That happens a lot when people try to cut and paste people from our world into their fourteenth-century historical romance novel.

Intricately plotted, beautifully paced, The Music of the Spheres is an elegant historical novel rich in detail, at times Dickensian in its description of London. Elizabeth Redfern has made an exciting debut.

My mom wasn't, like, she was reading all these historical romance novels the majority of the time. She read a feminist book and then my dad would sit down and explain it to her like she was an idiot.

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