Q&A with V.R. Christensen discussion

Of Moths and Butterflies
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The rise of the historical fiction novel and costume drama

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message 1: by V.R. (last edited Feb 16, 2012 06:23AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

V.R. Christensen (vrchristensen) | 18 comments Mod
Since college I've been a huge fan of classic English literature, but costume dramas, at the time, were considered quite dry and boring. Then, in the mid nineties there came Pride and Prejudice, care of Andrew Davies, who showed us how it was meant to be done. A quick succession of follow ups came, some better, some not so much. Of the best, I'm thinking of Wives & Daughters, Our Mutual Friend, and Daniel Deronda. Then there was a lull. As a writer I was told there was no longer a market for Historical Fiction. No one was interested. And then, very slowly, something started to change. After 9/11 there came a series of WWI novels, then plays, and then...Dickens 200th birthday and DOWNTON ABBEY! (I'm sorry, did I say that too loudly?) *takes a deep breath* And now it seems, or so I hope to conjecture, that the market is wide open. (Good timing, yeah?) But I think there is a need filled by these works, both in literary and film format. Is our society missing something? And if so, what? What does Historical Fiction do for you? Are you as obsessed as I am by film adaptations? If so, why?

message 2: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Vorenberg | 2 comments There is tremendous interest in historical fiction despite what agents or publishers say. No matter where I have held a book signing, many folks are thrilled to find yet another historical fiction book to read.

I am not a fan of most film adaptations but do enjoy those which remain faithful to the books that inspired the films. Of course, the costuming and the settings are always great eye candy and set my imagination soaring.

The Victorian Era has always held a special interest for me and I am so happy to find it does for lots of other people, too.


V.R. Christensen (vrchristensen) | 18 comments Mod
I'm afraid I spend so much time 'immersed' in research and literature, etc, that I find the world a rather harsh and difficult place when I come out of it.

I have yet to see a good adaptation of David Copperfield, despite Hugh Dancy's admirable attempts at playing the character. The Davies version of Pride and Prejudice was of course superb. Except for the fact that they focused on the physical attraction between the characters rather than the psychological, I thought Daniel Deronda was amazing, though I did have to think about it for a while before I came to that conclusion. There are others. I love the Oscar Wilde ones they did a while back. An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Ernest. I loved Bleak House, but there were some really key scenes that they left out, and that made me sad. But the thing about the adaptations is, it's someone else's interpretation, so your getting the story like third or fourth hand. Always best to read, but I wouldn't necessarily say they must be read first. Our Mutual Friend, the film, reawakened me to the genius of Dickens.

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