Constructing a World: Shakespeare's England and the New Historical Fiction
Taking its title from Umberto Eco s postscript to The Name of the Rose, the novel that inaugurated the New Historical Fiction in the early 1980s, Constructing the World provides a guide to the genre s defining characteristics. It also serves as a lively account of the way Shakespeare, Marlowe, Raleigh, Queen Elizabeth I, and their contemporaries have been depicted by such writers as Anthony Burgess, George Garrett, Patricia Finney, Barry Unsworth, and Rosalind Miles. Innovative historical novels written during the past two or three decades have transformed the genre, producing some extraordinary bestsellers as well as less widely read serious fiction. Shakespearean scholar Martha Tuck Rozett engages in an ongoing conversation about the genre of historical fiction, drawing attention to the metacommentary contained in Afterwords or Historical Notes ; the imaginative reconstruction of the diction and mentality of the past; the way Shakespearean phrases, names, and themes are appropriated; and the counterfactual scenarios writers invent as they reinvent the past.
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Introduction Historical Fiction Old and New
Of Narrators or How the Teller Tells the Tale
Historical Novelists at Work George Garrett and Anthony Burgess
Barry Unsworths Morality Play and the Origins of English Secular Drama
Fictional Queen Elizabeths and WomenCentered Historical Fiction
Rewriting Shakespeare The Henriad with and without Fahtaff
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actors appear asks become begins biography Burgess called Cecil century chapter characters constructed contains conventional course death describes detail discussion documents drama draws early Elizabeth England English essay evidence example experience fact Falstaff father final follows Garrett genre give hand Henry historians historical fiction historical novel Hotspur imaginative invented John kind King knowledge language later letters lives London looks Lord Marlowe metafiction Morality Play mystery narrative narrator never notes novelist observes once past performance period phrases players plays present provides Queen Queen Elizabeth question Raleigh reader reading reconstruction record reference remarks Richard Robert role says scene sense serve Shakespeare sources speak story strategies Succession takes tell things Thomas thought tion truth turns voice woman women writing written young