History, a word that has made many cringe, shudder, and possibly cry in high school. But what if we were to consider just how much we could learn from reading historical novels of any genre. Fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes, or writers like Jane Austin, have allowed us a glimpse into an era long past.
Historical fiction authors have the burden of research, and the joy of discovery, while today’s readers have a wonderful opportunity to step back in time and let a world long gone come alive in a way no history book could compete with. If you choose an author like Charles Dickens, his authentic characters and descriptions of setting must have some measure of historical accuracy…don't you think?
|Arriving at Ellis Island|
The magic comes alive as you open a book, for amidst the lines on the page you find yourself walking through New York over one hundred years ago, breathing in the smells from the steamships docked at the port. It’d rained yesterday, transforming the streets into a thick mud that clings to everything that dares touch it. You wait, anxiously glancing around, hoping to spot your family coming in from Ireland, praying they made it past the inspection on Ellis Island…hoping they haven’t succumbed to illness on the long ride in the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions.
|Stark Home, Co|
Or maybe, you're a young woman, moving west to a new life. Promised to a man you’ve never met.
The richness found in novels brings not only random facts, but life itself, filled with emotions, situations, struggles, sights and smells of a time lost to us. So when you add a date and event to the lives of these characters, it makes history real, easier to remember, and if you’re lucky, stirs your curiosity.
Read on, Watson.