There have been a couple of posts – one of them here at AAR, a later one at Dear Author – in the last couple of weeks that have talked about the decline in both the quality and availability of Historical Romances. Lots of different perspectives were offered, and some of the more frequent criticisms that came up were to do with the fact that many HRs today are perceived as being too formulaic, or that there are too many stories in which characters living in the early 19th Century act and speak as though they are from the 21st. It seemed that one of the biggest complaints, however, was to do with the fact that so few Historicals are being published that stray outside the Regency period and/or are set outside England.
Speaking as someone who reads Historicals almost exclusively within the genre, I found much to chew over in these discussions – including the perspectives of some authors who do write novels set in different time periods and locations, in which they explained how hard they find it to sell their work to a major publisher because it doesn’t fit what seem to be their preferred parameters – i.e 16th Century (for historical fiction) or 19th Century Britain. (more…)