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Goldsmiths - University of London

Viking Fire: A Practical and Theoretical Exploration of the Historical Novel

Hill, Justin. 2019. Viking Fire: A Practical and Theoretical Exploration of the Historical Novel. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This PhD thesis consists of part of historical novel, Viking Fire, and an accompanying critical thesis. The novel recounts the life of Harald Sigurdson, King of Norway (c. 1015 – 25 September 1066) better known by his posthumous nickname Harald Hardrada. The work was published by Little, Brown, on September 22nd, 2016 and was selected by The Times as one of their Books of the Year, 2016.
The critical essay will follow the novel. It is structured into four chapters. Chapter One will explain the initial inspiration for the series of novels and will examine how I navigated the major sources for the period and combined them with non-contemporaneous material in my creative process. Chapter Two will provide the theoretical framework for this thesis, reviewing some of the major theoretical modellings of the historical novel, address how the historical novel fits into a larger body of historical writing, and how the historical novel negotiates the patchy historical record. Chapter Three is designed to illustrate and explore further some of the theoretical models related in Chapter Two and, more importantly, to allow me to trace, selectively, some of the literary-historical developments of the historical novel in Britain, how the selected novelists responded to what might be called ‘the historical sublime’, how they brought a sense of verisimilitude to their work, and how they represented their own research for their novels. Chapter Four is a personal essay which deals at length with my aims and inspiration as a writer, the positioning of the novel, how I created a fictional Harald Hardrada, and the linguistic choices I made for the novel. Finally, this chapter will examine how this critical thesis informed the creative part of this thesis, and altered my own reaction to the historical sublime, that is the effect produced by the lack of evidence that the past presents to us.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00026663

Additional Information:

Redacted copy of thesis available. Full thesis embargoed.

Keywords:

Creative Writing, Vikings, Historical Novel, 1066, Anglo Saxon, Harald Hardrada, Norse, Anglo-Saxon

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature

Date:

31 May 2019

Item ID:

26663

Date Deposited:

25 Jul 2019 12:57

Last Modified:

27 Jan 2020 18:23

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/26663

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