Why Historical Fiction Can Create a Time Travel Experience
The main inspiration of well written historical fiction is that it creates a virtual time travel experience into the times and culture of the period.
Usually the author has done extensive research before creating the story around historical time periods, persons, locations and events.As a result you are taken there as if in a time travel capsule-story that allows for an enjoyable journey into the past.
In 2022 I have enjoyed many excellent novels as audiobooks and many were historical fiction. So far this year these have included The Name of the Rose, All the Light We Cannot See, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, Hamnet, Lonesome Dove, Angle of Repose, Daisy Jones and the Six, and I just finished The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet (a 40 hr audiobook).
Ken Follett is a masterful author of historical fiction. Over 181 million copies of the 36 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 40 languages.
Born on June 5th, 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector, Ken was educated at state schools and went on to graduate from University College, London, with an Honours degree in Philosophy – later to be made a Fellow of the College in 1995.
from his website:
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
1989 1104 pages
“A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, The Pillars of the Earth is Ken Follett’s classic historical masterpiece.
A Mason with a Dream
1135 and civil war, famine and religious strife abound. With his family on the verge of starvation, mason Tom Builder dreams of the day that he can use his talents to create and build a cathedral like no other.
A Monk with a Burning Mission
Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, is resourceful, but with money scarce he knows that for his town to survive it must find a way to thrive, and so he makes the decision to build within it the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known.
A World of High Ideals and Savage Cruelty
As Tom and Philip meet so begins an epic tale of ambition, anarchy and absolute power. In a world beset by strife and enemies that would thwart their plans, they will stop at nothing to achieve their ambitions in a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother” . . .
Inspiration and the Strength of the Human Spirit
The inspiration from historical fiction allows for deeper understanding of other historical time periods, cultures, living conditions, and major events. The Pillars of the Earth has some very violent scenes and lots of death. However, that is an authentic representation of the times, when corrupt civil and church authorities could use brutality and violence as a means to their ends. Yet when good triumphs over evil and overcomes the challenges it is also authentic and allows for the story to reflect the strength of the human spirit against all odds for survival.
Ken Follett’s writing style is inspiring. He never lets up. Each sentence is carefully worded and he uses characters experiences to drive the plot of the story.
As an audiobook, the experience of the extraordinary storytelling comes alive with an excellent narration. It’s almost like time traveling if you use your imagination.
With audiobooks you can close your eyes and let the story become like a daydream, whisking you into far away places and with vicarious journeys of characters that come alive with descriptive depths of their inner life and external experiences.
Empathy for the strength of the human spirit in other times and places can be a common experience with extraordinary historical fiction stories.
Enjoy the adventure of time travel !
Carpe Diem !
Carpe Diem !