Those reviews keep coming: Sibylle on Mistress of the Revolution, and a word about historical fiction

Sibylle, in her blog dares you not to fall in love with my heroine Gabrielle. “She’s very intelligent, strong
with lots of integrity. I wish I had her courage. The book is also excellent in
that it shows how important information is in times of political troubles :
Gabrielle (whom I kept picturing as the girl from Le Baiser à la Dérobée, the painting used for
the cover) survives because she knows what’s happening and is intelligent enough
to stay true to herself while being completely aware of what’s going on.”

Thank you, Sibylle, for this wonderful review! And thank you for reminding us of how important cover art is. It does provide a visual focus for the reader’s mental image of the protagonist.

My only issue with Sibylle’s review was when he says “I’ve always thought about historical fiction as very lowbrow, somewhat too easy
literature.”

Really, Sibylle? Granted, historical fiction, like every other genre, offers a wide range of literary quality. But let’s not forget that War and Peace, Quatre-Vingt-Treize, La Princesse de Cleves are works historical fiction. Are Tolstoy, Hugo, Balzac, Madame de La Fayette, Thackeray, Dickens, Eco, to name a few, lowbrow?

And speaking of historical fiction and covers, Sarah Johnson at Reading the Past gives us a visual preview of the upcoming crop of historicals for this fall. Beautiful covers, and only one decapitated woman! I, for one, am really glad to see this trend put to rest.

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