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The Sub-genres of British Fantasy Literature Kindle Edition
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This little volume, which is only 47 pages long, was - I believe - part of the author's submission for a Ph.D. in Creative Writing (the other part being publication of a novel, I believe).
Dalton matches up the development of fantasy from the 19th century onwards with sociopolitical events at the time of their publication; the human-centric optimism of the Victorian age (Jules Verne, H.G. Wells), to the grimdark of the austerity-driven 2010s. I don't agree with him on everything - shockingly, I side with my mother-in-law on the interpretation of Lord of the Rings - but he makes some good points. For a mere 47 pages, this is an interesting read, although it won't contain many surprises for a reader who has paid attention to the trends in fantasy writing.
I did find myself wishing that it was longer: I'd like to have had more detail, more examples, and maybe connections to non-fantasy literature. On the other hand, in 47 pages, the author gives the reader enough of a starter that the reader can go off and start doing their own thinking...
However Dalton's writing has always kept me interested, so I picked it up.
What I got was a journey showing the roots for the different genres of fiction. How the times actually shaped the ideals and themes.
Dalton gives examples of the stories from each decade to show the way the stories shift and change to outer influences.
I wasn't disappointed and I admit I never thought about the era a fantasy novel came from.
Even better, this isn't done in a boring, lecturing way, but keeping us interested and engaged.
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