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Boom time for history

28 June 2004

'One of the reasons people have turned to historical novels in much greater numbers is because history is less fully taught in schools. Readers like to learn about historical periods that interest them. I also think that the quality of writers writing historical novels has been consistently high over the past 10 years.

It's also true that writers can comment on today's society in a much simpler way using historical fiction...

I think all of the TV and film tie-ins add up to a feeling that it's not just perfectly OK but positively chic to watch or read history. I'm pretty certain that we have never had as much in the way of history-related programming on TV as we've had in the past year.'

Susan Watt, publishing director at HarperCollins UK