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By E. Rousselot

This choice of essays is devoted to studying the new literary phenomenon of the 'neo-historical' novel, a sub-genre of up to date historic fiction which significantly re-imagines particular classes of historical past.

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The novel ends with Vaneleigh dragging himself to St Mary’s Hospital where he dies. While Vaneleigh’s victimisation is attributed to the failures of the British judiciary system, Queely’s victimisation is due to Hobart Town society. It is a sexual intrigue that viciously employs the penal system 42 Exoticising the Past in Contemporary Neo-Historical Fiction to the best interest of those in power. The cross of divine redemption and truth is permanently tilted above Hobart Town in the shape of the snowy crevices on Mount Wellington (Porter, 1989, p.

Walter had been bashing out body armour [sic] for himself and his friends. So when he ran head-first, there was a bang, which he heard before he felt it. Walter was trying on one of Rosario Arias 25 his creations. ‘That’ll teach you,’ his father said [ . . ]. He often thinks about it, that iron belly. And he thinks he has got one, without the inconvenience and weight of metal.  226) Cromwell’s childhood is evoked many times in the course of the two novels, and it seems that Mantel is offering a psychological explanation for Cromwell’s personality.

Eds) (2013) Reading Historical Fiction: The Revenant and Remembered Past (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). Ricoeur, P. (2008) On Translation [2004] (London and New York: Routledge). Robinson, A. (2011) Narrating the Past: Historiography, Memory and the Contemporary Novel (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). Samuel, R. (1994) Theatres of Memory: Vol. 1: Past and Present in Contemporary Culture (London: Verso). Shakespeare, W. (2002) Hamlet [1599–1601] (Ware: Wordsworth Editions). Shakespeare, W.

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