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C.S Forester’s The General and Duncan Kyle’s The King’s Commissar

Uploaded by kathylambchop on Nov 07, 2002

Historical fictions are pocketfuls of vivid expressions about past events. Invigorating our minds to relive those moments, they can take the reader on an exotic tour of the past unlike reading fact after fact from a text book. Two such books are C.S Forester’s The General and Duncan Kyle’s The King’s Commissar. Through the setting and characterisation of both books, we can understand how or why the world is today. Keeping in mind that the present is reflected on the past and future is a reflection of the present, we must learn from our mistakes to stop them from happening again.

Any novel that portrays historical characters and/or settings can be classed as a historical fiction. Both books- The General and The King’s Commissar are similar to the dashing plots and interesting characters in adventure/thriller genres. Since they are also historical novels, they are generally more realistic. They are bounded by true facts and events, but this doesn’t stop Forester and Kyle in captivating their readers as D.S. Burt states:

The story [The King’s Commissar] is fanciful but solidly grounded in believable details.

Novels like The King’s Commissar portray different aspects and conclusions of the same facts. Forester, on the other hand, creates a portrait of an officer whose role wasn’t as famous as the head figures of that time, but was equally important. Both books are highly entertaining whilst subconsciously educating the reader about the past. Often, after reading historical novels, readers are intrigued to do further research on the periods.

Both books share the common theme of leadership and are written with simple yet captivating words which make them appealing to all readers. The General focuses on the rapid ascent of a young officer in the British Army to one of the most senior positions of strategic leadership during World War I. After becoming a hero from the Boer War and combining his martial qualities with luck, Sir Herbert Curzon rose ultimately to the rank of lieutenant general while he reluctantly made the transition from cavalry to infantry.

On the other hand, The King’s Commissar is a true thriller which reveals many surprises as the plot unravels. The story shuttles between modern Britain and Russia after the Russian Revolution where two British bank partners discover a secret mission to save the Tsar. No dangers or warnings by the senior partner Malory, deterred Laurence Pilgrim, the new American partner, to discover why their bank-...

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Uploaded by:   kathylambchop

Date:   11/07/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   5 pages (1,221 words)

Views:   1811

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