Literary Precedents for Cold Mountain

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Cold Mountain is a historical novel, an adventure narrative, a naturalist essay, a love story, and a tragedy.

Since the backdrop of Cold Mountain's action is so obviously historical, one might expect its most significant literary precedents to be those of the historical novel, a genre launched by Sir Walter Scott in 1814 with his book Waverly. Like most historical novels from the lowly costume romance to Tolstoy's unsurpassed War and Peace (1865-1869), Cold Mountain mixes fictional and historical figures, with the latter playing negligible roles. However, Cold Mountain's central aim is not that of the purely historical novel. Although it does aim to present a society under the impact of momentous events by showing the effect of those events on the personal lives of fictional characters, this is not its central aim.

Another literary precedent for Cold Mountain is Homer's Odyssey (circa 800 BC), a book Ada reads to...

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This section contains 1,031 words
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Buy the Cold Mountain Study Guide
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