Introduction & Overview of The Historian

Elizabeth Kostova
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The Historian Summary & Study Guide Description

The Historian Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Bibliography on The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

The Historian (2005) is Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel. Inspired by a Dracula story her father told her as a child, the author began writing the 642-page historical thriller while working on her master of fine arts at the University of Michigan. It took ten years to complete the novel, but her hard work paid off. Just forty-eight hours after Kostova's agent sent The Historian to publishers, Kostova was offered an advance of $2 million for the book, followed by $2 million from Sony Pictures for the film rights. The book became an instant bestseller and has been compared to Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code for its content as well as the literary fanfare both books inspired.

The novel features an unnamed sixteen-year-old narrator, her mother, her father, her father's mentor, and each one's globetrotting search for Dracula's tomb. Interwoven storylines spanning centuries and continents are held together by the story's central focus on the life of Vlad Ţepeş Dracula, former brutal ruler of Wallachia and possible still-"living" vampire. History, travel, libraries, books, and scholarship serve as general themes in the book, exploring past versus present and the way that history does or does not inform the future to round things out. The story is richly detailed, romantic, suspenseful, and dense. Kostova brings each exotic location and historical footnote to life with precise and evocative language, making clear the extensive research that undergirds the book's artistry.

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This section contains 235 words
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