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The historical novel has been one of the most important forms of women's reading and writing in the twentieth century, yet it has been consistently under-rated and critically neglected. In the first major study of British women writers' use of the genre, Diana Wallace tracks its development across the century. She combines a comprehensive survey with detailed readings of key writers, including Naomi Mitchison, Georgette Heyer, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Margaret Irwin, Jean Plaidy, Mary Renault, Philippa Gregory and Pat Barker.