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Historical Dialogue

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Bostonduchess
Scribbler
Currently reading: The Duchess
Interest in HF: Growing up in historic New England town, close to Boston and sea coast
Favorite HF book: The Physick Book of Deliverence Dane
Preferred HF: Eighteenth century, fantasy
Location: Portsmouth, Nh

Historical Dialogue

Postby Bostonduchess » Tue February 14th, 2017, 2:29 pm

What do you all prefer reading in an HF novel? Accurate dialogue pertinent to the era of the piece, or modern dialogue? I've read books with both and they serve their purposes. I think I prefer antiquated dialogue myself because I feel modern dialogue takes me right out of the period.

What are your thoughts???

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Historical Dialogue

Postby Misfit » Tue February 14th, 2017, 10:49 pm

I don't mind period dialog, but I've seen some go way over the top and can't understand what characters are saying. The forsoothly stuff is annoying.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Re: Historical Dialogue

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue February 14th, 2017, 11:55 pm

The question can only be applied to a very narrow slice of time and location. Most of the globe doesn't speak English, and most of history, English wasn't understandable in the current sense.

So unless the novel is set in the last 100 years in England, America, Canada or Australia, it has to be translated so that a modern reader will understand not just the words, but the meanings attached. I don't mind a few odd or foreign words that apply to the time/place so long as the context is very clear and it gives flavor. But Dorothy Dunnett's novels, for instance, go way over the top in this area. Had they been less well-plotted, all the period/foreign terms would have gotten them wallbanged. And they were frustrating enough as it was.
my facebook posts https://www.facebook.com/emilylaurencotton are public, generally things I find amusing.
my passions: fair trade, ending slavery, and justice.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Re: Historical Dialogue

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue February 14th, 2017, 11:57 pm

Now Clavell's Shogun. on the other hand, is a stellar example of introducing unknown words in context. I read it not knowing a shred of Japanese, and throughout the story there were no phrases or dialog used that was not perfectly clear in the context of the story.
my facebook posts https://www.facebook.com/emilylaurencotton are public, generally things I find amusing.
my passions: fair trade, ending slavery, and justice.
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers
User signature picture


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