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your knowledge of characters, help or hindrance

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Posts: 3566
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite 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

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun January 25th, 2009, 11:51 pm

I'm with you, EC! For me, (okay, I'm weird, but I was raised by a historian) the facts of history should not be messed with. I'm tolerant of people getting things wrong because of 'honest ignorance' -- would have gone crazy long since if I weren't -- but when writers twist history around just because it suited their stupid whim, I don't bother to read much further.

Besides, when so many writers take such pains to do their research, it's downright annoying to have the brew polluted by those who say, "Now what if I write Elizabeth I like a total airhead and sex fiend, because that will sell a lot of books?" Grrrr.

As to the question in this thread, my knowledge of characters helps if the writer has done a decent workmanlike job on their research, even if they missed a thing or two. It hurts if they haven't. Only I don't think of it as having hurt the book, I think of my knowledge as having helped me, the reader, keep from wasting my time consuming wrong information.

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