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Cliches in Historical Fiction

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sun March 17th, 2013, 9:08 pm

Just came across this one again and it drives me nuts. Hero - deathly ill with raging fever. Heroine - must climb into bed and warm him up. You can see it coming a mile away.

Back to first person narratives and I'm not going to name the book (and I haven't mentioned it on this site as a currently reading). Book starts out with heroine engaged before fiance went off to war for four years. All through the first half or so in the first person narrative he's her fiance. Now there's a big twist that they were married the night before he shipped off. And now, in her head she's referring to him as "husband" instead of "fiancee" in the first half of the book.
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donroc
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Post by donroc » Sun March 17th, 2013, 9:23 pm

Flaring nostrils above sensual lips.

Frank Yerby used heaving bosoms and poppy red lips (the mouth I assume) in several of his novels.
Image

Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

http://www.donaldmichaelplatt.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6 ... annel_page

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Lisa
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Post by Lisa » Sun March 17th, 2013, 10:01 pm

[quote=""donroc""]Flaring nostrils above sensual lips.

Frank Yerby used heaving bosoms and poppy red lips (the mouth I assume) in several of his novels.[/quote]

Oh yes, the heaving bosoms. It reminds me of a scene in The Simpsons where Marge is reading a pirate romance novel, titled Love in the Time of Scurvy. She sits back and fantasises of herself as the heroine, and the lines go something like:

Marge: "Oh my, these seas are certainly heaving."
Sexy pirate: "No more than your bountiful bosoms, m'lady."

Does anyone else remember that? That has to be the ultimate historical romance cliche!

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sun March 17th, 2013, 11:09 pm

And don't forget the valley between the breasts ;)
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Post by rebecca » Mon March 18th, 2013, 1:30 am

"Flaring nostrils....the heaving bosoms....And don't forget the valley between the breasts...."

Hahaha :p :p !!! The flaring nostrils had me picturing a horse! And yep the whole heaving, voluptuous bosoms :rolleyes: .....But another thing that irritates me is when the characters hate one another and then they share a passionate kiss and suddenly discover...yes...they are in love.....And all this based on ONE Kiss!!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Bec :)

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Post by SCW » Mon March 18th, 2013, 8:28 am

Didn't Marge Simpson write a historical romance in one episode. Set in 18th century Nantucket it had Homer as the drunk oaf and Ned Flanders as the sensitive love interest.

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Post by EC2 » Mon March 18th, 2013, 4:09 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]Just came across this one again and it drives me nuts. Hero - deathly ill with raging fever. Heroine - must climb into bed and warm him up. You can see it coming a mile away.
[/quote]

I agree, but, playing devil's advocate, I guess that we've been around a while - no offence intended, we're of an age Misfit :But I guess that we will tend to have seen more of it because we've had the time to experience it. For some readers it's all going to be new stuff for now. I think my first experience of the ploy was when I was in my teens or early 20's and read an Jane Aiken Hodge novel where that happened and the woman got pregnant, but the guy couldn't remember it happening. It was only the child's hereditory paternal birthmark - another cliche, that saved the day.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon March 18th, 2013, 5:53 pm

[quote=""EC2""]I agree, but, playing devil's advocate, I guess that we've been around a while - no offence intended, we're of an age Misfit :But I guess that we will tend to have seen more of it because we've had the time to experience it. For some readers it's all going to be new stuff for now. I think my first experience of the ploy was when I was in my teens or early 20's and read an Jane Aiken Hodge novel where that happened and the woman got pregnant, but the guy couldn't remember it happening. It was only the child's hereditory paternal birthmark - another cliche, that saved the day.[/quote]

Oh none taken. I was a bit cranky yesterday over the book I had referenced. There are so many things wrong with it it could be used as a text book of what not to do. Unfortunate, since there was a good story and historical setting, all ruined by poor execution.
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon March 18th, 2013, 6:21 pm

I don't know about the 'hero in bed with a fever' trope, but I wouldn't hesitate to use one where the protagonist was dying of hypothermia. The only thing to do if there is no other way to warm them is to strip them down and stuff them in a sleeping bag (or whatever the period equivalent would be) with another warm body, as nearly naked as possible, so that there is maximum skin-to-skin contact. And then you keep turning both like a rotisserie.

Oddly enough, I've never actually read that one. But I have used the technique in the wilderness. It can be a lifesaver.

When that is explained in mountain medicine classes, EVERYBODY comes up with the same thought. Although having done that with my spouse, I can tell you that when you are that cold, sex is the last thing on your mind.

At least until things warm up. ;)

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon March 18th, 2013, 6:42 pm

[quote=""MLE""]I don't know about the 'hero in bed with a fever' trope, but I wouldn't hesitate to use one where the protagonist was dying of hypothermia. The only thing to do if there is no other way to warm them is to strip them down and stuff them in a sleeping bag (or whatever the period equivalent would be) with another warm body, as nearly naked as possible, so that there is maximum skin-to-skin contact. And then you keep turning both like a rotisserie.

Oddly enough, I've never actually read that one. But I have used the technique in the wilderness. It can be a lifesaver.

When that is explained in mountain medicine classes, EVERYBODY comes up with the same thought. Although having done that with my spouse, I can tell you that when you are that cold, sex is the last thing on your mind.

At least until things warm up. ;) [/quote]

Hah, I should have clarified further. I can well understand the need for it, as you've noted. In my book, the hero had just been released from the hospital for pneumonia to his nice warm hotel room with a nurse (who was promptly dismissed by the heroine). IIRC, a bit of a fever crossed his tortured brow and she rolled in to bed with him. They didn't have sex though, just feel asleep.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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