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Balancing Historical Accuracy With Modern Ideas

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WaitingCynicism
Scribbler
Posts: 5
Joined: June 2019
Preferred HF: Middle Ages

Balancing Historical Accuracy With Modern Ideas

Post by WaitingCynicism » Fri September 27th, 2019, 8:04 pm

Hello everyone! Apologies if this post could be considered too political/religious/controversial, figured I'd just let you all know in advance. I've wanted to work on a tabletop/novel setting for a while now, and I have begun earnestly working on the setting and preparing for NaNoWriMo this year.

However, I feel like I have run into some problems.

I feel like when I run a game in the setting, I'd want to run it in such a way that LGBT+ people are accepted, can get married, etc. just so that the players feel comfortable in the setting. I know that the actual Middle Ages was... not the most LGBT+ friendly, to put it politely. Is there a way I can balance both historical accuracy and the fictional aspects of medieval ages being homophobic? I have no plans of even publishing it, mostly just want to write it.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3557
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

Re: Balancing Historical Accuracy With Modern Ideas

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue October 1st, 2019, 5:16 pm

Sounds like you picked the wrong era. For your purposes, go back to Rome or Greece.
History is what it is. If you tried to write a scenario with Ghengis Khan as a peacemaker, it would just be silly. This is in the same vein.
Most HF readers want to learn something useful. Re-framing what really happened isn't.

LoyalRam
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: October 2019
Currently reading: "The War on Alcohol" by Lisa McGirr
Interest in HF: Reading "Isaac's Storm by Erik Larsen was what did it for me. Of course he is telling a story involving real events using real people, but he has to fill in the gaps of what he doesn't know with supposition and smart reasoning as to how a character will respond to situations.
Favourite HF book: "Isaac's Storm"
Preferred HF: I like the late Victorian and Early Edwardian period. Genre? I like mixing magical realism in storis that I write
Location: Kansas

Re: Balancing Historical Accuracy With Modern Ideas

Post by LoyalRam » Wed October 2nd, 2019, 4:54 pm

I agree with MLE. Pick an era where LGBT issues could be spoken of within the context of that society. Romans and Greeks, as she said. I am sure that I am not the only historian on this forum, but presentism is a danger.

WaitingCynicism
Scribbler
Posts: 5
Joined: June 2019
Preferred HF: Middle Ages

Re: Balancing Historical Accuracy With Modern Ideas

Post by WaitingCynicism » Thu October 3rd, 2019, 5:51 pm

True, I am intending for a mix of history and fantasy in the setting (King Arthur actually existed in the setting, as an example), but I might go back and rework the setting.

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