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Anachronisms

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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Wed November 19th, 2008, 8:26 am

[quote=""EC2""]
Elizabeth Chadwick giving Prince John 3 lions on his shield before his brother Richard had been to Cyprus. Therefore there should only have been 2.

Elizabeth Chadwick called Gloucester Abbey Gloucester Cathedral in The Greatest Knight (yes, someone wrote in to tell her about both the aforementioned!).

Elizabeth Chadwick mentioning a loaf of sugar in one novel (correct). Reader writing in to say they didn't have the technology to process sugar beet back then. Author taking time out to reply that it was actually sugar cane they were using and explaining all about crushing mills and the middle eastern sugar trade.

I'll think of loads more as I go on, but these are just some initial thoughts.[/quote]

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Alaric
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Post by Alaric » Wed November 19th, 2008, 8:41 am

[quote=""Volgadon""]Umm, they weren't laying about in the Mediteranean for any ship captain to take and use, and the ones in the novel weren't the Tipoo's. I have long since sold the book, so I can't check, but I'm pretty sure he even called them congreves.[/quote]

What, you think it's that unlikely that in the ten years since Hayder Ali and Tippoo used them against Britain some of them couldn't have found their way out of India and over to Europe? It's just fiction, use your imagination a little.

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Wed November 19th, 2008, 9:27 am

Well, considering that Seringapatam only fell in May of 1799, that Aubrey is stationed in Minorca in 1800 (don't remeber exactly when) and that the rockets are treated as standard issue (and on a 3rd rate ship to boot), that Congreve didn't start designing his until 1801 and they were only issued in 1805, yes, I do think it is that unlikely.
I could stomach it if he wrote them as something out of the ordinary, such as a consignment of captured rockets on it's way to England commandeered by the protagonists

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Post by chuck » Wed November 19th, 2008, 5:32 pm

Hey everybody....Your remarks are very interesting and intelligent....I for one will pay more attention to anachronisms I come across....My problem is if I love the era I reading....I let mistakes/interpretations slide....Now I'm going to use sticky notes to make comments and post them on the inside front and back covers....I have read somewhere a Author stated "You should never take your readers for granted.... do your research".....I do remember reading "Pillars of the Earth"....Some of Follet's language usage had a weird modern feel to it......
Last edited by chuck on Wed November 19th, 2008, 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Wed November 19th, 2008, 6:10 pm

I do remember reading "Pillars of the Earth"....Some of Follett's language usage had a weird modern feel to it......
A perfect example, although it's way way more than just the language.

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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Wed November 19th, 2008, 7:20 pm

[quote=""EC2""]

What do others do? If you're a writer how do you respond to an error?
If you're a reader what do you do? Has anyone ever written to an author to point out a mistake?[/quote]

I was aghast when I was revising The Traitor's Wife for Sourcebooks to find out that I had Philip the Fair persecuting the "Lollards," when I meant to say the "Lombards"! Fortunately, the error will be corrected in the new edition. I also plead guilty to letting one "your majesty" slip by, though I had caught other instances of that error in manuscript.

There's a novel set during the Wars of the Roses that supposedly has Anne Neville's mother comforting her with hot cocoa, but I haven't seen the scene in question.
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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Thu November 20th, 2008, 1:51 am

Elizabeth Chadwick giving Prince John 3 lions on his shield before his brother Richard had been to Cyprus. Therefore there should only have been 2.
EC, my first reaction was to think you were being awfully hard on this poor author - and then I realized it was you! LOL.
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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Sat November 22nd, 2008, 3:41 am

The 'Secret Life of Grazia dei Rossi' is riddled with anachronisms -- one was having potatoes being eaten. Sigh. A lot of authors do that, and it drives me crazy -- I wish that they would do some research into the foods of the period, as it can add a huge amount of colour to the story. (OK, I am a cooking nerd...)

Eliosa James' novels where she has women in Regency England wearing plunging necklines and NO CORSETS! Indeed, nearly any novel that has no corsets before 1910 or so. Yeah, I'm into clothing too...

Quite a few authors who have their heroines being Welsh in medieval times and having them be pagans. Wales was one of the first parts of England to be converted to Christianity.

Katherine Kurtz's novel _Two Crowns for America_ where she doesn't know a damn thing about Judaism and the Kabalah...

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Post by Kasthu » Sat December 13th, 2008, 6:53 pm

In The Book of Unholy Mischief, the author has the Venetians eating potatoes and tomatoes--neither was introduced to Europe until 40 years after the book is set. The tomato was introduced to Europe by the Spanish, and was used in Italy primarily as a table decoration until the 18th century.

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Leo62
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Post by Leo62 » Mon December 15th, 2008, 11:09 am

[quote=""EC2""]
Robyn Young having characters address the King as 'Your Majesty' in 13thC England.
[/quote]

LOL, this one always pi$$es me off mightily...loads of people seem to do it.

As regards using modern/contemporary language in HF, I think if it's a distant period where people would have spoke either a completely different language (e.g. Greece & Rome) or a form of English so different that it's unrecognisable (e.g. Medieval England), then it's OK with me. I guess that's a matter of personal taste. I can't stand the "forsooth milady" school of medieval writing, it's so corny! Would much prefer deliberate anachronism that's true to the spirit of the characters and situation, as long as it's not too OTT.

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