Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Anachronisms

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.
User avatar
sweetpotatoboy
Bibliophile
Posts: 1641
Joined: August 2008
Location: London, UK

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

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

I will always remember this historical fact because Cynthia Harrod-Eagles has Nanette Morland being presented to Henry VIII later in his reign, after having previously been at court when he was younger, and mistakenly calling him "Your Grace". He gently prompts her that he is now to be addressed as "Your Majesty". It was very neatly done, I felt, and taught me something at the same time.

chuck
Bibliophile
Posts: 1073
Joined: August 2008
Location: Ciinaminson NJ

Nicknames usage :confused: in HF

Post by chuck » Mon December 15th, 2008, 4:50 pm

:confused: [quote=""Leo62""]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.[/quote]

Good Point....I don't like nicknames....especially in early history....I remember reading White's "Once and Future King" and not liking his Gwen, Lance and Art references....reminded me of "Camelot" (which I did not like).....nicknames and history don't mix well with me....BTW when did Nick Names become prevalent in history.....Prince Hal, Harry, Dick and Will or Billy etc?

gyrehead
Reader
Posts: 245
Joined: December 2008

Post by gyrehead » Mon December 15th, 2008, 5:15 pm

For some reason the use of "Mr." and "Mrs" can annoy me when it is obviously used as form and not as a abbreviation for Mistress or Master. That and the "mom" and "dad" that some authors throw into their early medieval work.

Another anachronism that annoys me is when the author has literacy as a given for almost everyone. I'm trying to remember what book it was, but writing off notes and sending them willy-nilly happened way too much and was way too integral to the point that it implied that literacy in the 14th century among the lesser landed gentry and merchant classes no matter what the level of profession (apprentice or guildmaster) was an accepted given. Too many times authors seem to pick out something that was exceptional for the time and apply it as the norm. Which is probably not an actual anachronism but still annoys me in the same way.

Tomatoes in Italy. Even pasta presented in dishes that are much too modern annoy me to no end. One thing about pasta as an anachronism is the notion that Marco Polo is the definitive author of pasta in Europe. There is some chef who is currently on a grand tour and planning on writing a book that might disprove that pasta strictly derives from Polo's journey to China and that rather Polo's tales brought pasta back into vogue as opposed to actually introducing it. Something about certain references in Sicily both under the Romans and under Fredreich II suggests that some form of dried grain flour noodle existed long before Polo brought back the rice noodle concept. I believe Michael Palin is involved with the tour and hopefully it will be another fascinating travelogue; this time on how food traveled and evolved.

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2440
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Post by Margaret » Mon December 15th, 2008, 7:12 pm

The Hungarians had pasta long before Marco Polo. It was a convenient way for a nomadic people to preserve and carry around wheat-based food. But they didn't make it into long spaghetti-shaped sticks; perhaps it's the shape that was a Marco Polo introduction?

I'm currently reading an ARC of Gladiatrix, due for publication in spring 2009. I'm usually pretty tolerant of the occasional anachronism and invention, but this one is driving me nuts. The Spartan gladiatrix is tall and willowy (despite having been raised under conditions of nutritional deprivation), while her Celtic opponents are short and squat. The atmosphere in the ludus is like a college dorm, with the protagonist's stand-offishness a notable exception amid the general chumminess. They do calisthenics - sit-ups and chin-ups - well, maybe; I'm not up on the history of physical culture, but this felt an awful lot like a modern football squad. And the protagonist previously belonged to a Spartan religious order that trained women in gladiator-like combat as a tribute to the Goddess Athene - though the author does admit in his afterword that he completely made that up. I'm kicking myself for requesting this book through the LibraryThing early reviewers program, because it's a real wall-banger for me, but now I have to read the whole thing and review it. :mad:
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Mon December 15th, 2008, 7:42 pm

I'm kicking myself for requesting this book through the LibraryThing early reviewers program, because it's a real wall-banger for me, but now I have to read the whole thing and review it.
LOL, that's happened to me more often than not on the books I've got through Amazon Vine. Do you absolutely positively have to finish it?

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Tue December 16th, 2008, 2:29 am

[quote=""boswellbaxter""]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.[/quote]

Why is "Your Majesty" an anachronism?

User avatar
boswellbaxter
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3066
Joined: August 2008
Location: North Carolina
Contact:

Post by boswellbaxter » Tue December 16th, 2008, 2:39 am

[quote=""Andromeda_Organa""]Why is "Your Majesty" an anachronism?[/quote]

It wasn't in common use before Henry VIII's time. It pops up a couple of times in Richard II's time, and I've also seen it used in a couple of documents during Richard III's, but "your grace" was how people usually addressed the king of England before Henry VIII's time.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3661
Joined: August 2008
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Post by EC2 » Tue December 16th, 2008, 9:46 am

[quote=""boswellbaxter""]It wasn't in common use before Henry VIII's time. It pops up a couple of times in Richard II's time, and I've also seen it used in a couple of documents during Richard III's, but "your grace" was how people usually addressed the king of England before Henry VIII's time.[/quote]

It wasn't even 'Your Grace' in the 12th and early 13thC. It was 'Sire' and 'Beausire'
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.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

User avatar
Volgadon
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 654
Joined: September 2008
Location: Israel
Contact:

Post by Volgadon » Tue December 16th, 2008, 7:24 pm

[quote=""chuck""] :confused:

Good Point....I don't like nicknames....especially in early history....I remember reading White's "Once and Future King" and not liking his Gwen, Lance and Art references....reminded me of "Camelot" (which I did not like).....nicknames and history don't mix well with me....BTW when did Nick Names become prevalent in history.....Prince Hal, Harry, Dick and Will or Billy etc?[/quote]

Nothing at all modern about nicknames. They were probably even more important when there weren't surnames around. Some Biblical characters are only known to us by their nicknames!

User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3661
Joined: August 2008
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Post by EC2 » Tue December 16th, 2008, 8:27 pm

[quote=""Volgadon""]Nothing at all modern about nicknames. They were probably even more important when there weren't surnames around. Some Biblical characters are only known to us by their nicknames![/quote]

There are trends in them though. So Hal and Harry may not have been a form of Henry around in 12thC England. I don't know when they came in. Bill for William is later than my period of Medieval, so to have a character called Bill in that period wouldn't be right. Lots of names had 'kin' stuck on the end to make them a nickname - Wilkin, Peterkin, Tamkin etc. Hick used to be a common nickname for Richard. I don't when Taffy came in for a Welshman or Paddy for an Irishman, but it hasn't always been there.
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.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”