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A blog about my historical musings. I especially love Rome, Greece, and Medieval Times, but I also enjoy Ancient Egypt, American History, Pre-historic Times, and just plain anything historical. Message me anytime you want about it.
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Historical Fiction:good or bad?

Posted December 24th, 2015 at 08:58 PM by kdbooklover16

Of course, this question can kind of answer itself-historical fiction done right can be the best thing ever. But too often nowadays accuracy is sacrificed for excitement in order to make money. Modern views are also seeped in and too often political correctness gets in there. Some might say why does it matter:if you make them love it they'll want to research more, and there they'll figure out the truth. I wish you were right; however, my friend, you underestimate the human capacity for laziness. Side note: can anyone reccomend some good historical fiction? Books or movies: I don't care. What do you guys think?
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  1. Old Comment
    Ascendant's Avatar
    Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series are a great read, and not just for the Classicists among us.

    Well-written, excellently researched and with 'heroes' who are often complete b@stards even by the standards of their time (such as Sulla and Gaius Marius in the first 2/3 books, both crazy in their own way).

    The books on Caesar get a little po-faced as the guy is built up to be this impossibly talented Gary Stu but still, a good read.
    Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 08:51 AM by Ascendant Ascendant is offline
  2. Old Comment
    kdbooklover16's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ascendant View Comment
    Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series are a great read, and not just for the Classicists among us.

    Well-written, excellently researched and with 'heroes' who are often complete b@stards even by the standards of their time (such as Sulla and Gaius Marius in the first 2/3 books, both crazy in their own way).

    The books on Caesar get a little po-faced as the guy is built up to be this impossibly talented Gary Stu but still, a good read.
    Thanks!! I'll be sure to keep it in mind!
    Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 07:12 PM by kdbooklover16 kdbooklover16 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Ascendant's Avatar
    Not historical fiction per se but the Song of Ice and Fire books by George RR Martin do an excellent job of conveying the feudal dynamics of its fantasy world (arguably far better than many historical fiction pieces).

    He may not be the easiest of authors to get these days if you like your HF with humour as dry as a bone, Alfred Duggan is your man...
    Posted April 5th, 2016 at 02:35 PM by Ascendant Ascendant is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Dios's Avatar
    I don't think you can make a blanket statement about historical fiction. There are good books and bad books ... period.

    You absolutely can't beat "I, Claudius" by Robert Graves. In addition to being a fiction and poetry author, he translated Greek and Roman text (Suetonius for sure, maybe Tacitus).

    The notion of historical fiction is to hit markers in history, and fill in drama and personalities in between. Graves knows the period so well, there's not a lot that he adds. After I read Graves, I wanted to know what it was really like ... so I read Tacitus ... and I forget the other. Some of it is unbelievable, but corroborated by authors 2000 yrs old.

    I don't know if the Amazon series "Rome" was a book, but it's a good middle ground: hits historical points, dramatizes known personalities, picks out two guys that Caesar wrote about in one sentence, and built a whole world around them. It's rich in little accuracy details, like Romans saying little prayers every time they pass a shrine. There's a guy who reports the news of the day ... using the same hand motions and rhythm, again, documented from 2000 yrs ago.

    The "Spartacus" series is the absolute worst. They take names and times, and the rest of it is just "The 300".

    Pretty much, any book with "Cleopatra" on it is crap. The Romans hated her and described her universally as a whore. All the books are tawdry love stories. The Arab histories report her as something close to a genius: her father bankrupted the empire, a 15 yr old Cleo singlehandedly ruled an empire and rebuilt the treasury so that when Augustus hauled it back to Rome it depressed the world price of gold (took her around 16 yrs or so).

    Oh! I can't forget Clavelle!!! Start with "Shogun". It's not historically accurate of anything, but it's "culturally" accurate about feudal Japan. Uhhh ... sorry .. that might not be what you want.
    Posted March 14th, 2017 at 07:15 PM by Dios Dios is offline
 

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