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Old April 30th, 2017, 10:57 AM   #21

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I like fiction filling what we don't know about historical events.

Also unless it's a fantasy story set in a certain past, I don't like unrealistic situations. For example, reading "Empire of Dragons" of Valerio Massimo Manfredi, I was utterly dissapointed by the portrayal he did of Han China, with ninja men flying around. Pathetic.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 12:56 AM   #22
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Well, it should be historically accurate as possible but entertaining to read also.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 05:03 AM   #23

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melisende View Post
Anyway, if you're reading fiction and moaning about historical inaccuracies, you shouldn't be reading historical fiction - read the non-fictional account instead. (note to self - take notice of what I just said)
The problem with that is that there is such a thing as really good historical fiction that is very well written and very well researched, which means:

a) You can legitimately learn history from it
b) You can legitimately be entertained while doing so
c) You can feel very immersed in the period in a way that non-fictional accounts cannot do.

Should all historical fiction be like this? There's no law, but then if it doesn't do the above it's just not good, that's all.

I can I cite Robert Harris's Cicero trilogy as one that sets the bar very high. Once I read that it was hard to read anything that was not as good.

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Old May 1st, 2017, 11:36 AM   #24

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank81 View Post
I like fiction filling what we don't know about historical events.
IMO this is precisely what it should do. History is dramatic and exciting, but non-fictional history books generally are and should be written with a kind of objectivity and so you lose some of the drama.

Historical fiction IMO should be about taking known historical facts and filling in the unknowns with plausible details such that the end result is entertaining.

Quote:
Also unless it's a fantasy story set in a certain past, I don't like unrealistic situations. For example, reading "Empire of Dragons" of Valerio Massimo Manfredi, I was utterly dissapointed by the portrayal he did of Han China, with ninja men flying around. Pathetic.
I'm not familiar with this period of history or this series. However I will make one exception for historical fiction being accurate and that is when the records themselves are mostly mythological. However one neat remedy here is to try to come up with some plausible origin story for the myth itself.

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Old May 2nd, 2017, 09:50 AM   #25

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For historical - crime - fiction I highly recommend Andrew Taylor.
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Old May 2nd, 2017, 01:39 PM   #26

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I suppose that depends on how much you want the characters to get involved in the actual events of that time.
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Old May 3rd, 2017, 04:02 PM   #27
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Does simply setting a fictional story in the past a work of "Historical fiction"? The "Adventures of Robin Hood" was set in a real in relocations, and had real historical characters, yet I never thought of it as a work of historical fiction, and I don't think any one worried about the historical accuracy of it. If Robin Hood isn't historical fiction, what is it?

Even more so for all the stories and movies about King Arthur and his knights. Would you call them "historical fiction" or "fantasy"?
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Old May 8th, 2017, 06:21 PM   #28
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Did I remember incorrectly, or were some versions of Robin Hood set during Charles I's reign?
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Old May 9th, 2017, 09:17 AM   #29

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I think the earliest examples of what I would consider to be historical fiction are probably Shakespeare. I am of course open to a good argument on why something earlier should be considered historical fiction. (I only recently learned that Shakespeare is "modern english.")

As for anything at all in the dark ages, it is hard to separate fact from fiction anyway. Look at the ongoing thread on the Anglo Saxon Chronicles or read Bede. These works of supposed fiction have plenty of history in them.

King Arthur, Robin Hood, etc. I think are firmly planted in mythology which may have historical traces. They tell us a lot about customs and culture and about the people who imagined them, but they do not tell us much history.

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Old May 9th, 2017, 03:29 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauradupre View Post
Did I remember incorrectly, or were some versions of Robin Hood set during Charles I's reign?
The only version sI know of are set in the time of King Richard and Prince John. By Charles I, 1600's, longbows had mostly been replaced by muskets, so a time of Charles I wouldn't make sens.
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