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Old May 18th, 2016, 07:27 PM   #31

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Originally Posted by kazeuma View Post
4. it usual thing of Hero meets history maker and finds him incompetent, hero does all the real history making, history maker takes the credit.
Agreed. The last battle Cornwall's Last Kingdom is a particularly annoying example - it portrays a successful real commander as cowardly, incompetent, and taking credit for a victory won by the fictional protagonist.

Another thing that bothers me is turning historical figures into villains. The Titanic movie's portrayal of First Officer Murdoch or Cinderella Man's portrayal of boxer Max Baer.
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Old June 30th, 2016, 08:32 PM   #32

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Personally I have absolutely no problem with characters being portrayed accurate to their times, even if that makes them somewhat unlikable. It makes me respect the writer for not shying away from some uncomfortable truths, and it also adds a lot of authenticity to the world. For example, in HBO's 'Rome' both main characters were average legionaries and owned and traded in slaves, but that was the norm back then, and it didn't automatically make them 100% evil people, because there were a lot of other things about their personalities that made them likable and sympathetic.

It just depends on how good the writer is, in my opinion.
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Old July 3rd, 2016, 08:14 AM   #33

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I don't mind well-written historical fiction, it's when they take massive liberties I have issues.
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Old July 3rd, 2016, 08:42 AM   #34

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My only bug is when fiction writers try to claim the same levels of credibility and veracity as proper Historians.
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Old August 5th, 2016, 12:35 PM   #35
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I remember my mother, who was a girl during World War 2 ,complaining how in war films the characters were drinking tea as if it wasn't rationed.
I've tried reading a novel set during The Blitz, which I just couldn't force myself to finish. And also noticed how tea seemed in abundance in said book.
Could also mention how just at a crucial moment in the story a ceiling or wall would fall on someone as if the Luftwaffe knew exactly when to strike.
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Old August 25th, 2016, 03:48 PM   #36

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Anyone read Victor Davis Hanson's "The End of Sparta"?

He's a great non-fiction writer. I believe this was his first attempt at a novel.

I found it rather difficult to read - for the exact opposite reason of the original poster's complaint. Hanson tries to get inside the mind of his characters, and have them think, act and talk like he imagines they must have behaved at Leuctra in 379 BC.

I admire his attempt, but it doesn't make for enjoyable reading.
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Old August 25th, 2016, 05:06 PM   #37

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I do enjoy reading historical fiction. However, I do have one major issue with much of it. That is the tendency to place modern thinking men in the minds of historical characters. Has anyone read C.J. Sansom? His books are very enjoyable. They are more murder mystery types rather than historical accounts of famous people. Yet famous people do get introduced. It's Sansom's(and others) tendency to place the intellectual mind of their main participants as enlightened figures that infuriates me. The hero of Sansom's novels is a lawyer named Matthew Shardlake. Shardlake has very few prejudices of his time; he's almost an enlightenment figure transported back to Tudor times. Are there any historical novels which do not suffer from this annoying habit? If so, can you name them.

What do you find annoying about historical fiction?
Yeah I hate that too. Pride of Carthage did this at times. So much cringe.
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