Historical accuracy in romantic fiction?
On September 6, 2018 | 10 Comments

Amanda's BVS BLOG

In romantic fiction how important is historical accuracy? I do love historical fiction and enjoy the stories of L.J. Dare, A Bride for a King, Jan Selbourne, Perilous Love and C.L. Koch A Woman’s Secret.  I also read more general historical fiction, like the works of Bernard Cornwell and Hilary Mantel, both of which base their work in well researched time periods. I am curious to hear your opinions as to how important it is to get the history right in romance stories?  Is it good enough to have it loosely based, because it is the romance that interests you? Or is it annoying when you find that there are howling errors? I realize that some plots play with history, as in Ben Elton’s story, Time and Time Again. How important to you is that history element of the narrative?

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Allie Bock Posted September 8, 2018 at12:34 pm   Reply

I like it when the historical facts are accurate or at least close. I enjoy learning new things, and it adds to the fun of reading a romance.

Vidya @ LadyInReadWrites Posted September 8, 2018 at12:23 am   Reply

not a stickler for accuracy, because as it says, it is fiction!! but i do check to see if the historical facts presented are true or not, and if true, then one new history fact learned.. if not, it was fun anyways 🙂

Heidi Posted September 7, 2018 at12:54 am   Reply

Being a history buff one would think I would be picky on such a thing but it doesn’t really bug me. I care more about the setting and character development than the historical accuracy.

Amanda Ravenscroft Posted September 7, 2018 at7:55 pm   Reply

Hi Heidi, it is good of you to take the time to comment, thank you. I love historical fiction, and it is that fiction. You are right about the character development and a strong plot. I guess if you are enjoying the story that is the key factor.

Terrie Arasin Posted September 6, 2018 at10:03 pm   Reply

I’m not that much of a stickler. As long as it doesn’t disrupt the story it doesn’t really matter to me

Amanda Ravenscroft Posted September 7, 2018 at7:51 pm   Reply

Hi Terrie, thank you for commenting. I agree with you if the flow of the story is good it matters less, but the big errors disrupt my reading.

DJ Sakata Posted September 6, 2018 at7:13 pm   Reply

I like an approximation of accuracy 😉 I tend to avoid historical fiction as I tend to get torqued when women are suppressed or oppressed

Amanda Ravenscroft Posted September 7, 2018 at7:47 pm   Reply

Hi DJ, yes I get a bit stressed by that too. Also about historical stories where women are abused. Thank you so much for making that comment.

Alice Posted September 6, 2018 at5:41 pm   Reply

I love history and know quite a bit about certain periods, so I must admit if there’s something very wrong in the book it distracts me from the story. I’m bad when I watch historical shows, because I spot if the costumes are wrong (buttons on medieval costumes before the 14th century! Horror!) If it’s fantasy however anything goes.

Amanda Ravenscroft Posted September 7, 2018 at7:44 pm   Reply

I feel the same as you Alice, I read a lot of Historical stories too. I know it is fiction, but the mistakes throw me out of the story. I was chatting with three authors about the dodgy dialogue you can get in historical stories too. it is a bit like Henry the IIIV saying “Fine, that is great cheers!” just isn’t going to work.

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