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Maven Books

Reviews about historical, literary, classic, and other fiction.  Miscellaneous book things.

Currently reading

The Lost Time Accidents: A Novel
John Wray
How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, and What It Means for Your Health, the Law, and Human Nature
Lisa Feldman Barrett

How true should historical fiction be?

"From Hilary Mantel to Andrew Miller to Philippa Gregory, historical fiction is enjoying a boom. But novelists are storytellers, not history teachers, argues Stephanie Merritt"


Personally, I think historical fiction should aim to be as accurate as is reasonable within the format, and that authors writing in this genre should do some research into the era and/or people portrayed. 


Obviously, I don't expect a perfect representation of actual historical events, like an exact transcript, and I do expect some embellishment and poetic license.  But making the setting, characters, and even language true to the time period help paint the picture and keep you in the story.