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Maven Books

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

Currently reading

Look at Me
Anita Brookner
Notes on a Nervous Planet
Matt Haig
My Brilliant Friend
Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein

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.