Historical Choices

Goofydragon1_gif_2
Pat Rice here, keeping up my jetsetting image by saying I’m just back from San Diego where I merrily partied with Mary Jo and Jo and the likes of Judith Merkle Riley (eat your hearts out, dear readers!) and several other honorary wenches and soon-to-be wenches.  We had Fun in the Sun, watched protest marches beneath our hotel windows, and avoided the St. Patty’s Day madness of the Gaslamp District by hobnobbing in the Presidential Suite of the U.S. Grant Hotel. And now that I sound like an RT ad, I’ll return to your regularly scheduled, highly elevated, intellectually stimulating, blog of the day.

Call me slow, but in getting back into the current manuscript, I just discovered one of the reasonsPaulrevere_2
historicals don’t connect as easily to the reader as before.  Twenty or thirty years ago, an author could rely on the reader knowing that Paul Revere would warn the British, Wellington would win at Waterloo, and that the king and queen were beheaded in the French Revolution. We could use those events as elements of suspense that the reader understood as the British hero rides out with his troops, or the French soldier marches into battle, or the queen’s maid asks to stay with the royal family. We’d know disaster was about to strike, and we’d be on the edges of our seats, wondering how the author would save the world against all known odds.

Sadly, I don’t think we can expect the same of today’s readers. Does the school system have any idea Readshorthairwomanhandheadgif_2
how much a lack of history deprives students? How can they understand historical or literary references in any book without the background of knowledge of the world as it was? How can they learn from the past if they don’t know the past? Why isn’t the sign of a good education as important as driving a Porsche?

Okay, that rant can only go downhill from there.  (I always enjoyed Tommy Smothers when he digressedYoyo into entertaining rants, but I’m not nearly as humorous. Maybe I should learn to play a guitar. Or a yo-yo.)

So back to the original point—we can’t write historicals like we used to write. I just sent poor dumb Louis and Marie-Antoinette plodding in their cumbersome berlin into the French night, and now my fictional characters are safely riding into the sunset. How do I let the reader know that Louis and Marie aren’t going to be so lucky?  Instead of the tension of Marieantoinette_2
the reader knowing the villain will mercilessly track the royal berlin and circumstances will be their downfall and the king and queen will lose their heads within the year, I have to create a fictional counterpart to ride along and explain everything. It would have been far simpler if I’d just skipped the real world and real history and made up everything.

Which, of course, is what is happening in historical romance these days. What’s the point in including actual historical events if the majority of readers don’t have a clue as to how they have affected the world in the book as well as the world around them?  The French Revolution is a fantastic example ofSerfs
what happens when the rich suck the blood out of the poor until they’re nothing but dry husks, then start on the middle class.  Maybe they hoped to create Russian serfs out of them. There’s another fascinating period I’ll probably never have the chance to write—Russian history. If American readers barely know American or English history, I’d have a devil of a job explaining Russian.

But I have this horrible urge to provide the education that our schools can’t. Which leads me to the Question of the Day—how much do you appreciate the actual history in a genre book?  I know all our readers are well read. (Especially after reading some of the replies this past week.  I didn’t dare mention my favorite reading was MAD magazine when I was young!)  Most of you Mad
know your history and are perfectly comfortable with historical fiction and nonfiction.  Do you appreciate seeing real history in your romances? Or do you feel as if authors are “talking down” to you if we explain what you already know?

What about readers who aren’t familiar with history? Do you appreciate tidbits of information you didn’t know?  Or would you rather authors just got on with the character drama and skipped the historical backdrop?

We’re so limited by word count these days that I hate to include bits that will bore people when I know I can add all sorts of exciting character development, but I relish the historical byplay of comparing what was to what is to what might be. And since this book is more fantasy than anything else I’ve written, I want to keep the reader fully grounded in the reality. Argh, I have to make choices….

72 thoughts on “Historical Choices”

  1. This is going to be slightly embarrassing.
    I am one of the generation who learned nothing of history in school except Canadiana, which is boring as all hell. But I do consider myself fairly knowledgeable about history, and enjoy discussing historical events. Why? How did I get to this point?
    I read historical romance novels.
    Seriously, most of my historical education is based on romance novels, and then subsequent research (when something sparks my interest). I know more about the US civil war that some Americans I’ve met, and I know a hell of a lot more about British history than many Brits I’ve met!
    So yes, I love real history in novels. I love that I can read a fictional account of a factual event, enjoy it, and be able to discuss it later. I love that it opened up entire countries for me to explore, and encouraged me to find connecting stories.
    But don’t you find it sad that you’re forced to write to the lowest common denominator? That publishers are making grand sweeping assumptions about the average reader? I do. And I find it slightly offensive. I may be badly educated, but I’m not stupid.

    Reply
  2. This is going to be slightly embarrassing.
    I am one of the generation who learned nothing of history in school except Canadiana, which is boring as all hell. But I do consider myself fairly knowledgeable about history, and enjoy discussing historical events. Why? How did I get to this point?
    I read historical romance novels.
    Seriously, most of my historical education is based on romance novels, and then subsequent research (when something sparks my interest). I know more about the US civil war that some Americans I’ve met, and I know a hell of a lot more about British history than many Brits I’ve met!
    So yes, I love real history in novels. I love that I can read a fictional account of a factual event, enjoy it, and be able to discuss it later. I love that it opened up entire countries for me to explore, and encouraged me to find connecting stories.
    But don’t you find it sad that you’re forced to write to the lowest common denominator? That publishers are making grand sweeping assumptions about the average reader? I do. And I find it slightly offensive. I may be badly educated, but I’m not stupid.

    Reply
  3. This is going to be slightly embarrassing.
    I am one of the generation who learned nothing of history in school except Canadiana, which is boring as all hell. But I do consider myself fairly knowledgeable about history, and enjoy discussing historical events. Why? How did I get to this point?
    I read historical romance novels.
    Seriously, most of my historical education is based on romance novels, and then subsequent research (when something sparks my interest). I know more about the US civil war that some Americans I’ve met, and I know a hell of a lot more about British history than many Brits I’ve met!
    So yes, I love real history in novels. I love that I can read a fictional account of a factual event, enjoy it, and be able to discuss it later. I love that it opened up entire countries for me to explore, and encouraged me to find connecting stories.
    But don’t you find it sad that you’re forced to write to the lowest common denominator? That publishers are making grand sweeping assumptions about the average reader? I do. And I find it slightly offensive. I may be badly educated, but I’m not stupid.

    Reply
  4. This is going to be slightly embarrassing.
    I am one of the generation who learned nothing of history in school except Canadiana, which is boring as all hell. But I do consider myself fairly knowledgeable about history, and enjoy discussing historical events. Why? How did I get to this point?
    I read historical romance novels.
    Seriously, most of my historical education is based on romance novels, and then subsequent research (when something sparks my interest). I know more about the US civil war that some Americans I’ve met, and I know a hell of a lot more about British history than many Brits I’ve met!
    So yes, I love real history in novels. I love that I can read a fictional account of a factual event, enjoy it, and be able to discuss it later. I love that it opened up entire countries for me to explore, and encouraged me to find connecting stories.
    But don’t you find it sad that you’re forced to write to the lowest common denominator? That publishers are making grand sweeping assumptions about the average reader? I do. And I find it slightly offensive. I may be badly educated, but I’m not stupid.

    Reply
  5. One of my biggest regrets is that I never took a history course in college, although, as an English major, I learned a lot about the periods when we read literature/poetry. I’m not one of those readers who shrieks,”My word! The author means a barouche, not a curricle,” but I do like accuracy and authenticity. I want to learn something I didn’t know before, if possible.
    I think most readers of historical fiction are not in it just for the HEA. We can get love from contemporaries if that’s all we’re after. So keep sneaking in those educational tidbits, Pat. I won’t be bored, because you’ll skillfully blend them in. Before I know it, I’ll be smarter!
    And Mad Magazine? After I got over the shock(I thought it was just another comic book), I made sure there was allowance money saved for each new issue. What, me worry?

    Reply
  6. One of my biggest regrets is that I never took a history course in college, although, as an English major, I learned a lot about the periods when we read literature/poetry. I’m not one of those readers who shrieks,”My word! The author means a barouche, not a curricle,” but I do like accuracy and authenticity. I want to learn something I didn’t know before, if possible.
    I think most readers of historical fiction are not in it just for the HEA. We can get love from contemporaries if that’s all we’re after. So keep sneaking in those educational tidbits, Pat. I won’t be bored, because you’ll skillfully blend them in. Before I know it, I’ll be smarter!
    And Mad Magazine? After I got over the shock(I thought it was just another comic book), I made sure there was allowance money saved for each new issue. What, me worry?

    Reply
  7. One of my biggest regrets is that I never took a history course in college, although, as an English major, I learned a lot about the periods when we read literature/poetry. I’m not one of those readers who shrieks,”My word! The author means a barouche, not a curricle,” but I do like accuracy and authenticity. I want to learn something I didn’t know before, if possible.
    I think most readers of historical fiction are not in it just for the HEA. We can get love from contemporaries if that’s all we’re after. So keep sneaking in those educational tidbits, Pat. I won’t be bored, because you’ll skillfully blend them in. Before I know it, I’ll be smarter!
    And Mad Magazine? After I got over the shock(I thought it was just another comic book), I made sure there was allowance money saved for each new issue. What, me worry?

    Reply
  8. One of my biggest regrets is that I never took a history course in college, although, as an English major, I learned a lot about the periods when we read literature/poetry. I’m not one of those readers who shrieks,”My word! The author means a barouche, not a curricle,” but I do like accuracy and authenticity. I want to learn something I didn’t know before, if possible.
    I think most readers of historical fiction are not in it just for the HEA. We can get love from contemporaries if that’s all we’re after. So keep sneaking in those educational tidbits, Pat. I won’t be bored, because you’ll skillfully blend them in. Before I know it, I’ll be smarter!
    And Mad Magazine? After I got over the shock(I thought it was just another comic book), I made sure there was allowance money saved for each new issue. What, me worry?

    Reply
  9. I agree, Pat. There’s less and less history in historical romances. Editors don’t want it, the word count won’t allow it, we’re told over and over that readers don’t want to be bothered with it. Cut directly to the chase, and the hot and steamy romances.
    This is one of the main reasons I’ve shifted over into historical fiction. I LIKE the history, and always have. Historical fiction is flourishing, and I suspect that’s where the frustrated historical romance readers are heading, too. It’s interesting to see how some of the “old-fashioned” historical romances with more history are being reissued as historical fiction trade for readers who missed them first time around.
    I remember quite distinctly when Diane Haegar’s Courtesan was advertised and featured in Romantic Times as a historical romance. Now it has a classy, art-history package to give it more “weight”, and though it’s the same book inside, it’s shifted from the romance section to the general fiction tables.
    As for kids not learning history in schools today — I have only my own local school district to compare with, but I have to say that my kids have learned history a whole lot better than I did. Back in the dark ages when I was in school, each year there was a single history text that gave a single pov of the past. American history in particular seemed to be run entirely by WASP men with noble intentions and Yankee ingenuity. There were virtually no women represented, and fewer minorities.
    Sure, my kids do have a standard text each year (though my daughter’s European history book this year has a WOMAN on the front!!), but they’ve also been given all sorts of readings from writers and voices outside the traditional canon. They’ve read works by Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and European imigrants from places other than England. They’ve been taught that Manifest Destiny and the Industrial Revolution had bad sides to them as well as good, and that yes, half of the people making history actually were female. Most of all, they’ve been made to see the “whole picture” of history in a way that I never was in the 1960s.
    So yes, my 16 year old daughter has just discovered Jane Austen (thank God!), and loving it. But while she’s enjoying the wit (this is funny, Mom!), she’s also putting the stories into a context: that much of these books are going on while England and France are at war, and that these girls really do have it better than the majority of English girls, many of whom are beginning to work in factories. And I can safely say this consciousness comes from school, not me, because, like all mothers, I Know Nothing, and Never Have. *GGG*
    OK, I’ll jump off my soapbox. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  10. I agree, Pat. There’s less and less history in historical romances. Editors don’t want it, the word count won’t allow it, we’re told over and over that readers don’t want to be bothered with it. Cut directly to the chase, and the hot and steamy romances.
    This is one of the main reasons I’ve shifted over into historical fiction. I LIKE the history, and always have. Historical fiction is flourishing, and I suspect that’s where the frustrated historical romance readers are heading, too. It’s interesting to see how some of the “old-fashioned” historical romances with more history are being reissued as historical fiction trade for readers who missed them first time around.
    I remember quite distinctly when Diane Haegar’s Courtesan was advertised and featured in Romantic Times as a historical romance. Now it has a classy, art-history package to give it more “weight”, and though it’s the same book inside, it’s shifted from the romance section to the general fiction tables.
    As for kids not learning history in schools today — I have only my own local school district to compare with, but I have to say that my kids have learned history a whole lot better than I did. Back in the dark ages when I was in school, each year there was a single history text that gave a single pov of the past. American history in particular seemed to be run entirely by WASP men with noble intentions and Yankee ingenuity. There were virtually no women represented, and fewer minorities.
    Sure, my kids do have a standard text each year (though my daughter’s European history book this year has a WOMAN on the front!!), but they’ve also been given all sorts of readings from writers and voices outside the traditional canon. They’ve read works by Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and European imigrants from places other than England. They’ve been taught that Manifest Destiny and the Industrial Revolution had bad sides to them as well as good, and that yes, half of the people making history actually were female. Most of all, they’ve been made to see the “whole picture” of history in a way that I never was in the 1960s.
    So yes, my 16 year old daughter has just discovered Jane Austen (thank God!), and loving it. But while she’s enjoying the wit (this is funny, Mom!), she’s also putting the stories into a context: that much of these books are going on while England and France are at war, and that these girls really do have it better than the majority of English girls, many of whom are beginning to work in factories. And I can safely say this consciousness comes from school, not me, because, like all mothers, I Know Nothing, and Never Have. *GGG*
    OK, I’ll jump off my soapbox. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  11. I agree, Pat. There’s less and less history in historical romances. Editors don’t want it, the word count won’t allow it, we’re told over and over that readers don’t want to be bothered with it. Cut directly to the chase, and the hot and steamy romances.
    This is one of the main reasons I’ve shifted over into historical fiction. I LIKE the history, and always have. Historical fiction is flourishing, and I suspect that’s where the frustrated historical romance readers are heading, too. It’s interesting to see how some of the “old-fashioned” historical romances with more history are being reissued as historical fiction trade for readers who missed them first time around.
    I remember quite distinctly when Diane Haegar’s Courtesan was advertised and featured in Romantic Times as a historical romance. Now it has a classy, art-history package to give it more “weight”, and though it’s the same book inside, it’s shifted from the romance section to the general fiction tables.
    As for kids not learning history in schools today — I have only my own local school district to compare with, but I have to say that my kids have learned history a whole lot better than I did. Back in the dark ages when I was in school, each year there was a single history text that gave a single pov of the past. American history in particular seemed to be run entirely by WASP men with noble intentions and Yankee ingenuity. There were virtually no women represented, and fewer minorities.
    Sure, my kids do have a standard text each year (though my daughter’s European history book this year has a WOMAN on the front!!), but they’ve also been given all sorts of readings from writers and voices outside the traditional canon. They’ve read works by Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and European imigrants from places other than England. They’ve been taught that Manifest Destiny and the Industrial Revolution had bad sides to them as well as good, and that yes, half of the people making history actually were female. Most of all, they’ve been made to see the “whole picture” of history in a way that I never was in the 1960s.
    So yes, my 16 year old daughter has just discovered Jane Austen (thank God!), and loving it. But while she’s enjoying the wit (this is funny, Mom!), she’s also putting the stories into a context: that much of these books are going on while England and France are at war, and that these girls really do have it better than the majority of English girls, many of whom are beginning to work in factories. And I can safely say this consciousness comes from school, not me, because, like all mothers, I Know Nothing, and Never Have. *GGG*
    OK, I’ll jump off my soapbox. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  12. I agree, Pat. There’s less and less history in historical romances. Editors don’t want it, the word count won’t allow it, we’re told over and over that readers don’t want to be bothered with it. Cut directly to the chase, and the hot and steamy romances.
    This is one of the main reasons I’ve shifted over into historical fiction. I LIKE the history, and always have. Historical fiction is flourishing, and I suspect that’s where the frustrated historical romance readers are heading, too. It’s interesting to see how some of the “old-fashioned” historical romances with more history are being reissued as historical fiction trade for readers who missed them first time around.
    I remember quite distinctly when Diane Haegar’s Courtesan was advertised and featured in Romantic Times as a historical romance. Now it has a classy, art-history package to give it more “weight”, and though it’s the same book inside, it’s shifted from the romance section to the general fiction tables.
    As for kids not learning history in schools today — I have only my own local school district to compare with, but I have to say that my kids have learned history a whole lot better than I did. Back in the dark ages when I was in school, each year there was a single history text that gave a single pov of the past. American history in particular seemed to be run entirely by WASP men with noble intentions and Yankee ingenuity. There were virtually no women represented, and fewer minorities.
    Sure, my kids do have a standard text each year (though my daughter’s European history book this year has a WOMAN on the front!!), but they’ve also been given all sorts of readings from writers and voices outside the traditional canon. They’ve read works by Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and European imigrants from places other than England. They’ve been taught that Manifest Destiny and the Industrial Revolution had bad sides to them as well as good, and that yes, half of the people making history actually were female. Most of all, they’ve been made to see the “whole picture” of history in a way that I never was in the 1960s.
    So yes, my 16 year old daughter has just discovered Jane Austen (thank God!), and loving it. But while she’s enjoying the wit (this is funny, Mom!), she’s also putting the stories into a context: that much of these books are going on while England and France are at war, and that these girls really do have it better than the majority of English girls, many of whom are beginning to work in factories. And I can safely say this consciousness comes from school, not me, because, like all mothers, I Know Nothing, and Never Have. *GGG*
    OK, I’ll jump off my soapbox. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  13. I’m more interested in the situations and characters of the past rather than learning actual dates. If theres one thing that really jars, it’s a character that seems able to predict major historical events ahead of time and puts all their money into railways or whatever. Its not a good thing to make historic events too convenient.
    My history teacher had a similar problem with religion. Barely any of her pupils had enough of a religous background to understand the references in history class (and this was in the 80s). The world is so wide you can’t rely on shared experience anymore.

    Reply
  14. I’m more interested in the situations and characters of the past rather than learning actual dates. If theres one thing that really jars, it’s a character that seems able to predict major historical events ahead of time and puts all their money into railways or whatever. Its not a good thing to make historic events too convenient.
    My history teacher had a similar problem with religion. Barely any of her pupils had enough of a religous background to understand the references in history class (and this was in the 80s). The world is so wide you can’t rely on shared experience anymore.

    Reply
  15. I’m more interested in the situations and characters of the past rather than learning actual dates. If theres one thing that really jars, it’s a character that seems able to predict major historical events ahead of time and puts all their money into railways or whatever. Its not a good thing to make historic events too convenient.
    My history teacher had a similar problem with religion. Barely any of her pupils had enough of a religous background to understand the references in history class (and this was in the 80s). The world is so wide you can’t rely on shared experience anymore.

    Reply
  16. I’m more interested in the situations and characters of the past rather than learning actual dates. If theres one thing that really jars, it’s a character that seems able to predict major historical events ahead of time and puts all their money into railways or whatever. Its not a good thing to make historic events too convenient.
    My history teacher had a similar problem with religion. Barely any of her pupils had enough of a religous background to understand the references in history class (and this was in the 80s). The world is so wide you can’t rely on shared experience anymore.

    Reply
  17. I think the history gap might be case by case. The kids I know seem to know their history pretty well, my sibs certainly do (they’re only 21 and 25), and their friends also seem pretty well informed. But then they all follow politics and vote too (more things “their generation” supposedly doesn’t do).
    I love centering my books around real historical events, and I love (prefer) reading books that take it for granted that I have two brain cells to rub together and that at least one of them has been exposed to a history text book at some point. LOL!

    Reply
  18. I think the history gap might be case by case. The kids I know seem to know their history pretty well, my sibs certainly do (they’re only 21 and 25), and their friends also seem pretty well informed. But then they all follow politics and vote too (more things “their generation” supposedly doesn’t do).
    I love centering my books around real historical events, and I love (prefer) reading books that take it for granted that I have two brain cells to rub together and that at least one of them has been exposed to a history text book at some point. LOL!

    Reply
  19. I think the history gap might be case by case. The kids I know seem to know their history pretty well, my sibs certainly do (they’re only 21 and 25), and their friends also seem pretty well informed. But then they all follow politics and vote too (more things “their generation” supposedly doesn’t do).
    I love centering my books around real historical events, and I love (prefer) reading books that take it for granted that I have two brain cells to rub together and that at least one of them has been exposed to a history text book at some point. LOL!

    Reply
  20. I think the history gap might be case by case. The kids I know seem to know their history pretty well, my sibs certainly do (they’re only 21 and 25), and their friends also seem pretty well informed. But then they all follow politics and vote too (more things “their generation” supposedly doesn’t do).
    I love centering my books around real historical events, and I love (prefer) reading books that take it for granted that I have two brain cells to rub together and that at least one of them has been exposed to a history text book at some point. LOL!

    Reply
  21. Today I learned there are no absolutes, because I read Kleypas’s new first person POV contemporary and loved it. So that caveat given –
    I’m with the first responder (hm, sounds all important) who said they learned all their history from romance triggering questions. It’s a super long story but for three years I had no history class but perfect history scores, all from genre knowledge.
    I like the history if it makes sense to the story. When the heroine stops for a super long diatribe on The Corn Laws or Orphans In Mills or whatever, I’m flipping past it like there are animated characters on the edges. When it’s logical and conversational (Carla Kelly’s latest, Barbara Metzger’s latest) and just enough to push things along, it works.
    I really, truly don’t think kids are learning less history because I don’t know how they could possibly teach less than they did to me in the 70’s.

    Reply
  22. Today I learned there are no absolutes, because I read Kleypas’s new first person POV contemporary and loved it. So that caveat given –
    I’m with the first responder (hm, sounds all important) who said they learned all their history from romance triggering questions. It’s a super long story but for three years I had no history class but perfect history scores, all from genre knowledge.
    I like the history if it makes sense to the story. When the heroine stops for a super long diatribe on The Corn Laws or Orphans In Mills or whatever, I’m flipping past it like there are animated characters on the edges. When it’s logical and conversational (Carla Kelly’s latest, Barbara Metzger’s latest) and just enough to push things along, it works.
    I really, truly don’t think kids are learning less history because I don’t know how they could possibly teach less than they did to me in the 70’s.

    Reply
  23. Today I learned there are no absolutes, because I read Kleypas’s new first person POV contemporary and loved it. So that caveat given –
    I’m with the first responder (hm, sounds all important) who said they learned all their history from romance triggering questions. It’s a super long story but for three years I had no history class but perfect history scores, all from genre knowledge.
    I like the history if it makes sense to the story. When the heroine stops for a super long diatribe on The Corn Laws or Orphans In Mills or whatever, I’m flipping past it like there are animated characters on the edges. When it’s logical and conversational (Carla Kelly’s latest, Barbara Metzger’s latest) and just enough to push things along, it works.
    I really, truly don’t think kids are learning less history because I don’t know how they could possibly teach less than they did to me in the 70’s.

    Reply
  24. Today I learned there are no absolutes, because I read Kleypas’s new first person POV contemporary and loved it. So that caveat given –
    I’m with the first responder (hm, sounds all important) who said they learned all their history from romance triggering questions. It’s a super long story but for three years I had no history class but perfect history scores, all from genre knowledge.
    I like the history if it makes sense to the story. When the heroine stops for a super long diatribe on The Corn Laws or Orphans In Mills or whatever, I’m flipping past it like there are animated characters on the edges. When it’s logical and conversational (Carla Kelly’s latest, Barbara Metzger’s latest) and just enough to push things along, it works.
    I really, truly don’t think kids are learning less history because I don’t know how they could possibly teach less than they did to me in the 70’s.

    Reply
  25. PS – Example A –
    Ten years ago, I’m in the UK with a group of PhD engineers – ages from 25 to 55. We’re at Warwick Castle. The oldest turns to me and says ‘Why is this place a big deal? Something happen?’ I say are you kidding me? He says ‘What?’ and looks around for support. No one knows more than he does. Spouse asks if I can fill everyone in real quick.

    Reply
  26. PS – Example A –
    Ten years ago, I’m in the UK with a group of PhD engineers – ages from 25 to 55. We’re at Warwick Castle. The oldest turns to me and says ‘Why is this place a big deal? Something happen?’ I say are you kidding me? He says ‘What?’ and looks around for support. No one knows more than he does. Spouse asks if I can fill everyone in real quick.

    Reply
  27. PS – Example A –
    Ten years ago, I’m in the UK with a group of PhD engineers – ages from 25 to 55. We’re at Warwick Castle. The oldest turns to me and says ‘Why is this place a big deal? Something happen?’ I say are you kidding me? He says ‘What?’ and looks around for support. No one knows more than he does. Spouse asks if I can fill everyone in real quick.

    Reply
  28. PS – Example A –
    Ten years ago, I’m in the UK with a group of PhD engineers – ages from 25 to 55. We’re at Warwick Castle. The oldest turns to me and says ‘Why is this place a big deal? Something happen?’ I say are you kidding me? He says ‘What?’ and looks around for support. No one knows more than he does. Spouse asks if I can fill everyone in real quick.

    Reply
  29. I have come to learn a lot about history just by reading historical romances. Although some authors have a tendency to get lost in their teachings and lose me in the process.
    I have actually skimmed over some passages in order to get back to the main story. An example is Gabaldon’s latest in the Outlander’s series. I have loved every one of her books so far and have to admit that the excessive (my opinion) history lesson put me off.
    I feel bad, almost disrespectful, for telling you that!

    Reply
  30. I have come to learn a lot about history just by reading historical romances. Although some authors have a tendency to get lost in their teachings and lose me in the process.
    I have actually skimmed over some passages in order to get back to the main story. An example is Gabaldon’s latest in the Outlander’s series. I have loved every one of her books so far and have to admit that the excessive (my opinion) history lesson put me off.
    I feel bad, almost disrespectful, for telling you that!

    Reply
  31. I have come to learn a lot about history just by reading historical romances. Although some authors have a tendency to get lost in their teachings and lose me in the process.
    I have actually skimmed over some passages in order to get back to the main story. An example is Gabaldon’s latest in the Outlander’s series. I have loved every one of her books so far and have to admit that the excessive (my opinion) history lesson put me off.
    I feel bad, almost disrespectful, for telling you that!

    Reply
  32. I have come to learn a lot about history just by reading historical romances. Although some authors have a tendency to get lost in their teachings and lose me in the process.
    I have actually skimmed over some passages in order to get back to the main story. An example is Gabaldon’s latest in the Outlander’s series. I have loved every one of her books so far and have to admit that the excessive (my opinion) history lesson put me off.
    I feel bad, almost disrespectful, for telling you that!

    Reply
  33. As someone already said, I read historical romance for the history, not the HEA (although I do like the HEA). I have to admit that I don’t really remember what I learned or didn’t learn in school (it was in the 70s–does that give me an excuse?), but at a young age I was reading history both in fiction and in nonfiction. I find nothing more annoying than a supposed “historical” full of anachronisms, errors, and fictional characters Saving the World. OTOH, I ADORE historical works that put the past in true context. As to how much “education” to include in a historical romance, well, that’s the challenge, I guess–to strike the right balance! Roberta Gellis, of course, has always been a master at this …

    Reply
  34. As someone already said, I read historical romance for the history, not the HEA (although I do like the HEA). I have to admit that I don’t really remember what I learned or didn’t learn in school (it was in the 70s–does that give me an excuse?), but at a young age I was reading history both in fiction and in nonfiction. I find nothing more annoying than a supposed “historical” full of anachronisms, errors, and fictional characters Saving the World. OTOH, I ADORE historical works that put the past in true context. As to how much “education” to include in a historical romance, well, that’s the challenge, I guess–to strike the right balance! Roberta Gellis, of course, has always been a master at this …

    Reply
  35. As someone already said, I read historical romance for the history, not the HEA (although I do like the HEA). I have to admit that I don’t really remember what I learned or didn’t learn in school (it was in the 70s–does that give me an excuse?), but at a young age I was reading history both in fiction and in nonfiction. I find nothing more annoying than a supposed “historical” full of anachronisms, errors, and fictional characters Saving the World. OTOH, I ADORE historical works that put the past in true context. As to how much “education” to include in a historical romance, well, that’s the challenge, I guess–to strike the right balance! Roberta Gellis, of course, has always been a master at this …

    Reply
  36. As someone already said, I read historical romance for the history, not the HEA (although I do like the HEA). I have to admit that I don’t really remember what I learned or didn’t learn in school (it was in the 70s–does that give me an excuse?), but at a young age I was reading history both in fiction and in nonfiction. I find nothing more annoying than a supposed “historical” full of anachronisms, errors, and fictional characters Saving the World. OTOH, I ADORE historical works that put the past in true context. As to how much “education” to include in a historical romance, well, that’s the challenge, I guess–to strike the right balance! Roberta Gellis, of course, has always been a master at this …

    Reply
  37. “I really, truly don’t think kids are learning less history because I don’t know how they could possibly teach less than they did to me in the 70’s.”
    They didn’t teach much when I was in school in the 80’s, either. Most of the history I know I learned either on my own or at my history buff mother’s knee.
    When I got to college, there wasn’t any kind of Western Civ or World History requirement. You just had to select two history courses from a long list. I took many more than that as electives, lovely fascinating classes on Classical Judaism, India, the American South 1607-1860, 1960’s protest movements, Israel from the beginnings of the Zionist movement to the present, etc. But I wonder if my classmates who aren’t natural history buffs are those people wandering around who don’t know what became of Marie Antoinette or what Wellington did at Waterloo, because it’s not like anyone ever made them learn it or understand why it matters.
    Anyway, yes, I do like history in my fiction, lots of it, as long as it’s woven into the action of the story.

    Reply
  38. “I really, truly don’t think kids are learning less history because I don’t know how they could possibly teach less than they did to me in the 70’s.”
    They didn’t teach much when I was in school in the 80’s, either. Most of the history I know I learned either on my own or at my history buff mother’s knee.
    When I got to college, there wasn’t any kind of Western Civ or World History requirement. You just had to select two history courses from a long list. I took many more than that as electives, lovely fascinating classes on Classical Judaism, India, the American South 1607-1860, 1960’s protest movements, Israel from the beginnings of the Zionist movement to the present, etc. But I wonder if my classmates who aren’t natural history buffs are those people wandering around who don’t know what became of Marie Antoinette or what Wellington did at Waterloo, because it’s not like anyone ever made them learn it or understand why it matters.
    Anyway, yes, I do like history in my fiction, lots of it, as long as it’s woven into the action of the story.

    Reply
  39. “I really, truly don’t think kids are learning less history because I don’t know how they could possibly teach less than they did to me in the 70’s.”
    They didn’t teach much when I was in school in the 80’s, either. Most of the history I know I learned either on my own or at my history buff mother’s knee.
    When I got to college, there wasn’t any kind of Western Civ or World History requirement. You just had to select two history courses from a long list. I took many more than that as electives, lovely fascinating classes on Classical Judaism, India, the American South 1607-1860, 1960’s protest movements, Israel from the beginnings of the Zionist movement to the present, etc. But I wonder if my classmates who aren’t natural history buffs are those people wandering around who don’t know what became of Marie Antoinette or what Wellington did at Waterloo, because it’s not like anyone ever made them learn it or understand why it matters.
    Anyway, yes, I do like history in my fiction, lots of it, as long as it’s woven into the action of the story.

    Reply
  40. “I really, truly don’t think kids are learning less history because I don’t know how they could possibly teach less than they did to me in the 70’s.”
    They didn’t teach much when I was in school in the 80’s, either. Most of the history I know I learned either on my own or at my history buff mother’s knee.
    When I got to college, there wasn’t any kind of Western Civ or World History requirement. You just had to select two history courses from a long list. I took many more than that as electives, lovely fascinating classes on Classical Judaism, India, the American South 1607-1860, 1960’s protest movements, Israel from the beginnings of the Zionist movement to the present, etc. But I wonder if my classmates who aren’t natural history buffs are those people wandering around who don’t know what became of Marie Antoinette or what Wellington did at Waterloo, because it’s not like anyone ever made them learn it or understand why it matters.
    Anyway, yes, I do like history in my fiction, lots of it, as long as it’s woven into the action of the story.

    Reply
  41. I’m not so interested in the History (note capital letter) as I am in the accuracy of the day-to-day stuff. I love to be able to trust a writer to get that right, love the tidbits that come to light. E.g. just read Dead, Mr. Mozart by Robert Barnard and he made the point that conductors in the Mozart through Regency periods didn’t stand on a platform waving a stick about, they conducted from the piano as they played their part! I trust Robert Barnard, but I’d love to know where he got that information!
    As for kids learning less now… *I* was taught that Columbus discovered America! How much worse could it be?

    Reply
  42. I’m not so interested in the History (note capital letter) as I am in the accuracy of the day-to-day stuff. I love to be able to trust a writer to get that right, love the tidbits that come to light. E.g. just read Dead, Mr. Mozart by Robert Barnard and he made the point that conductors in the Mozart through Regency periods didn’t stand on a platform waving a stick about, they conducted from the piano as they played their part! I trust Robert Barnard, but I’d love to know where he got that information!
    As for kids learning less now… *I* was taught that Columbus discovered America! How much worse could it be?

    Reply
  43. I’m not so interested in the History (note capital letter) as I am in the accuracy of the day-to-day stuff. I love to be able to trust a writer to get that right, love the tidbits that come to light. E.g. just read Dead, Mr. Mozart by Robert Barnard and he made the point that conductors in the Mozart through Regency periods didn’t stand on a platform waving a stick about, they conducted from the piano as they played their part! I trust Robert Barnard, but I’d love to know where he got that information!
    As for kids learning less now… *I* was taught that Columbus discovered America! How much worse could it be?

    Reply
  44. I’m not so interested in the History (note capital letter) as I am in the accuracy of the day-to-day stuff. I love to be able to trust a writer to get that right, love the tidbits that come to light. E.g. just read Dead, Mr. Mozart by Robert Barnard and he made the point that conductors in the Mozart through Regency periods didn’t stand on a platform waving a stick about, they conducted from the piano as they played their part! I trust Robert Barnard, but I’d love to know where he got that information!
    As for kids learning less now… *I* was taught that Columbus discovered America! How much worse could it be?

    Reply
  45. The variety of responses here is fascinating! I’m impressed that there are still schools who teach history along with “‘readin’, ritin’, and rithmetic.” (We will take note that the much-touted 3 Rs are incorrectly spelled.) And I’m fascinated that others had worse history experiences than I did. Even my football coach history teachers managed to get across a few pertinent facts, although none of it was the European history that so intrigued me.
    Of course, “finding the right balance” of history to romance is the big problem. As noted, the historicals we used to write (and which I loved in Gellis) are now coming out as “historical fiction” instead of romance. I write Romance. I make no apology for that. It’s the characters who hold me captive. But I dislike tedious characters who do no more than flirt around ballrooms. I prefer that they work through historical events when I can manage it. When I can’t, I like digging out historical trivia to add that extra bit of interest.
    I think Francois has nailed it when she says experiences are so broad these days, that we can’t rely on everyone knowing everything. It’s impossible for me to “dumb down” my characters. They are who they are. But if I can add a piece of enlightenment or interest that’s to a reader’s benefit, then I guess I can figure a way of doing it without being tedious. I hope.
    And Maggie, Sister of my Soul, I had the same reaction to MAD magazine when my cousin first handed me a pile. What crap was this? And then I figured it out. My real education probably began about then. “G”

    Reply
  46. The variety of responses here is fascinating! I’m impressed that there are still schools who teach history along with “‘readin’, ritin’, and rithmetic.” (We will take note that the much-touted 3 Rs are incorrectly spelled.) And I’m fascinated that others had worse history experiences than I did. Even my football coach history teachers managed to get across a few pertinent facts, although none of it was the European history that so intrigued me.
    Of course, “finding the right balance” of history to romance is the big problem. As noted, the historicals we used to write (and which I loved in Gellis) are now coming out as “historical fiction” instead of romance. I write Romance. I make no apology for that. It’s the characters who hold me captive. But I dislike tedious characters who do no more than flirt around ballrooms. I prefer that they work through historical events when I can manage it. When I can’t, I like digging out historical trivia to add that extra bit of interest.
    I think Francois has nailed it when she says experiences are so broad these days, that we can’t rely on everyone knowing everything. It’s impossible for me to “dumb down” my characters. They are who they are. But if I can add a piece of enlightenment or interest that’s to a reader’s benefit, then I guess I can figure a way of doing it without being tedious. I hope.
    And Maggie, Sister of my Soul, I had the same reaction to MAD magazine when my cousin first handed me a pile. What crap was this? And then I figured it out. My real education probably began about then. “G”

    Reply
  47. The variety of responses here is fascinating! I’m impressed that there are still schools who teach history along with “‘readin’, ritin’, and rithmetic.” (We will take note that the much-touted 3 Rs are incorrectly spelled.) And I’m fascinated that others had worse history experiences than I did. Even my football coach history teachers managed to get across a few pertinent facts, although none of it was the European history that so intrigued me.
    Of course, “finding the right balance” of history to romance is the big problem. As noted, the historicals we used to write (and which I loved in Gellis) are now coming out as “historical fiction” instead of romance. I write Romance. I make no apology for that. It’s the characters who hold me captive. But I dislike tedious characters who do no more than flirt around ballrooms. I prefer that they work through historical events when I can manage it. When I can’t, I like digging out historical trivia to add that extra bit of interest.
    I think Francois has nailed it when she says experiences are so broad these days, that we can’t rely on everyone knowing everything. It’s impossible for me to “dumb down” my characters. They are who they are. But if I can add a piece of enlightenment or interest that’s to a reader’s benefit, then I guess I can figure a way of doing it without being tedious. I hope.
    And Maggie, Sister of my Soul, I had the same reaction to MAD magazine when my cousin first handed me a pile. What crap was this? And then I figured it out. My real education probably began about then. “G”

    Reply
  48. The variety of responses here is fascinating! I’m impressed that there are still schools who teach history along with “‘readin’, ritin’, and rithmetic.” (We will take note that the much-touted 3 Rs are incorrectly spelled.) And I’m fascinated that others had worse history experiences than I did. Even my football coach history teachers managed to get across a few pertinent facts, although none of it was the European history that so intrigued me.
    Of course, “finding the right balance” of history to romance is the big problem. As noted, the historicals we used to write (and which I loved in Gellis) are now coming out as “historical fiction” instead of romance. I write Romance. I make no apology for that. It’s the characters who hold me captive. But I dislike tedious characters who do no more than flirt around ballrooms. I prefer that they work through historical events when I can manage it. When I can’t, I like digging out historical trivia to add that extra bit of interest.
    I think Francois has nailed it when she says experiences are so broad these days, that we can’t rely on everyone knowing everything. It’s impossible for me to “dumb down” my characters. They are who they are. But if I can add a piece of enlightenment or interest that’s to a reader’s benefit, then I guess I can figure a way of doing it without being tedious. I hope.
    And Maggie, Sister of my Soul, I had the same reaction to MAD magazine when my cousin first handed me a pile. What crap was this? And then I figured it out. My real education probably began about then. “G”

    Reply
  49. Oh, I love the history in it! 🙂 Sure, there can be a point where it’s getting too much and in the way of the characters, but I don’t think I’ve ever hit on that happening in a book I’ve read.
    And of course there might be the instance where an author will repeat things I already know, but they also have to write for the readers who are picking it up for the first time and have no clue about it. However, for me personally, that’s never been an issue. 🙂
    The history for me is a big reason that I read them, but I definitely remember the whole idea of having to make page numbers from papers — so I guess firstly you should include the necessary history and scenery for the story to move along believably and for the reader to get it, then go for what you like to add to make it richer.
    Yeah, it sounds like I know what I’m talking about. LOL 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  50. Oh, I love the history in it! 🙂 Sure, there can be a point where it’s getting too much and in the way of the characters, but I don’t think I’ve ever hit on that happening in a book I’ve read.
    And of course there might be the instance where an author will repeat things I already know, but they also have to write for the readers who are picking it up for the first time and have no clue about it. However, for me personally, that’s never been an issue. 🙂
    The history for me is a big reason that I read them, but I definitely remember the whole idea of having to make page numbers from papers — so I guess firstly you should include the necessary history and scenery for the story to move along believably and for the reader to get it, then go for what you like to add to make it richer.
    Yeah, it sounds like I know what I’m talking about. LOL 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  51. Oh, I love the history in it! 🙂 Sure, there can be a point where it’s getting too much and in the way of the characters, but I don’t think I’ve ever hit on that happening in a book I’ve read.
    And of course there might be the instance where an author will repeat things I already know, but they also have to write for the readers who are picking it up for the first time and have no clue about it. However, for me personally, that’s never been an issue. 🙂
    The history for me is a big reason that I read them, but I definitely remember the whole idea of having to make page numbers from papers — so I guess firstly you should include the necessary history and scenery for the story to move along believably and for the reader to get it, then go for what you like to add to make it richer.
    Yeah, it sounds like I know what I’m talking about. LOL 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  52. Oh, I love the history in it! 🙂 Sure, there can be a point where it’s getting too much and in the way of the characters, but I don’t think I’ve ever hit on that happening in a book I’ve read.
    And of course there might be the instance where an author will repeat things I already know, but they also have to write for the readers who are picking it up for the first time and have no clue about it. However, for me personally, that’s never been an issue. 🙂
    The history for me is a big reason that I read them, but I definitely remember the whole idea of having to make page numbers from papers — so I guess firstly you should include the necessary history and scenery for the story to move along believably and for the reader to get it, then go for what you like to add to make it richer.
    Yeah, it sounds like I know what I’m talking about. LOL 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  53. As the parent of a high school student, I would have to say that my daughter’s middle school and high school history experiences are well described by Susan/Miranda’s post above.
    I never liked history as a young sprout in the 60’s/70’s–too many armies marching,invading, and retreating–little symbols on a map signifying nothing (in my mind), to be matched with a date regurgitated on an exam.
    Curiously, though, even in childhood I was always crazy for historical novels, living history sites, and famous homes.
    In 80’s, in college and seminary, I discovered a whole new kind of “history”–the more intimate history of how people lived–what their daily lives were like, what they wore, what they ate, what they feared, what they believed in. WOW! It was like a whole new world opened up. Now I would call myself a history buff, but I’m never going to know who invaded whom in what year to gain what territory (smile).
    I guess the kind of history in a romance novel is just the kind of history I have always enjoyed–and I still skim over battles and armies (although Susan W, I do think the Temeraire tales are a mighty fine read!).

    Reply
  54. As the parent of a high school student, I would have to say that my daughter’s middle school and high school history experiences are well described by Susan/Miranda’s post above.
    I never liked history as a young sprout in the 60’s/70’s–too many armies marching,invading, and retreating–little symbols on a map signifying nothing (in my mind), to be matched with a date regurgitated on an exam.
    Curiously, though, even in childhood I was always crazy for historical novels, living history sites, and famous homes.
    In 80’s, in college and seminary, I discovered a whole new kind of “history”–the more intimate history of how people lived–what their daily lives were like, what they wore, what they ate, what they feared, what they believed in. WOW! It was like a whole new world opened up. Now I would call myself a history buff, but I’m never going to know who invaded whom in what year to gain what territory (smile).
    I guess the kind of history in a romance novel is just the kind of history I have always enjoyed–and I still skim over battles and armies (although Susan W, I do think the Temeraire tales are a mighty fine read!).

    Reply
  55. As the parent of a high school student, I would have to say that my daughter’s middle school and high school history experiences are well described by Susan/Miranda’s post above.
    I never liked history as a young sprout in the 60’s/70’s–too many armies marching,invading, and retreating–little symbols on a map signifying nothing (in my mind), to be matched with a date regurgitated on an exam.
    Curiously, though, even in childhood I was always crazy for historical novels, living history sites, and famous homes.
    In 80’s, in college and seminary, I discovered a whole new kind of “history”–the more intimate history of how people lived–what their daily lives were like, what they wore, what they ate, what they feared, what they believed in. WOW! It was like a whole new world opened up. Now I would call myself a history buff, but I’m never going to know who invaded whom in what year to gain what territory (smile).
    I guess the kind of history in a romance novel is just the kind of history I have always enjoyed–and I still skim over battles and armies (although Susan W, I do think the Temeraire tales are a mighty fine read!).

    Reply
  56. As the parent of a high school student, I would have to say that my daughter’s middle school and high school history experiences are well described by Susan/Miranda’s post above.
    I never liked history as a young sprout in the 60’s/70’s–too many armies marching,invading, and retreating–little symbols on a map signifying nothing (in my mind), to be matched with a date regurgitated on an exam.
    Curiously, though, even in childhood I was always crazy for historical novels, living history sites, and famous homes.
    In 80’s, in college and seminary, I discovered a whole new kind of “history”–the more intimate history of how people lived–what their daily lives were like, what they wore, what they ate, what they feared, what they believed in. WOW! It was like a whole new world opened up. Now I would call myself a history buff, but I’m never going to know who invaded whom in what year to gain what territory (smile).
    I guess the kind of history in a romance novel is just the kind of history I have always enjoyed–and I still skim over battles and armies (although Susan W, I do think the Temeraire tales are a mighty fine read!).

    Reply
  57. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Temeraire, RevMelinda! I’m in the midst of a slow read and analysis of HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON, the better to figure out how to structure and plot a broadly similar story (I’m also going to dissect MASTER & COMMANDER and SHARPE’S TRIUMPH, which should give you some idea where I’m going with the new MIP…). It’s almost as fun to read carefully with highlighter in hand and notebook at my side as it is the ordinary way. The only problem is that I have to wait till my daughter is in bed to work on it, because I don’t want her to see Mommy coloring in books and get the wrong idea!

    Reply
  58. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Temeraire, RevMelinda! I’m in the midst of a slow read and analysis of HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON, the better to figure out how to structure and plot a broadly similar story (I’m also going to dissect MASTER & COMMANDER and SHARPE’S TRIUMPH, which should give you some idea where I’m going with the new MIP…). It’s almost as fun to read carefully with highlighter in hand and notebook at my side as it is the ordinary way. The only problem is that I have to wait till my daughter is in bed to work on it, because I don’t want her to see Mommy coloring in books and get the wrong idea!

    Reply
  59. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Temeraire, RevMelinda! I’m in the midst of a slow read and analysis of HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON, the better to figure out how to structure and plot a broadly similar story (I’m also going to dissect MASTER & COMMANDER and SHARPE’S TRIUMPH, which should give you some idea where I’m going with the new MIP…). It’s almost as fun to read carefully with highlighter in hand and notebook at my side as it is the ordinary way. The only problem is that I have to wait till my daughter is in bed to work on it, because I don’t want her to see Mommy coloring in books and get the wrong idea!

    Reply
  60. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Temeraire, RevMelinda! I’m in the midst of a slow read and analysis of HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON, the better to figure out how to structure and plot a broadly similar story (I’m also going to dissect MASTER & COMMANDER and SHARPE’S TRIUMPH, which should give you some idea where I’m going with the new MIP…). It’s almost as fun to read carefully with highlighter in hand and notebook at my side as it is the ordinary way. The only problem is that I have to wait till my daughter is in bed to work on it, because I don’t want her to see Mommy coloring in books and get the wrong idea!

    Reply
  61. I overheard a woman in a coffee shop last week explain to her little girl, “Those are college students. They have to desecrate their books. When you’re their age, you can write in all the books you want.” LOL!

    Reply
  62. I overheard a woman in a coffee shop last week explain to her little girl, “Those are college students. They have to desecrate their books. When you’re their age, you can write in all the books you want.” LOL!

    Reply
  63. I overheard a woman in a coffee shop last week explain to her little girl, “Those are college students. They have to desecrate their books. When you’re their age, you can write in all the books you want.” LOL!

    Reply
  64. I overheard a woman in a coffee shop last week explain to her little girl, “Those are college students. They have to desecrate their books. When you’re their age, you can write in all the books you want.” LOL!

    Reply
  65. I too love learning the odd things I learn from romances–and mysteries. The history– the odd bits of science, the literary references. It’s a big part of the fun.
    My husband and I have had an interesting pattern after seeing historical movies– eg. The Lion in Winter, Michael Collings, Brave Heart, etc. We end opening up our big heavy edition of the new columbia encyclopedia and reading about the related history. Of course, these days, it would be just as easy to Search on the web, but there is some fun in checking it out in this big heavy book with very thin pages.
    Merry

    Reply
  66. I too love learning the odd things I learn from romances–and mysteries. The history– the odd bits of science, the literary references. It’s a big part of the fun.
    My husband and I have had an interesting pattern after seeing historical movies– eg. The Lion in Winter, Michael Collings, Brave Heart, etc. We end opening up our big heavy edition of the new columbia encyclopedia and reading about the related history. Of course, these days, it would be just as easy to Search on the web, but there is some fun in checking it out in this big heavy book with very thin pages.
    Merry

    Reply
  67. I too love learning the odd things I learn from romances–and mysteries. The history– the odd bits of science, the literary references. It’s a big part of the fun.
    My husband and I have had an interesting pattern after seeing historical movies– eg. The Lion in Winter, Michael Collings, Brave Heart, etc. We end opening up our big heavy edition of the new columbia encyclopedia and reading about the related history. Of course, these days, it would be just as easy to Search on the web, but there is some fun in checking it out in this big heavy book with very thin pages.
    Merry

    Reply
  68. I too love learning the odd things I learn from romances–and mysteries. The history– the odd bits of science, the literary references. It’s a big part of the fun.
    My husband and I have had an interesting pattern after seeing historical movies– eg. The Lion in Winter, Michael Collings, Brave Heart, etc. We end opening up our big heavy edition of the new columbia encyclopedia and reading about the related history. Of course, these days, it would be just as easy to Search on the web, but there is some fun in checking it out in this big heavy book with very thin pages.
    Merry

    Reply
  69. Like many of the others who have posted, I love the history that is in novels. That is one of the reasons that I read them – otherwise I would read modern ones and I tend to gravitate away from the modern stories.
    When I was in university, I wanted to take a history course, but in order to take the really interesting ones, you had to take the first year as a requirement and it would not fit into my business admin schedule. So, about 85% of my history knowledge started out with the historical novels that I read.
    Now, I have branched out to historical biographies and fiction, but I have to say that I am really disappointed when a suppos-ed historical novel has no history. The way I look at it – if there is nothing in the story about the time period or happenings of the day, how is anyone supposed to get a feel for the setting and the background of the story.
    So to all the authors – BRING ON THE HISTORY!!

    Reply
  70. Like many of the others who have posted, I love the history that is in novels. That is one of the reasons that I read them – otherwise I would read modern ones and I tend to gravitate away from the modern stories.
    When I was in university, I wanted to take a history course, but in order to take the really interesting ones, you had to take the first year as a requirement and it would not fit into my business admin schedule. So, about 85% of my history knowledge started out with the historical novels that I read.
    Now, I have branched out to historical biographies and fiction, but I have to say that I am really disappointed when a suppos-ed historical novel has no history. The way I look at it – if there is nothing in the story about the time period or happenings of the day, how is anyone supposed to get a feel for the setting and the background of the story.
    So to all the authors – BRING ON THE HISTORY!!

    Reply
  71. Like many of the others who have posted, I love the history that is in novels. That is one of the reasons that I read them – otherwise I would read modern ones and I tend to gravitate away from the modern stories.
    When I was in university, I wanted to take a history course, but in order to take the really interesting ones, you had to take the first year as a requirement and it would not fit into my business admin schedule. So, about 85% of my history knowledge started out with the historical novels that I read.
    Now, I have branched out to historical biographies and fiction, but I have to say that I am really disappointed when a suppos-ed historical novel has no history. The way I look at it – if there is nothing in the story about the time period or happenings of the day, how is anyone supposed to get a feel for the setting and the background of the story.
    So to all the authors – BRING ON THE HISTORY!!

    Reply
  72. Like many of the others who have posted, I love the history that is in novels. That is one of the reasons that I read them – otherwise I would read modern ones and I tend to gravitate away from the modern stories.
    When I was in university, I wanted to take a history course, but in order to take the really interesting ones, you had to take the first year as a requirement and it would not fit into my business admin schedule. So, about 85% of my history knowledge started out with the historical novels that I read.
    Now, I have branched out to historical biographies and fiction, but I have to say that I am really disappointed when a suppos-ed historical novel has no history. The way I look at it – if there is nothing in the story about the time period or happenings of the day, how is anyone supposed to get a feel for the setting and the background of the story.
    So to all the authors – BRING ON THE HISTORY!!

    Reply

Leave a Comment