The Princess and The Spy

B5f8 Pat here:

After ranting that there were no organized spies in England in the early Regency, I ended up writing a spy into my work in process. The chances of an Englishman running into a French spy before England had barely entered the war were slim, but I needed a plot turning point, and since I already had codes, spies seemed obvious.  I tried to ground him well into the story and hope I’ve made the point realistic enough. But I have a lot of other pet peeves…

 I have politely refrained from ranting about the extraordinary number of dukes
Dukeargyll13thiancampbell we’ve littered across the Regency countryside because I’ve been guilty of that in days long past. (Out of curiosity, I Googled current dukes. Take a look at http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=88196 for more photos. Pictured are the 13th Duke of Argyll in his handsome plaid, and the 15th Duke of Hamilton,
Dukehamilton15thangusdouglajk1 who's also the 12th Duke of Brandon, in front of his humble homestead.)

And amazingly, I’ve not once mentioned the preponderance of Continental princesses we've created from weird little countries that we conjure so we don’t have to use actual royalty. Thank goodness, because even though I’ve always disliked that particular contrivance, I’m going to have to do it—if my editor lets me.  The new proposal simply screams for royal skulduggery, and my fingers are itching to confuse my insouciant, too-confident hero with two royal princesses running him ragged.

But because I have this irritating need for some form of historical accuracy, I started researching
Italy1815 Continental royalty in the time of Napoleon. It would be impossible to find royalty that would suit the time and place of my plot, so I knew I had to make up my characters, but I’m an old hand at inventing cities. Why not invent a country? So I did.

After researching the map of Europe before Napoleon completely conquered it, I realized we could litter the landscape with royalty easier than we could with dukes. Russia and Italy were particularly notorious about naming everyone royalty if they were so much as remotely related to a powerful noble. In England, most of these nobles would be dukes, not princes, but that didn’t matter. An aristocrat was an aristocrat, even if they barely owned the clothes on their backs. 

To my delight, I discovered in the year of my story that Italy was still a conglomeration of separate duchies barely tied together by an almost-common tongue. There were still small kingdoms where they spoke their own language. It’s easy to see how Napoleon walked in and conquered these tiny principalities, knocking them down like dominoes as he progressed across the peninsula. Then he busily married off his many relatives to the existing royalty—shades of William the Conqueror—and set about forcing Italy into the nineteenth century. (the map is from 1815, after the time of my story, when Napoleon has already started consolidating.)

And so, my preposterous plot suddenly has plausibility!

Now that I’ve knocked down some of my major pet peeves and romped all over them, what other pet peeves do you have? Maybe I can adopt a new one!

115 thoughts on “The Princess and The Spy”

  1. My pet peeves:
    Having someone pipe up in a review that a country or title “Isn’t historically correct” even though the author has done an amazing job of weaving the details through the story, showing her imagination at it’s finest. If they want complete historical accuracy, read a textbook! (and hope it’s not full of egregious errors!)
    Inconsistency in the story. Developing a country with all the trimmings is a wonderful thing as is any other premise the author includes in her story, but don’t change all the ‘facts’ midstream. If an author goes to such great lengths to build a country/premise/world/what-have-you, don’t just up and change things to suit something new the author wants to toss in. Drives me nuts! (and lately, that’s a very short ride)
    Give me a ripping good story that doesn’t leave me scratching my head part way through thinking, “wait, that isn’t what she/he devised earlier” and I’ll read it a dozen times.
    (disclaimer: none of the wenches are guilty of my peeves, just so you know ;o) )

    Reply
  2. My pet peeves:
    Having someone pipe up in a review that a country or title “Isn’t historically correct” even though the author has done an amazing job of weaving the details through the story, showing her imagination at it’s finest. If they want complete historical accuracy, read a textbook! (and hope it’s not full of egregious errors!)
    Inconsistency in the story. Developing a country with all the trimmings is a wonderful thing as is any other premise the author includes in her story, but don’t change all the ‘facts’ midstream. If an author goes to such great lengths to build a country/premise/world/what-have-you, don’t just up and change things to suit something new the author wants to toss in. Drives me nuts! (and lately, that’s a very short ride)
    Give me a ripping good story that doesn’t leave me scratching my head part way through thinking, “wait, that isn’t what she/he devised earlier” and I’ll read it a dozen times.
    (disclaimer: none of the wenches are guilty of my peeves, just so you know ;o) )

    Reply
  3. My pet peeves:
    Having someone pipe up in a review that a country or title “Isn’t historically correct” even though the author has done an amazing job of weaving the details through the story, showing her imagination at it’s finest. If they want complete historical accuracy, read a textbook! (and hope it’s not full of egregious errors!)
    Inconsistency in the story. Developing a country with all the trimmings is a wonderful thing as is any other premise the author includes in her story, but don’t change all the ‘facts’ midstream. If an author goes to such great lengths to build a country/premise/world/what-have-you, don’t just up and change things to suit something new the author wants to toss in. Drives me nuts! (and lately, that’s a very short ride)
    Give me a ripping good story that doesn’t leave me scratching my head part way through thinking, “wait, that isn’t what she/he devised earlier” and I’ll read it a dozen times.
    (disclaimer: none of the wenches are guilty of my peeves, just so you know ;o) )

    Reply
  4. My pet peeves:
    Having someone pipe up in a review that a country or title “Isn’t historically correct” even though the author has done an amazing job of weaving the details through the story, showing her imagination at it’s finest. If they want complete historical accuracy, read a textbook! (and hope it’s not full of egregious errors!)
    Inconsistency in the story. Developing a country with all the trimmings is a wonderful thing as is any other premise the author includes in her story, but don’t change all the ‘facts’ midstream. If an author goes to such great lengths to build a country/premise/world/what-have-you, don’t just up and change things to suit something new the author wants to toss in. Drives me nuts! (and lately, that’s a very short ride)
    Give me a ripping good story that doesn’t leave me scratching my head part way through thinking, “wait, that isn’t what she/he devised earlier” and I’ll read it a dozen times.
    (disclaimer: none of the wenches are guilty of my peeves, just so you know ;o) )

    Reply
  5. My pet peeves:
    Having someone pipe up in a review that a country or title “Isn’t historically correct” even though the author has done an amazing job of weaving the details through the story, showing her imagination at it’s finest. If they want complete historical accuracy, read a textbook! (and hope it’s not full of egregious errors!)
    Inconsistency in the story. Developing a country with all the trimmings is a wonderful thing as is any other premise the author includes in her story, but don’t change all the ‘facts’ midstream. If an author goes to such great lengths to build a country/premise/world/what-have-you, don’t just up and change things to suit something new the author wants to toss in. Drives me nuts! (and lately, that’s a very short ride)
    Give me a ripping good story that doesn’t leave me scratching my head part way through thinking, “wait, that isn’t what she/he devised earlier” and I’ll read it a dozen times.
    (disclaimer: none of the wenches are guilty of my peeves, just so you know ;o) )

    Reply
  6. Don’t forget in Italy today, many people still speak their dialect at home and Italian at school or in more formal situations. Of course, different dialects are not the same as different languages, but I assure some of the dialects are very, very different. I believe the Neapolitan dialect is closer to Greek than Italian.
    I’m sure this is dying out with national television broadcasts, but I know that speaking dialect is also a matter of regional pride. It might survive.
    Don’t worry, this isn’t a pet peeve of mine! Just bringing it up b/c I find it interesting. I don’t have any real pet peeves except for bland characters and bland writing, and I suppose that would have to be everyone’s pet peeve.

    Reply
  7. Don’t forget in Italy today, many people still speak their dialect at home and Italian at school or in more formal situations. Of course, different dialects are not the same as different languages, but I assure some of the dialects are very, very different. I believe the Neapolitan dialect is closer to Greek than Italian.
    I’m sure this is dying out with national television broadcasts, but I know that speaking dialect is also a matter of regional pride. It might survive.
    Don’t worry, this isn’t a pet peeve of mine! Just bringing it up b/c I find it interesting. I don’t have any real pet peeves except for bland characters and bland writing, and I suppose that would have to be everyone’s pet peeve.

    Reply
  8. Don’t forget in Italy today, many people still speak their dialect at home and Italian at school or in more formal situations. Of course, different dialects are not the same as different languages, but I assure some of the dialects are very, very different. I believe the Neapolitan dialect is closer to Greek than Italian.
    I’m sure this is dying out with national television broadcasts, but I know that speaking dialect is also a matter of regional pride. It might survive.
    Don’t worry, this isn’t a pet peeve of mine! Just bringing it up b/c I find it interesting. I don’t have any real pet peeves except for bland characters and bland writing, and I suppose that would have to be everyone’s pet peeve.

    Reply
  9. Don’t forget in Italy today, many people still speak their dialect at home and Italian at school or in more formal situations. Of course, different dialects are not the same as different languages, but I assure some of the dialects are very, very different. I believe the Neapolitan dialect is closer to Greek than Italian.
    I’m sure this is dying out with national television broadcasts, but I know that speaking dialect is also a matter of regional pride. It might survive.
    Don’t worry, this isn’t a pet peeve of mine! Just bringing it up b/c I find it interesting. I don’t have any real pet peeves except for bland characters and bland writing, and I suppose that would have to be everyone’s pet peeve.

    Reply
  10. Don’t forget in Italy today, many people still speak their dialect at home and Italian at school or in more formal situations. Of course, different dialects are not the same as different languages, but I assure some of the dialects are very, very different. I believe the Neapolitan dialect is closer to Greek than Italian.
    I’m sure this is dying out with national television broadcasts, but I know that speaking dialect is also a matter of regional pride. It might survive.
    Don’t worry, this isn’t a pet peeve of mine! Just bringing it up b/c I find it interesting. I don’t have any real pet peeves except for bland characters and bland writing, and I suppose that would have to be everyone’s pet peeve.

    Reply
  11. Lol, Donna, we might be catching!
    Theo, you’ve hit on something far broader than a peeve. I don’t know if changing ships in midstream (or in fantasy, inventing new powers to solve a situation) is evidence of inexperience or memory failure or trying to write too fast to meet deadlines. Or all of the above. I do know I struggle constantly to keep all the elements in line because my imagination works faster than my keyboard. “G” I have to revise constantly to keep my world in boundaries, and even after I’ve gone over a book a thousand times and several readers and copyeditors and an editor, small things slip through. Making changes after the book is done is the reason for some of them. A book really does take more than three months to write. Or one pair of eyes!
    But I’m going to keep my couple in England, so it’s just the royalty I have to keep from messing up!
    Jill, the dialect thing is probably international. I remember being unable to understand my KY neighbors when we moved there from New York. “G” But as you said, dialects do die away to some extent with broader media. I love listening to the nuances of language!

    Reply
  12. Lol, Donna, we might be catching!
    Theo, you’ve hit on something far broader than a peeve. I don’t know if changing ships in midstream (or in fantasy, inventing new powers to solve a situation) is evidence of inexperience or memory failure or trying to write too fast to meet deadlines. Or all of the above. I do know I struggle constantly to keep all the elements in line because my imagination works faster than my keyboard. “G” I have to revise constantly to keep my world in boundaries, and even after I’ve gone over a book a thousand times and several readers and copyeditors and an editor, small things slip through. Making changes after the book is done is the reason for some of them. A book really does take more than three months to write. Or one pair of eyes!
    But I’m going to keep my couple in England, so it’s just the royalty I have to keep from messing up!
    Jill, the dialect thing is probably international. I remember being unable to understand my KY neighbors when we moved there from New York. “G” But as you said, dialects do die away to some extent with broader media. I love listening to the nuances of language!

    Reply
  13. Lol, Donna, we might be catching!
    Theo, you’ve hit on something far broader than a peeve. I don’t know if changing ships in midstream (or in fantasy, inventing new powers to solve a situation) is evidence of inexperience or memory failure or trying to write too fast to meet deadlines. Or all of the above. I do know I struggle constantly to keep all the elements in line because my imagination works faster than my keyboard. “G” I have to revise constantly to keep my world in boundaries, and even after I’ve gone over a book a thousand times and several readers and copyeditors and an editor, small things slip through. Making changes after the book is done is the reason for some of them. A book really does take more than three months to write. Or one pair of eyes!
    But I’m going to keep my couple in England, so it’s just the royalty I have to keep from messing up!
    Jill, the dialect thing is probably international. I remember being unable to understand my KY neighbors when we moved there from New York. “G” But as you said, dialects do die away to some extent with broader media. I love listening to the nuances of language!

    Reply
  14. Lol, Donna, we might be catching!
    Theo, you’ve hit on something far broader than a peeve. I don’t know if changing ships in midstream (or in fantasy, inventing new powers to solve a situation) is evidence of inexperience or memory failure or trying to write too fast to meet deadlines. Or all of the above. I do know I struggle constantly to keep all the elements in line because my imagination works faster than my keyboard. “G” I have to revise constantly to keep my world in boundaries, and even after I’ve gone over a book a thousand times and several readers and copyeditors and an editor, small things slip through. Making changes after the book is done is the reason for some of them. A book really does take more than three months to write. Or one pair of eyes!
    But I’m going to keep my couple in England, so it’s just the royalty I have to keep from messing up!
    Jill, the dialect thing is probably international. I remember being unable to understand my KY neighbors when we moved there from New York. “G” But as you said, dialects do die away to some extent with broader media. I love listening to the nuances of language!

    Reply
  15. Lol, Donna, we might be catching!
    Theo, you’ve hit on something far broader than a peeve. I don’t know if changing ships in midstream (or in fantasy, inventing new powers to solve a situation) is evidence of inexperience or memory failure or trying to write too fast to meet deadlines. Or all of the above. I do know I struggle constantly to keep all the elements in line because my imagination works faster than my keyboard. “G” I have to revise constantly to keep my world in boundaries, and even after I’ve gone over a book a thousand times and several readers and copyeditors and an editor, small things slip through. Making changes after the book is done is the reason for some of them. A book really does take more than three months to write. Or one pair of eyes!
    But I’m going to keep my couple in England, so it’s just the royalty I have to keep from messing up!
    Jill, the dialect thing is probably international. I remember being unable to understand my KY neighbors when we moved there from New York. “G” But as you said, dialects do die away to some extent with broader media. I love listening to the nuances of language!

    Reply
  16. You’ve hit a lot of mine. My biggest pet peeve is heroines who act like Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton in the time of the Regency. Granted, the Regency DID HAVE Caroline Lamb, who I surmise was the Paris Hilton of her day, but lately it seems like every virgin heroine nowadays is more informed about sex than I ever was–and I wasn’t born that long ago, thanks–and she seems confident about everything she’s doing in the bedroom as well. And she would be because she also–without a chaperone–snuck into the hero’s room, without the servants seeing it. (Right.) And this will happen first thing in the book; and it will not result in her being cast from society NOR him having to marry her right off.
    I miss the good old days of historical fiction when the worst was automatically assumed about the poor heroine right off and she spent 300+ pages slogging around, trying to regain her reputation. I’m tired of these politically correct, modern thinking historical societies that are so readily available now.
    I like the fantasy of my hero/ines bathing and having great teeth, but I miss the political incorrectness at times. *LOL*

    Reply
  17. You’ve hit a lot of mine. My biggest pet peeve is heroines who act like Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton in the time of the Regency. Granted, the Regency DID HAVE Caroline Lamb, who I surmise was the Paris Hilton of her day, but lately it seems like every virgin heroine nowadays is more informed about sex than I ever was–and I wasn’t born that long ago, thanks–and she seems confident about everything she’s doing in the bedroom as well. And she would be because she also–without a chaperone–snuck into the hero’s room, without the servants seeing it. (Right.) And this will happen first thing in the book; and it will not result in her being cast from society NOR him having to marry her right off.
    I miss the good old days of historical fiction when the worst was automatically assumed about the poor heroine right off and she spent 300+ pages slogging around, trying to regain her reputation. I’m tired of these politically correct, modern thinking historical societies that are so readily available now.
    I like the fantasy of my hero/ines bathing and having great teeth, but I miss the political incorrectness at times. *LOL*

    Reply
  18. You’ve hit a lot of mine. My biggest pet peeve is heroines who act like Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton in the time of the Regency. Granted, the Regency DID HAVE Caroline Lamb, who I surmise was the Paris Hilton of her day, but lately it seems like every virgin heroine nowadays is more informed about sex than I ever was–and I wasn’t born that long ago, thanks–and she seems confident about everything she’s doing in the bedroom as well. And she would be because she also–without a chaperone–snuck into the hero’s room, without the servants seeing it. (Right.) And this will happen first thing in the book; and it will not result in her being cast from society NOR him having to marry her right off.
    I miss the good old days of historical fiction when the worst was automatically assumed about the poor heroine right off and she spent 300+ pages slogging around, trying to regain her reputation. I’m tired of these politically correct, modern thinking historical societies that are so readily available now.
    I like the fantasy of my hero/ines bathing and having great teeth, but I miss the political incorrectness at times. *LOL*

    Reply
  19. You’ve hit a lot of mine. My biggest pet peeve is heroines who act like Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton in the time of the Regency. Granted, the Regency DID HAVE Caroline Lamb, who I surmise was the Paris Hilton of her day, but lately it seems like every virgin heroine nowadays is more informed about sex than I ever was–and I wasn’t born that long ago, thanks–and she seems confident about everything she’s doing in the bedroom as well. And she would be because she also–without a chaperone–snuck into the hero’s room, without the servants seeing it. (Right.) And this will happen first thing in the book; and it will not result in her being cast from society NOR him having to marry her right off.
    I miss the good old days of historical fiction when the worst was automatically assumed about the poor heroine right off and she spent 300+ pages slogging around, trying to regain her reputation. I’m tired of these politically correct, modern thinking historical societies that are so readily available now.
    I like the fantasy of my hero/ines bathing and having great teeth, but I miss the political incorrectness at times. *LOL*

    Reply
  20. You’ve hit a lot of mine. My biggest pet peeve is heroines who act like Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton in the time of the Regency. Granted, the Regency DID HAVE Caroline Lamb, who I surmise was the Paris Hilton of her day, but lately it seems like every virgin heroine nowadays is more informed about sex than I ever was–and I wasn’t born that long ago, thanks–and she seems confident about everything she’s doing in the bedroom as well. And she would be because she also–without a chaperone–snuck into the hero’s room, without the servants seeing it. (Right.) And this will happen first thing in the book; and it will not result in her being cast from society NOR him having to marry her right off.
    I miss the good old days of historical fiction when the worst was automatically assumed about the poor heroine right off and she spent 300+ pages slogging around, trying to regain her reputation. I’m tired of these politically correct, modern thinking historical societies that are so readily available now.
    I like the fantasy of my hero/ines bathing and having great teeth, but I miss the political incorrectness at times. *LOL*

    Reply
  21. I’m another who’s learned to be wary of pet peeves, because my muse seems to take “I hate X!” as a dare. So I’ll just say that I cringe over historical errors the author could’ve avoided with 5 minutes on Google…fully aware that that means some reader will turn up just such an error in MY book!
    That Duke of Argyll looks pretty nice, doesn’t he? You could almost imagine him as a ducal cover model. 🙂

    Reply
  22. I’m another who’s learned to be wary of pet peeves, because my muse seems to take “I hate X!” as a dare. So I’ll just say that I cringe over historical errors the author could’ve avoided with 5 minutes on Google…fully aware that that means some reader will turn up just such an error in MY book!
    That Duke of Argyll looks pretty nice, doesn’t he? You could almost imagine him as a ducal cover model. 🙂

    Reply
  23. I’m another who’s learned to be wary of pet peeves, because my muse seems to take “I hate X!” as a dare. So I’ll just say that I cringe over historical errors the author could’ve avoided with 5 minutes on Google…fully aware that that means some reader will turn up just such an error in MY book!
    That Duke of Argyll looks pretty nice, doesn’t he? You could almost imagine him as a ducal cover model. 🙂

    Reply
  24. I’m another who’s learned to be wary of pet peeves, because my muse seems to take “I hate X!” as a dare. So I’ll just say that I cringe over historical errors the author could’ve avoided with 5 minutes on Google…fully aware that that means some reader will turn up just such an error in MY book!
    That Duke of Argyll looks pretty nice, doesn’t he? You could almost imagine him as a ducal cover model. 🙂

    Reply
  25. I’m another who’s learned to be wary of pet peeves, because my muse seems to take “I hate X!” as a dare. So I’ll just say that I cringe over historical errors the author could’ve avoided with 5 minutes on Google…fully aware that that means some reader will turn up just such an error in MY book!
    That Duke of Argyll looks pretty nice, doesn’t he? You could almost imagine him as a ducal cover model. 🙂

    Reply
  26. Sherrie, here. My number one pet peeve is heroes who always ride a remarkably well trained and well behaved black stallion. Equally eye-rolling are heroines who ride fiery stallions that nobody else can handle. What’s grating is that often the authors of these stallion-riding historical characters don’t know the first thing about stallion behavior, so those grandiose passages where the spunky heroine or clever hero ride a dangerous stallion that nobody else can manage just don’t cut it for me.
    As Hellion said, another pet peeve is political correctness in historicals. As a long-time historical reader, I do not need to be mollycoddled with scenes so sanitized by PCness that they are unrealistic. I know how things were in historical times, so I don’t need a sanitized historical novel, thank you very much.
    Another peeve is modern language in historicals. Most authors are very careful about this, but newer authors frequently use words and phrases that are anachronistic.
    That said, I’ll forgive a lot if the story is riveting and the characters are fascinating!

    Reply
  27. Sherrie, here. My number one pet peeve is heroes who always ride a remarkably well trained and well behaved black stallion. Equally eye-rolling are heroines who ride fiery stallions that nobody else can handle. What’s grating is that often the authors of these stallion-riding historical characters don’t know the first thing about stallion behavior, so those grandiose passages where the spunky heroine or clever hero ride a dangerous stallion that nobody else can manage just don’t cut it for me.
    As Hellion said, another pet peeve is political correctness in historicals. As a long-time historical reader, I do not need to be mollycoddled with scenes so sanitized by PCness that they are unrealistic. I know how things were in historical times, so I don’t need a sanitized historical novel, thank you very much.
    Another peeve is modern language in historicals. Most authors are very careful about this, but newer authors frequently use words and phrases that are anachronistic.
    That said, I’ll forgive a lot if the story is riveting and the characters are fascinating!

    Reply
  28. Sherrie, here. My number one pet peeve is heroes who always ride a remarkably well trained and well behaved black stallion. Equally eye-rolling are heroines who ride fiery stallions that nobody else can handle. What’s grating is that often the authors of these stallion-riding historical characters don’t know the first thing about stallion behavior, so those grandiose passages where the spunky heroine or clever hero ride a dangerous stallion that nobody else can manage just don’t cut it for me.
    As Hellion said, another pet peeve is political correctness in historicals. As a long-time historical reader, I do not need to be mollycoddled with scenes so sanitized by PCness that they are unrealistic. I know how things were in historical times, so I don’t need a sanitized historical novel, thank you very much.
    Another peeve is modern language in historicals. Most authors are very careful about this, but newer authors frequently use words and phrases that are anachronistic.
    That said, I’ll forgive a lot if the story is riveting and the characters are fascinating!

    Reply
  29. Sherrie, here. My number one pet peeve is heroes who always ride a remarkably well trained and well behaved black stallion. Equally eye-rolling are heroines who ride fiery stallions that nobody else can handle. What’s grating is that often the authors of these stallion-riding historical characters don’t know the first thing about stallion behavior, so those grandiose passages where the spunky heroine or clever hero ride a dangerous stallion that nobody else can manage just don’t cut it for me.
    As Hellion said, another pet peeve is political correctness in historicals. As a long-time historical reader, I do not need to be mollycoddled with scenes so sanitized by PCness that they are unrealistic. I know how things were in historical times, so I don’t need a sanitized historical novel, thank you very much.
    Another peeve is modern language in historicals. Most authors are very careful about this, but newer authors frequently use words and phrases that are anachronistic.
    That said, I’ll forgive a lot if the story is riveting and the characters are fascinating!

    Reply
  30. Sherrie, here. My number one pet peeve is heroes who always ride a remarkably well trained and well behaved black stallion. Equally eye-rolling are heroines who ride fiery stallions that nobody else can handle. What’s grating is that often the authors of these stallion-riding historical characters don’t know the first thing about stallion behavior, so those grandiose passages where the spunky heroine or clever hero ride a dangerous stallion that nobody else can manage just don’t cut it for me.
    As Hellion said, another pet peeve is political correctness in historicals. As a long-time historical reader, I do not need to be mollycoddled with scenes so sanitized by PCness that they are unrealistic. I know how things were in historical times, so I don’t need a sanitized historical novel, thank you very much.
    Another peeve is modern language in historicals. Most authors are very careful about this, but newer authors frequently use words and phrases that are anachronistic.
    That said, I’ll forgive a lot if the story is riveting and the characters are fascinating!

    Reply
  31. Like Sherrie, one of my pet peeves is language. Not that I expect everyone to sound like Maria Edgeworth. Although Regency language is similar to today’s English, the phrasing as well as the words were different. The incorrect language loses the Regency feel. I just read a Regency that sounded like a Victorian.
    I really dislike characters with modern names. How many Kimberlys were there in the Regency?
    And I really dislike stories that start with the sex on p.2 or, even worse, page 1. Let’s leave a little to the imagination, especially since a well-brought up miss wouldn’t just hop into hero’s bed.

    Reply
  32. Like Sherrie, one of my pet peeves is language. Not that I expect everyone to sound like Maria Edgeworth. Although Regency language is similar to today’s English, the phrasing as well as the words were different. The incorrect language loses the Regency feel. I just read a Regency that sounded like a Victorian.
    I really dislike characters with modern names. How many Kimberlys were there in the Regency?
    And I really dislike stories that start with the sex on p.2 or, even worse, page 1. Let’s leave a little to the imagination, especially since a well-brought up miss wouldn’t just hop into hero’s bed.

    Reply
  33. Like Sherrie, one of my pet peeves is language. Not that I expect everyone to sound like Maria Edgeworth. Although Regency language is similar to today’s English, the phrasing as well as the words were different. The incorrect language loses the Regency feel. I just read a Regency that sounded like a Victorian.
    I really dislike characters with modern names. How many Kimberlys were there in the Regency?
    And I really dislike stories that start with the sex on p.2 or, even worse, page 1. Let’s leave a little to the imagination, especially since a well-brought up miss wouldn’t just hop into hero’s bed.

    Reply
  34. Like Sherrie, one of my pet peeves is language. Not that I expect everyone to sound like Maria Edgeworth. Although Regency language is similar to today’s English, the phrasing as well as the words were different. The incorrect language loses the Regency feel. I just read a Regency that sounded like a Victorian.
    I really dislike characters with modern names. How many Kimberlys were there in the Regency?
    And I really dislike stories that start with the sex on p.2 or, even worse, page 1. Let’s leave a little to the imagination, especially since a well-brought up miss wouldn’t just hop into hero’s bed.

    Reply
  35. Like Sherrie, one of my pet peeves is language. Not that I expect everyone to sound like Maria Edgeworth. Although Regency language is similar to today’s English, the phrasing as well as the words were different. The incorrect language loses the Regency feel. I just read a Regency that sounded like a Victorian.
    I really dislike characters with modern names. How many Kimberlys were there in the Regency?
    And I really dislike stories that start with the sex on p.2 or, even worse, page 1. Let’s leave a little to the imagination, especially since a well-brought up miss wouldn’t just hop into hero’s bed.

    Reply
  36. Everyone seems to have hit on my favorite pet peeves!
    Be consistent but not repetitive in your devices. Makes me nuts.
    And I WILL run screaming from the room if the language isn’t period correct. I’m sorry, I read Regency romance for many reasons and one of them is the musical formality of the language. The sound of the words, the cadence, the diversity, the turns of phrase. Snappy Regency dialogue will make me a fan forever. Dialogue that sounds like True Blood Hot Tub Time Machine is definitely going to get your book thrown against the wall !!

    Reply
  37. Everyone seems to have hit on my favorite pet peeves!
    Be consistent but not repetitive in your devices. Makes me nuts.
    And I WILL run screaming from the room if the language isn’t period correct. I’m sorry, I read Regency romance for many reasons and one of them is the musical formality of the language. The sound of the words, the cadence, the diversity, the turns of phrase. Snappy Regency dialogue will make me a fan forever. Dialogue that sounds like True Blood Hot Tub Time Machine is definitely going to get your book thrown against the wall !!

    Reply
  38. Everyone seems to have hit on my favorite pet peeves!
    Be consistent but not repetitive in your devices. Makes me nuts.
    And I WILL run screaming from the room if the language isn’t period correct. I’m sorry, I read Regency romance for many reasons and one of them is the musical formality of the language. The sound of the words, the cadence, the diversity, the turns of phrase. Snappy Regency dialogue will make me a fan forever. Dialogue that sounds like True Blood Hot Tub Time Machine is definitely going to get your book thrown against the wall !!

    Reply
  39. Everyone seems to have hit on my favorite pet peeves!
    Be consistent but not repetitive in your devices. Makes me nuts.
    And I WILL run screaming from the room if the language isn’t period correct. I’m sorry, I read Regency romance for many reasons and one of them is the musical formality of the language. The sound of the words, the cadence, the diversity, the turns of phrase. Snappy Regency dialogue will make me a fan forever. Dialogue that sounds like True Blood Hot Tub Time Machine is definitely going to get your book thrown against the wall !!

    Reply
  40. Everyone seems to have hit on my favorite pet peeves!
    Be consistent but not repetitive in your devices. Makes me nuts.
    And I WILL run screaming from the room if the language isn’t period correct. I’m sorry, I read Regency romance for many reasons and one of them is the musical formality of the language. The sound of the words, the cadence, the diversity, the turns of phrase. Snappy Regency dialogue will make me a fan forever. Dialogue that sounds like True Blood Hot Tub Time Machine is definitely going to get your book thrown against the wall !!

    Reply
  41. I must say that both those dukes you pictured look quite worthy of being romantic heroes. *g* But there sure weren’t many of them careening around the Regency, much less dukes who are young, single, and studly! I only do dukes when there is a good reason–too much of a nuisance to keep saying “your grace.” *g*

    Reply
  42. I must say that both those dukes you pictured look quite worthy of being romantic heroes. *g* But there sure weren’t many of them careening around the Regency, much less dukes who are young, single, and studly! I only do dukes when there is a good reason–too much of a nuisance to keep saying “your grace.” *g*

    Reply
  43. I must say that both those dukes you pictured look quite worthy of being romantic heroes. *g* But there sure weren’t many of them careening around the Regency, much less dukes who are young, single, and studly! I only do dukes when there is a good reason–too much of a nuisance to keep saying “your grace.” *g*

    Reply
  44. I must say that both those dukes you pictured look quite worthy of being romantic heroes. *g* But there sure weren’t many of them careening around the Regency, much less dukes who are young, single, and studly! I only do dukes when there is a good reason–too much of a nuisance to keep saying “your grace.” *g*

    Reply
  45. I must say that both those dukes you pictured look quite worthy of being romantic heroes. *g* But there sure weren’t many of them careening around the Regency, much less dukes who are young, single, and studly! I only do dukes when there is a good reason–too much of a nuisance to keep saying “your grace.” *g*

    Reply
  46. I picked out the studliest of the dukes. “G”
    I love all these peeves, and as several of you have said, I’ll probably turn around and do all of them at some point. The Muse is a challenging spirit.
    Oddly, now that Sherrie points it out, stallion-riding heroines have diminished lately, at least in the books I’ve been reading. I know we all did it in our early books. It was a tradition, like the hero catching the heroine naked in the bath. “G”
    I don’t mind a well-crafted heroine who knows about sex. Caroline Lamb grew up as she did because she saw what her family was doing. I work on the assumption that people then weren’t that much different than now. The upper classes saw more and were less rigid in their actions, on the whole, than those who were confined to villages. And there was always going to be the “bad” girls in the village who deliberately sought out information on what everyone called “dirty.” That’s plausible.
    But if you give me a well-brought up girl with all the typical Regency limitations, then send her into the hero’s bedroom on the first page, it’s like sending one of Austen’s characters in–beyond credulity.

    Reply
  47. I picked out the studliest of the dukes. “G”
    I love all these peeves, and as several of you have said, I’ll probably turn around and do all of them at some point. The Muse is a challenging spirit.
    Oddly, now that Sherrie points it out, stallion-riding heroines have diminished lately, at least in the books I’ve been reading. I know we all did it in our early books. It was a tradition, like the hero catching the heroine naked in the bath. “G”
    I don’t mind a well-crafted heroine who knows about sex. Caroline Lamb grew up as she did because she saw what her family was doing. I work on the assumption that people then weren’t that much different than now. The upper classes saw more and were less rigid in their actions, on the whole, than those who were confined to villages. And there was always going to be the “bad” girls in the village who deliberately sought out information on what everyone called “dirty.” That’s plausible.
    But if you give me a well-brought up girl with all the typical Regency limitations, then send her into the hero’s bedroom on the first page, it’s like sending one of Austen’s characters in–beyond credulity.

    Reply
  48. I picked out the studliest of the dukes. “G”
    I love all these peeves, and as several of you have said, I’ll probably turn around and do all of them at some point. The Muse is a challenging spirit.
    Oddly, now that Sherrie points it out, stallion-riding heroines have diminished lately, at least in the books I’ve been reading. I know we all did it in our early books. It was a tradition, like the hero catching the heroine naked in the bath. “G”
    I don’t mind a well-crafted heroine who knows about sex. Caroline Lamb grew up as she did because she saw what her family was doing. I work on the assumption that people then weren’t that much different than now. The upper classes saw more and were less rigid in their actions, on the whole, than those who were confined to villages. And there was always going to be the “bad” girls in the village who deliberately sought out information on what everyone called “dirty.” That’s plausible.
    But if you give me a well-brought up girl with all the typical Regency limitations, then send her into the hero’s bedroom on the first page, it’s like sending one of Austen’s characters in–beyond credulity.

    Reply
  49. I picked out the studliest of the dukes. “G”
    I love all these peeves, and as several of you have said, I’ll probably turn around and do all of them at some point. The Muse is a challenging spirit.
    Oddly, now that Sherrie points it out, stallion-riding heroines have diminished lately, at least in the books I’ve been reading. I know we all did it in our early books. It was a tradition, like the hero catching the heroine naked in the bath. “G”
    I don’t mind a well-crafted heroine who knows about sex. Caroline Lamb grew up as she did because she saw what her family was doing. I work on the assumption that people then weren’t that much different than now. The upper classes saw more and were less rigid in their actions, on the whole, than those who were confined to villages. And there was always going to be the “bad” girls in the village who deliberately sought out information on what everyone called “dirty.” That’s plausible.
    But if you give me a well-brought up girl with all the typical Regency limitations, then send her into the hero’s bedroom on the first page, it’s like sending one of Austen’s characters in–beyond credulity.

    Reply
  50. I picked out the studliest of the dukes. “G”
    I love all these peeves, and as several of you have said, I’ll probably turn around and do all of them at some point. The Muse is a challenging spirit.
    Oddly, now that Sherrie points it out, stallion-riding heroines have diminished lately, at least in the books I’ve been reading. I know we all did it in our early books. It was a tradition, like the hero catching the heroine naked in the bath. “G”
    I don’t mind a well-crafted heroine who knows about sex. Caroline Lamb grew up as she did because she saw what her family was doing. I work on the assumption that people then weren’t that much different than now. The upper classes saw more and were less rigid in their actions, on the whole, than those who were confined to villages. And there was always going to be the “bad” girls in the village who deliberately sought out information on what everyone called “dirty.” That’s plausible.
    But if you give me a well-brought up girl with all the typical Regency limitations, then send her into the hero’s bedroom on the first page, it’s like sending one of Austen’s characters in–beyond credulity.

    Reply
  51. Oh, and word to the wise…
    We’ve recently been reminded that publishers are watching blogs like ours and several others out there. So your comments have a good chance of being read by more than me. Here’s your chance as readers to let publishers know what you like. The internet can be a wonderful communication tool.

    Reply
  52. Oh, and word to the wise…
    We’ve recently been reminded that publishers are watching blogs like ours and several others out there. So your comments have a good chance of being read by more than me. Here’s your chance as readers to let publishers know what you like. The internet can be a wonderful communication tool.

    Reply
  53. Oh, and word to the wise…
    We’ve recently been reminded that publishers are watching blogs like ours and several others out there. So your comments have a good chance of being read by more than me. Here’s your chance as readers to let publishers know what you like. The internet can be a wonderful communication tool.

    Reply
  54. Oh, and word to the wise…
    We’ve recently been reminded that publishers are watching blogs like ours and several others out there. So your comments have a good chance of being read by more than me. Here’s your chance as readers to let publishers know what you like. The internet can be a wonderful communication tool.

    Reply
  55. Oh, and word to the wise…
    We’ve recently been reminded that publishers are watching blogs like ours and several others out there. So your comments have a good chance of being read by more than me. Here’s your chance as readers to let publishers know what you like. The internet can be a wonderful communication tool.

    Reply
  56. I have to admit, I have pages and pages of notes I keep in OneNote, all sorted so I don’t lose the bits and pieces of my world. And I still do from time to time.
    But yes, it’s the HUGE albatross in the room that wasn’t there in the first two or three or however many books in the series because it was a no-no in the author’s world that suddenly starts squawking and changes all of the rules of the world. That bugs the bejeebers out of me.

    Reply
  57. I have to admit, I have pages and pages of notes I keep in OneNote, all sorted so I don’t lose the bits and pieces of my world. And I still do from time to time.
    But yes, it’s the HUGE albatross in the room that wasn’t there in the first two or three or however many books in the series because it was a no-no in the author’s world that suddenly starts squawking and changes all of the rules of the world. That bugs the bejeebers out of me.

    Reply
  58. I have to admit, I have pages and pages of notes I keep in OneNote, all sorted so I don’t lose the bits and pieces of my world. And I still do from time to time.
    But yes, it’s the HUGE albatross in the room that wasn’t there in the first two or three or however many books in the series because it was a no-no in the author’s world that suddenly starts squawking and changes all of the rules of the world. That bugs the bejeebers out of me.

    Reply
  59. I have to admit, I have pages and pages of notes I keep in OneNote, all sorted so I don’t lose the bits and pieces of my world. And I still do from time to time.
    But yes, it’s the HUGE albatross in the room that wasn’t there in the first two or three or however many books in the series because it was a no-no in the author’s world that suddenly starts squawking and changes all of the rules of the world. That bugs the bejeebers out of me.

    Reply
  60. I have to admit, I have pages and pages of notes I keep in OneNote, all sorted so I don’t lose the bits and pieces of my world. And I still do from time to time.
    But yes, it’s the HUGE albatross in the room that wasn’t there in the first two or three or however many books in the series because it was a no-no in the author’s world that suddenly starts squawking and changes all of the rules of the world. That bugs the bejeebers out of me.

    Reply
  61. “Oh, and word to the wise…
    We’ve recently been reminded that publishers are watching blogs like ours”
    (Cue sound of commenters thundering back to their previously posted comments to make sure they weren’t offensive) *g*
    I love this list. We are such language nerds. Bejeebers. Thank you for that, Theo. That was one of my favorite childhood words. Still is, in fact. Right up there with “holy guacamole.”
    Pat, I’ve been reading some older romances, so I’ve come across a few of those heroines riding dangerous stallions. As you said, it’s not seen so much in current novels.

    Reply
  62. “Oh, and word to the wise…
    We’ve recently been reminded that publishers are watching blogs like ours”
    (Cue sound of commenters thundering back to their previously posted comments to make sure they weren’t offensive) *g*
    I love this list. We are such language nerds. Bejeebers. Thank you for that, Theo. That was one of my favorite childhood words. Still is, in fact. Right up there with “holy guacamole.”
    Pat, I’ve been reading some older romances, so I’ve come across a few of those heroines riding dangerous stallions. As you said, it’s not seen so much in current novels.

    Reply
  63. “Oh, and word to the wise…
    We’ve recently been reminded that publishers are watching blogs like ours”
    (Cue sound of commenters thundering back to their previously posted comments to make sure they weren’t offensive) *g*
    I love this list. We are such language nerds. Bejeebers. Thank you for that, Theo. That was one of my favorite childhood words. Still is, in fact. Right up there with “holy guacamole.”
    Pat, I’ve been reading some older romances, so I’ve come across a few of those heroines riding dangerous stallions. As you said, it’s not seen so much in current novels.

    Reply
  64. “Oh, and word to the wise…
    We’ve recently been reminded that publishers are watching blogs like ours”
    (Cue sound of commenters thundering back to their previously posted comments to make sure they weren’t offensive) *g*
    I love this list. We are such language nerds. Bejeebers. Thank you for that, Theo. That was one of my favorite childhood words. Still is, in fact. Right up there with “holy guacamole.”
    Pat, I’ve been reading some older romances, so I’ve come across a few of those heroines riding dangerous stallions. As you said, it’s not seen so much in current novels.

    Reply
  65. “Oh, and word to the wise…
    We’ve recently been reminded that publishers are watching blogs like ours”
    (Cue sound of commenters thundering back to their previously posted comments to make sure they weren’t offensive) *g*
    I love this list. We are such language nerds. Bejeebers. Thank you for that, Theo. That was one of my favorite childhood words. Still is, in fact. Right up there with “holy guacamole.”
    Pat, I’ve been reading some older romances, so I’ve come across a few of those heroines riding dangerous stallions. As you said, it’s not seen so much in current novels.

    Reply
  66. Sometimes I think people are too quick to jump in and judge. I had an Italian lady write to me to tell me that the tiny bit of Italian I’d had a character use in TALLIE’S KNIGHT was incorrect. I sent her back a scan of the 1802 diary I’d got it from and she wrote back and apologized because on further examination I’d used the Italian expression that was used at that place in that time.
    IOW it was so historically accurate it looked wrong to an ordinary, well-educated Italian, so I’d probably have been better of being historically inaccurate.
    I also had someone question my use of ice cream and the particular (odd) flavors I’d listed in THE PERFECT WALTZ, and it was great to be able to point them to an excellent historical blog on that very subject. Again, they came back with apologies.
    As for girls riding bareback stallions, I’m afraid I won’t rule that one out, Sherrie and others, because it’s part of the romance and the fantasy and acts as a kind of metaphor. Fiction is meant to be a bit OTT on occasion, otherwise the stories would be a bit ordinary.

    Reply
  67. Sometimes I think people are too quick to jump in and judge. I had an Italian lady write to me to tell me that the tiny bit of Italian I’d had a character use in TALLIE’S KNIGHT was incorrect. I sent her back a scan of the 1802 diary I’d got it from and she wrote back and apologized because on further examination I’d used the Italian expression that was used at that place in that time.
    IOW it was so historically accurate it looked wrong to an ordinary, well-educated Italian, so I’d probably have been better of being historically inaccurate.
    I also had someone question my use of ice cream and the particular (odd) flavors I’d listed in THE PERFECT WALTZ, and it was great to be able to point them to an excellent historical blog on that very subject. Again, they came back with apologies.
    As for girls riding bareback stallions, I’m afraid I won’t rule that one out, Sherrie and others, because it’s part of the romance and the fantasy and acts as a kind of metaphor. Fiction is meant to be a bit OTT on occasion, otherwise the stories would be a bit ordinary.

    Reply
  68. Sometimes I think people are too quick to jump in and judge. I had an Italian lady write to me to tell me that the tiny bit of Italian I’d had a character use in TALLIE’S KNIGHT was incorrect. I sent her back a scan of the 1802 diary I’d got it from and she wrote back and apologized because on further examination I’d used the Italian expression that was used at that place in that time.
    IOW it was so historically accurate it looked wrong to an ordinary, well-educated Italian, so I’d probably have been better of being historically inaccurate.
    I also had someone question my use of ice cream and the particular (odd) flavors I’d listed in THE PERFECT WALTZ, and it was great to be able to point them to an excellent historical blog on that very subject. Again, they came back with apologies.
    As for girls riding bareback stallions, I’m afraid I won’t rule that one out, Sherrie and others, because it’s part of the romance and the fantasy and acts as a kind of metaphor. Fiction is meant to be a bit OTT on occasion, otherwise the stories would be a bit ordinary.

    Reply
  69. Sometimes I think people are too quick to jump in and judge. I had an Italian lady write to me to tell me that the tiny bit of Italian I’d had a character use in TALLIE’S KNIGHT was incorrect. I sent her back a scan of the 1802 diary I’d got it from and she wrote back and apologized because on further examination I’d used the Italian expression that was used at that place in that time.
    IOW it was so historically accurate it looked wrong to an ordinary, well-educated Italian, so I’d probably have been better of being historically inaccurate.
    I also had someone question my use of ice cream and the particular (odd) flavors I’d listed in THE PERFECT WALTZ, and it was great to be able to point them to an excellent historical blog on that very subject. Again, they came back with apologies.
    As for girls riding bareback stallions, I’m afraid I won’t rule that one out, Sherrie and others, because it’s part of the romance and the fantasy and acts as a kind of metaphor. Fiction is meant to be a bit OTT on occasion, otherwise the stories would be a bit ordinary.

    Reply
  70. Sometimes I think people are too quick to jump in and judge. I had an Italian lady write to me to tell me that the tiny bit of Italian I’d had a character use in TALLIE’S KNIGHT was incorrect. I sent her back a scan of the 1802 diary I’d got it from and she wrote back and apologized because on further examination I’d used the Italian expression that was used at that place in that time.
    IOW it was so historically accurate it looked wrong to an ordinary, well-educated Italian, so I’d probably have been better of being historically inaccurate.
    I also had someone question my use of ice cream and the particular (odd) flavors I’d listed in THE PERFECT WALTZ, and it was great to be able to point them to an excellent historical blog on that very subject. Again, they came back with apologies.
    As for girls riding bareback stallions, I’m afraid I won’t rule that one out, Sherrie and others, because it’s part of the romance and the fantasy and acts as a kind of metaphor. Fiction is meant to be a bit OTT on occasion, otherwise the stories would be a bit ordinary.

    Reply
  71. I agree with Anne – if I’m noticing little historical inaccuracies, it’s because I’m not swept up in the story. I can forgive a lot if the characters have me emotionally involved because, for me, at the end of the day, it’s always going to be much more about the characters and their personal journey than the setting. I read a lot of historicals (and always go back to them for my comfort reads) because I find the mannerisms and strictures of the time lend themselves really nicely to some of my favourite plotlines (wallflowers, best friends, people who think they know what they want, etc) and because I find the time exciting without being overwhelming (Napoleonic war for me is much easier to read about than, say, Afghanistan). So while I enjoy it when an author is really enamoured with her time period, and has worked hard to make her story as accurate as possible, for me it will be details that make her story richer, not the be all and end all to whether I enjoy the novel or not.
    All that (long-winded drivel) being said, if an author makes an anachronism so huge that it pulls me *out* of a story that I’m otherwise enjoying, I can be very put out. A lack of knowledge of marriage laws (ie. annulments at the drop of a hat) will do that for me. If I’m not paying attention and I can see your anachronism? Then it’s a problem. Goes as well for an author that consistently uses the term ‘moron’ in her regencies…

    Reply
  72. I agree with Anne – if I’m noticing little historical inaccuracies, it’s because I’m not swept up in the story. I can forgive a lot if the characters have me emotionally involved because, for me, at the end of the day, it’s always going to be much more about the characters and their personal journey than the setting. I read a lot of historicals (and always go back to them for my comfort reads) because I find the mannerisms and strictures of the time lend themselves really nicely to some of my favourite plotlines (wallflowers, best friends, people who think they know what they want, etc) and because I find the time exciting without being overwhelming (Napoleonic war for me is much easier to read about than, say, Afghanistan). So while I enjoy it when an author is really enamoured with her time period, and has worked hard to make her story as accurate as possible, for me it will be details that make her story richer, not the be all and end all to whether I enjoy the novel or not.
    All that (long-winded drivel) being said, if an author makes an anachronism so huge that it pulls me *out* of a story that I’m otherwise enjoying, I can be very put out. A lack of knowledge of marriage laws (ie. annulments at the drop of a hat) will do that for me. If I’m not paying attention and I can see your anachronism? Then it’s a problem. Goes as well for an author that consistently uses the term ‘moron’ in her regencies…

    Reply
  73. I agree with Anne – if I’m noticing little historical inaccuracies, it’s because I’m not swept up in the story. I can forgive a lot if the characters have me emotionally involved because, for me, at the end of the day, it’s always going to be much more about the characters and their personal journey than the setting. I read a lot of historicals (and always go back to them for my comfort reads) because I find the mannerisms and strictures of the time lend themselves really nicely to some of my favourite plotlines (wallflowers, best friends, people who think they know what they want, etc) and because I find the time exciting without being overwhelming (Napoleonic war for me is much easier to read about than, say, Afghanistan). So while I enjoy it when an author is really enamoured with her time period, and has worked hard to make her story as accurate as possible, for me it will be details that make her story richer, not the be all and end all to whether I enjoy the novel or not.
    All that (long-winded drivel) being said, if an author makes an anachronism so huge that it pulls me *out* of a story that I’m otherwise enjoying, I can be very put out. A lack of knowledge of marriage laws (ie. annulments at the drop of a hat) will do that for me. If I’m not paying attention and I can see your anachronism? Then it’s a problem. Goes as well for an author that consistently uses the term ‘moron’ in her regencies…

    Reply
  74. I agree with Anne – if I’m noticing little historical inaccuracies, it’s because I’m not swept up in the story. I can forgive a lot if the characters have me emotionally involved because, for me, at the end of the day, it’s always going to be much more about the characters and their personal journey than the setting. I read a lot of historicals (and always go back to them for my comfort reads) because I find the mannerisms and strictures of the time lend themselves really nicely to some of my favourite plotlines (wallflowers, best friends, people who think they know what they want, etc) and because I find the time exciting without being overwhelming (Napoleonic war for me is much easier to read about than, say, Afghanistan). So while I enjoy it when an author is really enamoured with her time period, and has worked hard to make her story as accurate as possible, for me it will be details that make her story richer, not the be all and end all to whether I enjoy the novel or not.
    All that (long-winded drivel) being said, if an author makes an anachronism so huge that it pulls me *out* of a story that I’m otherwise enjoying, I can be very put out. A lack of knowledge of marriage laws (ie. annulments at the drop of a hat) will do that for me. If I’m not paying attention and I can see your anachronism? Then it’s a problem. Goes as well for an author that consistently uses the term ‘moron’ in her regencies…

    Reply
  75. I agree with Anne – if I’m noticing little historical inaccuracies, it’s because I’m not swept up in the story. I can forgive a lot if the characters have me emotionally involved because, for me, at the end of the day, it’s always going to be much more about the characters and their personal journey than the setting. I read a lot of historicals (and always go back to them for my comfort reads) because I find the mannerisms and strictures of the time lend themselves really nicely to some of my favourite plotlines (wallflowers, best friends, people who think they know what they want, etc) and because I find the time exciting without being overwhelming (Napoleonic war for me is much easier to read about than, say, Afghanistan). So while I enjoy it when an author is really enamoured with her time period, and has worked hard to make her story as accurate as possible, for me it will be details that make her story richer, not the be all and end all to whether I enjoy the novel or not.
    All that (long-winded drivel) being said, if an author makes an anachronism so huge that it pulls me *out* of a story that I’m otherwise enjoying, I can be very put out. A lack of knowledge of marriage laws (ie. annulments at the drop of a hat) will do that for me. If I’m not paying attention and I can see your anachronism? Then it’s a problem. Goes as well for an author that consistently uses the term ‘moron’ in her regencies…

    Reply
  76. A fun post, Pat. Had to laugh at the Duke peeve . . . yes, they do seem to be er, rather common these days in our genre.
    I’ve been reading some history background for the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, and the scads of monor royals, including various princesses in the German states would make you head spin too. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
    My pet peeve in books? Right about now it’s an editor who would like a ms. turned in on time!

    Reply
  77. A fun post, Pat. Had to laugh at the Duke peeve . . . yes, they do seem to be er, rather common these days in our genre.
    I’ve been reading some history background for the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, and the scads of monor royals, including various princesses in the German states would make you head spin too. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
    My pet peeve in books? Right about now it’s an editor who would like a ms. turned in on time!

    Reply
  78. A fun post, Pat. Had to laugh at the Duke peeve . . . yes, they do seem to be er, rather common these days in our genre.
    I’ve been reading some history background for the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, and the scads of monor royals, including various princesses in the German states would make you head spin too. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
    My pet peeve in books? Right about now it’s an editor who would like a ms. turned in on time!

    Reply
  79. A fun post, Pat. Had to laugh at the Duke peeve . . . yes, they do seem to be er, rather common these days in our genre.
    I’ve been reading some history background for the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, and the scads of monor royals, including various princesses in the German states would make you head spin too. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
    My pet peeve in books? Right about now it’s an editor who would like a ms. turned in on time!

    Reply
  80. A fun post, Pat. Had to laugh at the Duke peeve . . . yes, they do seem to be er, rather common these days in our genre.
    I’ve been reading some history background for the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, and the scads of monor royals, including various princesses in the German states would make you head spin too. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
    My pet peeve in books? Right about now it’s an editor who would like a ms. turned in on time!

    Reply
  81. Hellion and some others put my chief peeve much better than I could: early 19th century people behaving like 21st century ones — the men who are too sensitive & understanding, and the girls who are too casual about sex.
    I also hate (and won’t buy anymore) novels which are half or more unmotivated, anachronistic, overly fantasized sex scenes — they generally take up space at the expense of story, character and common sense. Label those erotica and put them on another shelf, please! Or go write fan fiction in your basement.
    Then there’s language – I do not like the current fashion for ‘accessible’ language. If I was smart enough to earn the $7.99 for the book, I am smart enough to understand big words and paragraphs of more than one sentence. I do so hate being written down to.
    And then there are the authors who choose a word that is anachronistic for their period and then beat it to death. One regency author I know can’t seem to go more than a page before throwing in a ‘mayhap’; reading her prose became a matter of waiting for the next ‘mayhap’ to drop.
    Most errors I can forgive, but simple title and inheritance errors make me crazy. If I can spot the error, the author or her editor should certainly know. I know these things can be tricky, but surely by now everybody knows that Sir Lance Studly is never called Sir Studly, and the Duke of Whatsis cannot will his title to whoever he likes – he can will unentailed property, but not entailed property or the title itself. Yet I have seen regencies by major authors with just these simple mistakes in them. I say if the author doesn’t know her period any better than that, how can I believe anything else in the book? Even if I am liking the book otherwise, that sort of thing will pull me right out of the story, and that’s fatal.

    Reply
  82. Hellion and some others put my chief peeve much better than I could: early 19th century people behaving like 21st century ones — the men who are too sensitive & understanding, and the girls who are too casual about sex.
    I also hate (and won’t buy anymore) novels which are half or more unmotivated, anachronistic, overly fantasized sex scenes — they generally take up space at the expense of story, character and common sense. Label those erotica and put them on another shelf, please! Or go write fan fiction in your basement.
    Then there’s language – I do not like the current fashion for ‘accessible’ language. If I was smart enough to earn the $7.99 for the book, I am smart enough to understand big words and paragraphs of more than one sentence. I do so hate being written down to.
    And then there are the authors who choose a word that is anachronistic for their period and then beat it to death. One regency author I know can’t seem to go more than a page before throwing in a ‘mayhap’; reading her prose became a matter of waiting for the next ‘mayhap’ to drop.
    Most errors I can forgive, but simple title and inheritance errors make me crazy. If I can spot the error, the author or her editor should certainly know. I know these things can be tricky, but surely by now everybody knows that Sir Lance Studly is never called Sir Studly, and the Duke of Whatsis cannot will his title to whoever he likes – he can will unentailed property, but not entailed property or the title itself. Yet I have seen regencies by major authors with just these simple mistakes in them. I say if the author doesn’t know her period any better than that, how can I believe anything else in the book? Even if I am liking the book otherwise, that sort of thing will pull me right out of the story, and that’s fatal.

    Reply
  83. Hellion and some others put my chief peeve much better than I could: early 19th century people behaving like 21st century ones — the men who are too sensitive & understanding, and the girls who are too casual about sex.
    I also hate (and won’t buy anymore) novels which are half or more unmotivated, anachronistic, overly fantasized sex scenes — they generally take up space at the expense of story, character and common sense. Label those erotica and put them on another shelf, please! Or go write fan fiction in your basement.
    Then there’s language – I do not like the current fashion for ‘accessible’ language. If I was smart enough to earn the $7.99 for the book, I am smart enough to understand big words and paragraphs of more than one sentence. I do so hate being written down to.
    And then there are the authors who choose a word that is anachronistic for their period and then beat it to death. One regency author I know can’t seem to go more than a page before throwing in a ‘mayhap’; reading her prose became a matter of waiting for the next ‘mayhap’ to drop.
    Most errors I can forgive, but simple title and inheritance errors make me crazy. If I can spot the error, the author or her editor should certainly know. I know these things can be tricky, but surely by now everybody knows that Sir Lance Studly is never called Sir Studly, and the Duke of Whatsis cannot will his title to whoever he likes – he can will unentailed property, but not entailed property or the title itself. Yet I have seen regencies by major authors with just these simple mistakes in them. I say if the author doesn’t know her period any better than that, how can I believe anything else in the book? Even if I am liking the book otherwise, that sort of thing will pull me right out of the story, and that’s fatal.

    Reply
  84. Hellion and some others put my chief peeve much better than I could: early 19th century people behaving like 21st century ones — the men who are too sensitive & understanding, and the girls who are too casual about sex.
    I also hate (and won’t buy anymore) novels which are half or more unmotivated, anachronistic, overly fantasized sex scenes — they generally take up space at the expense of story, character and common sense. Label those erotica and put them on another shelf, please! Or go write fan fiction in your basement.
    Then there’s language – I do not like the current fashion for ‘accessible’ language. If I was smart enough to earn the $7.99 for the book, I am smart enough to understand big words and paragraphs of more than one sentence. I do so hate being written down to.
    And then there are the authors who choose a word that is anachronistic for their period and then beat it to death. One regency author I know can’t seem to go more than a page before throwing in a ‘mayhap’; reading her prose became a matter of waiting for the next ‘mayhap’ to drop.
    Most errors I can forgive, but simple title and inheritance errors make me crazy. If I can spot the error, the author or her editor should certainly know. I know these things can be tricky, but surely by now everybody knows that Sir Lance Studly is never called Sir Studly, and the Duke of Whatsis cannot will his title to whoever he likes – he can will unentailed property, but not entailed property or the title itself. Yet I have seen regencies by major authors with just these simple mistakes in them. I say if the author doesn’t know her period any better than that, how can I believe anything else in the book? Even if I am liking the book otherwise, that sort of thing will pull me right out of the story, and that’s fatal.

    Reply
  85. Hellion and some others put my chief peeve much better than I could: early 19th century people behaving like 21st century ones — the men who are too sensitive & understanding, and the girls who are too casual about sex.
    I also hate (and won’t buy anymore) novels which are half or more unmotivated, anachronistic, overly fantasized sex scenes — they generally take up space at the expense of story, character and common sense. Label those erotica and put them on another shelf, please! Or go write fan fiction in your basement.
    Then there’s language – I do not like the current fashion for ‘accessible’ language. If I was smart enough to earn the $7.99 for the book, I am smart enough to understand big words and paragraphs of more than one sentence. I do so hate being written down to.
    And then there are the authors who choose a word that is anachronistic for their period and then beat it to death. One regency author I know can’t seem to go more than a page before throwing in a ‘mayhap’; reading her prose became a matter of waiting for the next ‘mayhap’ to drop.
    Most errors I can forgive, but simple title and inheritance errors make me crazy. If I can spot the error, the author or her editor should certainly know. I know these things can be tricky, but surely by now everybody knows that Sir Lance Studly is never called Sir Studly, and the Duke of Whatsis cannot will his title to whoever he likes – he can will unentailed property, but not entailed property or the title itself. Yet I have seen regencies by major authors with just these simple mistakes in them. I say if the author doesn’t know her period any better than that, how can I believe anything else in the book? Even if I am liking the book otherwise, that sort of thing will pull me right out of the story, and that’s fatal.

    Reply
  86. I’ve gotta say, my only pet peeve is if the author can’t make me believe. I’ll go anywhere – a barge on the nile, bareback on a stallion, even waltzing around Almacks before the dance was invented, if the author makes me live it. Luckily you guys are very talented at that 🙂

    Reply
  87. I’ve gotta say, my only pet peeve is if the author can’t make me believe. I’ll go anywhere – a barge on the nile, bareback on a stallion, even waltzing around Almacks before the dance was invented, if the author makes me live it. Luckily you guys are very talented at that 🙂

    Reply
  88. I’ve gotta say, my only pet peeve is if the author can’t make me believe. I’ll go anywhere – a barge on the nile, bareback on a stallion, even waltzing around Almacks before the dance was invented, if the author makes me live it. Luckily you guys are very talented at that 🙂

    Reply
  89. I’ve gotta say, my only pet peeve is if the author can’t make me believe. I’ll go anywhere – a barge on the nile, bareback on a stallion, even waltzing around Almacks before the dance was invented, if the author makes me live it. Luckily you guys are very talented at that 🙂

    Reply
  90. I’ve gotta say, my only pet peeve is if the author can’t make me believe. I’ll go anywhere – a barge on the nile, bareback on a stallion, even waltzing around Almacks before the dance was invented, if the author makes me live it. Luckily you guys are very talented at that 🙂

    Reply
  91. LOL, Janice, tell it like it is! But the sad sad truth is that most editors and copyeditors do NOT know this information anymore. It’s totally up to the author to get it right. Scary, huh?
    And yeah, it’s an impossible line to walk between historical accuracy, reality, and ease of access. Anne, I think revenge is the reason we do our research! Someone is always going to complain about something, and being able to come back at them is such a pleasure. “EG”

    Reply
  92. LOL, Janice, tell it like it is! But the sad sad truth is that most editors and copyeditors do NOT know this information anymore. It’s totally up to the author to get it right. Scary, huh?
    And yeah, it’s an impossible line to walk between historical accuracy, reality, and ease of access. Anne, I think revenge is the reason we do our research! Someone is always going to complain about something, and being able to come back at them is such a pleasure. “EG”

    Reply
  93. LOL, Janice, tell it like it is! But the sad sad truth is that most editors and copyeditors do NOT know this information anymore. It’s totally up to the author to get it right. Scary, huh?
    And yeah, it’s an impossible line to walk between historical accuracy, reality, and ease of access. Anne, I think revenge is the reason we do our research! Someone is always going to complain about something, and being able to come back at them is such a pleasure. “EG”

    Reply
  94. LOL, Janice, tell it like it is! But the sad sad truth is that most editors and copyeditors do NOT know this information anymore. It’s totally up to the author to get it right. Scary, huh?
    And yeah, it’s an impossible line to walk between historical accuracy, reality, and ease of access. Anne, I think revenge is the reason we do our research! Someone is always going to complain about something, and being able to come back at them is such a pleasure. “EG”

    Reply
  95. LOL, Janice, tell it like it is! But the sad sad truth is that most editors and copyeditors do NOT know this information anymore. It’s totally up to the author to get it right. Scary, huh?
    And yeah, it’s an impossible line to walk between historical accuracy, reality, and ease of access. Anne, I think revenge is the reason we do our research! Someone is always going to complain about something, and being able to come back at them is such a pleasure. “EG”

    Reply
  96. Pat, I love the way you have galloped all over your own pet peeves (on a large black stallion!) I was watching Barbara Cartland’s A Hazard of Hearts the other day where the heroine “rides to the hero’s aid in the most fearsome beast in his stable!”
    When I had female highwaymen in a book – Unmasked – I went to talk to a local riding school owner so I could make sure my good and bad riders knew exactly what they were doing. Like Anne I do find that sometimes people can leap to judgement on your research and it is always satisfying to be able to show them the basis for that research.
    Minor principalities and studly dukes abounding don’t really bother me but I do have peeves over names and titles. The misuse of titles is pretty widespread in the UK media these days, though, with “Lady Pamela” frequently being cited as the name of the wife of Sir Strongly Studly.

    Reply
  97. Pat, I love the way you have galloped all over your own pet peeves (on a large black stallion!) I was watching Barbara Cartland’s A Hazard of Hearts the other day where the heroine “rides to the hero’s aid in the most fearsome beast in his stable!”
    When I had female highwaymen in a book – Unmasked – I went to talk to a local riding school owner so I could make sure my good and bad riders knew exactly what they were doing. Like Anne I do find that sometimes people can leap to judgement on your research and it is always satisfying to be able to show them the basis for that research.
    Minor principalities and studly dukes abounding don’t really bother me but I do have peeves over names and titles. The misuse of titles is pretty widespread in the UK media these days, though, with “Lady Pamela” frequently being cited as the name of the wife of Sir Strongly Studly.

    Reply
  98. Pat, I love the way you have galloped all over your own pet peeves (on a large black stallion!) I was watching Barbara Cartland’s A Hazard of Hearts the other day where the heroine “rides to the hero’s aid in the most fearsome beast in his stable!”
    When I had female highwaymen in a book – Unmasked – I went to talk to a local riding school owner so I could make sure my good and bad riders knew exactly what they were doing. Like Anne I do find that sometimes people can leap to judgement on your research and it is always satisfying to be able to show them the basis for that research.
    Minor principalities and studly dukes abounding don’t really bother me but I do have peeves over names and titles. The misuse of titles is pretty widespread in the UK media these days, though, with “Lady Pamela” frequently being cited as the name of the wife of Sir Strongly Studly.

    Reply
  99. Pat, I love the way you have galloped all over your own pet peeves (on a large black stallion!) I was watching Barbara Cartland’s A Hazard of Hearts the other day where the heroine “rides to the hero’s aid in the most fearsome beast in his stable!”
    When I had female highwaymen in a book – Unmasked – I went to talk to a local riding school owner so I could make sure my good and bad riders knew exactly what they were doing. Like Anne I do find that sometimes people can leap to judgement on your research and it is always satisfying to be able to show them the basis for that research.
    Minor principalities and studly dukes abounding don’t really bother me but I do have peeves over names and titles. The misuse of titles is pretty widespread in the UK media these days, though, with “Lady Pamela” frequently being cited as the name of the wife of Sir Strongly Studly.

    Reply
  100. Pat, I love the way you have galloped all over your own pet peeves (on a large black stallion!) I was watching Barbara Cartland’s A Hazard of Hearts the other day where the heroine “rides to the hero’s aid in the most fearsome beast in his stable!”
    When I had female highwaymen in a book – Unmasked – I went to talk to a local riding school owner so I could make sure my good and bad riders knew exactly what they were doing. Like Anne I do find that sometimes people can leap to judgement on your research and it is always satisfying to be able to show them the basis for that research.
    Minor principalities and studly dukes abounding don’t really bother me but I do have peeves over names and titles. The misuse of titles is pretty widespread in the UK media these days, though, with “Lady Pamela” frequently being cited as the name of the wife of Sir Strongly Studly.

    Reply
  101. I can forgive a lot but if the author pulls me out of the story, well, I won’t be happy! What does that for me? Characters that act out of character, regardless of era. The very correct, cool and conventional virgin heroine that suddenly has sex in the open with the hero! Sorry, it won’t happen. Virgins aren’t that brave, you know, either then or now, unless punch drunk. Or the levelheaded, sensible heroine that suddenly decides to investigate some odd light on the beach and goes out – in her night clothes! – all alone and unarmed. Gimme a break! How many even half sane persons would do that? And if a character is presented as an expert on one subject or another, then the author should have more than a nodding acquaintance with that subject as well.

    Reply
  102. I can forgive a lot but if the author pulls me out of the story, well, I won’t be happy! What does that for me? Characters that act out of character, regardless of era. The very correct, cool and conventional virgin heroine that suddenly has sex in the open with the hero! Sorry, it won’t happen. Virgins aren’t that brave, you know, either then or now, unless punch drunk. Or the levelheaded, sensible heroine that suddenly decides to investigate some odd light on the beach and goes out – in her night clothes! – all alone and unarmed. Gimme a break! How many even half sane persons would do that? And if a character is presented as an expert on one subject or another, then the author should have more than a nodding acquaintance with that subject as well.

    Reply
  103. I can forgive a lot but if the author pulls me out of the story, well, I won’t be happy! What does that for me? Characters that act out of character, regardless of era. The very correct, cool and conventional virgin heroine that suddenly has sex in the open with the hero! Sorry, it won’t happen. Virgins aren’t that brave, you know, either then or now, unless punch drunk. Or the levelheaded, sensible heroine that suddenly decides to investigate some odd light on the beach and goes out – in her night clothes! – all alone and unarmed. Gimme a break! How many even half sane persons would do that? And if a character is presented as an expert on one subject or another, then the author should have more than a nodding acquaintance with that subject as well.

    Reply
  104. I can forgive a lot but if the author pulls me out of the story, well, I won’t be happy! What does that for me? Characters that act out of character, regardless of era. The very correct, cool and conventional virgin heroine that suddenly has sex in the open with the hero! Sorry, it won’t happen. Virgins aren’t that brave, you know, either then or now, unless punch drunk. Or the levelheaded, sensible heroine that suddenly decides to investigate some odd light on the beach and goes out – in her night clothes! – all alone and unarmed. Gimme a break! How many even half sane persons would do that? And if a character is presented as an expert on one subject or another, then the author should have more than a nodding acquaintance with that subject as well.

    Reply
  105. I can forgive a lot but if the author pulls me out of the story, well, I won’t be happy! What does that for me? Characters that act out of character, regardless of era. The very correct, cool and conventional virgin heroine that suddenly has sex in the open with the hero! Sorry, it won’t happen. Virgins aren’t that brave, you know, either then or now, unless punch drunk. Or the levelheaded, sensible heroine that suddenly decides to investigate some odd light on the beach and goes out – in her night clothes! – all alone and unarmed. Gimme a break! How many even half sane persons would do that? And if a character is presented as an expert on one subject or another, then the author should have more than a nodding acquaintance with that subject as well.

    Reply
  106. A bit late to comment, but here are my two pence:
    I think there is an important difference between historic accuracy and inconsistency in the storyline.
    When I read a novel set in some historic time, I want the basic facts to be right and I want the story to make sense.
    Let’s take a new kingdom as example: The ownership of lands changed a lot in past times. There where a lot of countries and there are actually countries in this world I was surprised to hear about – I probably am still unaware of the one or the other. Europe seems to be quite well known, but with some explaining, another (fictional) kingdom can be plausible.
    The same is true for e.g. espionage-networks. If there is no proof of any existing networks at the time the novel is set, that doesn’t have to be a problem. Especially in this case one could argue that proof might not be found due to the secrecy of it and even should it be prooven that there was no such network, inventing a fictional one should be possible. After all the uses of such networks could have been seen by people in the past. As long as it is conceivable that they could think of a spionage-network or certain forms of behaviour, I think it can add to the story, even if it isn’t historically accurate (What is? Not even most textbooks are.)
    However the author obviously walks on dangerous grounds, as she can’t access contemporary sources and has to craft the facts herself – which requires knowledge of the period the object (new kingdom, spy-network) is placed in and of course knowledge of the object itself. This can lead to problems, when e.g. a modern special force unit is placed in medieval times with a similar mission briefing, ideology and command structure as special forces of the current time might be organized. The author would have to make sure to melt together the fictional inventions with the facts.
    Historically inaccuracy I can live with, but inconsistency in the story is something that spoils the story a bit for me – depending on the magnitude of course. When I read of a female spy known for her deadliness, I don’t expect a virgin or someone who isn’t willing to kill. Those might be traits that make the heroine look good, but sometimes I don’t think these traits mix with the storyline. While a heroine spy who kills in cold-blood and has sex with enemies might not be the image of a charming lass, I sometimes prefer to see some of these nicer traits sacrificed for the believability of the storyline.
    I haven’t slept, so excuse any grammatical or structural mistakes. 😉

    Reply
  107. A bit late to comment, but here are my two pence:
    I think there is an important difference between historic accuracy and inconsistency in the storyline.
    When I read a novel set in some historic time, I want the basic facts to be right and I want the story to make sense.
    Let’s take a new kingdom as example: The ownership of lands changed a lot in past times. There where a lot of countries and there are actually countries in this world I was surprised to hear about – I probably am still unaware of the one or the other. Europe seems to be quite well known, but with some explaining, another (fictional) kingdom can be plausible.
    The same is true for e.g. espionage-networks. If there is no proof of any existing networks at the time the novel is set, that doesn’t have to be a problem. Especially in this case one could argue that proof might not be found due to the secrecy of it and even should it be prooven that there was no such network, inventing a fictional one should be possible. After all the uses of such networks could have been seen by people in the past. As long as it is conceivable that they could think of a spionage-network or certain forms of behaviour, I think it can add to the story, even if it isn’t historically accurate (What is? Not even most textbooks are.)
    However the author obviously walks on dangerous grounds, as she can’t access contemporary sources and has to craft the facts herself – which requires knowledge of the period the object (new kingdom, spy-network) is placed in and of course knowledge of the object itself. This can lead to problems, when e.g. a modern special force unit is placed in medieval times with a similar mission briefing, ideology and command structure as special forces of the current time might be organized. The author would have to make sure to melt together the fictional inventions with the facts.
    Historically inaccuracy I can live with, but inconsistency in the story is something that spoils the story a bit for me – depending on the magnitude of course. When I read of a female spy known for her deadliness, I don’t expect a virgin or someone who isn’t willing to kill. Those might be traits that make the heroine look good, but sometimes I don’t think these traits mix with the storyline. While a heroine spy who kills in cold-blood and has sex with enemies might not be the image of a charming lass, I sometimes prefer to see some of these nicer traits sacrificed for the believability of the storyline.
    I haven’t slept, so excuse any grammatical or structural mistakes. 😉

    Reply
  108. A bit late to comment, but here are my two pence:
    I think there is an important difference between historic accuracy and inconsistency in the storyline.
    When I read a novel set in some historic time, I want the basic facts to be right and I want the story to make sense.
    Let’s take a new kingdom as example: The ownership of lands changed a lot in past times. There where a lot of countries and there are actually countries in this world I was surprised to hear about – I probably am still unaware of the one or the other. Europe seems to be quite well known, but with some explaining, another (fictional) kingdom can be plausible.
    The same is true for e.g. espionage-networks. If there is no proof of any existing networks at the time the novel is set, that doesn’t have to be a problem. Especially in this case one could argue that proof might not be found due to the secrecy of it and even should it be prooven that there was no such network, inventing a fictional one should be possible. After all the uses of such networks could have been seen by people in the past. As long as it is conceivable that they could think of a spionage-network or certain forms of behaviour, I think it can add to the story, even if it isn’t historically accurate (What is? Not even most textbooks are.)
    However the author obviously walks on dangerous grounds, as she can’t access contemporary sources and has to craft the facts herself – which requires knowledge of the period the object (new kingdom, spy-network) is placed in and of course knowledge of the object itself. This can lead to problems, when e.g. a modern special force unit is placed in medieval times with a similar mission briefing, ideology and command structure as special forces of the current time might be organized. The author would have to make sure to melt together the fictional inventions with the facts.
    Historically inaccuracy I can live with, but inconsistency in the story is something that spoils the story a bit for me – depending on the magnitude of course. When I read of a female spy known for her deadliness, I don’t expect a virgin or someone who isn’t willing to kill. Those might be traits that make the heroine look good, but sometimes I don’t think these traits mix with the storyline. While a heroine spy who kills in cold-blood and has sex with enemies might not be the image of a charming lass, I sometimes prefer to see some of these nicer traits sacrificed for the believability of the storyline.
    I haven’t slept, so excuse any grammatical or structural mistakes. 😉

    Reply
  109. A bit late to comment, but here are my two pence:
    I think there is an important difference between historic accuracy and inconsistency in the storyline.
    When I read a novel set in some historic time, I want the basic facts to be right and I want the story to make sense.
    Let’s take a new kingdom as example: The ownership of lands changed a lot in past times. There where a lot of countries and there are actually countries in this world I was surprised to hear about – I probably am still unaware of the one or the other. Europe seems to be quite well known, but with some explaining, another (fictional) kingdom can be plausible.
    The same is true for e.g. espionage-networks. If there is no proof of any existing networks at the time the novel is set, that doesn’t have to be a problem. Especially in this case one could argue that proof might not be found due to the secrecy of it and even should it be prooven that there was no such network, inventing a fictional one should be possible. After all the uses of such networks could have been seen by people in the past. As long as it is conceivable that they could think of a spionage-network or certain forms of behaviour, I think it can add to the story, even if it isn’t historically accurate (What is? Not even most textbooks are.)
    However the author obviously walks on dangerous grounds, as she can’t access contemporary sources and has to craft the facts herself – which requires knowledge of the period the object (new kingdom, spy-network) is placed in and of course knowledge of the object itself. This can lead to problems, when e.g. a modern special force unit is placed in medieval times with a similar mission briefing, ideology and command structure as special forces of the current time might be organized. The author would have to make sure to melt together the fictional inventions with the facts.
    Historically inaccuracy I can live with, but inconsistency in the story is something that spoils the story a bit for me – depending on the magnitude of course. When I read of a female spy known for her deadliness, I don’t expect a virgin or someone who isn’t willing to kill. Those might be traits that make the heroine look good, but sometimes I don’t think these traits mix with the storyline. While a heroine spy who kills in cold-blood and has sex with enemies might not be the image of a charming lass, I sometimes prefer to see some of these nicer traits sacrificed for the believability of the storyline.
    I haven’t slept, so excuse any grammatical or structural mistakes. 😉

    Reply
  110. A bit late to comment, but here are my two pence:
    I think there is an important difference between historic accuracy and inconsistency in the storyline.
    When I read a novel set in some historic time, I want the basic facts to be right and I want the story to make sense.
    Let’s take a new kingdom as example: The ownership of lands changed a lot in past times. There where a lot of countries and there are actually countries in this world I was surprised to hear about – I probably am still unaware of the one or the other. Europe seems to be quite well known, but with some explaining, another (fictional) kingdom can be plausible.
    The same is true for e.g. espionage-networks. If there is no proof of any existing networks at the time the novel is set, that doesn’t have to be a problem. Especially in this case one could argue that proof might not be found due to the secrecy of it and even should it be prooven that there was no such network, inventing a fictional one should be possible. After all the uses of such networks could have been seen by people in the past. As long as it is conceivable that they could think of a spionage-network or certain forms of behaviour, I think it can add to the story, even if it isn’t historically accurate (What is? Not even most textbooks are.)
    However the author obviously walks on dangerous grounds, as she can’t access contemporary sources and has to craft the facts herself – which requires knowledge of the period the object (new kingdom, spy-network) is placed in and of course knowledge of the object itself. This can lead to problems, when e.g. a modern special force unit is placed in medieval times with a similar mission briefing, ideology and command structure as special forces of the current time might be organized. The author would have to make sure to melt together the fictional inventions with the facts.
    Historically inaccuracy I can live with, but inconsistency in the story is something that spoils the story a bit for me – depending on the magnitude of course. When I read of a female spy known for her deadliness, I don’t expect a virgin or someone who isn’t willing to kill. Those might be traits that make the heroine look good, but sometimes I don’t think these traits mix with the storyline. While a heroine spy who kills in cold-blood and has sex with enemies might not be the image of a charming lass, I sometimes prefer to see some of these nicer traits sacrificed for the believability of the storyline.
    I haven’t slept, so excuse any grammatical or structural mistakes. 😉

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