Historical Fiction pitfalls. #1 in an occasional series


I did not have sexual intercourse with that woman.

Getting facts right helps.

     Aah, Braveheart. William Wallace, vengeful Scots make for a good action-packed historical film. It is shown damn near once a week in some part of the world, good for royalties maybe, but not good for the Historians out there.
I have mentioned Kathryn Warner before  on the website, but she knows exactly when this film is shown, becuase her blog is hit with the same question, “Did William Wallace Father Edward the III?”
Cue the sound of Kathryn repeatedly having a headdesk moment.No, without access to the Tardis, the claim the film-maker’s made wasn’t possible, Indeed, we do in fact know the whereabouts of both Isabella AND Edward II around the time in question (Edward II was A Bi Guy folks).


“So, what has this got to do with Historical fiction in general?” I hear you ask. (yes, really, you are asking …)
Well, this is the issue. Fans of Historical fiction tend to read both fact and fiction around the period they are Interested in. Yup, They are critical geeky types, who, despite enjoying their reading, can slate whole books because the author has been lazy with research, and make big errors, either by accident OR deliberately. (To make the History fit the storyline, rather than the other way round) Yes, BRAVEHEART, you. )
So, as a writer of Historical Fiction, I do not wish to have the dogs set upon me.With the short stories, I have  recorded anecdotes of the Hawkhurst Gang’s activities.
It also means that the novel I am writing has had some deep plot points, storylines and characters changed or cut because I give a toss about that kind of thing. As an example, A fictional character in the novel had originally been a British army Sargent in India, until I did a fact check, and realised that I was 10 or so years out. So, I looked stuff up, and found a REAL regiment that fought in Europe and against the Jaobites in England. Actually works better for the story too.
So, I would hope I am free of requiring the Doctor to turn up in the novel to make it work.
(and on that note, I have an audition to go to. )
NOTE : COMMENT from original post on weebly.)
I have long been a fan of historical fiction, primarily the Middle Ages, and even I knew when I watched Braveheart, they had taken poetic license and that William Wallace never had an affair with King Edward II’s wife Queen Isabella.

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