Thursday, October 13, 2011

Taking Liberties

Author Susan Higginbotham discusses some of the liberties with history that are taken in some historical novels. (I love Susan's historical rants.) To quote:
Writing about sexual relations between historical figures is a delicate matter, of course. With many historical couples, we can only guess about whether their marriage was happy or otherwise, and we know even less about what went on in the most intimate part of their lives. Some invention, therefore, is inevitable, and indeed inescapable if we are to write a readable novel. But for the responsible novelist, that literary license shouldn’t extend to ascribing sexual crimes or misdeeds to men that history never attributed to them simply because it’s too much trouble to add a few shades of gray to a character’s color palette. (Read entire post.)

1 comment:

May said...

Even without inventing scandals out of thin air, such matters are very delicate to discuss. I think it is quite possible to write "readable" novels, and to show the love (or lack thereof) between couples, without delving into intimate details.