I know enough to know that I know nothing. It’s the crux you come to as an author–all the research you go through to keep your reader from being pulled out of the magic spell that is your story, and the realization that it never seems to be enough.
At least, that’s the realization I’ve come to. And I give kudos to historical writers like Patricia Bates that somehow weave fact and fantasy in a way that you come away feeling like you learned something.
How they do it, I’m not sure. Heck, I’m not even sure I want to check my own ancestry. Who knows what was going on back there? Sure, I might have someone real heroic and fantastic back there. Maybe I even have their smile. But I know enough history to know that fantastic back then and fantastic now, are well, two different things. Not saying for certain, but if I look at historically how disabled, women, children, the poor, and people with more tint to their skin have been treated, well, I have to face the likelihood that somewhere back in my bloodline, was an asshole. And I’d rather not know that that asshole and I share the same smile or mannerisms or anything else. I haven’t decided if that’s a character flaw or not. If I should want to know who I was related to. I mean, there could be someone really inspirational back there. But if I lay claim to the good deeds, does that mean I have to lay claim to the bad?
And that’s not even giving the hint of curiosity as to how they lived in the 13th century. I’m quite certain it was a very smelly time. I’m not a fan of the pre-air conditioning era, but I was a desperate fan of the historical romances that most romantics cut their teeth on at one time or another, and I still am.
Sure, smelling like a rose back then and smelling like a rose now, are probably different things.They might not have been as enlightened as to the beauty of beaver anus and whale mucus yet.
Thank goodness for modern times. And A/C.
All the love,
Lean in Close... We've got stories to tell.
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