This is not a book on how to write historical fiction. It IS a book on how NOT to write historical fiction.
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Lady Cassiopeia Anderbys spendthrift stepbrother plans to sell her on the London marriage mart to the highest bidder. He holds a threat over her to assure her compliance. When Cassie meets Richard Hawke, a self-made man with a disastrous past, she realizes he is not a gentleman but an adventurer. Still, he promises her the best possible future she…
If you love history and you’re hard at work on your first historical novel, but you’re wondering if your medieval Irishmen would live on potatoes, if your 17th-century pirate would use a revolver, or if your hero would be able to offer Marie-Antoinette a box of chocolate bonbons . . .
(The answer to all these is “Absolutely not!”)
. . . then Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders is the book for you.
Medieval Underpants will guide you through the factual mistakes that writers of historical fiction—both beginners and professionals—most often make, and show you how to avoid them. From fictional characters crossing streets that wouldn’t exist for another sixty (or two thousand) years, to South American foods on ancient Roman plates, to 1990s slang in the mouths of 1940s characters, Susanne Alleyn exposes the often hilarious, always painful goofs that turn up most frequently in fiction set in the past.
Alleyn stresses the hazards to writers of assuming too much about details of life in past centuries, providing numerous examples of mistakes that could easily have been avoided. She also explores commonly-confused topics such as the important difference between the British titles “Lord John Smith” and “John, Lord Smith” and why they’re not interchangeable, and provides simple guidelines for getting them right. In a wide assortment of chapters including Food and Plants; Guns; Money; Hygiene; Dialogue; Attitudes; Research; and, of course, Ladies' Underpants, she offers tips on how to avoid errors and anachronisms while continually reminding writers of the necessity of meticulous historical research.
NEW expanded 3rd edition.