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Mark
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Years ago, I gave my take on historical and other accuracy, which appeared as part of one of the old Back Fence columns (scroll down in http://allaboutromance.com/at-the-back-fence-158/).
I expanded on the list of levels of historical accuracy in posts on the old AAR message boards, which became a long essay arguing for better labels for genre fiction (available
at http://www.ccrsdodona.org/markmuse/reading/genrelabels.html since the old message boards crashed).
These are the suggested levels of historical accuracy defined in the essay:
Hidden history
Altered history
Accepted history
Alternate history (and superseded history)
Mythic history
Alternate history + reality
Altered reality
Alternate reality
Fairy tale
Deliberately anachronistic history
Deliberate hodgepodge history
Fictional reality
My plea for better genre labels is based on the premise that a reader who has a better idea of what to expect from books can avoid those that would bother them, and approach those that they do read with reasonable expectations. Don’t read a Garwood mythic historical expecting historical accuracy. Don’t read a Regency-set Heyer expecting magicians or Fae. Etc.