Ok, now for me to recapture all the masterful eloquence of earlier. Since it’s disappeared into cyber-wasteland, it’s safe for me to say (and not be refuted) that it was definitely my most profound writing to date and I will forever mourn it’s passing. ;-)
Onward! For a great look at historical accuracy and a less common character in a love story, Stella Riley’s The Black Madonna is an excellent example. Her historical research is meticulous and her ability to seamlessly weave fictional characters into historical events is unrivaled. In this book, her protagonist is an Italian Jew who is a goldsmith. He is on a mission to find out who accused his father of treason and got him hanged. Neither Jews nor Italians were well liked in England at the time, so writing a believable love story was a challenge, and Riley succeeded in spades.
But I also want to see more representation even if it isn’t “historically accurate.” Representation matters, and just because minorities, the disable, homosexuals, and others had a more difficult time, they were still present in history and deserve to be seen. It doesn’t really matter if “this probably didn’t happen.” The fact is we don’t know all the stories that DID happen, and it’s worth exploring the could-have-beens and the might-have-beens. It’s fine if some people don’t want to read those stories. I don’t want to read mafia fiction. That’s a personal taste thing. What I don’t understand is the push against these kinds of stories, as if they shouldn’t exist because someone feels they are false narratives. ALL of these books are fiction, and in a fictional world we can dream dreams. But even more than that, we can imagine stories that actually could have happened that we simply don’t know about. Ones that were never recorded.
I don’t go on rants about how no one should write mafia fiction or books with assassins as the hero. I have all kinds of problems thinking they make sympathetic heroes,but that’s fine. Other people want to read it and that’s grand. I feel the same way about having representation in historically set novels. I want those stories and I hope more authors will write good ones. I love how K.J.Charles has a trans person as a minor character in her Society of Gentlemen series. We know trans people existed, and it’s good to see them in stories.