Two things happened yesterday which inspired starting this blog. I was listening to the Classic Serial on BBC Radio 4, ‘Plantagenet’. When John discovered he was to inherit the crown from his brother, Richard, he shouted ‘I’m King!’ in a hysterical fashion worthy of Monty Python. Over and over he shouted it. A little while later, in a flurry of modern colloquialisms, he described someone as a ‘stream of piss’.
I’m currently reading Adam Thorpe’s Hodd which purports to be the translation of a twelfth century manuscript since lost. It even has footnotes and other devices to maintain the fiction. For example, names of people and places vary. Hodd is literary historical fiction, where the writing can give as much delight as the story. Yesterday I came across the word ‘unneth’ in the text and have no way of knowing what it means, other than the context.
So here we have two extremes of ‘diction’ – what we could call the unabashed modern and the contrived period – and that will be the topic of my first proper post.
The aim of this site is to provide a forum for anyone interested in historical fiction and learning how to write it. Its success will depend on contributions from others, so please do feel free to add whatever you wish in the comments. Reviews of current publications and requests for future topics would be very welcome.