Historical fiction--inaccuracies
Posted by
After reading Plum Tree, which I enjoyed immensely, I was dismayed to learn of some intentional historical inaccuracies (to suit the plot). Is anyone else troubled by historical inaccuracies even if they are explained in an afterwards?
  • My work is about 90 % percent historically accurate. My heroine is fiction bot could likely have lived during the American Revolution. I accurate betray the events themselves: the passage of the Declaration of Indepence, the Battle of Brooklyn and the decisive battles of Saratoga. Most of the characters are real life, including George Washington and Alexander Hamilton., Benedict Arnold. And inaccuracies are made for the purpose of sorry and are listed in the Author’s Note at the end. To answer the question, I have no problem with minor deviation from history provided that the author disclosed them.
  • It seems to happen fairly often in historical fiction. The author tends to bend the "facts" in order to suit the story and advance the motive or as indicated to suit the plot. For someone who is familiar with the historical events, it can be feel forced and inaccurate.
  • I understand that sometimes it makes a better story to tweak the historical details a bit. The more you do that, though, the less respect you have as a historian. In my current WIP, though, I have found five sources for a person's whereabouts at an important time in my novel--three different places are mentioned. I'll pick the one that works for me, but it will be 'inaccurate' for the other sources.