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My rant on Philippa Gregory ( please forgive me)
December 14, 2012
6:18 am
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Boleyn
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Thank you Olga. and yes I think you are right SWMNBN likes putting in ideas that sound good to her. The princes disappearence is one that has intiqued people though for hundreds of years. So to give SWMNBN a modicum of credit her idea in the White Queen is an interesting one, although I will have to minus a million for the fact the woman is a complete and utter Bullplop Artist when it comes to anything else.

Poor Anne was blamed for a lot of things. poisoning Fisher was the least of her problems. A bad harvest (Which there was for 2 years when she was Queen) Anne’s Fault. Henry fall in the joust in 1536? Anne’s Fault. Henry Fitzroy’s death? Anne’s Fault (she’d given him slow acting poison).
Makes you mad really when you think about it. Poor Anne was just an easy scapegoat to blame things on.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

December 14, 2012
10:15 am
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Olga
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Oh well we all want a happy ending sometimes Bo. It’s nice to think one of them did escape although I haven’t read Baldwin’s books the theory has never really convinced me.

I think Norah Lofts definitely mentioned the bad harvest in her biography *cough* of Anne. Slow acting poison Laugh That’s a doozy.

December 16, 2012
5:42 am
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Anyanka
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Boleyn said

Thank you Olga. and yes I think you are right SWMNBN likes putting in ideas that sound good to her. The princes disappearence is one that has intiqued people though for hundreds of years. So to give SWMNBN a modicum of credit her idea in the White Queen is an interesting one, although I will have to minus a million for the fact the woman is a complete and utter Bullplop Artist when it comes to anything else.

Poor Anne was blamed for a lot of things. poisoning Fisher was the least of her problems. A bad harvest (Which there was for 2 years when she was Queen) Anne’s Fault. Henry fall in the joust in 1536? Anne’s Fault. Henry Fitzroy’s death? Anne’s Fault (she’d given him slow acting poison).
Makes you mad really when you think about it. Poor Anne was just an easy scapegoat to blame things on.

Obama getting elected, not once but twice??? There’s a long running conspiracy theory going on here….

It's always bunnies.

December 16, 2012
8:57 am
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Olga
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I heard an excellent one about him creating the hurricane just before the election. Something about an electrical tower Confused

December 16, 2012
12:02 pm
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DuchessofBrittany
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SWMNBN is insufferable. I admit I read her books in the past, but after suffering through one (I cannot recall if it was the White or Red Queen), I vowed myself off her for good. I do have particular afffection for “The Constant Princess,” and I’m not ashamed to admit it. But, it seems her books have slowly gone down hill. She is writing about uber fascinating people, yet she feels the need to rely on lies and innuendo to make a story. I understand authors play with historical facts to fit story lines, but to blatanly (a la TOBG) to discredit people, is another thing. I am sure she does have some interesting ideas in her books, but they are so soaked in egotism, I feel sick all over again!

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

December 20, 2012
6:07 pm
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James33
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Olga thank you very much for posting those articles they where a very interesting read and it certainly was interesting to see what others thought of fiction- it was interesting that Suzannah Lipscomb considers Mantel to be rather accurate in her novels- especially after having read a review of her books on this site and pointing out the rather glaring inaccuracies…. But then i wonder if that’s due to Mantels success and others not wanting to appear bitter or sour by criticising the inaccuracies in her work.

December 27, 2012
2:59 pm
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Olga
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I don’t know James, do you think Prof. Lipscomb has even read them? Don’t be surprised if she hasn’t. She might be going on what everyone else is saying, she may have read Wolf Hall, which I can’t comment on because I haven’t read it. Maybe Lipscomb feels the same way *shrug* what’s the point of going on about fiction books having historical inaccuracies?
In Loade’s last book The Boleyns he mentioned TOBG in the preface, think it was published last year. It put me off the book. I don’t buy history books to hear people waffling on about fiction authors (funnily enough that was a very fictional history book) I think it’s pretty lame.
I think I have read one historical fiction book that was as accurate as it gets (Her Highness the Traitor) and the rest have been, well, fictional.
I don’t have a problem with historical inaccuracy. I have a problem with bad writing, homophobes, and people who make out incest was fairly normal historically. See Mantel, Hirst, and Norah Lofts. I’d rather read a Brandy Purdy book for some slapstick Tudor comedy with lesbian affairs and strange singing and dancing. I think Purdy also thinks she does a lot of research (two months from what I have read) I think most authors think they do a lot of research. At some point a fiction author has to stop researching and start writing.

December 27, 2012
9:15 pm
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Anyanka
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Not sure if I’d buy the Brandy Purdy books judging from the Amazon reviews but htey may be worth getting out of the library.

It's always bunnies.

December 27, 2012
9:33 pm
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Louise
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Can I ask a genuine question? I know there are arguments to say that historical fiction doesn’t need to be historically accurate, But in that case can someone please explain what the point is? And if anyone says ‘for entertainment value’ then I will scream, because if it’s for pure entertainment THEN JUST WRITE FICTION!!!!!!!
Why demonise someone for entertainment value? Make them fictional, not real people. I don’t see the point of inaccurate historical fiction, where the writers are making money on the backs of demonising innocent people. I don’t get the point of it.

December 28, 2012
12:53 am
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Olga
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If you take them as comedy Anyanka, they’re outrageous. I read the first one in horror, then decided to read the next one as a comedy. The woman is just weird. If you have a spare three hours…

Louise, I have said it before and I will say it again (also I know you disagree with me so bear with me) I don’t think most writers think they are purposely twisting history to suit them.

I think most of them do whatever amount of research they feel is necessary and go from there. I think Gregory thinks Anne may have been guilty, along with Mantel who I think definitely thinks Anne was guilty. Again I will point out TOBG only alludes to it, and that’s because Mary thinks Anne is capable of being guilty, while Mary’s daughter in the next book does not. You could argue that BUTB, being so one-dimensional, doesn’t actually accuse Anne of being guilty, but Cromwell starts to believe his own story. Neither book shows the deed being done. Each book is an interpretation from the point of view of the main character.
I don’t think they thought “oh it will make a better book and I will sell more if I have Anne as a witch” We’ve all seen Anne as a witch, it’s not that new. It’s a popular opinion, along with Kat Howard being a tart, Mary Boleyn being a dim slut, Jane Boleyn being Satan, and Henry being misunderstood.

History changes all the time.

Writing is art, open to interpretation. History is academic, and also open to interpretation. Each historian, or fiction writer, has their own theories. Each historian and writer needs to make choices with the material they have, and will interpret it to suit them. Historians need to do things to suit them, one who agrees Anne was guilty would interpret the same piece of contemporary evidence completely differently to someone who thinks Anne was innocent.

What’s the point? We think, we create, then we argue. We breathe. Then we throw books across the room.

December 28, 2012
6:23 am
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Boleyn
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Olga said
What’s the point? We think, we create, then we argue. We breathe. Then we throw books across the room.
LOL Olga
Or we use use them as Janet did I.e made a gift of it to her brother for target practise. Or as I did and lined the chipmunk cage with it.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

December 28, 2012
10:41 am
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Louise
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The problem is that historical fiction writers don’t simply interpret, they make things up. That isn’t interpretation, and that’s my point.
Warnicke interprets George giving Smeaton a book, that it makes George homosexual. I think she’s completely dotty, but she didn’t portray a situation where George is shown raping Mark.
TOBG strongly alludes to Anne and George commiting incest. That is not merely what Mary believed. Gregory actually admits in interviews that was the intention of the novel, despite no historian accepting that charge; not even Bernard.
Mantel doesn’t interpret evidence, she makes it up. I don’t belive writers should be entitled to ‘create’ when that results in demonising real people. That is a lack of integrity. If Gregory thinks that George ‘would be the obvious choice’ for Anne to have a child with, then she’s a fool. She denies all the evidence of historians such as Ives and even the Weir. Mantel ignores all Ives’ evidence which shows the vast majority of charges against Anne were physically impossible. Again, that isn’t interpretation; it’s deliberate evasion from the actual evidence.
I agree there are always going to be crackpot theories. Apparently the Holocaust never happened, but if Hirst dared do a series based on it being a myth then he would rightly be criticised for giving credance to a ridiculous theory. Yet he can get away with demonisind innocent people based on a similar crackpot theory. George Boleyn can’t sue, and no one really cares enough to bother that much if he’s portrayed as a wife abuser. That makes Hirst a coward in my view.
Olga you say ‘history changes all the time’. That is what is so frightening; that fiction is starting to change history.
These people make money out of their fiction, but to call it ‘historical’ makes readers and viewers think there’s an element of fact to it. If you are simply going to ‘create’ then I ask again; what’s the point?

December 28, 2012
1:39 pm
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Boleyn
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Louise said

The problem is that historical fiction writers don’t simply interpret, they make things up. That isn’t interpretation, and that’s my point.
Warnicke interprets George giving Smeaton a book, that it makes George homosexual. I think she’s completely dotty, but she didn’t portray a situation where George is shown raping Mark.
TOBG strongly alludes to Anne and George commiting incest. That is not merely what Mary believed. Gregory actually admits in interviews that was the intention of the novel, despite no historian accepting that charge; not even Bernard.
Mantel doesn’t interpret evidence, she makes it up. I don’t belive writers should be entitled to ‘create’ when that results in demonising real people. That is a lack of integrity. If Gregory thinks that George ‘would be the obvious choice’ for Anne to have a child with, then she’s a fool. She denies all the evidence of historians such as Ives and even the Weir. Mantel ignores all Ives’ evidence which shows the vast majority of charges against Anne were physically impossible. Again, that isn’t interpretation; it’s deliberate evasion from the actual evidence.
I agree there are always going to be crackpot theories. Apparently the Holocaust never happened, but if Hirst dared do a series based on it being a myth then he would rightly be criticised for giving credance to a ridiculous theory. Yet he can get away with demonisind innocent people based on a similar crackpot theory. George Boleyn can’t sue, and no one really cares enough to bother that much if he’s portrayed as a wife abuser. That makes Hirst a coward in my view.
Olga you say ‘history changes all the time’. That is what is so frightening; that fiction is starting to change history.
These people make money out of their fiction, but to call it ‘historical’ makes readers and viewers think there’s an element of fact to it. If you are simply going to ‘create’ then I ask again; what’s the point?

Actually Louise you have a very valid point. Historical Fiction is just that “Fiction” a story of make believe. The only hassle I have is when the writer of these make believe novels, ventures into the area of believing what they have written is true, and that where a lot of us gnash our teeth and beat people up with wet newspapers where SWMNBN comes in. In her radio interview about TOBG she believed that Anne was certainly/probably guilty of what she was accused of but without giving us a reason/evidence to support her point of view. I think it was you who said the whole thing about George being possibly homosexual was based on him lending Mark Smeaton a book? and certainly another author believed Anne was guilty due to a letter or a poem that had been written. These ideas were based on 1 single piece of evidence and unfortunately with Authors like SWMNBN and others those ideas have got blown out of all proportion.
Prime example for you Mary Boleyn, King Francis is alledgely supposed to have pointed out Mary to Henry at the Val Dor and said there is my “English Mare” and I ride her every night. Was she Francis’s mistress? well I’ve seen nothing to support this but we know for fact that she was Henry’s mistress for a period of about 3 years. Personally having read up a little more about Mary I’m inclined to think that Francis did call Mary his “English Mare” but more from the standpoint of winding Henry up. The whole Val Dor bash was all a case of one upmanship from both of them Francis’s “English Mare” jibe was telling Henry I can have any woman I want be them French or English in short my doodle’s bigger than yours.
I think a lot of our jumping up and down when it comes to reading historical fiction is that we sometimes forget that it is fiction/make believe that we are reading.
To give you another example of SWMNBN outragious theories, In the book the Chipmunks made full use of Elizabeth was portrayed as a nyphomaniac, and Dudley as a wife killing, power hungry driven man hell bent of making Elizabeth his procession come hell or high water.
In truth I believe again this is my OPINION which may or may not be true, Dudley and Elizabeth had a very close relationship I would say it was almost akin to that which George and Anne had. Next to Cecil, Dudley was her best freind. If she would have married him if she had wanted marriage is and would be a matter of speculation. Personally I think not I have a feeling if she had wanted to marry it would be perhaps a Danish Prince. Ivan the Terrible even showed some interest in her at one point.
In short folks try to view historical fiction for what it is, a story of make believe and fantasy. The fact is that fantasy and make believe novels sell.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

December 30, 2012
11:26 pm
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James33
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I think you raise a very good point Louise regarding fiction writers, i feel that SWMNBN, ignores any evidence just to suit her bizarre theories, i have no problem with fiction itself but it’s when the writers then try to point them out as fact then i get annoyed, i think that SWMNBN just cannot bare to admit that she twists the truth in order to suit her story- and that just makes me loose all respect for her really, even Bernard has tried to back up his theories ( although rather weekly), SWMNBN thinks she can just go “we know Anne was guilty of at least one murder”, “Elizabeth ordered the murder of Amy Dudley because of her comments to the Spanish Ambassador regarding Amy’s health” and “Jane Boleyn gave evidence against Anne and George out of spite and was never wholly sane” and not back up her views with any evidence which is just crazy, i haven’t read any of her later novels ( not good for my stress levels :p) past “Virgin’s Lover” ( which i gave a whooping 1 star to on Amazon and goodreads :D ) so i’m not sure if she’s still trying to back her writing as complete fact… That’s why i wondered how she got on with Ives and Lipscomb at the Henry talk in 2009, it would have been interesting to see her speaking alongside them and answering questions from the audience, somehow i can’t see her making comments like those in front of them :D

As for Mantel, what was interesting is i believe she cited Ives, Weir, Warnicke, Starkey and even Fox as references for her research and then ignored all of them, choosing to portray Jane in the same way SWMNBN did ( and of course Anne), their was a really interesting interview of hers i read ( on the link Olga posted on the first page of this topic) where she mentions how people always say to her “we thought Thomas Moore was alright” and her reply is that she portrayed him in the way he may have appeared to someone like Thomas Cromwell, who apparently didn’t think him all that bad to begin with!! I thought, well then why are you portraying him like that then, and then realised that what it comes down to in the end is that Mantel really wanted to make everyone else in the book appear evil, devious, guilty, etc, just so her beloved Cromwell can appear the saint!! Perhaps Mantel should just go around with a shirt with “I Love Cromwell” or “Cromwell fan club” written in big letters, sounds harsh i know, but really that’s what she is.

December 31, 2012
9:39 am
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Boleyn
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Olga said

Oh well we all want a happy ending sometimes Bo. It’s nice to think one of them did escape although I haven’t read Baldwin’s books the theory has never really convinced me.

I think Norah Lofts definitely mentioned the bad harvest in her biography *cough* of Anne. Slow acting poison Laugh That’s a doozy.

Oh and I forgot, the black growth that was of COA heart was put there by Anne though foul practises witchcraft. Mary’s problems/stress etc Anne’s fault. Even more bizzarrely having read this on You Tube, Jane Seymour was poisoned by George Boleyn in revenge for helping kill Anne. In short the Richard head, said George was still alive and said that he served as a steward in Jane’s household. (Pop there goes Louise’s head in a great cloud of smoke)

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

December 31, 2012
4:16 pm
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James33
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Dear god that Norah Lofts book sounds incredible- i hate to speak ill of the dead, but was she a bit nutty? I mean George Boleyn poisoning Jane Seymour when he had already been dead 17 months… Crazy women!!!

Olga i think Suzannah Lipscomb has read Mantel’s books, there’s an article on The Guardian where she praises Mantel’s work, sadly a few other Historians have as well- one even praised it as “the most convincing portrayal of Anne Boleyn’s downfall they had ever seen”… And that’s coming from an academic!! Quite a few other academic’s have gone out of their way to praise her- although whether that’s mainly because of her success and a case of jumping on the bandwagon i don’t know.

January 1, 2013
6:52 am
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Bill1978
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So after aimlessly wandering around shops the other day filling in time between movie adventures, I came to the realisation that I despise Mantel more than Gregory. This revelation occurred when my purchase from a book store was placed into a paper bag advertisting Bring up The Bodies, gloating about its win and the prequel’s win.

I think Gregory’s work can easily be dumped into the catergoy of soap opera historical fiction, Tudors for the masses. Yes a large people believe her as fact but she isn’t winning presitigious awards, so even slightly intelligent people may begin to question some of her ideas. However Mantel’s work has been bestowed with a high literary award from seasoned critics. Now I know the award is for fiction, but getting such large accolades could perhaps lead even intelligent people into thinking that the work in Mantel’s book is more factual that the soap opera of Gregory’s work.

And now I’ve lost my train of thought…..

January 1, 2013
3:53 pm
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Louise
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Bill1978 said

So after aimlessly wandering around shops the other day filling in time between movie adventures, I came to the realisation that I despise Mantel more than Gregory. This revelation occurred when my purchase from a book store was placed into a paper bag advertisting Bring up The Bodies, gloating about its win and the prequel’s win.

I think Gregory’s work can easily be dumped into the catergoy of soap opera historical fiction, Tudors for the masses. Yes a large people believe her as fact but she isn’t winning presitigious awards, so even slightly intelligent people may begin to question some of her ideas. However Mantel’s work has been bestowed with a high literary award from seasoned critics. Now I know the award is for fiction, but getting such large accolades could perhaps lead even intelligent people into thinking that the work in Mantel’s book is more factual that the soap opera of Gregory’s work.

And now I’ve lost my train of thought…..

It’s scary, Bill. Not you losing your train of thought, but that people will see Mantel’s travesty as historically accurate because she says it is and because it won the booker prize.
I do wonder with creatures like Mantel whether they are would be historians, but that they can’t actually back their views and opinions up with facts so they end up writing fiction instead of non-fiction. They can hide behind the fiction banner by writing their views but knowing they don’t have to back it up with facts because it’s just ‘fiction’. In other words they hide behind fiction like worms under a stone.

January 1, 2013
6:01 pm
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Neil Kemp
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Whatever our opinion of a writer may be does it do us any credit to call them “creatures”?

January 1, 2013
6:08 pm
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Louise
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Neil Kemp said

Whatever our opinion of a writer may be does it do us any credit to call them “creatures”?

We’ll have to beg to differ on that. Our ideas of morality and integrity define who we consider ‘creatures’. To me Mantel lacks both, hence to me she deserves the title.

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