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My rant on Philippa Gregory ( please forgive me)
January 1, 2013
6:22 pm
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Neil Kemp
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We probably have to beg to differ on a lot of issues, but then again that after all is what this site is all about, the ability to debate and disagree on many subjects whilst still having respect for the other person’s viewpoint. I hope to debate many subjects on here in the future, it might just keep me sane at this moment in time.

January 1, 2013
6:42 pm
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Louise
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Neil Kemp said

We probably have to beg to differ on a lot of issues, but then again that after all is what this site is all about, the ability to debate and disagree on many subjects whilst still having respect for the other person’s viewpoint. I hope to debate many subjects on here in the future, it might just keep me sane at this moment in time.

Absoluely! Let’s try to agree to disagree without personal insults.Wink

January 1, 2013
7:05 pm
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Neil Kemp
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Yes indeed. And you never know, one day we might actually agree about something.Wink

January 4, 2013
9:41 am
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Olga
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History doesn’t change because of fiction Louise, it changes because of historians.
The genre of historical fiction stretches to subgenres of fantasy and romance and I don’t believe it insinuates there is a element of fact in it. I’m not going to comment further because I am finding this tiring. I am going to read more of The Two Towers, and firmly believe that hobbits and elves existed, and get much joy from it.

As for you ms Boleyn, as a bookseller I do not condone the lining of birdcages with books Cry

January 4, 2013
9:50 am
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Louise
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You only need to look at the percentage of historical fiction books purchased compared to factual books to see that the vast majority of people who buy historical fiction will never read a factual book. Their perceptions stem solely from fiction.
This stems from a collegue of mine reading Bring Up the Bodies and expressing surprise as to why I was so interested in such a weak and unpleasant character. I have a futile interest in George Boleyn, but even if a biography of his life was published, how many people would actually read it compared the the thousands upon thousands who have read BUTB?
It would be fighting a loosing battle, and I would one have had enough of even trying. I too am tired of all of this.

January 4, 2013
10:35 am
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Boleyn
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Olga said

History doesn’t change because of fiction Louise, it changes because of historians.
The genre of historical fiction stretches to subgenres of fantasy and romance and I don’t believe it insinuates there is a element of fact in it. I’m not going to comment further because I am finding this tiring. I am going to read more of The Two Towers, and firmly believe that hobbits and elves existed, and get much joy from it.

As for you ms Boleyn, as a bookseller I do not condone the lining of birdcages with books Cry

LOL Olga.. It was the chipmunk cage and I thought it was a very apt usage of a book that was crap to get covered in crap.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

January 4, 2013
5:44 pm
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Neil Kemp
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Olga said

History doesn’t change because of fiction Louise, it changes because of historians.
The genre of historical fiction stretches to subgenres of fantasy and romance and I don’t believe it insinuates there is a element of fact in it. I’m not going to comment further because I am finding this tiring. I am going to read more of The Two Towers, and firmly believe that hobbits and elves existed, and get much joy from it.

Spot on, Olga. I read as many factual books as I do fiction and I would find it rather condescending of anyone if they assumed that I was unable to differentiate between the two genres.

January 4, 2013
10:18 pm
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Boleyn
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Neil/Olga Totally agree. The factual reads are there to challenge the reader, the fictional reads are to give your brain a rest.
Slap on wrist from Olga for using a book for something other than reading.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

January 5, 2013
9:56 am
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Louise
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At no time have I ever said that people who read both fiction and non-fiction are unable to differentiate between the two. What I have said, and what I maintain, is that the vast majority of people who read historical fiction do not then proceed to reading fact. Therefore, their sole perception of historical events and characters stems from fiction, hence the way many characters from history, who have been demonised in fiction, are perceived. That is the reason I believe, though I know I am in the minority, that fiction writers have a responsibility towards the factual people they write about. Please do me the courtesy of not putting words into my mouth, Neil.

January 5, 2013
11:33 am
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Neil Kemp
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Louise, at no point did I ever mention your name and frankly I’ve got better things to worry about at the moment, so please refrain from personal abuse.
You believe what you want to believe, I’m past caring. To avoid possible future unpleasantness I’ll just avoid answering any topic you post on.
Now I’m just off to scatter my Mother’s ashes, so as I’ve said I’ve got enough problems in the real world. You get on with yours and I’ll get on with mine. Goodbye.

January 5, 2013
12:16 pm
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Claire
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Can we calm down please? I don’t see any personal abuse but I do see a heated conversation.

As someone who gets daily emails from people who believe that George Boleyn was gay, that Anne Boleyn kidnapped Henry Carey, that Thomas Boleyn pimped out his daughters etc. etc. I can say for a fact that fiction does change history in that there are now people all over the world telling other people that George was gay, it is becoming an accepted fact. I even had a comment on the site the other day saying that Mark Smeaton could not have committed adultery with Anne because he was gay and he should have just confessed that. It was from someone who took that as complete fact.

As I have said, it has nothing to do with the historical fiction genre as a whole, it has to do with authors’ notes and authors leading people to believe that their story is a retelling of facts. I think authors need to explain clearly what is fact in their books and what is fiction.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

January 18, 2013
5:03 pm
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KellyMarie
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I personally have always enjoyed Phillipppa Gregory’s books but that is because I have long learned just to take whatever she says with a pinch of salt and just enjoy the creative liscence the same way I did with The Tudors and other books or tv shows that have twisted the truth. I however cannot stand to listen to an interview or read any of her notes at the back because it would annoy me to read anythiing that suggests Gregory is writings facts! I would never recommend her books to someone who isn’t very familiar with the actual history of the subject she is writing about however I would have no problem with a history lover reading the books for a little chuckle if they are already aware of the facts. My only hope is that when I read The White Queen and The Lady of the Rivers, they both indicated that Jacqueeta and Elizabeth Woodville where practising witches with real magic powers. Therefore I hope it will indicate to more readers that these aren’t the types of books that you should take as fact snce even a complete novice in history would understand that its not possible for them to have magic powers and doubt the validity of the other “facts” Gregory claims to present.

Woohoo I'm normal...gotta go tell the cat!

January 18, 2013
5:19 pm
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Boleyn
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Poetic licence in SWMNBN books or any fiction book can only be taken so far. SWMNBN actually steps over that mark and that then creates a problem. If she was to explain that when she puts in these fantasic ideas of witchcraft/nymphomania/incest etc that they were purely her interpetation of what she feels went on, in the Tudor court her books perhaps would end up getting used for other things other than just reading. Her main trouble is that she truly believes what she is writing is fact, although she offers no evidence to back up her ridiculous theories.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

January 18, 2013
5:29 pm
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KellyMarie
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Yes I know what you mean. That is why I stay away from the author’s notes and any interview she does. She has no right to call herself a historian when she gets the most simplest facts wrong. Like I said in my last post, I just hope that people will start to realise now that the books are far from fact with Gregory actually suggesting Elizabeth Woodville really was a witch. A gullible person may believe that Anne and George had an incestuous relationship, which is infuriating. However there is no way that anyone can believe that someone has magic powers. Therefore Gregory may have finally undone herself leading her fanbase to seek the real truth on her earlier books “crosses fingers”.

Woohoo I'm normal...gotta go tell the cat!

June 23, 2013
11:23 pm
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mandersdawn
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While I am the first to admit that I owe PG a grudging respect to introducing me to the story of Anne Boleyn, she irritates me. In a Q & A in the back of TOBG, she is asked how she researched “such a far ranging story”. She answered that she “always start(s) by reading the secondary sources” and “aim(s) to read all of the major works”. So by her own admission she doesn’t read any of the primary sources, a good number of which are easily available online these days!

There is zero excuse for this in my book. While I do enjoy her books, I am another who can no longer watch or read anything she says.

June 24, 2013
11:19 am
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Boleyn
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Mandersdown S.W.M.N.B.N irritates a lot of people. The woman is tuppence short of a shilling in my opinion. Although to give her a little bit od credit, albeit grudgingly I did enjoy The Red Queen and the White Queen books. But for the most part her books are mindless pap, and yet I read them, well I like a good laugh. Mind you I’ve only got to look in the mirror to go into hysterics, but then that is a whole new ball game.
She makes me want to leap through the screen and give her the biggest shaking she will ever have. I watched the last days of Anne Boleyn the other night (finally) and when she came on I muted it and only unmuted it when she had finished speaking as was wiping her mouth.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

June 24, 2013
1:11 pm
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Bill1978
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I think the advantage to living in Australia is that I don’t have the opportunity to stumble acrosss Gregory speaking or writing articles. So I never get to experience the ‘joy’ of her ‘I’m an historian’ speil. So all the books of hers I have read, i have been able to read a fiction withthe disclaimer that the following story is fictional and any resemblance to persons. living or dead, is purely coincidental. Her books make me want to discover the truth. I don’t mind them as stories, but when people try to claim the books as historical sources, I can’t help but get angry and wonder why the person is so silly.

i did read an article earlier today (it was a link in an article about The white Queen series that Claire linked to) that Gregory has admitted she got an E in Hisotory. But then justified it, by saying the topics were boring and not presenting in an exciting fashion or something. With that type of excuse, I think I’m going to quit science teaching and become a commerce specialist.

June 24, 2013
11:31 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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mandersdawn said

In a Q & A in the back of TOBG, she is asked how she researched “such a far ranging story”. She answered that she “always start(s) by reading the secondary sources” and “aim(s) to read all of the major works”.

By “secondary sources” I assume she means “Any old rubbishy gossip Chapuys & co wrote about”.

June 24, 2013
11:39 pm
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Boleyn
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S.W.M.N.B.N in my honest opinion is a puffed up bundle of pretence, basically trying to be something she isn’t. I.e a historian. I would love to put her in a room with Anyanka, Sharon and Louise (and I’ve no doubt Louise would want to seriously slap her after what she did to George in TOBG) they would have her cowering in a corner crying in next to no time I think.
I love history simple as that. The teacher we had for History was to be honest a complete twit, and I felt I learnt more by not listening to him and finding out things for myself instead. But there again perhaps the teacher gave the impression of being a twit in order for us to want to go and found out the truth for ourselves? Either way History has always been a subject that has facinated me from a very early age.
I could never get on with Science, It was always my experiement that went wrong too. I remember one Science teacher we had, he was doing an experiement which he said was totally safe etc, and it went wrong and the whole room filled with smoke we all got out just as it went boom. Not good, mixed a chemical and base or something like that, either way the science block was closed for the next week.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

June 25, 2013
8:48 am
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Louise
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PG depicted George as a homosexual, which wasn’t accurate, but he was still a relatively decent man in TOBG. I’m more annoyed that she tried to make the incest charge plausible, but that aside George wasn’t a bad person in her book. Mantel and Michael Hirst have done far more damage to George’s honour and reputation than PG.

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