Booking Through Thursday: History

This week’s question, from Booking Through Thursday:
Given the choice, which do you prefer? Real history? Or historical fiction? (Assume, for the purposes of this discussion that they are equally well-written and engaging.)
I’m a nonfiction history reader through and through.
I confess I have an uneasy relationship with historical fiction, which just gets worse, the further back in history the book is set.
Not exactly sure why this is, but it may be that I’m not sure if the history stuff is done correctly in historical fiction, and I am not so ready to suspend disbelief with historical fiction as I am with science fiction, fantasy, time travel, ghost stories, etc.
Also, life was hard back then, and in historical fiction, that really comes through. Those unfortunate souls did not have indoor plumbing! Or furnaces, or proper ovens, or easy access to chocolate, or free public libraries. I often think I would have just withered away from the agonies of it all.
When I’m reading fiction, I’m living in the characters’ world. With historical fiction, I don’t want to live there. I want to live here, with my hot cup of coffee, thermostat, piles of books, hot running water, Internet, and food I didn’t have to strangle with my bare hands. Historical fiction reminds me that I am nothing but one big wimp, and who needs that?
And on that happy note, I’ll wish you a very merry Christmas.


5 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: History

  1. Funny post! I never thought of it that way but i have been extremely glad that, as a woman, i live now and not in various previous centuries. I'm 33; who knows if i would have even made it to this age back then?

  2. I am giggling at your post. I have to admit to having had similar thoughts sometimes when reading historical fiction. I suppose that's why I like to read books set when many of our modern conveniences are either being invented or being popularized. My post is here.

  3. Melanie — Yes, I'm quite sure I would have perished if I'd had to live my pioneer ancestors' existence.

    Lex — You've got it exactly right – like we're not going to notice when they change history to match their storyline? : )

    Puss Reboots — Thank goodness for those good humans who invented the modern conveniences!

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