I've been reading a couple of threads at AAR on the importance of historical accurateness and I'm seeing - if not red - a definite dark pink. I've explained my theory before on what I see as the two types of readers, the artistic and the technical. If I knew how to search for previous posts, I'd link to it but since I don't have a clue, here's a brief synopsis:
Artistic readers are concerned with the emotion that comes with reading historical romance. They may notice the occasional incorrectness, but if the story and the characters have 'grabbed' them, the incorrectness doesn't really bother them that much.
I'm an artistic reader
The technical reader on the other hand, pays close attention to the facts and inaccuracies drive them bonkers and could ruin an otherwise good book.
So the uber technical readers are all up in arms in the threads, nitpicking and complaining about the lazy writers of romance and how they should almost be drawn and quartered for missing tiny insignificant facts.
First there was a post from Adele Ashworth on her reaction to some of the nitpickedniness of some of the more anal technical readers where she made this comment
But what made me laugh (and I mean literally laugh) when the fallout began over historical inaccuracies in TDI was when readers complained that the "champagne flute wasn't invented yet" and "women didn't use cosmetic brushes in 1870." It was truly a head-scratching, WTF? moment for me. I worked very hard to create a believable romance, with accurate historical detail and the most believable dialogue possible considering the time period and storyline — and yes, I took some creative license with a heroine-opera-singer-who's-secretly-an-earl's-sister-but-nobody-knows-who-she-is, kind of thing. But I never expected to frustrate readers because I had the hero drinking from a champagne flute instead of a glass in chapter one. The point is, I would never think of checking something like this.
This post in reply particularly annoyed me
But how hard was it to check if champaigne flute was really invented at that time? If you don't have time to check little details like that maybe you shouldn't use them unless you're absolutely sure they are historically accurate? (I'm not talking about deliberately sacrificing details to enhance plot like some authors of historical fiction do). That is, if it really matters to you and you don't want to alienate some readers that care about this sort of thing. If you feel that most of your readers want believable romance and don't care much about unimportant detail than it's another matter, of course
Give it a rest woman!!! Good grief. Should we expect writers to do research on cosmetic brushes and champagne flutes (which by the way, said poster spelled champagne wrong so she obviously didn't do her own "research") ??????
Earlier in a previous but very similar thread there was this little gem
But I guess I can't blame Kleypas or Quinn. They're very successful. I blame readers who buy their new wallpaper over their older, better work and vote for the new stuff in the polls over deeper works by other authors.
Who the fuck really cares(????) - and trust me - I don't often use that word unless I'm worked up - so you can tell I am. Why are the super technical readers even reading romance if it bugs them so much? Why not instead just check straight history books out of the library and read them to their hearts content? If the love story between the hero and heroine in a ROMANCE book isn't the prime reason for reading, then stay the hell away from it.
I did post a reply but that is one of the reasons I started a blog - so I could really let my feelings out here instead of reigning in my more annoyed reactions in a more public place :)
There's nothing wrong with being a technical reader although I think they risk the opportunity of getting into the 'feel' of the book. But these uber technical readers just annoy the hell out of me. I don't read romance to learn historical facts. I took history in high school - and may I do a quick pat on my back and say I aced it. History and English were the only two subjects I got marks in the 90's. I read it because I love it, because it takes me to a place I'll never go when I'm in the mood to 'travel'.
I remember when I first discovered the historical romance - how absolutely thrilled I was that history was being combined with really wonderful love stories. I was in the clouds. And I'm still there!
So to those fanatics who like to analyze a book to death on lack of absolute historical accuracy, stay the heck away and read straight history books.
And that's my rant for the day!!