I recently stumbled across a historical blog whose post reduced me to tears of mirth. Literally, I laughed out loud and scared my dogs. The post was titled “The Support Group For People Unfairly Maligned In Historical Fiction” and it was one of the most hilarious tongue-in-cheek takedowns of semi-historical fiction I have ever read. Here is a sample:
Elizabeth I: Hello, everyone, England’s greatest queen here. There’s one idiot, I mean author, who seems to think that I – who never married, and was attended at just about every step of the way even when I was queen – managed to pop out six kids without anyone noticing. And I thought I’d scotched that stupid pregnant-by-Thomas-Seymour rumour at the time, but 460 years later people are still banging on about it.
Anne Boleyn: Where to start with my unfair vilification? I did not commit adultery. I sure as heck did not commit incest. (Sex with my brother?? There is not enough ewwww in my vocabulary.) I was not a serial killer, or a poisoner. Or convicted of witchcraft. I did not miscarry a deformed foetus. Neither was I deformed myself. Because of course Henry VIII would have spent seven years trying to get his marriage to the Holy Roman Emperor’s aunt annulled so he could marry someone hideously disfigured. Makes perfect sense.
Mark Smeaton: Well, apparently, I was Queen Anne Boleyn’s intellectually below-average socially inept fanpoodle. Or George Boleyn’s equally socially inept boytoy. I keep forgetting which.
George Boleyn: Well in this one here, it seems you’re both.
Mark Smeaton: Seriously? Let me see that. *flips pages* Wow. It even has me coming on to you in public! Because, people totally did that all the time in the 1530s, and everyone else would have been okay with it. Riiiight. That’s totally not anachronistic at all. *rolls eyes* I mean, really – somehow the fact that you gave me a gift of a book is evidence not of a patron/protégé type friendship, but that we were at it like rabbits? Good Lord. That’s definitely putting two and two together to make 567.
Katherine Howard: I’ll see your affair with George Boleyn and raise you … wait for it … Anne of Cleves and me. And no, we’re not going to act out that scene with the honey jar for you lot, so don’t even think about it.
The better you know your history, the funnier you’ll think the post is. Its author, Kathryn Warner, has a book out now about entitled Edward II: The Unconventional King and I will definitely be buying it! I’ll be sure to review it for you all!