Bygone Eras?Posted: April 2, 2011
I quite like historical fiction. The reason I mention this is that I am currently watching I, Claudius. I’ve never got around to reading the book but I must say that I am completely hooked by the 1970s TV series.
It’s superb television. Visually nothing much happens: battles happen off stage, cast members come and go through a succession of small rooms and there’s very little in terms of titillation aside from an occasional nipple (which surprised me). I am completely absorbed by the people talking to each other. I can’t see the Beeb ever making something as good again.
Certainly if trash like Spartacus the TV series and The Tudors is what passes for Historical fiction on telly then is it any wonder that people have funny ideas about the past? Yes I know it’s just meant to be fun but I can’t help but wonder if these sorts of shows do a great deal of harm to our cultural perception of the past.
And I’ve just added the book to my basket on Amazon.
Oh, and before I forget… Some of the best books I’ve ever read are historical fiction. Read the Aubrey-Maturin books by Patrick O’Brian and be amazed.