>Historical accuracy

>I have a problem.

Catch the Rainbow is set in November 1974 just as 2 Birmingham pubs are blown up by Irish terrorists. One of my fatalities wasn’t actually killed in the blast but by some other (suspicious) means. It’s likely her body will have been held onto pending investigation, but I need to bury her. Well, cremate her.

I get very cross every time I read a novel where basic facts haven’t been adhered to, but so many successful authors get away with not bothering, putting it down to poetic licence. Should I bury my victim and to hell with protocol? Or should I stick to historical fact? (I believe it’s different these days due to scientific and forensic progress.)

Also, for many, many years, Birmingham’s coronor was Richard Whittington. Will anyone believe it if I drop that name in? Or will they think he’s a pantomime character called Dick?

I managed to leave work early yesterday as I needed to get cat flea treatment – I’ve not seen any evidence of infestation yet, but I’d rather prevent than cure, if possible. I also wanted to get a new basic MP3 player as mine more or less packed up yesterday morning (it was draining the batteries far too quickly and when I put a brand new battery in, it failed to come on at all).

At Christmas I was given money that was specifically to be used towards a new laptop, but I’ve been biding my time, seeing what’s available within my price range, and where I’ll get extras or discounts if I shop wisely. As my laptop has needed to be started in normal/safe mode twice over the past 2 weeks, I think it’s time I laid it to rest and I want to do that before it loses everything (although I am backed up in about 5 different places these days). So I looked at laptops too.

I really was too tired to do much last night. Catch the Rainbow was all I managed.

In about 3 weeks I have a dental appointment. I think I’m about ready for 1 filling; just have to psyche myself up for the 2nd … :o(


9 thoughts on “>Historical accuracy

  1. Devon Ellington 16 April 2010 / 12:24 pm

    >That's why the author can put a "note" in the final book. I do it when I "stretch geography" or mix fantastical places with real ones, or want to share a source.You get the best of both worlds — the reader gets to see where you made your choices, and where to look further if they're interested.


  2. Devon Ellington 16 April 2010 / 12:27 pm

    >PS I HATE it when authors play fast and loose with the truth and pretend it doesn't matter. I don't mind if it comes across as a clear, logical choice. But, usually, it comes across as they didn't care and didn't think I was smart enough to know about it.I get that way about geography. If a writer sets a book in NYC, has the character in Harlem, turns a corner and is in Greenwich Village without a paranormal reason — I put the book down and don't buy anything by that person again.If I can't trust them on the simple facts, why would I trust them on anything on which I need to suspend disbelief?


  3. Diane 16 April 2010 / 12:41 pm

    >Well, the book already has a prologue, an epilogue and an afterword, so there's no problem with adding a note as well, maybe with the acknowledgements.I hate it when a famous/successful author makes a really stupid mistake that's easily checkable by research. One author potted the last red before only the black was left in a game of Snooker. If you don't know something, replace it with something you do know. Don't guess and don't lie. Or do the research properly in the first place. Her characters must have been playing Pool, and there's no reason why that can't have been the British pub game they were playing, but she made a song and dance of it being Snooker.In the a book I just finished the author had every frightfully British character eating cornflakes with bananas for breakfast. I don't know a single person that does that.


  4. FatBigot 16 April 2010 / 8:41 pm

    >The only place to go to get a laptop is John Lewis. For instance go to http://frankchalk.blogspot.com/ and scroll down to the entry for Thursday, April 01, 2010. I fully endorse ALL his comments there.


  5. Diane 17 April 2010 / 10:36 am

    >Where's our nearest John Lewis? Only one I know how to get to is in Solihull.


  6. FatBigot 17 April 2010 / 4:28 pm

    >Sheffield center, formally known as Cole Brothers. You could also fit in your planned trip to Rare and Racy at the same time, as it's just further along Division Street.


  7. Sarah 21 April 2010 / 8:38 pm

    >I now work with the policeman who was in charge of the morgue set up at "The General" on the night of the bombings. He'd be happy to talk to you if you need any details. Don't know if you ever saw Richard Whittington in action – he dealt with one of my clients and I was very impressed. Can't really say the same for our current two!


  8. Diane 23 April 2010 / 8:56 am

    >Steve: I don't really know Sheffield very well, but I must find it if it's my nearest.


  9. Diane 23 April 2010 / 8:56 am

    >Sarah: That would be brilliant, if you could arrange it. I could then have a nice jolly down to Brum.


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