I am very excited today to have guest author Victoria Gray with us! I've read her debut novel, and it is fabulous! I was lucky to meet Victoria several years ago and last year sat with her at the Hearts Through History breakfast at RWA Nationals. She is an up and coming author to watch with a talent for vivid writing, a knack for historical detail, and spellbinding characters.
For the most part, writers of historical romance strive for accuracy in capturing historical events and characters. Can the same be said of Hollywood?
Before its release, the studio was said to have deleted several love scenes deemed too steamy between the nearly thirty-year old actor and the fourteen year-old actress. Besides the “ick” factor here, this romance is completely inaccurate. Many other scenes in the movie are historically wrong as well, but the romance is the most glaring example of Hollywood mauling the truth in this film.Disney’s Pocahontas isn’t quite as bad, but as a teacher who works with children who have to learn the facts about the Jamestown expedition and its key players, it’s difficult to overcome the portrayals of Pocahontas as someone who looks like Barbie’s Native American cousin and Captain John Smith as Jamestown Expedition Ken. At least, that’s a fantasy, complete with the requisite Disney talking animals, and that offers a teaching point about fiction versus non-fiction. Visit Victoria at: www.victoriagrayromance.com
I could go on and on about Hollywood’s historical inaccuracies. Bonnie and Clyde portrayed the notorious bank robbers as lovers on the run, not the cold-blooded killers they were. Braveheart depicts a kilt-clad Mel Gibson even though kilts weren’t worn in Scotland until about three hundred years after William Wallace died. More remarkably, the film depicts Wallace as the father of Edward III, who was born seven years after Wallace’s death (and I thought nine months was a long time to be pregnant). Mel was at it again with The Patriot, in which he almost single-handedly wins a battle that history recorded as a win for the British…a minor detail, I suppose, in the minds of Hollywood. Gladiator’s villain, Emperor Commodus, was certainly not a nice guy, but it’s believed his father died of disease, not at Commodus’ hand. Commodus was murdered after ruling for more than a decade…in his bathtub, not fighting in a gladiator’s ring. I suppose a guy dying in his bathtub would not have created the heroic ending the folks behind Gladiator were looking for, and as I adore Russell Crowe, I’ll forgive this particular inaccuracy.
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