While restructuring Speak Its Name, I found myself on a horns of a dilemma, and would like to throw the subject open to see what people think.
I was about to pull several books for not being “actual history” e.g. dealing with people who really didn’t exist e.g. 14th century Hollywood style King Arthurs or Robin Hood books, and then I noticed, that, with the upsurge of classical book fanfiction, this put characters like Mr Darcy (Pride/Prejudice) and James Fairfax (James Fairfax) in the same boat – that these are books are “historically famous people who don’t exist.”
So, what do you think? Where does one draw the line? When dealing with historical characters should they be in their correct time frame? Would you consider a book about Robin Hood to be history even though he didn’t exist? If the answer to that question is “no” then what about Mr Darcy? What about Hamlet?
Should these go into a separate category such as “Alternative History”? I know that the Historical Novel Society encompass A.U books such as the Novik Temeraire series, so perhaps I’m worrying too much, but it’s such a new genre, I’d like to get groundlines in place.
Additionally, what about real person slash? If a character is proven homosexual, such as Wilde, I’d say that that’s no problem, but what about if you speculate that someone is gay or bisexual where there isn’t any evidence?