In three separate surveys of reading habits and preferences (check the Reader Surveys tab on this blog), the top three reasons for reading historical fiction are: (1) to bring the past to life, appreciating how people lived and coped in very different times, (2) because it’s a great story, and (3) to understand and learn about historical periods without reading non-fiction.
How can authors bring the past to life without exploring modes of travel, the circumstances of daily life, or the religious beliefs of the time? How can readers learn about a particular time period without seeing the characters of the novel confronting the conflicts and challenges of that era? How can a character’s emotions be relevant for today without appreciating the values and customs or the restrictions of yesterday?
Setting considers all of these and so much more. Without an authentic living and breathing setting, a work of historical fiction fails.
As someone who not only speaks three Romance languages but is presently studying Latin so that I can read inscriptions myself, I found this really interesting!
Readers of this blog will be aware of my fascination with all things linguistic. So, I just had to share Susanna Viljanen’s and Dan Toler’s answers on Quora on what happened to Latin once Rome was no more.
It may surprise many to realize that Latin is alive and well over fifteen centuries later. Latin never disappeared. It simply evolved. But it evolved differently in different places, and that’s how we ended up with the diverse set of modern Romance languages.
What Happened to Latin After the Fall of Rome (476 AD)?
After the Western Empire’s collapse, Latin continued to exist just as ever. People from Lusitania to Dacia continued to speak Vulgar Latin as their everyday language and to write Classical Latin in their letters.
But languages are living things. While many modern people think of Latin as a single, standard language, that wasn’t the case. Ecclesiastical…
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I had no idea this was a milestone, but that’s how many posts I’ve made since starting this blog. My thanks to those of you who read and/or subscribe.
Before you start to worry, don’t. I’m fine. So is everyone else in our home. Like many people with day jobs, I am working from here. My husband and son are considered essential employees, so they’re still going to their respective jobs. Our son’s buddy, who has been staying with us for a time, is helping me reorganize the house and redoing the back yard (he likes to garden).
The adventure has become complicated, though. The other day, I noticed some standing water by our front yard garden hose spigot. Our son told me he’d been filling his work truck water tank from there and thought he might not have closed the spigot all the way. No problem. Dumped some mulch there to absorb it.
Well, yesterday there was a ton of standing water again. A little excavation revealed that the water main had rusted through. This is part of what our son deals with in his day job, so he thought he had an easy fix to replace the part.
No joy there. The house is 57 years old, and after visiting 13 shops this morning he was unable to get the small piece. This has now become the rather daunting job of replacing the entire water main between the house and street with PVC … something that would have needed to be done eventually anyway. We’ve now been 24 hours without running water.
Never have I been so grateful for dry shampoo, baby wipes … and working from home.
So now you know.
Kenny Rogers passed away over the weekend. His rendition of Mel Tillis’ heartbreaking “Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town)” was my favorite of his repertoire. Rest in power.