Saturday, 5 January 2013
In the Dedicatory Epistle of Ivanhoe, his romance of the late Middle Ages, Sir Walter Scott tried to head off possible criticisms of such historical novels by stating that he had done his best to be historically accurate while at the same time being readable to his audience. And if there were some anomalies? It's an entertainment! Enjoy! It makes me think of criticisms, from within the academy, of works like Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell novels or the movie 'Lincoln'. Also, in a subsequent introduction to the book, Scott said he wrote it, in part, in case readers were getting tired of his Highland romances. In both pieces, from almost two hundred years ago, it's interesting to read authorial concerns so modern.