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How much background material do you believe is sufficient
to properly set the tone when writing  a historical novel? I'm
thinking about writing a novel set during the battle of
Hastings in 1066. Where should i begin?  

Whatever it takes to get the point where you can shut your eyes and believe that you are there, physically -- with all the sights and sounds and smells and tastes and textures of the time.

Example of a recent historical novel that does it well -
Bodmin 1349 by Roberta Kalechofsky, set in England in 1349.

Also, if you haven't already, you should check G.A. Henty's novels about the 30-Years War, such as With Fire and Sword.

Best wishes.

Richard Seltzer,  

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Richard Seltzer


I prefer questions that directly relate to my current areas of interest: historical works and historical fiction dealing with Russia and Ethiopia around 1900.


Author of fiction:
The Name of Hero, historical novel (Tarcher/Houghton Mifflin)
The Lizard of Oz, fantasy (B&R Samizdat)
Also nonfiction:
The AltaVista Search Revolution (Osborne/McGraw-Hill)
Shop Online the Lazy Way (Macillan)

See my Web site
for complete novels and short stories by me, as well as resources for

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