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Offline AGRBear

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2008, 09:14:35 PM »
I apologize for digressing.

Since Helen opened this thread and directed her words to myself and Penny,  I feel I need to respond, even without FA's permission.



... [ in part]....
Here is some additional information from Penny on AA's child:

Yes.  She was quite adamant about the child's birth, and claimed a date in -- I think -- December 1918/January 1919 for the birth.  This is in the court records, along with her statement concerning the possible death of Alexander Tschaikowsky -- which AA claimed happened in a street-fight, but which can't be verified independently.

This date of birth, of course, places conception in the early months of 1918 -- unthinkable for people when the theory was that she was Anastasia, because that would mean one of two things:  That rape had happened in Tobolsk, on board the Rus, in the Ipatiev house, or all three; or Anastasia had had consensual sex while in captivity, presumably with a guard.  Either way, when she -- AA-as-Anastasia -- left the Ipatiev House in mid-July 1918, she was pregnant.


This of course refers to the Rus trip and implication that Anna Anderson was Anastasia... Issue #1.

Lets take it from there. If anyone else remembers anything else, you can post it here...




Remember  I explained certain threads that  too many posts were eliminated, and,  posters went back and changed their posts  [this was when people could go back and anytime and change their posts].  So what people read, now,  will read something entirely different than it was intended to be since it's, now,  out of context..

Yes, we were talking about what Gibbes' son said that his father had said.

Yes,  we were talking about the various testimonies of the people who were on the Russ.

I believe it was Chat Noir who mentioned AA's story in the middle of that discussion.... One post lead to another.... We were no longer talking about the Grand Duchess but AA and von Kleist's claim that AA had a child in Dec. of 1918.  So,  if AA  [NOT GD Anastasia] had a child in Dec.,  one needed to count back seven to nine months.  Let me repeat.  We were talking about AA's and von Klest's dates.  Someone  reminded us that AA had denied von Kleist's story and that she claimed to have had a child in 1919.  I think we agreed that since AA claimed she had a child with Tchaikovsky  that she couldn't have had a child in Dec. 1918 so it had to have been born seven to eight months after July of 1918.  Unfortunately, somewhere,  I jokingly mentioned that someone had written in their diary that GD Anastasia was said to be getting fat.  I later apologized because this caused some eye brows to flare up.  And, this caused people to incorrectly think I thought AA was GD Anastasia.  Which I do not.


That was my  BIG ERROR.  When FA pointed out my blunder,  I openly admitted my blunder at the time.  Because when I do make blunders or any kind of errors,  I do admit it, say I'm sorry, and expect people to accept my apology.  

Since I don't believe AA is GD Anastasia,  most people did not have a problem with  accepting my apology, accept Helen and Annie, who have no intentions of accepting my apology, then, now, or later, and,  they have no intentions of stopping this campaign against King and Wilson.  I assume they attack me because I continued to defend King and Wilson.  

Now, back to the Russ and the events which may or may not have occurred.

FA has his opinion about the events which he believes  occurred on the Russ.  I find them interesting.  Just as I find  King's and Wilson's opinions  interesting.  I believe they have seen GARF, talked to Gibbes' son (or read what he had said) and other documents which caused them to think it worth presenting in their book.

Their error was a simple one.  The publisher had taken out part of a sentence, which wasn't caught, and so the footnote ended up at the end of the sentence which meant the footnote was establishing the wrong point.   And,  that point  was and still  concerns FA who wishes this error and the other errors could  be corrected.  

After some heated discussion on AP,  both King and Wilson left AP, and, then  placed on their forum how the errors occurred.  I accepted their  explanation, as do others.  

Unless the publisher allows King and Wilson to correct the errors,  the errors will remain.  And,  the book will be reprinted, again and again with those errors.  This is what is.   And,  if you have ever published anything,  you'd realize that an author loses many rights when he/she sign the dotted line.  How do I know?  Experience.  And,  if anyone tells you differently, then,  they have been some of the lucky ones who haven't had this problem.

Let me repeat for the umpteenth  time since Helen and Annie fail to understand and seem to want you to believe otherwise:  
I do not believe AA was GD Anastasia.

AGRBear



« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 09:24:21 PM by Alixz »
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Offline AGRBear

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2008, 09:38:41 PM »
As I said yesterday on the thread that was eliminated, I think a great deal of the problem in reading Edvard Radzinsky is the fact that whoever it was who translated his work,  didn't do a very good job.

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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2008, 09:40:58 PM »
Let me repeat for the umteenth  time since Helen and Annie fail to understand and seem to want you to believe otherwise: 
I do not believe AA was GD Anastasia.

And me repeat this for the umteeth time too, I do not, nor did I ever   CARE whether you think AA was Anastasia. In fact, I don't really care what you think about any of it. And if you can find a post that reveals otherwise, I would be very surprised...  ;-)

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2008, 11:32:29 PM »
Belated thanks, Jenn.
In a probably futile attempt to diversify this thread a bit from the Kurth, et al discussion- Someone asked what an author of historical fiction owes his or her readers.
 Well, I just fisnished reading GONE WITH THE WINDSORS by Laurie Graham. A humorous as well as bitter account of the abdication years. Told in diary form by Wallis' fictiional best friend from Baltimore. The detail is precise, not only with historical facts of the events but also down to which stores, restaurants, cafe and clubs were "in" at that time. How an Englishwoman nailed American attitudes is really amazing. Of course everyone, except Wallis is filthy rich and the class system is still going strong.
 I became so engrossed in the story, that at times I forgot I was reading a novel.  It took a bitchy or dumb American comment to bring me back to the reality of what I was reading. I think it would make a great movie.
  Anyway, the author achieved her duty to tell a story and tell it well. If someone takes it seriously, is that her fault?  I would say no, in my opinion.
 Much the same with Dan Brown. He took historical facts and used his imagination to tell a tale and pick up a bucket of money doing it. Is it his fault the some turned it into a cult [more a fad, I would say]  and others took offence? I think not.
 So there you have. My attempt to lighten the mood around here.

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Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2008, 07:32:10 AM »
There is no mystery about the explanation about this particular incident. Penny told me personally on the phone that this was sloppy editing as they were in a rush to publication.  I believe her entirely and accept this. However, I stand behind what I said before is a primary obligation of an author: ANY author writing what purports to be accurate historical non-fiction must keep what they know "for sure from the evidence" separate from their speculation and imagination based on that evidence.

With all respect to Penny and Greg and no personal implications here at all, I simply find that certain instances in the book are speculation or assumption on their part, stated to give the appearance of facts. Its fine for them to speculate on the events, but they do NOT let the reader know that these are their speculative conclusions, nor did they present the contradictory evidence to allow the reader to draw their own conclusions as I did above.

And as I have stated elsewhere on this forum and in discussion of this same topic, sometimes an author's primary obligation is to the stylistic requirements of the publisher. I have here on my p.c. before me - and I think I am the only person who still does - the chapter dealing with the Rus incident in the form in which it was originally written, with much to and fro discussion of the evidence presented by Sidney Gibbes; George Gibbes; Edvard Radzinsky; and Nikolai Ross - little of which evidence (and none of the discussion AFAIR without checking the final version of the book, which is at home) made it into the final version. There is discussion of WHY Gilliard was silent; WHY Buxhoeveden was silent; was Gibbes's evidence from his papers reliable so long after the fact and when he himself was in his own cabin - and so on. And, yes, the fact that Buxhoeveden noted Olga's withdrawal and depression before she left Tobolsk is duly noted.

On November 29th 2002, after rewrites and vast cuts according to Wiley's requirements, Greg wrote to me "The entire book-and I do mean that-has completely changed from what you read-so it's going to be interesting to see your take on it-it's much lighter."
So there you go. Perhaps now someone will believe what I've said several times here about style and the presentation of evidence, but I'm not holding my breath. And my take on the final version was that while much was far more smoothly written I regretted the removal of much of the discussion relating to the obviously controversial issues.

When I was freaking out over what might be being said on this forum and others and not wanting to look at them, Greg also said to me, "These isn't anything on any of these boards which should induce anything other than bemusement," - and - boy - looking now I see how right he was. Helen's post about FOTR's discussion of DNA, about the Rus, about Penny's alleged beliefs about the bones simply makes my head spin. It even makes me laugh. If there are any errors in the discussion of the DNA evidence in FOTR it's because the topic was considered of small importance to the book and no-one studied it in real depth.
Greg again: "The DNA has been condensed to a reiteration of the tests coupled with changes in methodology and the recent objections on which we take no position" - 29 November 2002.  THis was because the historical and anthropolgical evidence, coupled with the DNA, was considered to be decisive.
Greg yet again: "Of course, given the issues of the grave being known, being tampered with by someone at some point prior to 1991, we've unfortunately laid out the case that some loon can take it up and say "Ah ha! They had all the information to show and prove the grave was a hoax but they missed it" or some such rot." - 7 January 2003.
Ho hum - I don't think he ever realised that anyone would acccuse HIM or his co-author of believing the grave was a fake. Then again, he probably did, because he always expects this kind of stuff. 
I didn't hear Penny's talk at the ERHJ Conference and don't know what she said, because I have at this point just about zero interest in the death of Nicholas II; in his children; and in people claiming to be them. But I heard from a friend that the gist of her talk was examining the possibility that AA was a Russian aristocract (NB This does NOT mean that Penny thinks she actually was; just that she examained the question).

As regards the Rus, I should add that Greg told me in October 2001 that he did not believe there was a rape.

Is this enough?

Anyway, as regards an author's obligations once any errors have been detected, as I said in a post in the thread that got deleted (much of which I didn't see, though I'm confident I'm not repeating too much since no-one here was there where I was in 2001-3), you all of you here got far more out of Penny than you would out of any other author. And then she set up a forum to deal with it further. And Greg - who had long since moved on from FOTR in an intellectual sense and was up to his eyes in his next books by the time all this really erupted - duly did his bit beside her.

Enough. Please. God knows why I'm even doing this since I know it's futile - maybe I just get caught into historiographical debate and I enjoy being able to speak from a position of knowledge. The weird story of this book has got to be way more interesting than the subject matter in the end....;-) Not that it wasn't totally expected anyway.



« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 07:35:04 AM by Janet Ashton »
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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2008, 09:11:23 AM »
I do wish people would STOP being specific about FOTR per se.  I brought it up only to demonstrate my point about authors' obligations to their readers.

I find it a bit distressing, personally, that so many people seem to be so "cavalier" about authors relinquishing accuracy in order to make a book "saleable".  This is for me, the defining line between academic publishing, which is devoted to accuracy and vanity press for people who don't want the rigors of academia and just want to peddle books.  Now their is nothing wrong with EITHER side, but readers MUST, IMO, make a strict difference between the two in terms of RELIABILITY for the information contained therein.

I think Janet has demonstrated this point, perhaps inadvertently, but demonstrated it well.

little of which evidence (and none of the discussion AFAIR without checking the final version of the book, which is at home) made it into the final version.

so, the question, of course becomes JUST HOW can a reader KNOW what was left on the cutting room floor? The answer: they can't. As Bear noted, these inaccuracies left forever by editors unfamiliar with the material will become THE NEW FACTS. AS AN EXAMPLE ONLY; for years this forum will have people come in and say "Well, FOTR on pg. 201quotes Vokov saying the Grand Duchesses were NOT left in peace."
Is this, genuinely and honestly ANY SERVICE to those wishing to know the truth?? Is the ceding of historical accuracy to editors/publishers of real value to future generations wishing to know the actual facts?

I accept fully that an author of a non-academic work may give up their right to keep the integrity of their work to the publisher to make the book SALEABLE. BUT, WHERE IS THE RESPONSIBILITY/OBLIGATION FOR THIS, FROM THE PERSON WHOSE NAME IS ON THE COVER AS AUTHOR?

It's all well and good to accept the explanation that the publisher made severe cuts, but does this EXCUSE the resulting distortion of the actual history? Why do the authors feel its "ok" to NOT accept their responsibility to the readers and future historians for the resulting product. THIS is my problem.  Honestly, how difficult could it be for an author to insist that a one paragraph note precede the text saying "Substantial portions of the historical evidence and pertinent record have been omitted due to publication constraints regarding length of this book.  As a result some portions of this text may no longer accurately reflect the historical record."

At least with academic publication, as opposed to the vanity press, one does not have these dilemmas. 

Offline Sarushka

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2008, 09:25:31 AM »
Belated thanks, Jenn.
In a probably futile attempt to diversify this thread a bit from the Kurth, et al discussion- Someone asked what an author of historical fiction owes his or her readers.
 Well, I just fisnished reading GONE WITH THE WINDSORS by Laurie Graham. A humorous as well as bitter account of the abdication years. Told in diary form by Wallis' fictiional best friend from Baltimore. The detail is precise, not only with historical facts of the events but also down to which stores, restaurants, cafe and clubs were "in" at that time. How an Englishwoman nailed American attitudes is really amazing. Of course everyone, except Wallis is filthy rich and the class system is still going strong.
 I became so engrossed in the story, that at times I forgot I was reading a novel.  It took a bitchy or dumb American comment to bring me back to the reality of what I was reading. I think it would make a great movie.
  Anyway, the author achieved her duty to tell a story and tell it well. If someone takes it seriously, is that her fault?  I would say no, in my opinion.
 Much the same with Dan Brown. He took historical facts and used his imagination to tell a tale and pick up a bucket of money doing it. Is it his fault the some turned it into a cult [more a fad, I would say]  and others took offence? I think not.
 So there you have. My attempt to lighten the mood around here.

All good points.

As an author of historical fiction, I take my responsibility to my readers very seriously, in part because I've chosen to write about real people. That choice creates another responsibility -- a responsibility to my characters. IMO, anyone who chooses to write fiction about real people has an obligation to present those people accurately, without altering their personality or warping their personal history to fit the story. I'd go so far as to say that if you can't be reasonably true to the real people in your story, you shouldn't write it at all. If you want to write serious historical fiction, you have to be willing to accept the constraints of history and character.

Of course, fiction requires different conventions than non-fiction. A novel needs an emotional arc, a plot with forward thrust and eventual resolution, and so forth. Real life  isn't always that neat and tidy. Some alterations are almost always required to turn history into satisfying fiction. Acceptable alterations to my way of thinking include creating composite characters, telescoping the timeline, and other gentle streamlining to fit the forms of fiction. Basically, I don't think anyone should have to "unlearn" anything after reading a historical novel. For example, novels about Anastasia pretenders don't bother me, because Anastasia Nikolaevna's death has not been established as a historical fact. However, I don't care for books like Curse of the Romanovs, which contradict fact.

Curse of the Romanovs brings up an interesting point: although the story deviates significantly from fact in one striking instance, the author acknowledges that alteration openly in the afterword. Does that fulfill her obligation as an author of historical fiction? Yeah, much as I disagree with her choice to contradict history, I have to concede that she did it the "right" way. Oh, and besides, the novel is also a fantasy, which probably more or less gets the author off the hook in the first place.

I know lots of folks have far less rigid tastes and standards. For many people, the label "fiction" alone is enough to free an author from most obligations of fact. I get that. I don't agree with it, but I get it, and it's tough point to argue with. Fiction by definition is something "feigned, invented, or imagined" after all.
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Offline Puppylove

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2008, 09:32:39 AM »

When I was freaking out over what might be being said on this forum and others and not wanting to look at them, Greg also said to me, "These isn't anything on any of these boards which should induce anything other than bemusement," - and - boy - looking now I see how right he was.


Janet, as I have stated many times before I apreciate your insight, because you have opened my eyes to the way editing and publishing should work in a perfect world, and how they end up working in reality.

Having said this, I'm disappointed to learn that Mr. King (whom I respect and don't believe I've ever disparaged), would find only "bemusement" on a forum such as this. Is anyone, published or not, credentialed or not, really so completely confident in their own knowledge that they've nothing left to learn?

Jenn
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Offline Annie

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2008, 09:44:47 AM »
A big question I would like to have answered is, did the authors allow their close relationship to Peter Kurth, and his making them heirs to the AA legacy handed down to him by Harriet Rathlef, possibly taint the way certain pieces of evidence in the book were presented? While it has not been mentioned in awhile, when FOTR was being written, and after it was published, it was mentioned that there would be a new book in the works discussing AA. This has led some of us to wonder if perhaps some of the questionable info in FOTR was perhaps a setup or lead-in to that?

In a post dated April 12, 2000, Peter Kurth clearly states that Penny and Greg are to carry on for AA:

(I do have a link for this but cannot post it because the first half included inappropriate content. If anyone wants to see it PM me)

Let me do it, Greg.  The work you and Penny are doing must be protected,
because you are standing on my shoulders, and I on Dominique Aucleres',
and she by authority and intimate association with Tatiana Botkin, whose
brother was Gleb Botkin, whose daughter, Marina Botkin Schweitzer, has
given her blessing to your work.

All but Marina, Gleb, and Tatiana stand also on the shoulders one
valiant woman, Harriet von Rathlef-Keilmann, a Jew in Berlin, who helped
a suffering stranger find her feet in the world, and all by herself,
against giant and malevolent forces, kept our friend alive and in loving
company until the professionals, at her most urgent appeal, realized
that they had to step in and get rid of the stink.  To Frau von Rathlef,
more even than to "Alexander Tchaikovsky,"  whoever he was, Anastasia
owed her life.

I am Harriet von Rathlef's director successor, in possession of her
original notes.  With my blessing and Marina's, you and Penny will
entwine the different branches of the tree and in fact become its
crown, for there will be no more talk of definitive proof, whether it's
98.5 percent or 18.2.  By my judgment, which is impeccable on this
topic, the DNA tests are down already to 40.9 or even 6.5 or
873 or March 3 instead of June 8.  It's the difference between a
Galitzin and a Golitsyn, and percentages, of course, have no relation to
life.

I'd advise the librarians and genealogists and pop-self-promoters to
come up with a new idea pretty quick.  The test tube is now leaking
stink, which, to our minor irritation, and in the hands of a
professional, will be gone before you can think. We have always known
how easy it is to expose frauds and impostors.  We are the experts on
that.

Henceforth, only the persons above named as heirs and successors, along
with Brien Horan, Ian Lilburn, and you through our constant charge, will
be permitted to call themselves authorities on "Anna Anderson," along
with such persons as otherwise designate.  So get to it, and leave the
rats to me.  I can hear them already, hissing and spitting in their
little holes, biting somebody's toe with their little rat teeth, and,
the minute they appear again, squashed with a single blow and taken
permanently out of the house.

Fondly,

Peter Kurth



In addition to this, there was much talk of this possibly affecting the direction of FOTR both before it was written and after it was published. I can produce proof, though I think at this time posting it would likely not be welcome, it is true and I can prove it if anyone requests it. (and no I wasn't there and had nothing to do with it, it was all 2000-2003 and I only recently found it) Since then, the topic has come up many times on this board, and while some of you call it 'ad nausem' we have never received a suffient answer to our questions. For me, it was very vindicating to find out others had noticed and questioned the same things I had come to later, proving hopefully that I am not 'making things up' or imagining them. There really does seem to be something here or so many people wouldn't have questioned it. We have questioned, yes, but we have no answers. Here's hoping we will get them soon.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 09:56:46 AM by Annie »

Offline Sarushka

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2008, 09:44:47 AM »
It's all well and good to accept the explanation that the publisher made severe cuts, but does this EXCUSE the resulting distortion of the actual history? Why do the authors feel its "ok" to NOT accept their responsibility to the readers and future historians for the resulting product. THIS is my problem.  Honestly, how difficult could it be for an author to insist that a one paragraph note precede the text saying "Substantial portions of the historical evidence and pertinent record have been omitted due to publication constraints regarding length of this book.  As a result some portions of this text may no longer accurately reflect the historical record."

IMO, if you don't have the space to fully discuss an issue or incident of this nature, an even more responsible solution would be to exclude it entirely.

On the other hand, the authors of a book called The Secret Life of Harry Houdini set up a website to handle this problem. The book is not footnoted due to concerns of space and readability, but the web address is printed in the book itself, allowing readers to more fully explore and analyze the authors' claims.


That Houdini biography brings up another interesting point to debate regarding authors' obligations. The book contains this disclaimer:
"To make certain stories come alive for the reader, we've dramatized scenes using composite material, but although we occasionally shift what people said in time, we've always remained faithful to what the players said and thought. When we give you Houdini's thoughts, they are based on interviews or letters in which he's revealed them. We made nothing up; in some cases, we've just turned facts into dialogue."

I was not amused, as you can see here and here.

This strikes me as similar to Radzinsky's approach, though Radzinsky's never taken the time to spell it out that way. How do you guys feel about this? Does a disclaimer make it ok to "dramatize" in a piece of non-fiction? IMO, the Houdini authors have done the right thing in one sense by specifying their alterations, but I still don't think those alterations are appropriate in the first place.

Bottom line: I get really cranky when non-fiction gets blurred into historical fiction for the sake of baiting reluctant readers into giving non-fiction a try.
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Offline Annie

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #40 on: February 28, 2008, 09:50:46 AM »
Quote
I have removed Annie's post as it is OT. This is NOT a discussion about the specific content of any book, unless such specifics are cited ONLY to support the Topic at Hand, ie: the obligations of an author to their readers.

Thank you for your cooperation.

FA

Do an author's obligation to their readers not include being more true to history than their own possible goals? If you believe this, then why can't we explore the background that my prove there were issues involved that affected the information in FOTR and how it was presented? This IS on topic, and is the main reason for this thread.

Many of us have noticed the connection between the AA 'agenda' and the 'mistakes'/'bad editing' in FOTR, and would like some answers. How is this not an author's obligation?

(note to all: my posts included the same info I had in the now deleted thread, apparently now this is taboo. To those I promised this post to, please know that I tried)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 10:01:55 AM by Annie »

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2008, 09:52:34 AM »
Sarah,

I think it is self evident that the moment an author "dramatizes" (or dramatises for UK readers) it is no longer non-fiction and becomes Historical fiction.  Honestly, imagine it being exactly the same as all those History Channel shows that "miraculously" have "video footage" of Mark Antony and Cleopatra or Washington at Valley Forge or whatever...dramatization is that.

Offline Sarushka

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2008, 09:53:15 AM »
Having said this, I'm disappointed to learn that Mr. King (whom I respect and don't believe I've ever disparaged), would find only "bemusement" on a forum such as this. Is anyone, published or not, credentialed or not, really so completely confident in their own knowledge that they've nothing left to learn?

I apologize for throwing your "newbie" status in your face again, but if you'd seen the way some of the book discussion threads have gone in the past, you'd be hard pressed to choose between being bemused and appalled.

I'd also wager a guess that King was addressing what had already been posted at that point in time, rather than commenting that no one, ever, on any message board could post anything worthy of more than bemusement.


On the other hand, the authors of a book called The Secret Life of Harry Houdini set up a website to handle this problem. The book is not footnoted due to concerns of space and readability, but the web address is printed in the book itself, allowing readers to more fully explore and analyze the authors' claims.

I wasn't very clear here: the website contains full annotations and source notes to the text.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline Sarushka

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2008, 09:57:04 AM »
I understand how some of you, especially those of you are personal friends with Penny, don't want to see FOTR dragged around the block again. However, while it has been discussed many times before, there was previously unseen - or as the authors would possibly call it 'startling new evidence' that was lost when the thread was deleted. The subject here is 'an author's obligation' to make every effort to present truth and accuracy in nonfiction, or write historical fiction, or fan fiction, instead. A lot of us have numerous questions as to whether or not this standard was upheld with FOTR, if not, if it was intentional or a 'mistake' that caused the inaccuracies. Mistakes in editing? Errors in translation? Intentionally wording things in a misleading way as to suggest a possible theory as fact? This issue needs to be addressed and hopefully answered to satisfaction. Saying 'leave her alone she's had enough' is not going to make it go away. If it was that easy, I can think of several bill collectors I'd like to tell that to, but they are not going to leave me alone. I don't mean to pick on this one book specifcially and I will address others later, such as DeJong's Rasputin book, but please, let us bring to light all the things that need to be investigated about the topic of FOTR and its accuracies, whether intended or not.

I agree that these issues are fair game for discussion on the forum. However, Rob has said time and again that this thread is not the place to examine FOTR. Specific questions about FOTR should be addressed in a different thread.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2008, 09:58:05 AM »

When I was freaking out over what might be being said on this forum and others and not wanting to look at them, Greg also said to me, "These isn't anything on any of these boards which should induce anything other than bemusement," - and - boy - looking now I see how right he was.


Janet, as I have stated many times before I apreciate your insight, because you have opened my eyes to the way editing and publishing should work in a perfect world, and how they end up working in reality.

Having said this, I'm disappointed to learn that Mr. King (whom I respect and don't believe I've ever disparaged), would find only "bemusement" on a forum such as this. Is anyone, published or not, credentialed or not, really so completely confident in their own knowledge that they've nothing left to learn?

Jenn

He did not at all mean to disparage anyone's knowledge - he just meant that I should not be angry or fearful at attacks on him - that's the specific context of what he said about "bemusement" being the only approporiate response.

In a rush, but wanted to answer that at once....
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many; they are few.