Author Topic: House of Special Purpose by Colin Falconer  (Read 10276 times)

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Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: House of Special Purpose by Colin Falconer
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2011, 05:46:36 AM »
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Oh, for Pete's sake! Why do so many historical fiction writers seem to have a fixation on stuff like this? If it's not OTMA being sexually assaulted, it's Alix getting it on with Rasputin, and we all know that none of that ever, ever happened!

It's because sex sells. And I believe it's so common with OTMA because they were four beautiful young women who most likely died virgins. It's tempting for people to bring sex into a picture like that, especially if they haven't really studied OTMA as people and don't feel guilty writing about something so far from the truth.

As for the book, I've never heard of it. Looks like I'll have to check my library. I can't pass up Romanov fanfictrion, no matter how bad it may be!

Sunny

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Re: House of Special Purpose by Colin Falconer
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2011, 06:58:21 AM »
I think if you are writing a historical novel you can invent things, but where real people are involved you have to stay in keeping with what is known about them. In my novel I do have some scenes involving the Imperial Family (my fictitious hero briefly finds himself becoming ADC to the Tsarevich). Alexei is rather a brat (he decides he must have an ADC!) but is frustrated at not being allowed to do normal boyish things like riding a bike, and wants his ADC to teach him how to use a revolver. Olga is rather serious, Tatiana a bit bossy, and Marie and Anastasia a bit silly - Marie wants the hero to show her how to do the tango when he is inveigled into partnering her during a dancing lesson. I am presuming that the girls did have a dancing mistress and that Baroness Buxhoeveden played the piano.

Going back to points made earlier, what happened to the girls was quite unpleasant enough without having to invent anything.

Ann

Personally, since i'm writing specifically on the IF i'm sure i can invent only when history have some little wholes. I see my own writing job like embroidering where history can't explain. To make me understand: i'm becoming quite mad because i always want to go into details. I only write about 2 months & a half, and i want to be as much precise as i can be. I'm buying mass of books about IF to go into details, even if the way i write is difficult to satisfy. I'm conscious i'm maybe too detailed, but that's the only way i know &love. I want pass my needle into history's wholes but carefully - i could broke the texture! One must be as reliable as possible even when inventing where history lacks. I do not like when author invent almost everything...

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: House of Special Purpose by Colin Falconer
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2011, 07:42:54 AM »
Sunny

I think you can invent provided you don't contradict what's known. For example, if you wanted to show the girls having a dancing lesson, you would be all right showing them practising the waltz, the polka and the polonaise (the polonaise seems to have been very popular in Russia). But if you showed them doing the tango your readers would decide that you hadn't done your research too well because the tango was regarded at the time as scandalous and Nicholas II actually prohibited Russian offricers from dancing it in uniform. I'm not sure about other up-to-date dances of the day, but if you can't find out it's probably safest to stick to the traditional ones on the basis that Nicholas and Alexandra were concerned to avoid anything 'fast'.

Ann

GrandDuchessIzabella

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Re: House of Special Purpose by Colin Falconer
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2011, 11:27:42 AM »
I think if you are writing a historical novel you can invent things, but where real people are involved you have to stay in keeping with what is known about them. In my novel I do have some scenes involving the Imperial Family (my fictitious hero briefly finds himself becoming ADC to the Tsarevich). Alexei is rather a brat (he decides he must have an ADC!) but is frustrated at not being allowed to do normal boyish things like riding a bike, and wants his ADC to teach him how to use a revolver. Olga is rather serious, Tatiana a bit bossy, and Marie and Anastasia a bit silly - Marie wants the hero to show her how to do the tango when he is inveigled into partnering her during a dancing lesson. I am presuming that the girls did have a dancing mistress and that Baroness Buxhoeveden played the piano.

Going back to points made earlier, what happened to the girls was quite unpleasant enough without having to invent anything.

Ann

Personally, since i'm writing specifically on the IF i'm sure i can invent only when history have some little wholes. I see my own writing job like embroidering where history can't explain. To make me understand: i'm becoming quite mad because i always want to go into details. I only write about 2 months & a half, and i want to be as much precise as i can be. I'm buying mass of books about IF to go into details, even if the way i write is difficult to satisfy. I'm conscious i'm maybe too detailed, but that's the only way i know &love. I want pass my needle into history's wholes but carefully - i could broke the texture! One must be as reliable as possible even when inventing where history lacks. I do not like when author invent almost everything...
Writing historical fiction is an immensely hard thing to do, because you want to create a good story, but you can't stray too far from the facts, because there will always be history fanatics (such as ourselves) being picky about details. However, huge mistakes and imaginings such as these are just unforgivable and really ruin such a fascinating, but tragic story.
 If people want to create good historical fiction, a lot of research into events and people and their emotions is required. This author seemed to have researched the story well until you read huge errors, like the girls governess travelling with them, when she had been dismissed years before the story was set. He also paid no attention to the real characters and created his own.
We are hugely lucky that there are some brilliant authors out there who can write historically accurately for our enjoyment and also that we can identify such errors, as there are some who will take them as fact.

(P.S Thank you for clearing up that the quotes were imagined. It does seem feasible and would explain the exaggeration.) 

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: House of Special Purpose by Colin Falconer
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2011, 06:54:46 PM »
I think you can invent provided you don't contradict what's known....

Ann
Exactly Ann. That's what make good  historical fiction rewarding...the author works with what is at least possible,
within the known history .It's were the creativity comes in ...after alot of research and reading.

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Offline blessOTMA

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Re: House of Special Purpose by Colin Falconer
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2011, 08:27:42 PM »
Okay , my mistake...the book I just got is indeed called " The House of Special Purpose" but it's author is John Boyne. Not Mr. Falconer......now at least I can read it! lol! Ann, I love the idea of Marie asking the hero to teach her the tango. But with her fabled physical strength, I can see her falling into leading now and then ! lol!

"Give my love to all who remember me."

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historyfan

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Re: House of Special Purpose by Colin Falconer
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2011, 08:31:38 PM »
Okay , my mistake...the book I just got is indeed called " The House of Special Purpose" but it's author is John Boyne. Not Mr. Falconer......now at least I can read it! lol! Ann, I love the idea of Marie asking the hero to teach her the tango. But with her fabled physical strength, I can see her falling into leading now and then ! lol!

I've read that one, blessOTMA.  Totally different than the one being discussed in this thread.  : )  It's...twisty.  But, I suppose that's for another thread.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: House of Special Purpose by Colin Falconer
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2011, 02:20:54 AM »
'Ann, I love the idea of Marie asking the hero to teach her the tango. But with her fabled physical strength, I can see her falling into leading now and then ! lol!'

Alas, he tells Marie diplomatically that her father has banned the tango, and says he prefers the mazurka anyway. She is just persuading him to show her his mazurka when everything has to stop because the Empress has a headache.

Ann

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: House of Special Purpose by Colin Falconer
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2011, 09:28:46 AM »
'Ann, I love the idea of Marie asking the hero to teach her the tango. But with her fabled physical strength, I can see her falling into leading now and then ! lol!'
Alas, he tells Marie diplomatically that her father has banned the tango, and says he prefers the mazurka anyway. She is just persuading him to show her his mazurka when everything has to stop because the Empress has a headache.

Ann

You are certainly working within the known history! lol!

 historyfan : thanks for the mini review!

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna