Writing on military history, war reporting, military book reviews, military publishers, army, navy, air force, world wars, military publications, military memoirs, historical novels, Great War, World War One, World War Two, Anglo-Boer War, combat, medals, militaria.
[Copyright Sidney Allinson 2010. May be re-printed on condition attribution is stated along with a URL link
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Presentism vs. accuracy.
One of the most exasperating features of many "historical novels written these days is the distorting use of presentism. It is typified by a writer's sometimes ludicrous insertion of 21st century manners, standards, and attitudes into stories set in purportedly historical eras.
Just now, I came across a quotation that well defines this plague that has been brought about by either political correctness or sloppy research:
"In apocalyptic style, he (Jonathan Clark) says that presentism 'reaches back into the past to silence its message'."
[Stephen Howe; Fade to Blue; Independent (London, UK); Jul 12, 2003.]