A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Time For a Coffee Break!

S/O Reading Pet Peeves - How Accurate is This Book?

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Twik:

--- Quote from: magician5 on February 08, 2013, 04:16:28 AM ---Can you think of any time in history, any place, where "not supposed to do that" didn't actually work out to "it happened all the time"?

--- End quote ---

It may have happened all the time, but not like in "our" time.

For example, if a pre-1960s woman isn't concerned about pregnancy, it's not realistic. If sexually transmitted diseases are not shown as a problem, in a book set before the widespread introduction of antibiotics, it's not realistic.

wolfie:

--- Quote from: scotcat60 on February 08, 2013, 07:35:01 AM ---
I also think people would know that the Lord of the Manor couldn't  have a Bible small enough to sit on his bedside table., but  maybe I'm just nit-picking on that one.

--- End quote ---

You are nit-picking that one. I am assuming that the reason the lord of the manor can't have a small bible is because the printing press wasn't invented yet? Because that is the only thing I could come up with and I wouldn't even have thought of it if you didn't post here. 

Ereine:

--- Quote from: Twik on February 08, 2013, 09:54:21 AM ---
--- Quote from: magician5 on February 08, 2013, 04:16:28 AM ---Can you think of any time in history, any place, where "not supposed to do that" didn't actually work out to "it happened all the time"?

--- End quote ---

It may have happened all the time, but not like in "our" time.

For example, if a pre-1960s woman isn't concerned about pregnancy, it's not realistic. If sexually transmitted diseases are not shown as a problem, in a book set before the widespread introduction of antibiotics, it's not realistic.

--- End quote ---

I think that in case of the Russian story, at least according to what I've heard of later generations of women in the Soviet Union, abortion would have been a very common method of pregnancy "prevention". Though it's possible that it was only in later times. I read something online that said that having sex was pretty difficult, there were older attitudes and traditions from strict religion that still influenced people and romance was supposed to be something unimportant, after work and politics and comradeship. Also according to the article finding places for sex would have been difficult as most people wouldn't have their own bedrooms* and adult children lived with their parents. Hotels wouldn't allow unmarried people to rent rooms. My source was some guy who arranges Russian wives for American men so who knows how accurate it is, though.   

* S/O I've stayed once in a post-Communism apartment that was probably pretty much like it had been during Communism, this was in 1993. A family of five, parents and three sons lived in two rooms. One was a kitchen, with wood-burning stove if I remember correctly, very dark. The other was a tiny bedroom with bunk beds where the whole family slept. I assume that they had had sex at some point but there wasn't much privacy around (the bathroom was shared by everyone living in that story). I still remember how shocked I was, the family were friends with ours and sort of similar with civil servant father (who actually worked for some ministry, this was in one of the newly independent countries) and both parents with university degrees. Their style of living did change pretty quickly though and in the end it was pretty luxurious as their country's economy grew.

Nora:
Can this go for other media as well? I've been watching Mr Selfridge, a new show about the start of modern stores in London/one big scandal fest, and it honestly took me halfway into the pilot to discover it was not meant as a parody of The Paradise. Jeremy Piven is incredibly grating in his performance as a niveau riche businessman from 'Merica, and I keep feeling my ability to suspend disbelief slipping when he's in the scene being shown.

Slartibartfast:
Speaking as someone who is trying to write a book set in 1870 and is having to do all sorts of weird and specific research, it can be frustrating to find information that's *almost* what you want, but isn't specific to your needs.  I can find information about what foods were common among the upper class in 1860 - but were they still common ten years later?  Were terms like "the upper ten thousand" (the social elite) applicable in England as well as America?  Were they synonyms to "the ton" like the Regency era used, or do they encompass a slightly different set of people?  When something "became common in the Victorian era," did that mean in 1850 or in 1910?

Another one that bugs me but I don't know if it should: as far as we know, most upper-class married couples called each other by their names/titles, even in private.  Definitely in correspondence, at least (which is all we have left to go by).  95% of historical romance novels, though, have the hero and heroine calling each other by their first names by halfway through the book.  That's another one of those things that's hard to research: would couples have done this?  Maybe only the ones who were in love, or the ones who weren't quite so rich, or the ones who were really rich, or the ones who respected each other, or or or . . .

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