Historical fiction, on the wall in Amalienburg

These are tiles on the wall of the Electress’s Kitchen, Amalienburg, in the grounds of Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich.
If you look closely, you will see that some of the tiles don’t match, but the overall design is still preserved. Isn’t this a perfect paradigm for historical fiction?

2 thoughts on “Historical fiction, on the wall in Amalienburg

  1. Dear Giselle, that’s a very arresting way to express the difficulty of good historical fiction I think. But how do you proceed when you just have a few tiles and no copy of the original design ? When you also need to rediscover the techniques used by the artisans back then to compose such delicate works or decorative art ?

  2. You find out as much as you can, and imagine the rest; find parallels from other epochs in history; listen to their music; understand the art (paintings are a window into that world) and writing and the religion(s) and the prejudices of the age; read (and disbelieve) the newspapers; find out what they wore and what it felt like to wear it; find out how much things cost and where they came from; talk to historical re-enactors; understand the politics and economics (economic determinism); believe that while circumstances may change, human nature does not; and where the gaps remain, improvise as seamlessly as possible…

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