The Orignal History Hoydens
My first book, DARK RIDER, was released this month, so I've had the chance to guest blog and peruse other blogs more often than I ever have! It's been a lot of fun. In my surfing, I came across a couple of posts where people were complaining about historical heroines acting "out of character for the time."
Like most of us, I've read a LOT of romance, historicals of course, and if the book engaged me and told a good story, never once did I stop to think "she wouldn't have done that in the 13th century, or the Regency, or the Victorian era etc." If I buy a historical romance, I know what I'm in for. I expect it!
But I think it's my job as a writer to create a believable character who drives the plot, no matter what, no matter the historical period that serves as my setting. So many women in history did "drive the plot"---not just the famous women we know about---the queens and nobility and such, but everyday women who were wives and mothers, sisters and businesswomen who had the sense and savvy to survive oppressive rules and social restrictions. Plenty of them were "acting out of character for the times." Read medieval court records---women sued and often won. They were out there fighting and holding their own. If you want to read about such women, check out the Uppity Women book series (or the Outrageous Women series). Wow, these books catalog women who were in the driver's seat long before automobiles were invented. ;-)
Some of these "original history hoydens" described in these books were queens and ladies of the manor, but many were not. I think the books accurately depict women in history, how they lived and responded to events that, more often than not, were NOT in their control.
What do you think about romance heroines "acting out of character for the time?" Does it bother you? Do you have a pet peeve offense?