Over the last few months I have been travelling off to the worlds of Jane Austen and Elizabeth Woodville. Has the Doctor finally picked me up in the TARDIS and taken me through time? Sadly not. I have – like so many others – been watching the BBC adaptation of The White Queen. I also delved into Austenland by Shannon Hale.
Austenland may not actually have a meeting with Austen herself but the entire story is dedicated to a woman so obsessed with Colin Firth's portrayal of Mr Darcy that she heads off to England for an immersive Austen experience and finds herself in Austen's world, complete with love interest and a ball.
I love a great fictional character as much as anyone but there is something simply magical about 'meeting' someone in fiction who you know actually existed. What would it be like to head to Bath and meet Jane Austen? Would Charles Dickens be a fun person to share a drink with down the pub? Was Elizabeth Woodville really a witch? Who knows! But it certainly is fun to imagine…
Fiction is made-up. Otherwise it would be called non-fiction. Of course, there are numerous novels where real events and real people are used to set the story. We certainly do love an insight into what our royals might have been up to behind closed doors. However, not everyone seems to enjoy this style of storytelling, disagreeing with the facts and the interpretation of it all. Personally I just love escaping into reality – even if it is somebody else's.
What are your favourite factual fiction books? Do you enjoy the inclusion of real people or do you want your fiction completely made up? As ever, let us know in the comments.