Since the first season of the CW Network Television show Reign I have felt a strong distaste for the genre of “Historical Fiction.”
I have lost the trust in public education to teach the demographics of these shows the historical inaccuracies, I actually don’t believe they teach the subjects at all. So I felt it irresponsible to take a famous name in history such as “Mary, Queen of Scots” and go crazy with it. Which, by the way they have. ( to quote the Wiki on it “The highly fictionalized series follows the early exploits of Mary, Queen of Scots during her years living in France.”) The probable, should have been, Queen of England lived a tragic life, never actually ruled as The Queen of Scotland after Francis died of an Ear Infection. I believe just a year after taking the throne of King of France. They never produced an heir to the throne, she did have a child later in life but she was for the duration of her natural life she had been imprisoned in different castles by her Cousin, Elizabeth I, Queen of England- who ultimately beheaded her. Her son succeeded Elizabeth I as King of England. The account of Mary Stuart’s beheading is actually what they would call horrific and a comedy of errors. As for someone who had studied her when I was younger, Reign f romanticizes the life of a real person, someone who had all the promise in birthright (Being both a Stuart and a Tudor) but by the most tragic of circumstances, everything that could go wrong for her, did.
I have started to change my mind a bit on historical fiction because of this blog and well let me just tell you this story….
I was born in New Mexico but spent much of my life in Texas, where most of my family is from. When making the 5 hour drive to Muleshoe (yes that’s right) Muleshoe, Texas. We always had to pass through Fort Sumner, New Mexico in Lincoln County. This probably means nothing to most people, and back then it didn’t mean much to me other than it was a half way point. But my Dad got his bachelors degree in history (he went to Law School so why not get a degree in something you are way interested in) So we always ended up talking about Billy The Kid and the Lincoln County Wars.
Now I am sure that most people didn’t take New Mexico history in school and I am sure the curriculum in history wasn’t about outlaws. But being the old age of 34 (LOL) I had the distinct pleasure of watching two of the best movies ever about Billy The Kid and (The Regulators) Young Guns. Which also produced one of the best Guns and Roses songs of all time “Dead or Alive”
This movie was like the lost boys, but the cowboy version. Young Guns II game out in 1990
These were epic movies and much of my generation know about Billy the Kid because of them. But It wasn’t until I was watching the history channel, a show called Gunslingers that had one of the episodes about Billy The Kid that I realized that Young Guns came out 27 years ago. That if it were not for movies and television shows based on real people. These people might be forgotten entirely. Billy the Kid was indeed a outlaw, who did kill, but his story was an insight to a very important time in the American West. If you follow his story, surrounding his birth, legacy, and even when and where his death occurred it is very much controversial to this very day. It’s important to know where we came from so we do not repeat the mistakes of our past.
I have a 15-year-old reader of this blog, who researches many of the pop culture references that are from my generation from the show Supernatural, a show that started when she was five years old, she absolutely blows my mind. Now that we are in the time of technology where easy research is at the tip of our fingers and because we have reached a time when media is truly shaping minds, I have seen that when Historical Fiction projects come to light, that there will be people wise enough to seek out what the truth is.
If it wasn’t for a very old unpaid movie consultant by name of Wyatt Earp
who was actually John Wayne
Western Movies may have never been what they were and what they are.
So go watch Young Guns, and Tombstone but not something stupid like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (That’s just taking it a little too far)