Found these via MetaxuCafe.
I found these most wonderful rules at Reading Matters:
The Official Rules for Writing Historical Fiction
The Official Rules For Writing Arthurian Fiction
The Official Rules for Writing Medieval Fiction
I'm not sure what cracks me up more...the stirrups issue for Arthur, or the lack of real historical names in historical fiction. See, I love historical fiction and I also love history. There are some things I don't mind, such as "modern" language because hello, it's not like I'm reading a book written in actual Old English, right? So as long as its modern English, why not modern slang? But actual things -- such as the insistence that medical treatments 1,000 or 2,000 years ago were as good as or better than today, despite the historical mortality rates -- do bug me.
Having just finished reading The Great Mortality : An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time by John Kelly, I'd like to add the following rules:
1. The Hero and Heroine must bathe frequently, despite all factual data stating this never happened.
2. The Hero and Heroine live somewhere with an advanced, clean, and efficient sewer system, rather than the actual "dump it in the street" method. They live in a world without smell and refuse.
3. There are never rats. Never, ever, ever.