I am currently reading “The Constant Princess” by Philippa Gregory. I also read her book that was made into a movie, “The Other Boleyn Girl” and loved it, which is why, when I was last in a proper bookstore, I picked up a couple more books by her. Her novels are historical fiction, many focusing around the lineage of the Tudor family, one of the more scandalous and dramatic royal lines in England apparently, as there is such an obsession surrounding them – there’s even a mini-series which I’m dying to see called “The Tudors.”
This got me thinking though. First of all, what parts of Gregory’s books are based on actual fact? Oh, who married who and what they named their children is obviously true, but what about the smaller events? I assume there are historical diaries and letters and such from the period that hold gossip and information about what was going on in the royal court, but obviously all the feelings and thoughts of the characters in the book are fictional and speculative. Unless there are diaries of Catalina, Infanta of Spain and eventually Katherine, Queen of England herself then Gregory merely uses her imagination to write her feelings and thoughts over the hardships she endured and ambitions she harbored.
This got me to thinking something else. Look at this fascination so many people, myself included apparently, have with royals, with these celebrities of centuries past. Will people still be fascinated with such celebrities in, say, three hundred years time? Will there be novels written about people like George Bush or will it be novels about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? Or will humanity finally realize that celebrities, whether in power or not, are still just people and stop obsessing over their lives?