I’ve been reading The Grail Quest, a series of books by Bernard Cornwell that’s set during the time of the Hundred Years’ War.
This is a change from the historical fiction that I usually read as it tells the story of Thomas of Hookton, an English archer, and his search for the Holy Grail.
I’m normally more interested in stories about women — queens fighting to stay relevant, whores trying to survive the streets, scholars searching for recognition in academic society.
But I’m enjoying this nonetheless.
What I love about historical fiction is that it makes things that happened in the past feel more engaging.
When studying history, it’s easy to become bored by lists of facts and events and dates. But when it’s told as a story, suddenly it’s easy to remember that King Henry VIII had six wives, that Catherine de Medici married King Henry II to become Queen of France.
Stories make it easier to dive into that specific time and place, and after being absorbed into the story, I find myself wanting to know more about what truly happened.
Stories are a gateway, enticing a person further and further into a whole new world.
If you want people to pay attention, tell them a story.