Have you read NICHOLAS COOKE yet? This novel was published several years ago and has just showed up in e-book form. It was the first published novel of my friend, Stephanie Cowell, who took off with her Elizabethan fiction in two more pieces. Then she moved on to other eras and people who are known to us. Mozart, the world of Monet, and possibly a new novel about two famous writers.
We have talked about the ethics of writing historial fiction. How there is both a fidelity to the facts known and a need to shape the facts into something readable. The drama of the life is needed for the reader, otherwise academic renderings are the only way people of the past can be presented. There was Schiller who had Joan of Arc die on the battlefield in glorious martyrdom rather than perish as a prisoner in a funeral pyre, betrayed by her own church.
While I am a big fan of all her work, I especially love NICHOLAS COOKE. I think she was successful in creating a hero who could exist with Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Ben Johnson yet have his own validity without erasing their very real personas. She walked on the tightrope that connects two such opposite ideas as historical with fiction without slipping.