Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Giving us back our history?

I was intrigued by the Independent's review by Jane Jakeman of Manda Scott's new book. Apparently, Scott's books are giving us back our own history. I find this statement completely baffling. The dp reckoned that it was do with the Romans having written the history of Boudica's rebellion, so Scott's books are looking at it from the British point of view perhaps? But since Scott herself says, for example in Solander, May 2003, page 19: 'our side lost' during the Roman invasion of AD43 and ... 'what Rome did to my people,' (my italics) I have my doubts that is what is meant. There's also something rather exclusive going on here.

Being part Italian from way back, I am partly expecting to be shipped back to Italy at some point for being a foreigner. And since I tend to say I'm English (on account of being born in England) I guess might have the choice to go back to Germany instead. I simply can't make up my mind :-)

The Romans are as much part of Britain's history as any of the myriad other people's who have come to this island, from the 'Celts' to the very latest wave of migrants. And anyway Ms Jakeman, fortunately, Scott is writing fiction, not history.


At 6:11 pm GMT, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Someone's dreaming a bit much here.

...re-creating our great matriarchal national epic ... Sorry, but I can't find much proof for a matriarchy in the names of two female rulers, Boudica and Cartimandua, and the latter pro-Roman to begin with. Maybe a society where it under certain circumstances was possible for women to hold more power than for a Roman woman, but not a matriarchy. If you take people like Alienor of Aquitania as measure, you could call 12th century France for a matriarch as well. *wink*

At 6:25 pm GMT, Blogger Carla said...

Yes, I read that one too. All the newspaper reviews are essentially publishers' PR - you puff my book and I'll puff yours. The only one I take seriously is the Guardian's Digested Read. I wish that guy would review the Boudica series, but alas historical fiction rarely figures on his radar.


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