Let's face it, here in America we suffer from a lack of castles. Not so for residents of the UK. So, here is my question. Do Americans love historicals set in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales because of the magic of imagining castles in our backyards? The idea that we could walk up and touch them. They are romantic settings portrayed by Hollywood and literature in glowing idealism. Is that diluted a bit when castles are something you have seen and touched and experienced all your life? Or does that tactile experiential upbringing connect you to these tales of knights and ladies in a way we castle-less country folk can never match?
I am honestly not sure. I have yet to have the pleasure of visiting the UK and yet that would still be a "visit". Two days here and there with a castle tour, would likely be the extent of my experience. I grew up around New York City, yes it is great, but do I feel closer to stories set there? I don't think so. I know what it is to have the nasty, stale, subway breeze blow by you on the platform and still it is a relief from the humid sweat-filled air that surrounded you before. To have water of mysterious origins drip down on your head from air-contitioners set several stories above. The dirt and smell of the Port Authority Bus Station at night. The unrelentingly black wardrobes of the busy people who never stop moving and heaven help you if you get in their way. Then they go home to appartments where their beds lower from the walls or they share the space with one to two people in a room with one living in the living room, or they can not afford to live in Manhattan at all. Romantic isn't it? Do readers abroad visualize a different experience of the City?
Castles surounded by fields of heather and sheep sounds pastoral and serene compared to getting around Los Angeles by bus, complete with crazies and the lady packed into the bus, standing next to you with her arm raised to grip the bar, and a devistating lack of deoderant in 105 degree weather. I think I love castles. I love stories with castles, and swords, and sexy accents. I love the idea that even today we can touch history from before we over here were even dreamed of. There is hardly a fan of historical who would not jump at the offer to hop over and spend some time with the setting of their favorite books. Is it just the appeal of history universally, or does geographic location play into our fascination with the genre?
For my website Romance in the Backseat I have interviewed a number of authors who write historicals set in the UK and Ireland, whose characters live in castles complete with drawbridges and great halls. There is this enthusiasm and awe in their voices when they discuss the topic on video. I have yet to interview a British author and see if their reaction is the same.
Am I totally off the mark, making ignorant assumptions? Or just curious? I think it is the last, but you decide and please tell me what you think.
I can not thank Lindsay enough for having me here and you for taking the time to read and share with me.