Archive for December 17th, 2010

Lowah Clahss Reading

A commenter asked some time ago what books I am reading now.

I read lots of historical fiction. This is considered very Lowah Clahss by the Mommy Professor types, but that’s not the only reason I read it.

Historical fiction is truer. A history professor or writer for the New York Review of Books is responsible to Political Correctness and the like. A writer of historical fiction is under the gun of a million complete fanatics about history. If they describe a cloth made of a material for a towel that did not come to the country being written about, they will get a deluge of letters about it.

Margaret Frazer just came out with a new book, which I had preordered on Kindle.

I have quoted John Astruc over the years and I have preserved that quote over the years. He was Louis XIV’s chief physician and he was denouncing the germ theory of disease, with a long, long list of doctors who put it forward, in the seventeenth century.

I have never seen this sort of quote elsewhere.

Historical fiction writers always have a long piece at the end of their books to minimize the shrieks from readers who catch them out. Margaret Frazer put this at the first of her new book and explained why it was at the front.

The book was about a fifteenth century hospital. In that hospital there was a fanaticism about cleanliness that most historians would laugh at.

She also quoted the nurses there, as opposed to the doctor, who agreed with the “very common” germ theory of disease. I like to think that my mentioning this a dozen times over the years had something to do with that.

BUGS is based on a germ theory of ideas. A vast number of people use my ideas who will never hear of me.

My study of the history of medicine before I went to college readied me for the total and predictable absurdity of current “intellectual” opinion. Which is another reason I like historical fiction. New ideas about history come from there long before any historian would get paid to touch them.