I stumbled into an interesting debate on the Historical Novel Society Facebook group the other day. It began with the question “what is the purpose of historical fiction?” Someone commented that historical fiction is a good way to learn history. I disagree. As someone who trained to be an historian, I know that historical novels are a terrible way to learn history. As a novelist, I feel that defending the purpose of a novel as a way to learn any factual subject is to devalue fiction.