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When I first started writing the post for Unusual Historicals’ theme “My Characters Lived in…” I got nervous. Who am I to write a short blog post about Carolingian Francia, a time period that has been the subject of entire books?

Heck, I have some of those books in my home office. I can write my novels because someone else translated the medieval Latin, or studied the archaeology, or read between the lines of royal annals for clues of the truth the anonymous authors didn’t want revealed.

I just picked and chose the information most useful in crafting my fiction, which by its nature is not entirely accurate. Scholars must admit when facts are unknown. We novelists don’t have that luxury if our characters would know that information, and we must resort to making something up.

But I try to get the culture right, and although I would never want to live in eighth and ninth century Europe, its melding of the personal and political, religion and magic, provides too much fodder for an author to resist.

So as I sat down to write the post, I realized I couldn’t include everything about Carolingian Francia. I am still learning about it as I write in this period and must give deeper thought to historical events I read in passing. But I could include a few elements about this society that fascinate me from afar.

For a flavor of the era my characters lived in, see Unusual Historicals.

Image from Frankish Psalter

From a ninth century Psalter (public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

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