This A-Z, I’m looking at some bits of medieval history, and thinking about ways they could add to the detail and interest of fiction. It’s worth remembering that while historians pick apart medieval life today, there were also historians in the Middle Ages. They wrote chronicles such as the Anglo Saxon ones, or works such as Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, or rather lopsided accounts of the crusades such as the Gesta Francorum. We also find some of the earliest biographies of non-kings/emperors, such as the one commissioned about William Marshal by his son.
Historians/chroniclers can be fun characters for historical or fantasy fiction. No, really, they can. They give you an excuse for asking questions as an author, and for the characters to try to interpret the story themselves as they go along. It can make for more complex and interesting takes on events, so that you have characters simultaneously living events and trying to interpret them. Which is something we all do.