In the comments to my last post, Bill disagreed with my final phrase: 'So the question is not "Is it historical?" The question is "How historical is it?"' I agree with his point entirely, because I was not clear who should be asking this question.
This is the question a GM or group needs to answer before running an historical game. That this game will *not* be truly historical is a given. These PCs did not exist in history, so therefore all historical gaming is alt-historical, without exception. But does this fact mean you might as well throw out any pretense of being historical? Of course not. It means you need to answer this question for yourself, as to what your group wants. There are a whole spectrum of answers, all of which are correct. Taking pains to be as historically accurate as possible is no more correct than making the vaguest hand-waves about period feel. Answering this question tells you how to approach the game. It doesn't matter if the designer is all anal about historical authenticity if your group doesn't care about it, so don't let that stop you.
And now for a general disclaimer, and the reason this is a new post instead of a comment: I can't comment on this blog from my work computer. Not at all. I can make new posts, change the structure of the blog, edit old posts, comment on other blogs, or anything else, but I cannot post a comment to my own blog. I can either wait 'til I get home, or post a new message. Yes, this is weird. I have no idea why this works this way - it just works this way.