David Liss, like many authors who feel themselves wronged by a review, has written a letter to complain about it; the whole thing is pretty convincing (I remember reading the review and thinking it was tendentious), but the last paragraph is especially devastating:
Though I do my best to keep my language true to the period, like any historical novelist, I will make some concessions to current style. Nowhere do I claim to be a historian, and all novelists, historical or otherwise, take liberties with their material to serve their own ends. Olson’s ”gotcha” criticism of what he claims are historical inaccuracies is petty in the extreme. This pettiness is evident when he writes that he knows that people in the 1790s ”didn’t boast of reading Macaulay, as does the heroine, since that historian wasn’t born until 1800.” If the character in question were referring to T. B. Macaulay, as the reviewer presumes, then surely this would be an anachronism, but she is speaking of Catharine Macaulay. Born in 1731, she published her celebrated eight-volume history of England between 1763 and 1783. Anyone conversant with the history of ideas in the 18th-century Anglo-American world will be familiar with Catharine Macaulay, even if Olson is not.