I would probably have to read some fiction as if it’s a historical document, representing how people thought during a certain period of time.
It’s funny you should mention that, actually. One of my favorite authors, (David Drake), is extremely fond of taking historical incidents and creating a story around them. Sometimes, he doesn’t even make you figure out what incident he used as a template. (As an example, he has a short story in which an aristocrat discovers that his nation has been attacked by another. Since he holds a reserve commission, he decides that his duty compels him to launch an attack by whatever means necessary.
So, through gambling, he “wins” the use of a ship of a third party, (by taking it’s aristocratic “captain” to the cleaners at poker.) And proceeds to attack a nearby base of the offending party.
Then gives the ship back.
In his afterword, Drake notes that, “while the events of this story seem fantastical to the modern reader, this actually happened in one of the interminable wars between the British and the French in the 18th century.”]]>