Avoidance of plagiarism - Literary snobbery aside - the conscious Vs the subconscious when penning historical novels.
I dare any author of historical tomes to deny they have read books (inclusive novels) and historical accounts of their chosen period, and all before they began painting pictures with words. No matter what we read, whether it's a fiction novel, a biography or indeed historical records etc., we glean and thus we gain knowledge. As authors our imaginations can run rife and our subconscious will log details whilst the conscious mind is distracted by all manner of things.
b) Now consider the "narrative" approach to the same scene with the same dialogue whilst the author/narrator describes the surroundings, character features and dress, and the conversation is just that a conversation and every nuance of character action is fed from the narrator's viewpoint.
Who would you say tends toward the former (show) and who the latter (tell) of the great novelists in depicting whatever era?