I was eleven when, on a field trip with my Girl Scout troop in southern New Jersey, I stumbled into an exhibition about the Lenni Lenape. I don’t remember any specific details about the dress on display, but I’ll never forget the feeling that came over me when I saw it. The noise inside my head blocked out everything around me. I stood frozen, unable to move or speak. The dress was like a time machine, connecting me to its maker, a hundred years in the past. Historical fiction should do the same.