1) The dangers of inflating texts (by ascribing more "depth" to the text than is actually present, failing to reflect on one's critical terminology and aesthetic criteria, neglecting to take into account different writing or reading practices...);
2) The dangers of deflating readers and authors (through mockery, conscious or unconscious feelings of superiority, simple ignorance...).
Historical fiction can inspire wildly inflationary impulses, since critics frequently forget how easy it is to construct what looks like an imposing edifice of knowledge out of one or two secondary sources. (Helen Hughes comments wryly on this effect in The Historical Romance.) One of the reasons I became interested in the otherwise-forgotten Emily Sarah Holt was that she really was trying to produce and promulgate original historical arguments through her fiction; granted, she wasn't particularly successful at it (although she was unsuccessful at great length), but still, she was both ambitious and reasonably self-reflexive about her work. By contrast, there were a slew of ecclesiastical historical novelists--e.g., Elizabeth Rundle Charles, the Rev. A. D. Crake, the Rev. Edward Cutts, Emma Leslie--who were more (Charles, Crake, Leslie) or less (the antiquarian Cutts) synthesizers. Now, their synthesizing processes can be quite interesting; the Anglo-Catholic Crake, for example, was not exactly on the same page as the evangelical Leslie, and both Crake and Cutts could draw on a wider range of languages than Leslie and Charles. Moreover, it's extremely instructive to see what texts authors chose to appropriate (or, in some cases, plagiarize). That being said, the literary critic has to be wary of ascribing deep theological or historical learning to an author who may have cribbed his entire knowledge of the Reformation from, say, d'Aubigne.
At the same time, it's just as easy to condescend to the texts--and their authors, and their readers. Sometimes, in their eagerness not to condescend, critics topple over into defensiveness; I frequently wished that the authors in this collection, for example, could have worked out their anxieties over their choice of subject ("I love romance novels! Romance novels are cool! They're really, really great!") at the rough draft stage. But the Anne Boleyn novels are interesting not because they offer an innovative portrait of the queen--in fact, the mold for twentieth-century representations of Anne was set by the 1930s--but because they struggle so visibly to reconcile the "received" Anne with the demands of the romance genre. This struggle is most evident in formula romances: Anne cannot be a heroine in this genre, but she doesn't necessarily work as what Susan Ostrov Weisser has colorfully dubbed the "wonderful-terrible bitch figure," either . Similarly, while it would be difficult to argue that the romances offer a full-blown philosophy of history (inflation), it would be equally unfair to argue that they lack one entirely (deflation). Thus, while Anne's essential "components" may remain the same across decades' worth of fiction, Anne's significance alters according to each novelist's interpretation of the early English Reformation. In other words, most of the novelists feel some sort of obligation (whether comfortable or uncomfortable) to plot the national and global fallout from Henry VIII's affair with Anne--but they often do so by, in effect, making the entire English Reformation about sex.
 Susan Ostrov Weisser, "The Wonderful-Terrible Bitch Figure in Harlequin Novels," Feminist Nightmares: Women at Odds: Feminism and the Problem of Sisterhood (New York: New York University Press, 1994), 269-82.