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Fri 24 Apr, 2015

Why Historical Fiction?


Allan Massie is a prolific novelist, an historian and reviewer, as well as a lively and controversial journalist whose work appears in a variety of British newspapers. His Roman biographies include books about Augustus, Tiberius and Caesar. His more than twenty novels include The Thistle and the Rose, A Question of Loyalties, The Sins of the Fathers and Shadows of Empire. He is also the author of a series of crime novels set in Vichy France. Join him for a discussion about the who, how and why of this most popular genre, the historical novel.

He says: “The historical novel is a hybrid, neither one thing nor the other. This has been a common criticism of the genre, even a complaint.Actually it can be both. In the first place it’s fiction to which the real world of affairs is admitted; fiction in which public events of war and politics play a part, influencing the lives of the characters, whether these are real-life historical figures or invented ons./ Second, the historical novel reads history forwards; it serves to show that events now in the past were once in the future, unknown, unforeseen, even unforeseeable. Third, the historical novel reminds us that men and women in e en the most distant past were living beings, with their own temptations, perplexities, ambitions and problems. The historical novel at its best is history made to live in the imagination of the reader.”

  • Date: Fri 24 Apr, 2015
  • Time: 10.30am
  • Venue: Red Lecture Theatre
  • Ticket Price: £6.00
  • Concessions: £3.00
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