Historical Novel Research: Personal Experience, by Adrian Goldsworthy

Dovetails nicely into something else I just read.

Writing Historical Novels

Written sources are only one way of understanding a time period and it is always possible that there may not be many to tell you what you want to know.  History is proverbially written by the victors and that can make it difficult to find the material to tell the story from other points of view.  Non-literate societies present a particular problem, and so, for instance, there is no account from the British of Gaulish perspective of the Roman conquest and occupation of their lands.

Even when they are very detailed, written sources are only part of the story and we can add to or replace them with a range of different things.  If you get the chance, it is always good to visit the places where you set your stories.  George MacDonald Fraser and Bernard Cornwell often mentioned visiting the places they wrote about.  Both had a background in journalism, and…

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