Day 3: Best bits

Another busy day at the conference, with in-depth discussion of the differences and similarities between historical fiction and academic history, featuring lively contributions from Maria Margaronis, Ian Mortimer (and his alter ego James Forrester), Rebecca Stott and Beverley Southgate.

We also had two more comparative book reviews. Matthew Grant tackled The Flyer by Martin Francis and Day by A. L. Kennedy, and found both books gave him not only a deeper awareness of the war, but also a renewed excitement about the possibilities of both genres of writing to convey the emotional and subjective experiences of the past.

Meanwhile Tracey Loughran, one of our speakers from yesterday, reviewed two classics: Pat Barker’s Regeneration and Joanna Bourke’s Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain and the Great War.

There was also a very interesting piece on why it’s good for historians to write fiction – also by Ian Mortimer. Several of our attendees seemed to agree with Ian Mortimer’s take on this issue – but what do the rest of you think?

Finally, don’t forget to take part in our competition – just tell us about your favourite piece of historical fiction and what impact it has made on you.

Tomorrow we’ll hear from Jackie Eales, Cora Kaplan, Paul Lay, and Stella Tillyard.  We’ll also have the usual mix of book reviews, articles, opinions, and announcements. See you anon…

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