Day 3: The differences and similarities between historical fiction and academic history

Ever since Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) put pen to paper in his Waverley novel and popularised (or as some would claim created) the genre of historical fiction, historians and novelists alike have struggled with what such a combination of real and fictive elements means to both forms of writing. It is interesting that from the very beginning of the genre many historians were also novelists.

Take Ian Mortimer for instance, a well-regarded historian of the middle-ages who also writes historical novels under the pseudonym James Forrester. We will hear from him on this very subject at 11am today via his short article on Why Historians Should Write Fiction and by audio podcast at 12pm

The differences and similarities between historical fiction and academic history will also be discussed by author/historian Rebecca Stott; magazine columnist for The Nation, Maria Margaronis; and historian of ideas, Beverley Southgate. In addition we present more book reviews, opinion pieces and various other pieces of content for your enjoyment and interest.

Day Three: Programme

The conference programme can be found via a link on the left-hand column. However, each day we will also update you with the day’s proceedings. It should be noted that all times are British GMT.

9.30am          Lecture Maria Margaronis

10.30am        Book review: Flyers and their Traumas: the RAF in the Second World War

                      (Matthew Grant)

11am             Article: Ian Mortimer on Why Historians Should Write Fiction

12pm             Lecture: Ian Mortimer

2pm               Lecture: Beverley Southgate

3pm               Lecture: Rebecca Stott

4pm               Book review: Shell-shocked: trauma, the Emotions and WWI (Tracey


5pm               Day 3 Best Bits

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Matt Phillpott. Bookmark the permalink.

About Matt Phillpott

I am an historian of early modern Britain and the Digital Resources Manager at the School of Advanced Study. My main area of interest is in the authentication of knowledge in early print, including religious, historical, and agricultural texts.


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