Why the Truth Is an Insufficient Ideal

The Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins is very upset that the latest Hollywood take on Winston Churchill has him chatting to Londoners on the Tube. This is frustrating, Jenkins suggests, because it is an unnecessary falsification of the past. Jenkins is not a complete purist: he recognises the value of clearly fictionalised historical fictions, preferring television […]

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Keep Your Reader Hungry

What suspense can there be in historical writing, given that the past is already settled? Plenty. History is never settled, which is why societies will always need historians. Even when the reader knows what the eventual outcome of events will be, historians inject suspense by pursuing their preferred questions: how and why. This is one […]

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