Best known for his big historical novels, Scott was also a bestselling poet and a fine short-story writer who brought a vivid portrayal of Scots and Scotland to the world.
Thomas Cromwell by Hans Holbein.
The Frick Collection
Mantel’s prize-winning novels put imaginary flesh on the skeletal historical record and gives us the complete picture of the Tudor courtier.
An image from the book cover for ‘SLAY,’ one of the top 2019 five books for young critical thinkers.
(Simon and Schuster)
A list of 5 great reads for young critical thinkers and the adults in their lives — in time for holiday gift-giving.
Twentieth Century Fox
A great movie that gets some of its history wrong is way better than an accurate film that puts people to sleep.
Agatha Christie Trust
How 4,000-year-old papyrus letters prompted the queen of crime fiction to write Death Comes as the End.
The Mendi shown here in pre-war days in use as a mail ship.
Courtesy of the John Gribble Collection
What might be the purpose of historical fiction? Perhaps to the humble and subtle to recognise and pay tribute to lives that came before us.
Filling in the gaps.
Jonathan Brady/PA Archive/PA Images
The Booker Prize-winning novelist’s Reith lectures explore the complex relationship between historical fact and fiction.
Scott Free Prods/Robert Viglasky
The BBC’s Taboo is a timely reminder of the violent origins of globalisation, but its villains allow the viewer to disassociate imperial misdeeds from mainstream British history.
Lionel Shriver in 2014: her keynote address at the Brisbane Writers Festival on cultural appropriation has unleashed a torrent of opinion.
Lionel Shriver’s controversial speech about cultural appropriation has made headlines around the world. But the debate need not be a binary one – novelists might approach characters from other cultures as ‘thoughtful tourists’.
Poldark’s historical consultant on how she mulled over questions such as what an 18th century Cornish bank might look like and whether women would get drunk in taverns.
Perfect poolside fiction.
Get your summer reading recommendations from the literature and crime professors themselves.
Mladen Mitrinovic / Shutterstock.com
A Renaissance expert recommends her favourite historical fiction.
Martha Rendell was the last woman to be hanged in Western Australia, in 1909. Depicted here as imagined by newspapers in the 1980s.
Iconic murderers such as Martha Rendell electrify our imaginations and passions. The turn of the century case demonstrates why fiction can be such an effective vessel for history.
Kate Grenville, with The Secret River, found herself in the middle of a debate at the heart of history.
‘History and fiction journey together and separately into the past; they are a tag team, sometimes taking turns, sometimes working in tandem.’ Enjoy the second part of our series, Writing History.
Ali Smith accepting her award.
The runaway success of Ali Smith’s How to be Both signals a new and original approach to 21st-century historical fiction.
Historical fiction rewards both the readers and writers who love it.
Historical fiction is booming. The much-publicised success of Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites, Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries and Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall is just the tip of the iceberg for a genre that rivals…