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.
Is the line between truth and fiction clear when it comes to history?
Is the line between truth and fiction clear when it comes to history? And if not, is there scope for historians and novelists to re-engage, with a view to learning from – rather than bludgeoning – each other?
EP Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class brought narrative methods to bear on historical scholarship.
Wellcome Trust/WIkimedia Commons
There’s no shortage of historical texts, but only a handful are lauded as literature. We can learn valuable lessons by revisiting EP Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class.
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.
How do we accurately capture the past without falling back into the History Wars?
Can history and fiction really be kept separate? A special edition of journal TEXT examines historical fictions and fictional histories. Here, the editors map out the contested territory.