Over the past couple of days I have had the immense pleasure of sitting in the audience at the inaugural talks of the Chalke Valley History Festival (www.cvhf.org.uk), where–on Thursday evening–I heard Andrew Lambert and Peter Snow talking about Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.
And may I say that Professor Lambert was every bit as superb, as precise, informative and thoughtful as I remembered from his lectures during the conferences leading up to the bicentenary of Trafalgar.
Today, I had the privilege of hearing Katie Hickman, Katharine McMahon, Simon Scarrow and Guy Walters discussing Fact and Fiction–all about historical fiction writing. Which I found immensely helpful too.
All had found themselves carried off by research which had led not where they thought they were going. Ha ha. All had found it necessary to leave some of their favourite discoveries out. All were passionate about history and historical fiction. (As was the audience!) And all mentioned the difficulties of conveying the past without getting bogged down in concepts that contemporary readers may find difficult–religion being one. Continue reading