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Monday, October 2, 2017

Writing history and where to find information

Writing history or biography or memoir is more than just putting words on the page.  It is a critical method, - you are reconstructing the past. You are seeking to  find how humans interacted with their world, and what that means for us today.

What it means for the individual, for communities, for countries.  Historians evaluate evidence, they use theory and they write stories. It is a mix of analysis, description and narrative.  The trick is how to put all three of these together into a strong historical story.

And then there is the author.  Every book an author writes, whether fiction or non-fiction, is connected. There is a thread or perhaps many threads running from one book to another. And those threads all begin and end with you, the author.

All of my books are connected in some way; through women's history, the family, the history of childhood, and within all of these how I approach the writing of history, a long standing interest in social justice and a preference for social history and writing about the lives of 'ordinary' people in history.

There is lots of advice out there, on the internet, on the shelves of libraries and in bookshops, on how to write well.  Not so much however on how to write history which remains a specialised area.  You will find books in university libraries on this topic and also there are articles and notes on the internet that can help.

Go to my webpage and you will find free advice and also my books covering how to write about women, about childhood, about family history and much more all on sale until November 30..

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