Novela histórica

More on historical novels.

My experience with authors of such works is that they usually do not just a lot of reading (often quite sophisticated scholarship), but also quite a bit of deep thinking.  This kind of creative thought, however, differs from that of the academic historians, insofar as they are trying to imagine themselves palpably and psychologically in the characters and events they are writing about.  While such efforts do not substitute for the historiographical processes and constraints that the profession places on itself (and with good reason), but it can supplement the scholarship with insights that raise important new questions and send the professional historians scurrying back to the dry-as-dust documents (and the others that are more tantalizingly alive with the passions of the period in which they were written) with new questions to ask and new connections to seek.

Norman Simms
University of Waikato , New Zeland