Teaser Tuesday: The Art of History

Like a Tilt-a-Whirl at the county fair, the Wheel of Time has turned ’round to Teaser Tuesday.Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

A week or two ago I received a wonderful email from Goodreads notifying me that I’d won one of the giveaways I’d entered. To my delight, I found the book to be The Art of History by Christopher Bram. I’m excited to read how popular writers of the past and present have used history in their narratives both fiction and nonfiction.

The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 42 (fitting, as this is also the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything):

The world is clearly shifting. Outside the church, the Princess invites the local dignitaries to dinner that evening. There is doubt over whether or not the men's wives are dignified enough to be included. But the Prince intervenes, and invites the wives, too: 

Art of History Cover


The Goodreads Blurb:

One has to look no further than the audiences hungry for the narratives served up by Downton Abbey or Wolf Hall to know that the lure of the past is as seductive as ever. But incorporating historical events and figures into a shapely narrative is no simple task. The acclaimed novelist Christopher Bram examines how writers as disparate as Gabriel García Márquez, David McCullough, Toni Morrison, Leo Tolstoy, and many others have employed history in their work.

Unique among the “Art Of” series, The Art of History engages with both fiction and narrative nonfiction to reveal varied strategies of incorporating and dramatizing historical detail. Bram challenges popular notions about historical narratives as he examines both successful and flawed passages to illustrate how authors from different genres treat subjects that loom large in American history, such as slavery and the Civil War. And he delves deep into the reasons why War and Peace endures as a classic of historical fiction. Bram’s keen insight and close reading of a wide array of authors make The Art of History an essential volume for any lover of historical narrative.

In Retrospect: In Praise of Forgetting

Examining the underpinnings of collective memory and drawing from examples both ancient and modern, the slim volume In Praise of Forgetting is a must-read for anyone serious about understanding how memory – whether accurate, revised, or contrived – has helped shaped our modern world and guides our social values.

A philosophical book, it may not appeal to the average armchair historian.

5 Stars

. . .

What are you reading today?

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