Monash University Publishing: Advancing knowledge

Writing Histories: Imagination and Narration

Edited by Ann Curthoys and Ann McGrath


Writing Histories: Imagination and Narration can be purchased as a paperback back, and can also be read online for free in html format.

In a new and updated edition, Writing Histories: Imagination and Narration is a book for anyone wanting to write histories that capture the imagination and challenge the intellect. It aims to show that historical narrative and imagination can work together to produce works of history that are a pleasure to read.

Nine historians reflect on their work as writers, exploring some of the most difficult and interesting questions any history-writer faces: how to get started, how to find a 'voice', how to enliven a description or a narration, and how to find a worthwhile structure. Contributors also suggest how historians can convey multiple perspectives, 'show' rather than tell, foreground the research process, find inspiration from music, painting and landscape, and use literary techniques such as metaphor.

The book will be a useful text for teachers and students in history-writing classes and informal groups. There are suggestions for group exercises, and advice on how to conduct writing workshops. Many historians, however, both students and established writers, will continue to write in relative isolation. This book is also intended for them.

This updated edition of Writing Histories has a new introduction written by Ann Curthoys, and an updated bibliography.

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