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How to Write History That People Want to Read

How to Write History That People Want to Read

Paperback

By (author) Ann Curthoys, By (author) Ann McGrath

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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 230mm x 18mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 15 August 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Basingstoke
  • ISBN 10: 0230290388
  • ISBN 13: 9780230290389
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note:
  • Sales rank: 90,271

Product description

Writing history can take an author -- and ultimately a reader -- on a journey through time, across the globe and into the lives of others. This book offers great advice to writers, such as: * how much research is necessary? * when should you start writing? * should you structure your work chronologically or thematically? * how do you write a compelling narrative? Drawing upon the deep experience of two historians who have written many histories themselves, How to Write History that People want to Read explains how to succeed in writing exciting historical narratives. It explores why some historical writing is not so engaging, and why some of it is as good as any writing you will ever read. With many practical tips about how to research and write history in many different genres, Ann Curthoys and Ann McGrath provide moral support and experienced mentoring company for all historians involved in the often-lonely process of researching and writing. Perfect for historians of all levels, this book is an indispensable guide to writing history.

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Author information

ANN CURTHOYS Professor of History at the University of Sydney, Australia. In addition to writing about historical theory and method, she has written about many facets of Australian history, especially the relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Her previous books include Freedom Ride: A Freedomrider Remembers (2002) and (with Mary Spongberg and Barbara Caine), A Companion to Women's Historical Writing (Palgrave, 2005). ANN MCGRATH Professor of History at the Australian National University, Australia. She has written numerous books and articles, including 'Born in the Cattle': Aborigines in Cattle Country (1987) and with Pat Grimshaw, Marilyn Lake and Marian Quartly, co-authored Creating a Nation (1994). McGrath has won various prizes for writing and has worked as a historian on public enquiries and commissions, has made television documentaries, curated museum exhibitions and developed pod-streaming history projects.

Review quote

'A really excellent book. It is written in a bright, informal style with some hard-and-fast rules balanced with advice, warning and very positive encouragement.' -- Alan Atkinson, author of The Europeans in Australia 'This witty little volume reveals the tricks and tips of the profession and recounts endearing anecdotes about the authors' own experiences as historians. A delightful read, this is also a seriously good advice manual. Refreshing, sensitive, thorough, here are two wise women who practise what they preach.' -- Philippa Levine, author of The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset 'Historians of all kinds, whether scholars, students or commercial authors, all share a wish to maximise their publics: this lively and practical primer will tell them how. Lucid, unpretentious and punchy, it is crammed with sage advice, shrewd criticism and dozens of samples of compelling history writing.' -- Iain McCalman, author of Darwin's Armada

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: Navigating History in the 21st century Which History to Tell? Who is your History for? Crying in the Archives History in 3D: Visual, Oral and Material Sources How to Avoid Writer's Block Once upon a Time: Beginnings and Endings Narrative, Plot, Action! Styling Pasts for Presents Character and Emotion Footnote Fetishism: Quotes and Notes Tough Love: Editing and Revising Epilogue: The After Party -- Marketing, Celebrating and Reviews Notes Index