There have been serious debates between historians, novelists and filmmakers as to how best present historical narratives. When writers and filmmakers talk of using historical research with integrity, what exactly do they mean? Integrity and Historical Research examines this question in detail. The first chapter discusses the concept of integrity. The chapters that follow reflect on this philosophical treatment in the light of fiction and film that deals with history in a number of ways. How should writers and filmmakers use lives? Can, and may, people who are now dead and who may have lived long ago, be defamed?

The authors include academics, historians, social historians, medievalists, oral historians, literary theorists, historical novelists and script writers. They examine the theoretical influences and practical choices that involve and concern writers and filmmakers who rely on historical research. The desire to be accurate may often conflict with the need to produce a work that goes beyond the mere depiction of events in order to excite the interest of readers and to hold that interest. At the same time there is a developing emphasis on historians, to write well in clear, accessible prose, which may involve using the novelists’ techniques. How much license may be given to writers of fiction and filmmakers in their depiction of historical characters and events? This book begins to answer this question, while inviting further discussion.

chapter 1|12 pages

The Concept of Integrity

ByTony Gibbons

chapter 2|15 pages

‘Who Would Want to Believe That, Except in the Service of the Bleakest Realism?'

Historical Fiction and Ethics
ByJerome de Groot

chapter 3|20 pages

Transgressive Legacies of Memory

The Concept of Techné in Primo Levi's The Periodic Table
ByCătălina Botez

chapter 4|17 pages

Fictions and Histories

ByPatricia Duncker

chapter 6|22 pages

When Is It Time for ‘Writing with an Untrammelled Pen'?

Reconciling the South Australian Settler Colony with Its Violent Past in Simpson Newland's Historical Novel, Paving the Way: A Romance of the Australian Bush
ByRick Hosking

chapter 7|23 pages

Using Lives

Working with Life Stories in a Time of Revolution
ByNicholas Brown

chapter 8|15 pages

Integrity and Oral History

Choices Facing the Oral Historian
ByAngela Franks

chapter 9|21 pages

‘Nude Scenes of Lovemaking and Violation on Stage and Screen'

Heloise and Abelard, Old Bones and the Uses of the Past
ByJuanita Feros Ruys

chapter 10|20 pages

Integrity at the Intersection

Peripheries, Herstories and Film
ByMaría Reimóndez

chapter 11|18 pages

Historians in Fiction and Film

ByDavid Mosler, Jessica Murrell