From Historian to Historical

From Historian to Historical


Publishers Weekly devoted special attention to two of our exciting historical fiction debuts, TIDES OF WAR by Stella Tillyard and THE END OF SPARTA by Victor Davis Hanson.

In an audio clip (found here), Tillyard offers some insight into her process of deciding to write pure fiction,

"Although I've made a living as a writer of history and historical biography for the last 20 years, I was not trained as a historian, but in literature and art history. I studied English at Oxford and then wrote a PhD about art criticism. After that, I went for a year to Harvard and ended up staying in the U.S., teaching first at Harvard and then at UCLA. In LA I began the book that became ARISTOCRATS about four 18th century sisters. So first and foremost, I've always been a teller of human stories. The history came along with the people I wrote about. After three historical biographies I thought, why not tell a pure story? And also, you've always longed to write fiction and if not now, when?"

"Tillyard is at her best with historical figures and when depicting the era; readers share Harriet’s discovery of the waltz, Jane Austen, and ice cream, and witness cutting-edge battlefield surgeries under real-life Surgeon Gen. James McGrigor." -Publishers Weekly, on TIDES OF WAR

"Told in a somewhat elevated style that simultaneously honors and updates the rhetorical heights of classic Greek histories, Hanson’s novel is both old-fashioned and lively. Given his notable body of work, it’s no wonder that his first fiction effort is rich in authentic detail and narrated with a confident authorial voice. His vigorous narrative not only offers insight into arms and armor, but also into the hearts of the men who bore them." -Publishers Weekly, on THE END OF SPARTA


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