Detective as Historian
",Deeper understanding of history is enhanced by encasing it in art and interest. Crime fiction is one of the widest and most rapidly growing forms of literature. Historical crime fiction serves effectively the double purpose of entertaining while it teaches. The ",truth", of the narrative account, the editors of this volume believe, is dependent on the understanding of human nature reflected in the author who writes the narrative. ",Historical crime fiction,", the editors of this volume write, ",has an obligation and a golden opportunity. It must bring the past up to the present through the device of timeless crime and it must take the reader into the world about which is being written so that the characters are alive and the events interesting and challenging.", Professional writers of fiction need to be more effective than mere authors of dates and assumed motivations. Therefore they can fill in human motivations and drives where no records exist and can aid the professional historians in what historian David Thelen calls the ",challenge of history ", which is ",to recover the past and [interpret it for] the present.", The essays in this volume accept the challenge and make major accomplishments for meeting it.
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