Historical Fiction/Nonfiction Pairings

Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 26, 2017; 9:45am to 12:00N  at the Reading Public Library (64 Middlesex Avenue, Reading; Telephone: (781) 944-0840)
Please sign-up for next meeting using the MLS CE Calendar.

!!ANNOUNCEMENT: On November 28, 2017,  we will be having a Planning/Strategy meeting instead of our usual genre study discussion. We have a schedule through 2018 and it is time to discuss what we need from this group individually and collectively.  Please come to this meeting whether you are a founding member, longtime or sometime attendee, or brand-new participant.  Help us shape the future of our RA studies.  We will be meeting at Methuen’s Nevins Memorial Library from 10:00am to 12Noon.  We will also do an RA exercise which will be explained at the September 26th meeting in Reading. Sign up will be by the MLS CE Calendar.

RESOURCES for 9/26/17: NONFICTION: Cords, Sarah Statz. The Real Story. 2006 Libraries Unlimited. P.149-153, 161, 164. Handed out 11/22/16; Biography, p.197-200.

FICTION: Johnson, Sarah. “Historical Fiction.” Genreflecting: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests. 7th ed.,Orr & Herald, eds., LU, 2013 p.85-92. Especially “Current Trends” (89) :Biographical Fiction.
Previous handout [Saricks on Historical Fiction from The RA Guide to Genre Fiction (2009) p.290-311] was given to the group in May 2010 & 2013

 Assignment for September 26, 2017:

 We complete a three-part arc in Historical Non-Fiction and top it off by reading Historical Fiction/Nonfiction duo on the same topic.

The Benchmarks: Everyone reads Janet Wallach’s Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell, Advisor to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia. (1997) or Georgina Howell’s Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations (2008) NONFICTION BIOGRAPHY and Mary Doria Russell’s Dreamers of the Day. HISTORICAL FICTION.

 Please post your 2nd titles in this topic  under Submit 2nd Title Info from above menu.

Appeal to be read for September 2017 meeting: Focus on all the appeal factors, but really think about frame: place, time, and tone and the appeal differences between nonfiction and fiction.


This list is representative – not exhaustive.  Feel free to invent your own pairing—find fiction and nonfiction on the same topic.

 Benedict and Peggy Arnold–Allison Pataki’s The Traitor’s Wife (2014)   FICTION

Mark Jacob’s Treacherous Beauty: Peggy Shippen, the Woman Behind Benedict Arnold’s Plot to Betray America (2013) NONFICTION

 Cleopatra—Margaret George’s The Memoirs of Cleopatra (1997) FICTION

Stacey Schiff’s Cleopatra: A Life (2010) NONFICTION

 Charles Dickens—Dan Simmon’s Drood (2009) FICTION

Claire Tomalin’s Charles Dickens: A Life (2012) NONFICTION

 Alexander and Elizabeth HamiltonElizabeth Cobbs Hoffman’s The Hamilton Affair (2016) FICTION

Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton (2004) NONFICTION

 Ernest Hemingway—Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife (2012) FICTION

Mary V. Dearborn’s Ernest Hemingway (2017) NONFICTION

 Beryl Markham—Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun (2015) FICTION

Beryl Markham’s West with the Night (1942) NONFICTION

 Mary, Queen of Scots—Phillipa Gregory’s The Other Queen (2008) FICTION

Antonia Fraser’s Mary, Queen of Scots (1969) NONFICTION

 George Sand—Elizabeth Berg’s The Dream Lover (2015) FICTION

George Sand’s Story of My Life: The Autobiography of George Sand (1991) NONFICTION

Victoria Regina—Daisy Goodwin’s Victoria (2016) FICTION

Julia Baird’s Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire (2016) NONFICTION

 Frank Lloyd Wright—Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank (2018) FICTION

Jennifer Fandel’s Frank Lloyd Wright (2017) NONFICTION