Until time travel is invented, probably the best way to experience the atmosphere of days long gone is by immersing yourself in a work of historical fiction.
Whether whisking you back to accompany intrepid Victorian explorers hacking their way through the jungle; stand shoulder to shoulder with men of forgotten wars; or even find out what happened to some famous fictional characters after their original authors left them far behind: historical fiction is a constantly fascinating — and often surprisingly original — genre.
It is celebrated in all its glory at the first Historical Fiction Festival, running from 12-15 April. In a series of talks, lectures, workshops and films, the event is designed to appeal to both readers and writers of historical fiction, as well as those who are fascinated by the events and deeds of times gone by, and what we have to learn from them today.
Taking place in Summerhall — further cementing its position as a cultural centre in Edinburgh — the Festival features talks and appearances from a host of historic writers, researchers and lecturers, including best-selling novelist Sara Sheridan, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle expert Owen Dudley Edwards and acclaimed writer Allan Massie.
Opening with the launch of the new Edinburgh Edition of Scott’s Waverley Novels, the festival will also cover the importance of research, the role of women in historical fiction and a discussion on the moral issues often uncovered when excavating periods of our sometimes shady past.
A new chapter in Edinburgh’s rich volume of festivals, the Historical Fiction Festival looks set to not only illuminate the past, but also to carry Edinburgh’s literary torch on into the future.
You can download a programme and order tickets for events at the Historical Fiction Festival on the Summerhall website.