Monday, March 19, 2018

The Limits of Biography

.Since I've already written one Civil War era biography and am currently working on another (of James Montgomery), why is my newly published book a historical novel?
One reason can be seen in the eyes of the guy in the photo, the young Civil War general Francis Herron.
After writing the biography (of General Gordon Granger) I was looking for another subject, and considered writing a nonfiction account of immigrant soldiers.
I also looked around for people, like Granger, who had had interesting careers but about whom no one else had had a biography published. Which led me to Herron.
But when I stumbled on an account of the Battle of Prairie Grove relating how Herron had killed one of his own soldiers there, to turn around panicked cavalrymen who were fleeing from the fighting, I realized I would not be able to give a satisfactory account of how he came to feel about what he had done, because there would likely be no record.
So he became a major character in the novel (The Last Circle of Ulysses Grant).

1 comment:

  1. This is a biography on the life of Jessie Benton Frémont, the daughter of Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton.

    The book was published in 1887 by J.W. Buel and Company, an American publisher based in St. Louis, Missouri. It was first published as a serialized novel in the magazine "The Century" from March 1884 to April 1887. The book is divided into three parts: "Early Days," "Marriage," and "Later Life."

    The introduction of this book discusses how it is considered one of the most important biographies on Jessie Benton Frémont because it provides readers with an intimate portrait of her personality and thoughts during her lifetime.

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