Hawthorne's Romantic Transmutation of Colonial and Revolutionary War History in Selected Tales and Romances Page: 1
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It is well known that the type of writing an author
intends to produce determines his approach to his source
material. For example, if he chooses to make use of the
past, he must decide whether to write history and creatively
order the events of the past,"*" limiting his statements to
ascertainable facts, or to write fiction and imaginatively
create new life out of a dead past. If he writes realistic
historical fiction, he is allowed to supply from his imagi-
nation the dialogue and intermediate scenes to provide the
cohesiveness necessary for a unified plot, "but he is still
bound to provable facts in so far as they are available.
If, however, the writer chooses as his genre the his-
torical romance,^ he may use his source material creatively.
^Edmund Morgan, a noted historian, defines the writing
of history as u . . . the creative ordering of past events."
Edmund Morgan, ed., "Introduction," The Founding of Massachu-
setts : Historians and the Sources (New York, 1961+7, P« v.
Romance and tale are terms denoting a similarity of
technique. Their difference is mainly in length, the tale
being the shorter form of the same type of presentation as
the romance. The novel and the short story are coordinate
types similar in technique and bound more closely to reality
than the romance and the tale. For the difference in the
romance and the novel, see Richard Chase, The American Novel
and Its Tradition (Garden City, N. Y., 195>7')' pp. 12-13.
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Clayton, Lawrence R. Hawthorne's Romantic Transmutation of Colonial and Revolutionary War History in Selected Tales and Romances, thesis, August 1969; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc131125/m1/4/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .