Exploring the use of historical fiction to support historical learning


By Darius Jackson, Alison Humphries and Paul Bracey, published 31st August 2005

How many of us became interested in history through reading a good historical story? When starting this article we came up with a seemingly endless list of historically based stories and films which have inspired us. Clearly, we are surrounded by references to the past in popular culture and our children need to be aware of how these popular narratives are constructed. We were fortunate in finding an excellent novel called Safe Harbour which dealt with the traumas of evacuees fleeing from the Blitz to live with their grandfather in Ireland. This story was rich in both historical context and in the way that it imaginatively explored relationships between its main characters.

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