Musing about Prof Bruce Holsinger and ‘At Gower’s Tomb: Historical Fiction and the Place(s) of Character’

Prof Bruce Holsinger is the teacher of the fabulous MOOC I am currently doing called Plague, Witches & War: The World of Historical Fiction. He is also an author of Historical Fiction and a blogger.  His blog is called Burnable Books ; Lifting the Past From the Page. He describes it as ;

A blog dedicated to historically-minded conversations among writers, scholars, publishers, and others bringing the past to life in relevant and inspiring ways.   

Bruce is very good and staying in touch with the huge number of students talking the course. He posts to his blog site about things of interest to those on the course, he posts regularly in the class forums, he visits the Facebook site that was set up by one of the students and posts there either to chat on a topic or provide some great links and ideas. He is really involved in every aspect of the class and we are all benefiting from his amazing engagement. He’s one of those Prof’s you really want to have in university, he’s a master in his field, he brings the topics to life, and he makes you feel like your questions are clever and your writing is good.

He wrote an very interesting piece, At Gower’s Tomb: Historical Fiction and the Place(s) of Character, in January of 2013 that he posted on his blog. He writes beautifully and his articles are a pleasure to read. Having watched his video lectures I hear his voice as I read the articles and it’s a real talent to be able to pen that voice. The article makes wonderful reading and he does ‘bringing the past to life in relevant and inspiring way[s]’. I really enjoyed this piece and for that reason I’m posting a link to it here – it is worth sharing.

He begins,

During a recent trip to London I stayed (on purpose) in the relatively unfashionable neighborhood of Southwark, just a few blocks west of London Bridge and a hundred yards or so south of the Thames. It was here, at the Tabard Inn (along the current Borough High Street), that the fellowship assembled for the pilgrimage imagined by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales. David Wallace has noted the incongruity of this setting for a pilgrimage launch, describing the suburb as a jumble of overlapping jurisdictions and general miscreancy: “Southwark functioned as a dumping ground and exclusion zone for early modern London: messy or marginal trades such as lime-burning, tanning, dyeing, brewing, inn-keeping, and prostitution flourished; criminals fleeing London courts and aliens working around London trade regulations found a home there.”

For the rest you will need to visit his Burnable Books site site and you will be happy you did

2 thoughts on “Musing about Prof Bruce Holsinger and ‘At Gower’s Tomb: Historical Fiction and the Place(s) of Character’

    • I know the feeling Harry – too many books and too little time. My reading list for the end of the course is huge and still growing. I have short-changed a few of the readings because I wanted to spend more time on other. I think its all we can do when we are have such a big reading list.

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