April 02, 2017
When I met you at the Perth Museum, where the high school history class were screening their historical documentaries on Perth, I was intrigued when you said your book was based upon a document written by a blacksmith some 50 years after the duel between Lyon and Wilson.
Having read it, I see that both your book and my documentary "Daniel's Journey: History Rewritten" deal with the question: what is truth? Especially in history! Commonly held historical beliefs might be altered, or completely shattered, when a new document comes to light. How then do we deal with the historical record? How is history rewritten?
I became more curious when told at the Booknook in Perth that feedback from readers said they found your book a little risque. How can a book about a fatal duel be risque?
I knew a bit about the duel itself, and many of the characters described in your book, but you provide details about the life and times in early Perth that brought the characters of Rev. Bell, Matheson, and the other players of the time back to life.
I found your premise - the newly discovered document - the most interesting part of the story. How did such a document come to light? Is it real? The photos in the book of a few pages of the blacksmith's letter . . . ah, but you leave it up to the reader to form any final opinions about that letter. I found the story quite fascinating, a good read, and, in some ways, a parallel to the story line in my documentary. You give us a feel for what life was like in Perth at that time. Was it risque? In early puritanical Perth, could anything be risque? I'll leave it up to your readers to form their own opinions on that.
Well done, David!
Thanks for your insightful comments, Hugh.
The link to Hugh's website on Daniel Daverne is under my Links tab.
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