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Posts from the ‘Daisy Hildyard’ Category

History as Deception and Digression

Hildyard Hunters cover

It seemed like all his histories involved deception…

Following in her grandfather’s professional footsteps, the unnamed narrator of Daisy Hildyard’s first novel Hunters in the Snow is a history student studying for her Ph.D.,but her real education in the construction and interpretation of history emerges through the close relationship with her grandfather, Jimmy.  When Jimmy dies, she finds herself responsible for cleaning out his rural Yorkshire house, where she discovers his unpublished research files. Hildyard interweaves the young student’s reminiscences of conversations and long walks with Jimmy into the four main historical tales that emerge from Jimmy’s files: the years 1461-1471 in the life of King Edward IV; Tsar Peter the Great’s incognito trip through Europe and England of 1697; the life of former 18th century slave Olaudah Equiano, whose controversial autobiography claimed to recount his pre-abduction childhood in Africa; and the mysterious death of Lord Kitchener in 1916.  Read more