This episode features two experts: Derek Hirst, professor of history, and Steven Zwicker, professor of English, from Washington University in St. Louis. For decades now, the scholars have been researching Andrew Marvell, a 17th century English politician and poet. Marvell presents a challenge because the details of his life are relatively unknown, but what survives are his political texts, his poems, and the works his contemporaries wrote about him. Professors Hirst and Zwicker explain how they used their areas of expertise to bring these two seemingly-disparate versions of Marvell, the politician and the poet, together into one man.
From steampunk novels to heart-wrenching memoirs, biographies to political histories, writers often use the past in their work. But how do they do so? What considerations do they take into account? How much fidelity do they owe the "truth," and what kind of ethics come into play when documenting another's life? Join host Rebecca King as she talks to historians, biographers, memoirists, poets, novelists, and playwrights to dig deeper into the study and representations of the past.
image Flickr: Giulio menna