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Writing Historical Fiction

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The Brattleboro Literary Festival begins its 2024 Literary Cocktail Hour season with authors Virginia Pye and Whitney Scharer. They will be online in conversation about their latest works of historical fiction on Friday, January 12 at 5:00 pm. Free…to register go to

Virginia Pye’s The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann is set in Gilded Age Boston. It tells the story of a successful woman author of romance and adventure novels who becomes a champion of women’s rights as she takes on the literary establishment and finds her true voice, both on and off the page. Everything changes for Victoria when she goes against her publisher’s expectations and abandons her frivolous style to tell her own story. The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann shows writing and reading as acts of defiance that can liberate us from narrow, constrained lives, and how revision in life and revision on the page are entwined.

Whitney Scharer’s The Age of Light was named one of the Best Books of the Year by Parade, Glamour, Real Simple, and Refinery29. “I’d rather take a photograph than be one,” Lee Miller declares after she arrives in Paris in 1929, where she soon catches the eye of the famous Surrealist Man Ray. Though he wants to use her only as a model, Lee convinces him to take her on as his assistant and teach her everything he knows. Lee’s journey of self-discovery takes her from inventing radical new photography techniques to documenting the liberation of the concentration camps as one of the first female war correspondents.


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