AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 ‘Deliberate Freedom’ : Using Speculation and Imagination in Historical Biography
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In this article, I explore the challenges and opportunities associated with using ‘informed imagination’ to write a speculative biography of an historical figure. In the process, I problematize the notion of the archival gap, which has been recently romanced by numerous writers, including myself. By citing archival gaps as a justification for creative license, we neglect the fact that all archives are inherently idiosyncratic in ways that invite, perhaps even demand, the use of both speculation and imagination. Here, I make a case for what I am calling the archival overlap. A careful examination of the existing sources, however sparse or abundant, is likely to reveal reoccurring clues that can be used to shape how we image and construct our subjects. Before we consider the gaps we should tend to these overlaps, I argue, using a current work-in-progress case study of the colonial artist Adelaide Ironside to explore how speculation and imagination are intrinsic to these stages of the biographical process.'  (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon TEXT Special Issue Website Series Life Narrative in Troubled Times no. 50 October 2018 15266623 2018 periodical issue

    'This special issue brings together a diverse collection of studies that show the different ways that contemporary life narrative practices and texts seek to trouble the genres of life narrative – expanding the genres’ boundaries and unveiling new possibilities for the form, or showing the ranges of ways that life narrative texts and practices trouble socio-political or cultural contexts, representations and conditions.' (Kylie Cardell, Kate Douglas and Donna Lee Brien : Life narrative in troubled times)

Last amended 16 Nov 2018 14:28:08 ‘Deliberate Freedom’ : Using Speculation and Imagination in Historical Biographysmall AustLit logo TEXT Special Issue Website Series