Historic research transcends the sum of its parts. So explained author/professor John T. Cumbler at the Cape Cod Writers Center’s Writers Night Out on September 28 to the two dozen writers in attendance.
While retrieval of archival materials, letters, newspaper accounts, and diaries are the first steps in historical research, the author must also understand the social/political/ emotional context in which they were written, the zeitgeist of the era and the motives of the writer. Once digested, the author must then rely upon his common sense to interpret the materials.
With thanks to Dr. Cumbler for his informative and important talk!