Not all stories which raise the question of history are loyal to the official documentation of events as they occurred—indeed, far more interesting is the notion of a people's history. As Brian Hamnett explains in The Historical Novel in Nineteenth-Century Europe: Representations of Reality in History and Fiction (2011) “Historians do not, as the fiction writers does, live in the world of imagination. A novel has to be taken away from the analysis of facts and transformed into art. For the novelist the decision to use an historical context responds to the fictional benefit which might result”.The author, therefore, does not necessarily seek to re-create a moment of history but rather to understand how it connects to the present on a psychological level. It offers both the writer and their readers a kind of catharsis.
What illuminates the present moment better than looking back? There are chapters of history we have heard about a thousand times before—let's allow the authors of this issue to guide us in looking beyond the obvious. What could we learn by listening to others share their own experiences of shifts and changes? We want to uncover the lives of forgotten heroes and foes. We are as much of a part of this story as them: let's see how our present has been shaped by their discoveries and inventions, what has changed and in what ways we have remained the same.