Narrative Histories

Make no mistake; narrative history is history, not historical fiction. It is written in a story-telling style, so it reads like a story rather than a recitation of hard facts. It is as entertaining, comic or as moving as the non-fiction we live everyday. And because life teaches us that truth is stranger than fiction, in history, there is never a dull moment.

I wrote these histories for commercial publication, but they are good examples of my history-telling style, which I can certainly put to good use in writing your family saga.

  • A Calusa Thanksgiving - What was happening in southwest Florida while the “pilgrims” and the “Indians” were enjoying their harvest festival in Massachusetts? Archaeologists and historians have given us a wealth of information...
  • A New Nation - [the]...Declaration of Independence...stated, in effect, that we OUGHT to be free and independent of Great Britain. The English Parliament, for the most part, and the King of England did not agree.
  • Christmas on Microfilm - Recently, on a rainy weekday afternoon, I went into the microfilm room in search of newspaper ads or copy of any kind that would give us a glimpse into Christmases past in Fort Myers.
  • Crossroads in Time - (January 1567) Captain Pardo’s army proceeds by “Indian” trails up through present-day South Carolina and pushes, through winter sleet, into the Piedmont. Inexorable, relentless as time, this small contingent of the greatest empire on earth advances...
  • Flushing Lake Okeechobee - To paraphrase an old joke, when you’re up to your whatever in sewage, it’s difficult to remember that your original objective was to drain the swamp.
  • La Florída, Island in the Ocean Sea - The ships were under sail running to the northwest on March 27, when the historian, Antonio Herrera, tells us, “they saw an island that they did not recognize.” It was Easter Sunday, which the Spanish call “the Feast of Flowers (La Pascua Florída).”
  • Landfall - “Pero, come here.” Pero Gutierrez stepped quietly to his side. The admiral pointed. “Do you see it? Like a candle flame, rising and falling.”
  • Mound Key, Silent Monarch - Mound Key, says Dr. John Worth, associate professor of historical archeology at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, “was ground zero of the European entrance into North America.”
  • Olympia - If you love the Olympics, remember the name Pierre de Coubertin. You have him to thank for them.
  • Prelude to Revolution - For the hanging, they chose a hill overlooking the Eno River, just outside the town of Hillsborough, North Carolina. William Tryon, governor of the Province of North Carolina, had the area cleared so the townspeople could better view the execution.
  • The China Cup - ...fully half the story of Fort Myers is generally omitted from written histories, and that is the part that women have played in building this city.
  • The Florida Colonies in 1776 - John Dunlap is hurriedly setting the type for the Declaration of Independence, which he will run off as broadsides to be distributed throughout the city and to 13 of the 15 colonies the next day. He works late into the night because he’s nervous and excited and keeps making mistakes and having to correct them.
  • The Most Romantic Town in Florida - Fort Myers may have the most romantic history of any city in Florida.
  • The Slater Saw Mill - The lakes of water produced by the plunging, summer rains teemed with so many croaking frogs you could scarcely walk to the outhouse without stepping on one. The water from the wells stank, like Dante’s hell, of sulfur.
  • The Tree - A white shell walkway curves through the park to the broad, shimmering river. At the seawall, two benches face the water. That’s it. Except for the tree. The tree is immense...

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