You're in love with the characters, and the gowns are gorgeous. Two hundred million dollars later you cry as the Titanic goes down, but can you believe what you see? Is this history, or just a great entertainment? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the mixing and merging of fiction and history.
Mark Carnes is chairman of the history department at Barnard College and Editor of "Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies." He gives Steve Paulson numerous examples of movies that get their facts wrong. He says the real problem is the simplification imposed by the dramatic process. Also, British novelist Barry Unsworth tells Judith Strasser how actors learned to challenge the official version of history in the 14th century. His books include "Pascali's Island," "Sacred Hunger," and most recently, "Morality Play."SEGMENT 2:
Michael Blake is famous as the author of "Dances with Wolves." In his new book, "Marching to Valhalla," he tells the story of George Armstrong Custer. Blake tells Jim Fleming that as a boy he revered Custer, then reviled him as a young man, and now admires him. He thinks Custer was a good soldier and that no one could have beaten the Indians at the Little Big Horn.SEGMENT 3:
Dorothy Dunnett has been hailed as the greatest living writer of historical fiction. She talks with Jim Fleming about the challenges posed by the genre from avoiding "Gadzookery" in the chacters' speech to the fact that you can't change history. Dunnett's legendary sequence of six novels featuring a 16th century Scottish nobleman - The Lymond Chronicles - has just been re-issued.The Six Lymond Novels are, in order:
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