I was assigned to the office of a recently deceased faculty member; the office hadn't been cleaned out yet, and a few days before the fall term began, I unlocked the door to find a dirty room whose bookshelves were crammed with empty bourbon bottles and crucifixes, mute testimony to the limits of literature as a sustaining comfort in life.
Why does a human body become deceased? The reason is that as long as the human body is not free from suffering, mind cannot be happy. If a man lacks enthusiasm, either his body or mind is in a deceased condition... Now what saps the enthusiasm in man? If there is no enthusiasm, life becomes drudgery - a mere burden to be dragged. Nothing can be achieved if there is no enthusiasm. The main reason for this lack of enthusiasm on the part of a man is that an individual looses the hope of getting an opportunity to elevate himself. Hopelessness leads to lack of enthusiasm. The mind in such cases becomes deceased... When is enthusiasm created? When one breaths an atmosphere where one is sure of getting the legitimate reward for one's labor, only then one feels enriched by enthusiasm and inspiration.
I know what you want. One month after the ascension of Philippe the Gullible, M. Laclos found in a gutter, deceased. Blamed on a traffic accident. Two months after, King Philippe found in a gutter, deceased- it really is a bad stretch of road. Philippe's heirs and assigns having coincidentally expired, end of the monarchy, reign of M.Danton.
Whether I like it or not, most of my images of what various historical periods feel, smell, or sound like were acquired well before I set foot in any history class. They came from Margaret Mitchell, from Anya Seton, from M.M. Kaye, and a host of other authors, in their crackly plastic library bindings. Whether historians acknowledge it or not, scholarly history's illegitimate cousin, the historical novel, plays a profound role in shaping widely held conceptions of historical realities.
If you study a historical episode and feel good about it, it probably means that you haven't had it explained very well. Historical conflict is usually the struggle of different conceptions of what is good.
The fact is: Jesus wrote not a solitary word that survives. Equally astounding is historical silence: not a single historical account refers to him during his lifetime from any source whatsoever, Roman or Jewish, official or personal.
Writing historical fiction has many common traits with writing sci-fi or fantasy books. The past is another country - a very different world - and historical readers want to see, smell and touch what it was like living there.
Because history became his (Keenan's) genuine passion, he tended to see the world in terms of deep historical forces that, in his mind, formed a nation's character in ways almost beyond the consciousness of the men who momentarily governed it, as if these historical impulses were more a part of them than they knew.
It does not require much historical knowledge (though it may require a certain historical perspective) to see that many, if not all, of the "aristocratic" elements of the Constitution (as in other countries) have gradually disappeared or were washed away during the past two hundred years, while the monarchic powers of the presidency and the democratic extent of majority rule became more and more overwhelming.