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The Historical Nights' Entertainment

by Rafael Sabatini

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"In approaching The Historical Nights' Entertainment I set myself the task of reconstructing, in the fullest possible detail and with all the color available from surviving records, a group of more or less famous events. I would select for my purpose those which were in themselves bizarre and resulting from the interplay of human passions, and whilst relating each of these events in the form of a story, I would compel that story scrupulously to follow the actual, recorded facts without owing anything to fiction, and I would draw upon my imagination, if at all, merely as one might employ color to fill in the outlines which history leaves grey, taking care that my color should be as true to nature as possible. For dialogue I would depend upon such scraps of actual speech as were chronicled in each case, amplifying it by translating into terms of speech the paraphrases of contemporary chroniclers." -- From Sabatini's Preface



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