I am both a playwright and the author of a novel at least part of which is historical fiction (The Bookman’s Tale); my wife is a director. So, when I had the chance this weekend to travel to Amherst, MA, to see a play written and directed by my daughter, Lucy, that was itself a work of historical fiction, it was a pretty special weekend. For those of you who have to wait until it comes to Broadway—The Ghost of Durham Hall is a sort of Downton Abbey meets Jane Eyre meets The Secret Garden ghost story, filled with spine tingling moments and spooky special effects. (I don’t want to give anything away here, but look out for those pictures on the wall!) Not only was it exciting to see how well my daughter has mastered the arts of playwriting and directing, but it was nice to see the influence of books throughout her work. She did a great job of giving every character an interesting back story, the dialogue rang true, and the action moved along, while still having a pace that seemed to fit the “it’s 1887 and we’re in a huge country house in the North of England” setting of the play. It’s not an easy thing to make the past feel natural—if we write it completely accurately, it may be difficult for the modern reader (or playgoer) to relate. If we write too much for the modern ear, we lose our historical basis. I think Lucy struck a nice balance, and I send kudos to her, to designer Jalana Sloatman, and to all the creative crew of Durham Hall. I can only hope that the historical sections of my novel work as well.