Notables in Novels: When Real People Have Cameos

Early-1900s pitching great Christy Mathewson.

What do Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, Hitler, Houdini, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, King Louis XIII and Queen Anne, Christy Mathewson, Franklin Roosevelt, Stalin, Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and George Washington have in common?

They are among the many real-life famous people who’ve had cameos — or more substantial supporting roles — in novels starring fictional characters.

It’s fun to see actual notables pop up in historical fiction, and sometimes in fiction that’s not that historical. We’re curious to see how the authors will portray them, and we hopefully get a sense of what those VIPs were like as living, breathing people rather than cardboard-cutout personages. Often, they’re depicted with various quirks and flaws that help make them feel at least somewhat three-dimensional. 

Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, both of which I read recently, are brimming with World War II-era officials. Of them, President Franklin Roosevelt gets the most page time because fictional U.S. Navy man Victor “Pug” Henry periodically serves under him as a roving military/diplomatic assistant. But we’re also in the room with a fair number of other leaders such as Churchill, Hitler, and Stalin — the last of whom pops up as well in Kate Quinn’s WWII-era novel The Huntress.

Much of Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna is set just before WWII — in 1930s Mexico — and features extended appearances by three famous people encountered by made-up protagonist Harrison Shepherd. They are artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and Russian-revolutionary-in-exile Leon Trotsky (who was murdered in 1940 on orders from the aforementioned Stalin).

Set earlier in the 20th century, E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime is well-known for mixing fictional characters with actual notables such as Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, Harry Houdini, and Booker T. Washington.

Also set mostly in NYC around that time is E.R. Greenberg’s The Celebrant — about fictional immigrant Jackie Kapp and his friendship with real-life Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson of the New York Giants.

Continuing my reverse chronology, another baseball-themed book — Darryl Brock’s time-travel novel If I Never Get Back — has its fictional 20th-century-born main character Sam Fowler meet Mark Twain in 1869 and conduct a secret mission for the iconic author. In Brock’s Two in the Field sequel, Fowler meets General Custer, who is portrayed as negatively as he deserves.

A far-better general, George Washington, turns up in the part of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series set in the American colonies during the 1770s. Fictional protagonist Jamie Fraser briefly serves as an officer under Washington during the war with Great Britain.

Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, which unfolds in the 1600s, includes real-life personages such as King Louis XIII and Queen Anne.

Getting back to the 20th century, an interesting cameo occurs in John Steinbeck’s East of Eden when we briefly meet…John Steinbeck, as a boy.

Any real-life “notables in novels” you’d like to mention?

My literary-trivia book is described and can be purchased here: Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time.

In addition to this weekly blog, I write the 2003-started/award-winning “Montclairvoyant” topical-humor column for Baristanet.com every Thursday. The latest piece — about an upcoming local Board of Education election and more — is here.

132 thoughts on “Notables in Novels: When Real People Have Cameos

  1. Well, the one I have is not quite a cameo, but in C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength-really good books, all building up to the last one) Dr. Ransom, (the main character) is modeled after Lewis’ friend, J.R.R. Tolkien

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  2. Right now I’m reading “Eternal Road” by John Howell.
    So far Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday and guys at the OK Corral shoot out have made appearances, as has Davy Crockett.
    It seems like there is going to be more cameos.
    If I think of more books, I’ll be back!
    However, you have already mentioned 1 that I would have, Three Muskateers.

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    • Thank you, Resa! That’s a serious lineup of American West notables! Almost mythological figures in U.S. history.

      Of course, some of those (and other) 19th-century notables were jerks, racists, and not as brave as their reputations, but I suppose there must have been a few admirable people among them. 🙂

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  3. Re: Kurt Vonnegut. He also place himself in his book Breakfast of Champion as one of the characters, the omniscient narrator participating in his own narrative. So it was doubly funny in the movie Back To School when he was trying to introduce himself as himself and no one was convinced. So much for omniscience. Ha! Sad to say, I just discovered a bio about him that was somewhat brutal written by Charles Shields, re: how Vonnegut’s experiences during WWII affected his relationships. I’m sure his mother’s suicide didn’t help either. I remember an interview where he indicated that children of suicides never fair well. But then again, would we have the literature? And lately watched an interview with him, Heller, and Styron about Bureaucracy and War. No matter how you slice those major events which involve the deaths of millions and I’ll add Covid as well as war to this list, can cause such deep grief that it’s almost impossible to overcome. As a result, I must read Styron’s “Darkness Visible” wherein he speaks to so much of this.

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    • Thank you, Anonymous! Excellent comment!

      Yes, there have definitely been cases where authors make themselves characters in their own books.

      And you’re right that trauma — which can include “survivor’s guilt” — might be severe enough to later affect all kinds of things. Even as that trauma might lead to better writing, as you note. Vonnegut was certainly a complicated person.

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      • Years ago, while looking into the early personal lives of some of my favourite well-known authors/artists, I discovered that virtually all of them had suffered severe illness or other childhood trauma. It’s as if their forced withdrawal from the world was the thing that mightily triggered their artistic imagination. And I remember thinking it’s okay to never be a great artist — if this is the sacrifice the gods demand.

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        • Thank you, Cynthia. Well said! Definitely true that quite a few creative people turned unhappiness into great writing or other kinds of art. It is indeed a sobering trade-off. Then again, better than having the unhappiness anyway and not later consciously or subconsciously using that for creative fodder.

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  4. There are quite a few real people in John Jakes’ Kent Family Chronicles. Benjamin Franklin convinces the protagonist he should immigrate to America, where he meets lots of other real people during the Revolutionary War. I was quite young when I first read the series and learnt a lot about history!

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    • Thank you, Susan! A Benjamin Franklin appearance — nice! Come to think of it, he also had a cameo in one of the “Outlander” books. It’s great when we learn history from novels — definitely can be more compelling than learning history via nonfiction books.

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  5. Hi Dave, what a great post. I think it has the potential of risk to include a real life person in a novel as people have such firmly fixed notions of what that person might be like! Happily I haven’t encountered too many wayward depictions – although perhaps (at the risk of libel from any living relatives) it might make for a more interesting read! 😉
    So whilst I was reading all the great comments I was trying to think of some books. I’m sure there are many, but the ones that sprung to mind were the appearance of Abraham Lincoln in ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ by George Saunders. A very touching story although a little odd in places! Another was ‘The Master and Margarita’ by Mikhail Bulgakov that has the depiction of Pontius Pilate’s decision making running in parallel to some of the other rather bizarre happenings. Thinking about it, is it stretching it a little far to count the Devil as well….?
    We can look to our old chum Shakespeare as well – Macbeth, The Henrys, The Richards – for whom we can blame the unpleasant historical depiction of the Third on Mr S apparently!

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    • Thank you, Sarah! An excellent point that putting a real historical figure in a novel can be a bit risky because the way that figure is depicted might disappoint the expectations of some readers. And, yes, probably safer to depict a historical figure who no longer has relatives around who knew that person firsthand. 🙂

      Great Abraham Lincoln and Pontius Pilate mentions! I imagine Lincoln appears in quite a few books.

      Hmm — and ha! 🙂 — the devil as a real person? I think I might have seen him on Halloween… 🙂

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      • Real people, especially those the author knows well, or at least has come to certain conclusions regarding, have sometimes found themselves too lightly disguised, and often in uncomplimentary garb, when the author’s next book comes off the presses.

        Richard Yates was such an author, to the consternation and resentment of some of those with whom he had become familiar, often as he was writing his latest.

        Given the searingly cold eye he brought to the artistic pretensions of such types as populated “Revolutionary Road”, such reactions are unsurprising. But that searingly cold eye is what made Yates the writer he was– one of the best of the postwar (WW2) period, unsparing and meticulous in his portrayals, and damningly insightful.

        Still, it would have made for uneasiness to know him and his reputation for writing about the people he knew.

        Many years ago, I heard through the grapevine that an aspiring writer of my acquaintance had been served with divorce papers. When I told him how sorry I was to hear the news, he muttered “More material for my novel.”

        There’s a lesson in there for writers, and those nearby too.

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        • Yes, putting thinly disguised friends or family members in a novel can be fraught — even as it can be great for the book in a “write what you know” way. One famous example is Emile Zola creating a character in his novel “The Masterpiece” with some elements of his painter friend Cezanne — resulting in an end to the friendship. I have to read Richard Yates one of these days!

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  6. Interesting post Dave, I’ve not read much historical fiction, however I can name two famous satires which are loosely based on historical figures.
    ‘Queen of Hearts’ in “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll is based on Queen Victoria .
    ‘Flimnap’ in Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” is based on Robert Walpole of the wig party and an important politician of his era.

    Another work that I can think is, “Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace” in which Charles Darwin appears ( it’s a diary of a Victorian housewife) suffering from ulcers.

    Scratching my head for more novels 🙄🙄

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    • Thank you, Tanya! Love those three mentions! Satirical treatments of real people can be quite entertaining and/or pointed. Another that comes to mind is in Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men,” whose Willie Stark protagonist is based on real politician Huey Long. (Of course Stark was a main character rather than a cameo character in that novel.)

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      • I’ve heard about “ All the King’s Men” but have not read it. I’m sure if we dig dipper into literary works we will find more such cameos and characterizations who are based on important political and historical figures.
        Now a days ofcourse it will be harder because people are a lot more sensitive about how much liberty one can take with characterization esp. political or religious.
        Your post is really interesting as always! ✌️✌️

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you, Tanya! Yes, very true that “cameos and characterizations…based on important political and historical figures” are probably plentiful in older novels — with many of those figures not known or barely known today. Also very true that that approach is riskier in today’s sensitive (and digitally hyper-communicative) world.

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  7. At the risk of seeming like a fellow good with a hammer, who therefore sees every problem as a nail, I must nominate what by now must be a usual suspect– but the book is pertinent to the week’s topic. I refer (again) to Krzhizhanovsky’s “The Return of Munchausen”, because, not only have I read it recently, but the character is in its way, unique, I think in the annals of literature, a real person who became famous for his fictitious after-dinner tales, which became the inspiration for more fictitious tales by others, becoming himself, in the process, and among readers of many lands, ever more fictional.

    After a lifetime in mercenary service to the Russian Empire, one Baron Hieronymus von Munchausen (1720-1797) retired to his country estate, where he hosted dinner parties distinguished by his own powers as a raconteur of improbable exploits. He might well have entertained his incredulous guests for years, before dying in obscurity and old age, had he not invited a man named Rudolf Erich Raspe to one of his dinners. Raspe was at the time, a literary scholar and antiquarian, but eventually fled to England to escape charges of embezzlement. He turned up in London, but settled in Cornwall as an assay master in a tin mine. In need of capital, Raspe searched about his old notebooks and found there some of the baron’s tall tales, which he turned, writing in English, into a book, “Baron Munchausen’s Narrative of his Marvelous Travels and Campaigns in Russia”.

    Had the book not proved entertaining enough to attract the interest of a German translator named Gottfried August Burger, the actual Munchasen may never have known that Raspe had written about him. Worse, Burgher was under no constraint to merely translate, but instead, added a number of even more improbable tales to Raspe’s.

    Two examples of these tales: Munchausen had ridden half a horse, unknowingly, until he noticed the horse had an endless thirst while drinking from a trough, as the water poured out the back of his remaining half. He later found the other half of his horse cavorting with mares in a field. The baron captured geese in another tale by tying a piece of fat to one end of a long string. When the first goose ate the fat, it soon came out behind, at which moment another goose took the fat in, then another, till Munchausen had captured a brace of them on that single string.

    “Overnight the real Munchausen had become a legend in his own land, his estate deluged with gawkers whom the lone gamekeeper was powerless to keep back. The baron abandoned his storytelling. The dinner parties ceased– and their once genial host crept through his last decade a dispirited recluse. But his sprightly namesake lived on. The mythical Munchausen’s boundless faith in his own imaginative powers, his invented worlds and impossible situations proved irresistible.”

    —Joanne Turnbull, from her introduction

    Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, after the Russian Revolution, found cause to revive him, although it would appear in “The Return of Munchausen”, that the noise and uproar of world events had drawn the baron out of his book and into the world once more, despite his “struggle for nonexistence”, just in time to have a hand in the writing and signing of theTreaty of Versailles. Later, invited to write about his fact-finding tour of the USSR, which, in typical Munchausian fashion, he manages without ever leaving home, he discovers the untenability of his position. Having invented every character, scene and event of his imaginary tour of Red Russia, he is bewildered by the Soviet response– it would seem that everything he wrote, whatever he wrote, was true!

    Remarked the baron, “…I particularly loved that moment…when, having waited my turn, I swept a fact away with a phantasm, replaced the existent with the nonexistent. Always and invariably my phantasms won– always and invariably that is, until I chanced upon the country about which one cannot lie.”

    It’s all too much for the baron, who returns himself to the book from which he sprang, to be shelved between “decorous Adam Smith and the “Tales of a Thousand and One Nights”.”

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    • Could you please help? I know I’ve written something over-long, but I’d like you to correct my text in a couple of places. In the paragraph beginning “Two examples of these tales’, please change the word ‘whole’ to ‘while.’ And please add —Joanne Turnbull, from her introduction’ after the paragraph that begins “Overnight the real Munchausen..”

      Thanks!

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    • Thank you, jhNY! Totally fascinating. Love the strange mix of fact and fiction — as apparently did Krzhizhanovsky, and Terry Gilliam in his 1988 film “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.”

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  8. As an avid reader of historical fiction I often run into real people in my reading adventures 🙂 And I must admit I included some real people in my own book as well. I have to say one of my favorite historical fiction novels of all time is “Dream West” by David Nevin – following “the pathfinder” John C. Fremont and his many adventures and misadventures throughout his long and interesting life. Being a real person himself, most of the people around him in the book are also real, you encounter some VERY famous faces while reading, as well as watching him live through some crazy times (like the Gold rush and Civil War). As a Civil War buff, I especially enjoyed it because his record as a general during that war wasn’t great, so it was nice to see other parts of his life and get to know him a little better instead of just scoffing at some of his glaring military errors! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, M.B.!

      Great that some real people make appearances in your upcoming book! Must have been a thrill to create historical fiction after reading so much of it — and writing many “historical fact” blog posts.

      ‘”Dream West” sounds fabulous, and I really enjoyed your description of it — including your take on how military “failures” can have other interesting aspects to their lives.

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  9. George Bernard Shaw’s tragedy “Saint Joan” is a fictionalized retelling of the story of Joan of Arc, Joan is the protagonist and Charles VII of France is a major character in this play. This play has flaws, some of the characters express opinions that are too modern for the 15th Century and the somewhat comical dream sequence in the epilogue softens the impact of the tragedy, the play would probably be better off without it. However, Joan herself has some eloquent and emotionally moving lines.

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    • Thank you, Tony!

      I’ve seen a couple of George Bernard Shaw plays (not “Saint Joan”) and they were a pleasure to watch. You described “Saint Joan” well — its pros and cons.

      Joan of Arc is also of course in Mark Twain’s “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc,” but I didn’t include that novel in my post because she was the co-star of the book rather than making a cameo or being a supporting character.

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    • Hi Dave, please change “…the somewhat comical dream sequence in the last act…” to “…the somewhat comical dream sequence in the epilogue…” Thank you for your kind attention.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “Saint Joan” is full of anachronisms and historical bloopers from references to tennis, Protestantism, and nationalism to Joan calling Charles VII “Charlie”. Shaw wanted to write a witty and entertaining play and he seemed to be uninterested in historical accuracy.

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      • Haven’t read this Shaw play, but your reply made me wonder about the history of tennis.

        from Wikipedia:

        “Historians believe that the game’s ancient origin lay in 12th century northern France, where a ball was struck with the palm of the hand.Louis X of France was a keen player of jeu de paume (“game of the palm”), which evolved into real tennis, and became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style. Louis was unhappy with playing tennis outdoors and accordingly had indoor, enclosed courts made in Paris “around the end of the 13th century”. In due course this design spread across royal palaces all over Europe.

        It was not until the 16th century that rackets came into use and the game began to be called “tennis”, from the French term tenez, which can be translated as “hold!”, “receive!” or “take!”, an interjection used as a call from the server to his opponent.”

        Since Joan lived in the 15th century, Shaw, in this instance, seems not be guilty of inserting an anachronism into his play.

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  10. HI Dave, I often read books that include historical figures mixed with fictional characters to create a historical novel based on a real timeline of events with a fictionalised storyline. I did this myself in A Ghost and His Gold and Through the Nethergate. Cameos seems to refer more to fictional characters appearing in books other than their base book as a reference. The books that come to mind are Roald Dahl’s children’s book. He introduced the BFG into Danny the Champion of the World and there are other occasions of cross referencing of his own characters. Stephen King is another author who does this and I know he did it in IT and a few other novels I read of his. Of course Sherlock Holmes and Watson make appearances in lots of books, but I can’t think of any others off the top of my head.

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  11. This is another fun topic, thanks Dave! I am currently reading the brilliant Still Life by Sarah Winman which features tangentially E M Forster. It is making me want to pick up his books again!

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    • Thank you, Liz! “Brilliant” is a high recommendation for Sarah Winman’s “Still Life,” and the tangential featuring of E.M. Forster is a nice bonus! Great author — and not easy to be a gay man in his time.

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  12. And yet again you have given me something to think about in the coming week, Dave. There is a strong link between fiction and non-fiction, which keeps me going back and forth between them. Fiction has a great deal of non-fiction research that is placed within the narrative. The storyline may be fiction, but the research is definitely there to add credibility. There may be bias and creative license for artistic purpose. Reading non-fiction requires critical thinking to identify whether there is any bias or opinions that would suggest that there may be fiction in the non-fiction. Does that make sense?

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    • Thank you, Rebecca! Totally makes sense!

      You are so right that there is a strong connection between fiction and nonfiction. As you note, many novelists do a lot of research for their books, and nonfiction often has elements of guesswork, opinion, outright made-up quotes, etc. And of course an author deciding what to include and what to omit contributes to nonfiction’s “bias.” I think most readers are aware that no nonfiction book is ever 100% “true” — and have no problem with that. I certainly don’t. 🙂

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    • Hi Rebecca, you make an interesting point. Fiction does include non-fiction as most books contain elements the author doesn’t know everything about, whether it be the setting, accents, type of people, style of housing, etc. With non-fiction, one expects to read factual accounts but these can be bias depending on the purpose of the writer and also the source of the facts. I introduced an additional British soldier character into A Ghost and His Gold because the British and Boer historical accounts of the Boer war were so different, I could always distingue what was fact and what was slanted to accommodate the views of the writer. It reminds me of the blatant rewriting of history featured in 1984.

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      • I was thinking of “A Ghost and His Gold” when I wrote my comments, Robbie. The amount of research you completed for your novel was evident, especially in how your brought our different aspects of events from diverse perspectives.

        I believe that critical thinking is a required component of the reading process, whether it is fiction or non-fiction. I think the purpose of reading is to expand our thinking, challenge our values and seek to understand others and the world in which we live. Reading is a complex undertaking – one that demands our full participation. And that is what makes it all the more exciting.

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        • Hi Rebecca, I am so glad you appreciated the different perspectives in A Ghost and His Gold. It is a complex book that deals with a lot of issues and ideas. Some books are simple and easy on the mind and I can understand why people like them, but I prefer stories with strong messages and that make me think like War and Peace and Brave New World to the fun and easier reads. Some of the ideas in War and Peace are really resonating with me.

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  13. Great post Dave. read it a few hours ago and been trying to think of cameos or bigger roles. I’ve read a lot of fiction about people who were ‘real’ but they were leading roles in these books. In fact I’ve just started reading Denise Mina’s novella about the murder of David Rizzio. An awful lot of these real people were kings, queens, conquerors, explorers etc. And I’ve probably mentioned some of these books before. Ataturk makes several appearances in Birds Without Wings for example. But one I remembered and I quite enjoyed reading was the Pirate’s Daughter which ahs Errol Flynn in it.

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    • Thank you, Shehanne!

      I also thought of novels with real people in prominent roles, and decided not to include them in my post. 🙂 Sir Walter Scott’s “Rob Roy” was one that came to mind.

      Those Ataturk and Errol Flynn cameos sound memorable! Glad you mentioned them.

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      • Lol, well i thought I’d be from now to next week if I started reeling off the ones where real people are the central figures. And Scott and Old Mortality where Bonnie Dundee has a cameo, was another I thought of re cameos cos i’d already thought of Roby Roy but obviously that is another category. There’s also novels where a lead is clearly based on and the story is about someone who did exist but the names are changed.

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        • Various excellent observations, Shehanne!

          Gore Vidal is certainly among the authors who wrote some novels starring real people (“Lincoln,” “Burr”…).

          And, yes, some novels feature partly fictionalized real people with different names. Two examples I can think of offhand are Mary Shelley’s “The Last Man” (in which the three main characters are based on Shelley herself, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron) and Nora Ephron’s “Heartburn” (starring versions of Ephron herself and Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, who had been married in real life).

          As you noted, Sir Walter Scott did give real people cameos (as opposed to starring or co-starring roles) in some of his novels. One instance of that was in “Quentin Durward” — in which the Scottish archer title character served under French King Louis XI.

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          • Yes he did do that. Talking Burr..if it’s Aaron Burr I have a novel about his daughter so I guess I can say he sure cameos in that. I also read–I don’t think I brought it here– Moviola,, Garson Kanin –and i think there were cameos in that. It is just rather along time since I read it…

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                  • Yeah I gather no further trace was found of anything to do with that boat. It was a book of Anya Seton’s, who was quite well known years ago. She wasn’t prolific, churning books out by the library but she chose a lesser known subject and went to town in terms of the research–harder in these days– and gave this wonderful immersion in that time, so there’s all the shennigans Burr was involved in. Of course seen through her adoring eyes. Anothers of hers I liked was Devil Water. of its time in terms of the prose but a very good account of the 1715 Jacobite Rising from the point of view of a ‘real’ English family of nobles who were involved. I still have the books of erhs I bought–some quite ancient copies I picked up second hand.
                    .

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                    • Thank you, Shehanne, for those further interesting/descriptive details about “My Theodosia” and the mention of “Devil Water”! I just looked up Anya Seton on Wikipedia and she seems like she was quite an author — in a quality over quantity way. 🙂 Sorry that other Wikipedia entry wasn’t so good.

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                    • She was quality over quantity. And that Devil Water book begins in 1709 when the Charles mentioned in wiki is plainly the family black sheep and I guess if a reader has descended from a black sheep then you want to to know more. Her books were also very lengthy but for the time they were written that was ok.

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                • Just this very week, surfing through the offerings on my teevee, I came across a portrait that some claim is of her, though, if it were, it would have had to have been somehow salvaged from the wreck.
                  Might have been a segment on “History’s Mysteries” or some such.

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  14. Thank you, Dave, for this interesting and special post concerning cameos! I have to admit that I didn’t know this expression and had to check on google for its definition! I remember that Hichcock appeared briefly in some of his films or more precisely in “Birds”. The German writer Erich Kästner did so also in the films of”Emil and the Dedectives”.

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  15. Lovely post, Dave! I also love the books that connect real life events with the fictional story being told. One example of a cameo I recall is of Osama Bin Laden (referred to only by his initials) in Mohammad Hanif’s The Case of Exploding Mangoes. A hilarious book – and the author had a bit of fun at OBL’s expense too!

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    • Thank you, rajatnarula! Books that connect real-life events with fiction can indeed be very compelling. I suppose that’s one way to define the genre of historical fiction. 🙂 “The Case of Exploding Mangoes” sounds VERY interesting — and I love the title!

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  16. In Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” both Napoleon and Czar Alexander I make brief appearances, being a Russian novel, Napoleon is not treated favorably. The Russian Marshal Kutuzov is not one of the protagonists but he plays an important part in the plot as well as in the war against Napoleon. In the novel “Mutiny on The Bounty”, Captain Bligh is the most important character next to the fictional protagonist. Fletcher Christian, the leader of the mutineers, is also a major character.

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