However in Literature a portrait of a character is a subtle combination of fact and fiction, exploring the individual psychology of the character in the wider context of his/her environment. When the subject of the narrative is a historical figure, then the writer is free to create a compelling and dramatic portrait of the person that draws on imaginative invention for verisimilitude. An example is Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall (2009) which, while acknowledging the work of the historian Dr Mary Robertson for background information, imagines an intimate portrait of Oliver Cromwell and his intense relationship with Henry VIII at a critical time in English history. It could be argued that in literature any portrait is a discreet assembly of facts, anecdotes, and author's insights. Plutarch's Lives, written in the 2nd century AD, offer a prime example of historical literary portraits, as a source of information about the individuals and their times.
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