Inspired by his research into the reality of the General Wolfe's death at Quebec, Schama is drawn towards the case of a gruesome murder in the family of Wolfe's chronicler, Francis Parkman. What Schama reveals however is a history of stories. Originally published: 1991.
The result is a very readable set of stories, the first dealing with the death of the British General Wolfe on the Heights of Abraham during the successful defeat of the French army; the second relating the murder of a medical-doctor-cum-landlord by a Harvard chemistry professor in the 1840s. The tales are linked by the Parkman family—George Parkman is the murder victim in the latter portion of the book; his nephew, Francis Parkman, was a famous historian responsible for excellent work on the French and Indian War.