It is impossible to learn about every period in history, or at least not in any depth. But are there periods in time that fascinate you more than others? For me, there are several particular times that captivate my attention, inspiring me to delve deeper.
One thing I have learned about myself is that I am drawn to the older periods. The Revolutionary War era is probably the most recent time that appeals to me. That being said, I did enjoy visiting the beaches at Normandy with my husband and my parents. But unfortunately, it was not enough to stir my passion for learning more.
I have been interested in Colonial America from my earliest memories, probably because I had a teacher who sparked that interest.
However, as I learned more about the world outside, I became intrigued by the Celts, particularly reading books on Ireland and Scotland. My heritage? Who knows?
Living in Italy and Greece, I was mesmerized by the ancients, the Greeks, and the Romans. As a theatre student, I studied those cultures with all they brought to the world of art; the plays, the clothing, and settings. But it took living there to appreciate those cultures fully. Now, here in Germany, especially this part of Bavaria, I return to the Celts who lived here in Bohemia before the Romans invaded.
I find I am attracted to medieval Europe, as well. The castles and kings, and all the romance of the time aside, the lives of everyday people entice me to learn more. When we traveled when my children were young, I always planned trips around medieval sites in Ireland and Scotland, whether a castle, a cathedral, or a village. These days, with the virus limiting travel options, we are discovering much of medieval Germany, and there are few hilltop castles in the area we have not hiked to with Widgit, the History Hound.
While I am interested in buildings (my inner architect?), I am drawn more and more to the items people used. I am enchanted with it all, from clothing to cooking implements to jewelry, hair combs, tools, and pottery.
Over the years, I have immersed myself in several of these periods, beginning with medieval interpretation in Norfolk, Virginia. We held feasts, tournaments, and demonstrations, hoping to educate the public.
While in Italy, we were actively involved in The Naples International Archaeology Society. And I had the fantastic opportunity to volunteer with the Pompeii Food & Drink Project sponsored by the University of Maryland. This frozen capsule in time provided the chance to investigate the eating and drinking habits of the people living there in 79 AD.
Returning to the US, we became involved in the 7th Virginia Regiment, interpreting the American Revolutionary War era. While Dave
joined the rifle company, I dove into the food, plants, clothing, and everyday life of that time. When I was not camping with the regiment, I volunteered as a docent conducting tours at Ker Place, a 1799 colonial home.
Well, this is starting to sound like my resume, so I will stop and ask you, “what historical periods intrigue you?”