|A Medieval Witch|
The big hypocrisy of Pericles' radical democracy in Athens was that while women were not even allowed citizenship, men had to prove that their mothers were born in Athens to prove their own citizenship! Also, Athenians and Spartans had a rivalry in more than just fighting style-they were jealous of each others' fashions and the fact that Spartan women could work out in gymnasiums and have multiple lovers!
In Medieval times, people believed that gap-toothed women were highly sexed, and that a pimply man had a flawed soul. This was a time when people were truly judged by surface appearance.
In Dr. Faustus, written during the Elizabethan period in England, there is a reference to Native Americans as "Spanish Moors". This proves that people "across the pond" were quite aware that the Spanish were lording it over the Native American Indians in what's now America. Also at that time, white and black magic were seen as coming from the bible. People believed literally in the devil, and prayed both to God and Night Hags!
It's fun to learn about history, and quite helpful when contemplating writing an historical novel or fantasy. I considered my first YA novel, Refugees, about the friendship between and Afghan boy and an American girl, historical fiction, even though it was about contemporary matters. The reason? It dealt with the fallout from 9/11, which immediately made it a pivotal point in history.
If you were writing historical fiction or fantasy, which period would you love to set in in? Which historical periods interest you the most?
I love history, and thanks for the interesting facts above. I think I would set my historical novel in the time of the American pioneers, heading west to make a life for themselves. I love Willa Cather and Laura Ingalls Wilder. That period of history fascinates me.ReplyDelete
Sadly, my high school history teacher did not like history--made obvious by the fact that he barely taught us any--just getting through the materials so he could keep his coaching job (which he DID love, and was good at). But now...homeschooling my own...I have fallen in love with it--I just have LOTS of catching up to do!ReplyDelete
Very good question! I think it would be interesting to write about a modern day character transplanted to when man was all about hunting & gathering, almost like a comparison of how far we've come.ReplyDelete
I must have had the same teacher as ChaiLicious! History class was a chore in HS. I didn't start liking history until I was bitten by the Jane Austen bug as an adult, and now I can't get enough of shows like Downton Abbey. Plus, the book Independence by Kate Kasserman and the movie The Last of the Mohicans sparked my interest in the Revolutionary War period. Oh, and most recently, I've been fascinated with ancient Greece after reading The Year God's Daughter.ReplyDelete
Read all of Sarah Dunant's books-historical fiction at its best!Delete
"The Historian" is also a great read...and future movie, I believe.
I'm like you. History bored me high school and college. Now I find it fascinating, particularly the odd tidbits.ReplyDelete
I'm way behind on my A to Z visits and must get moving. So nice to meet you!
I want to say Renaissance. The outfits alone are amazing.ReplyDelete
I actually loved history. All those stories behind the big events were a huge draw for me. I still find myself reading a lot of historical non-fiction. Funny, I don't read much historical fiction though.ReplyDelete
Great letter choice! I would love to write about the 1940s and a love story between an American soldier and a woman (Jewish or European). It just such an interesting period in time. :)ReplyDelete
wonderful information---especially fascinating about the women issues---i guess i would choose, more recent history, maybe the great depression era--such an interesting post!ReplyDelete
Chailicious, how unfortunate! Melissa and Lucy, I'm with you in that I got bitten by the history bug after high school. Lynn, the great depression is certainly an interesting time. I LOVE the series, Boardwalk Empire. Krista, the '40s has been an intense focus in lit, but will continue to be. Michelle, hunting and gathering as in the stone age? Janna, I LOVED those Little House books, and so many kids love them. Always a cool time to write about.ReplyDelete
I was lucky to have great history teachers throughout school. I really like the 1930-1940 era. So many worldwide rapid changes, great music and art and fashion.ReplyDelete
That's cool! I really enjoy learning about history. Well, some historical things. The way that they teach history in school is deplorable, at least in my experience. We repeat things over and over and don't really learn about the real story. (It's been said that the winners write the history books, and this is definitely true.) I've actually been lucky enough to get some pretty cool history teachers, but the subject matter has always been quite dry. Those examples you gave were interesting.ReplyDelete
Mikazuki, I agree. I've always thought that kids should learn about contemporary global cultures as well. Most Americans know very little about other cultures. If you can, it's also great to travel. You learn SO MUCH that way.ReplyDelete
It is easier to find an interest in history after you have lived through some of it.ReplyDelete
I had to chuckle at some of your history tidbits!
http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com Theme: A World of Crime
Wow, these facts are great!ReplyDelete
Umm, I don't know. Probably Viking times. Talk about a fascinating people.
Wow, so great and interesting.ReplyDelete
Do check out my letters at GAC a-z.
Those historical oddities are great. I love history books that focus on daily life and practices more than the grand sweep of politics and war.ReplyDelete
I've always been disappointed to hear "historical fiction" defined as taking place before WWII, because that would be my ideal time period. Being a true world war, there are so many angles from which to tell stories.
American Civil War, especially the insanity on the western edge in Kansas and Missouri.ReplyDelete
Also anything surrounding the founding and formation of the United States. So many stories covering a broad range of emotion and perspective.
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I hated history in school. Dates, explorers, who cared? When I starte doing genealogy research I discovered how intresting history is. It was about people, my ancestors, your ancestors. When I read about their lives, so diferent to ours, I realized with I was missing. The Civil War is one of my favorite historical periods, as is the Revolutionary period. Then I love the 1920s.ReplyDelete
I write 20th century historical. My favorite decades are the 1940s, 1920s, 1960s, and 1930s. I also enjoy late contemporary historical fiction, from the 1980s onward. History was always my favoritest subject in school, and most of my hobbies and interests come from my lifelong love of history, like silent film, classic rock, old books, antique cars, coins, stamps, and vinyl records.ReplyDelete
I must applaud you, Carrie-Anne. Your passion for history is quite impressive. History was always my favorite, too. Back then, I felt like I’m on a journey during our history class. I just wish that many would find such a subject very interesting and worth studying.ReplyDelete