So what am I blaming poor Elizabeth for? It’s because of a book that I read when I was 8 years old (remember: I’m 51 now) that I became fascinated with Elizabeth I, and then with her country, and then with her time period, etc., etc., etc. I’m blaming her for my love of history: of English history, of European history, of Scottish history, of 16th century history, of 15th century history. Starting to see a pattern here?
Once I read about one person in history, I get sucked up in the period in which that person lived. Then I get sucked up into the history of the countries surrounding the country of the person in whom I have gotten interested; and I then get fascinated with the ancestors and descendants (if any) of the person I am reading about.
My parents encouraged and indulged this love of history that I had, and still have (they both loved history). When it was a part of American history that I was interested in, they tried to get me to the historical sites which I was reading about. They would buy me books (fiction and non-fiction) about historical topics I was reading about and interested in (on my own; rarely did history class cover what I was studying). Occasionally, though, I’d get more than a suspicion that Mom thought I took my love of history TOO far — that she thought that I lived too much in the past, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the present…. (and she thought that to the end of her life). She had a point, especially when I was younger, but she was not completely correct.
One of the reasons I loved history so much was because I learned about people who overcame phenomenal challenges, and that encouraged me to believe that my disabilities were merely challenges that did NOT have to keep me from accomplishing good things in my life. After all, unlike poor Princess Elizabeth, I didn’t have a half sister who had thrown me in the Tower of London and who seemed determined to find an excuse to execute me. Unlike Queen Elizabeth, I didn’t have a Pope declaring that anyone who killed me was doing God a favor… so I should be able to deal with the (far less severe?) problems that I did have…
I still adore history; and I still get incredibly excited about learning about lives of people who lived long ago. Two or three years ago, I decided it was finally time to check out what Facebook was about. It was neat to connect with people I hadn’t talked to for ages, and to correspond with relatives I and friends that I hadn’t seen in years. All of this was great (and still is!), but I discovered another use for Facebook: finding groups of people who had and have the same fascination with history that I did and do. Talking with people who know as much about my favorite periods as I do, or know even more, and encouraging the love of history in young folks who are just beginning to discover the fascination of history that I’ve been blessed with knowing for all of these years, is an incredible joy to me.
I adore the chance that I am getting to learn about the newest scholars in the fields of history that I’ve known and have loved for so long. I am also enjoying the chance to learn about areas that I have always wanted to know about, but didn’t seem to have access to before. I love learning the histories of countries that I hadn’t explored before, or had even known about before. I love learning about periods of history that I hadn’t explored in the past.
I also love the opportunity of making friends with people who don’t think I’m nuts for being fascinated with the intricate relationships of those who lived 500+ years ago. It’s neat to talk to people who may be half way across the globe (or almost in my back yard – so to speak) who have this same passionate love for history. I love being able to discuss historical figures who are almost as real to me as the people I meet on the street with people who have that same interest and fascination. It fires my imagination, and keeps my intellect sharp.
So for those who have gotten to know me from the various history sites that I am on, please know how much I appreciate the opportunity to interact with, and learn from, you! I admit that there are times when I seem to almost trumpet if I find that I am correct in what I had written; I’m not trying to be a braggart (honest!) – I am truly excited to learn that my studies have paid off, and I am genuinely surprised and delighted to learn that I may actually know what I am talking about! I truly don’t mind being informed that I am wrong either, because I learn that way. I can’t learn new things if I’m stuck on my own opinion. I have the friends I have met on these history sites (among others) to thank for giving me the courage and encouragement to start up this blog.
Right now, I’m still working on introductory pieces. I like to let people know where I am coming from. As I get more comfortable, I’ll move into the deeper and more intricate studies.
Oh, by the way: my favorite period of history is still the sixteenth century, and England is still my favorite country to study; for that I may THANK (as well as “blame”) Her Royal Majesty Elizabeth I!