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So, history is boring. Now, I don’t mean to be mean but whenever someone says that to me I think,
HOW!!!!! Are you insane? Do you not know anything? Have you ever learned any history? Philistine! Heathen!
Then again, if you were inflicted with a tedius teacher, then I am not surprised.
If you are one of these people who thinks history is boring I want to challenge you. How can you think of something which contains the following things as boring? :
- Beautiful Women
- Handsome Men
- Dukes, Duchesses, Earls, Countesses etc
- Military Coups
- Industrial Revolutions
- Social Revolutions
- And most of all, ordinary people like you and me who shaped how we live, love and die today.
Does that challenge you? It should. I’m not just talking about sitting down and reading a history textbook from your old school. No, that probably is a little boring 😉 One of my favourite ways to learn about history (and the historians will be tutting at me in a few moments) is by watching movies! My favourite movie it ‘Gladiator’ – Undisputed best film ever made.
Better than the broad history topics I listed above however, and what interests me most about history, are those little qwerky stories you find.
For instance, did you know that two princes were murdered and stuffed into a wall cavity in the Tower of London? When they were found no one was sure who they were and it’s still a mystery as to who killed them though some people like to believe it was ‘evil’ King Richard III.
Did you know that the term Eaves-Dropping comes from the time of King Henry VIII (yeah, the one with six wives)? He had little faces carved into the eaves of his banquet hall so that they would look down on the courtiers. The idea was that they would feel like the King was always watching them and it would stop plotting and conspiring…
Did you know that Winston Churchill, one of the greatest leaders of this country, left school with a poor academic record and only made it into the army on his third attempt to pass the entrance exams?
Did you know the shortest war on record was fought between Zanzibar and England in 1896? 38 minutes was all it took for Zanzibar to surrender.
Did you know Beethoven, was told by a music teacher that he had no talent for music. In fact, this teacher once remarked, “As a composer he is hopeless.” WhaaaaaT???
Did you know that Prince George was Regent of England for the 9 years between 1811-1820, known famously as the Regency period? He was also a very unpopular Sovereign due to his dissolute ways and disliked his wife so intensely he forbade her from coming to his coronation!
Did you know that Queen Victoria, who is England’s longest reigning monarch and who was ruler of the British Empire when Britain ruled a third of the globe, was so much in love with her husband Prince Albert that when he died she wore widow’s blacks for the remainder of her life and commanded that all railings in London be painted black?
Even better than that, I found out recently that according to one of Queen Victoria’s biographers, Giles St Aubyn, Victoria wrote an average of 2500 words a day during her adult life. She wrote detailed journals spanning from July 1832 until just before her death, and these journals eventually totalled 122 volumes! (I shall try and write that much!)
These are just a few fascinating historical facts and I challenge you to say they are not interesting!
Now, you may understand, if only a little, why I like writing novels set in the past 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this.
Philippa Jane Keyworth – Author