I am passionate for history. My children might even use the word ‘fanatic’ after a family vacation to France. Not that I blame them entirely, stumbling upon me as I gazed in awed reverence at an old stone privy. But, hello, Richard the Lion Heart had once sat there—in that exact spot. Who in their right mind wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the very place he’d set his naked buttocks and perhaps contemplated his next military maneuver?
The idea of time-travel is enough to leave me shaky with anticipation, and inevitably, unfulfilled longing. Heaven knows, I’ve had enough conversations (rather one-sided I admit) with Elizabeth Tudor and Eleanor of Aquitaine, that they now feel like old friends. And if I ever snagged a fairy or unearthed a genie, I’d wish for the ability to traverse time.
The first place I’d visit would be eighteenth century England. The Enlightenment was in full swing, as were the people on all levels of society. They were bawdy, rambunctious, and full of life—not at all stayed and uptight like their descendants that would soon fill the Regency and Victorian eras. They had a sense of humor and used it liberally, whether laughing at each other or at themselves. I mean, who couldn’t love a period that gave us Shamela and The Beggar’s Opera.
Of course, I couldn’t leave without visiting the American Colonies to experience the tremendous vitality that precipitated the birth of a nation. Those who flocked to this new land—adventurers, religious zealots and criminals—may not have been as easy going as their English cousins, but they certainly didn’t lack for spunk. They’re also family, so crazy or not, they’re mine to claim.
My trips through time could never last long though, maybe a week or two at the most. I am too much a daughter of the modern world. Inevitably, I would shoot off my mouth and be carted to the gallows for either treason or blasphemy. And that would put a damper on any vacation.
So perhaps it’s best that I put my passion into writing to recreate the history I love. A partial time travel, if you will, of the mind if not the body. It’s not a perfect solution, but at least the conversations are two-sided.