lost_spook: (s&s - silver)
[personal profile] lost_spook
For the Talking Meme, from [personal profile] scripsi: Favourite period in history?

I'm not entirely sure I really have one. I'm pretty widely interested in history because, well, history is everything that ever happened and everybody who ever lived anywhere up until now, and people do tend to be odd and fascinating, and it's often the only way to understand how the world interacts - everything starts to make more sense when you learn something of the history of places and people. (Although it's fair to say that I don't enjoy some types of history - like that module of economic history I once had to do. It was useful, though, I have to admit. Even if it did contain terms like 'stagflation.' Economic history = not my thing, except in a more social history context. And I have mixed feelings about 20th C stuff, because it is a bit recent - but, OTOH, also interesting. It's all interesting when done right, that's the problem! History's only ever boring when it's history of a really dull technical subject or history done wrong by terrible history teachers.)

By default and not really by choice most history I've studied has been US or British (and mostly English, because it usually is, although some Welsh; I did go to uni at Aberystwyth) and what I've read most since has been for family history purposes, which means a lot of 18th-20th C British social history.

That said, I definitely love reading about the eighteenth century (usually British, see above, sorry), especially late 18th C and into the early 19th C - it's just far enough away to be alien and fascinating and yet near enough in terms of evidence left behind people, and, of course, it's the first period for which you start to have novels as well as letters and diaries, poems, plays, and official records. So, the long eighteenth century, maybe?

On the other hand, there's always something completely fascinating about seventeenth century history, and sixteenth century - and Shadow of the Tower got me interested in the reign of Henry VII (it's amazing how many history books on the Tudors skip straight to Henry VIII, and yet the period of 1483-1509 is no less lacking in incident just because the king wasn't busy chopping off his wives' heads).

And I've always loved everything around 1066 and want to read loads more about Anglo-Saxon England - and I loved my module on Roman history, and I really ought to be a lot less parochial and fill in some more European gaps, and beyond. And when I was a teenager, I got completely fascinated and obsessed by mid-Twentieth Century Chinese history, too. And I should definitely read more about Disraeli and Gladstone, because Disraeli and Gladstone, and I haven't since I was at college (UK college, not university), which is just wrong.

It's just... a mass of stories and people being stranger and worse and better than anyone could possibly imagine and there'll never be enough time to find out about it all. But I do like late eighteenth century things quite a lot, it's true.
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