Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The History Buff, Part 2

Yesterday's ruminations on being a history buff got a few interesting comments.

* The Mistress of the Dark commented that she's always been interested in the royal families of Europe. Andrea, you may be interested in the book Grandmama of Europe: The Crowned Descendents of Queen Victoria, by Theo Aronson...a great and very readable history of the enormous extended family of Queen Victoria.

* Serena Hope, like me, loves European history, but finds world history to be "painful." For what it's worth, I agree..."world history" is just too much to bite off. What I've found is that I started off with an interest in American History, focusing on the World War II era...which led me to the European history of the same period...which led me to the history of the interwar years...which led back to World War I...which led back to ... well ... you get the idea. I'm back to the Revolutionary War in America and the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, and still going strong.

* Amanda noted an interest in the history of the Straits Chinese - the Chinese that married local Malays and adopted the Malaysian culture and language. That sounds interesting, although I have to admit I've never been able to get into Asian history as much as European. Part of it is difficulty in sorting out names in Asian languages (now isn't that an awful thing for a linguist to admit?). My daughter loaned me the book 1421: the Year China Discovered America, by Gavin Menzies, but I haven't yet been able to get into it, although it looks fascinating.

* Captain Picard made the cogent observation that "What we live now is the history of tomorrow." Who knows...someday someone may use what we write in our blogs as source documentation for a social history of this era. Hmmm...maybe I'd better pay more attention to grammar and spelling ...

And finally (as of now),

* Mike told the story of always wanting to see the great film series Victory at Sea, and finally finding it available on, among many other places. I saw this thrilling series many years ago and loved it - especially the stirring orchestral accompaniment. This leads, of course, to the note that The History Channel, The History Channel International, The Military History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and many other television networks offer some great (and some not-so-great) historical programming, much of it available for purchase on tapes and DVDs. Agnes bought me Ken Burns' The War series for Christmas, and I love it.

History. It's not for sissies. And it contains all the drama and adventure you could ever want.

Thanks for the comments, everyone. Keep making your own history.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

I may have to check that book out.

Mike said...

It's been a long time but I remember watching the Victory at Sea series on PBS. And like you said and what I remember most is the music with the ships going up and down in heavy seas.