time and place

crown ring

Have you ever felt as though you had some link, or affinity for another time, or place?

There are two eras that throughout my life I have been intensely interested in – Tudor England and the 1920s. I spent years reading about the history of the Tudors and English monarchy from when I was about 12 years of age. Later, as an adult, I was pulled to the 1920s anywhere, any society.. In both eras it has always been the lives of women and the minutiae of the everyday lives, who have particularly interested me. My go to genre is biography and memoir.

It is no surprise that these passions led me to being an English and History teacher as well as a librarian then is it?

I read of a theory that memory may be stored in our DNA. If so, is it possible that we could be drawn to periods of history that maybe our ancestors lived through? Maybe there is no “past lives” as some believe but rather DNA memory?

Just pondering – from where do our passions arise? What makes me interested in history and another person interested in woodcraft, or knitting? What draws us along our paths?

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10 thoughts on “time and place

  1. I get this feeling whenever I go to old castles. I’ve been to Conwy in North Wales as a child and as an adult and both times instinctively though it odd that so much was missing and that we tourists walk in the cellars. I spotted joist holes and fireplaces half way up walls and sort of constructed things in my head. There was a derelict house in the woods near my first house and the same feeling came to me there too.
    Not sure about the DNA thing but I think modern media has a part to play now with so much information being blasted at us we may find it easier to feel an affinity with past times.

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    • I suppose family stories and interests play a role too, though I am the fish out of water in my family. I agree with you on the media, it does make it so easy to “go back” virtually now.

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  2. I majored in history as an undergraduate but did nothing with it, unfortunately. At the time I was in college, our history department had become influenced by economics and statistics, so they turned an otherwise interesting story into a series of charts and numbers. (I don’t care about the population density of Massachusetts from 1620 to 1700. It may have something to do with the Salem Witch Trials, but numbers don’t trump the dreadful things human beings do to each other.) I do think I went into history because I felt as if I had been born in the wrong period. While my classmates were shaking to disco, I was listening to Baroque music in my dorm room, headphones clapped tightly to my ears so I wouldn’t be disturbed by the din down the hallway. I’m not sure where my interest in the Baroque period comes from, If the theory that memory is stored in one’s DNA is true. Maybe I’m the reincarnation of Charles I, a brick-headed king even by 17th century standards. 😀

    Seriously, never underestimate the influence of our early reading when we were children. I discovered “The Three Musketeers” when I was 12, and Athos swept me off of my feet. Oliver Reed in the 1973 film confirmed the reason for my crush, though I must say it was silly of me to choose a major on account of a 19th-century novel about 17th-century France.

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    • I was always out of step with my peers too many ways. I also spent a lot of time alone and reading was my escape from loneliness. When I went to primary school it was all explorers and naming rivers and the primary resources of countries. In high school we learned English history and very little Australian, it was only when I got to uni in my thirties that I actually read “real” Australian history.

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  3. i remain disappointed that i never got my G-Ma to discuss her life in the 20s, the era which is my fascination. I know she was a teen then, and that she moved to CA from Kansas City during the Dust Bowl, but nothing else.

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    • I agree. We never appreciate the previous generations until they are too old or gone altogether. I would love to know what my Great G-Ma thought and felt coming to a new country, so different from Europe.

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      • since G-Ma was raised in a covered wagon (with 7 sister!! her father was a traveling “medicine man”), I thought it would be great to take her out in a limo… wagon to limo. But she refused.

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    • True. I often wonder though when you hear stories of people who have a passion for something, say food and cooking and then they find out that in previous generations there have been renowned chefs etc.

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  4. My family’s generations are long enough that it was my mother and her sister who lived through the 20s.
    They were only two years apart, but those were important years, so that my mother was a flapper, but her older sister was not.
    The example my mother gave for this was that what they wore to the beach.
    My mother wore a one-piece woolen bathing suit that we would indeed recognize as shaped like a bathing suit.
    And only a bathing suit – the daring girl!
    My aunt wore bra, girdle, panties, garter belt and stockings, and a swimming suit that came to her knees.
    To swim in.
    One of my treasures are a half dozen long strands of glass beads from her teen years.
    And the stories.

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