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Posts Tagged ‘History’

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

History – the Most Important Timeline of All

by

Carol Browne

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Covid-19 is a game-changer in so many ways. It is making people rethink their lives, their jobs, their relationships, their aspirations, even their diets and the way they treat the planet they live on. The virus landed like a bolt out of the blue, illuminating the dark places in our lives and altering our perceptions. Many things that were thought of as important are now shown to be superficial and shallow. The way we structure our days has also come under intense scrutiny. Two areas of human activity in particular are undergoing a much-needed overhaul, and they are employment and education. People who can work from home during the lockdown can see the benefits of making this permanent. Meanwhile, many parents who have been home schooling their children are wondering if they should continue with it.

I was discussing this with a close friend of mine who has been working from home and is considering home schooling. She was concerned about peer pressure at the school one of her children attends and how it has had a detrimental effect on the child’s self-esteem. It is always hard to be different. It’s equally hard for an adult to do something different from what is considered normal. We often stick with the status quo for fear of being criticised. But, as the memes insist, the virus has shown us that normal wasn’t working. It’s time to create a new paradigm for living and my friend has seen the beneficial effects that home schooling has already had on both her children.

But this isn’t a blog about home schooling! When my friend and I were discussing different ways of educating her children, I reminded her of how we used to be taught history. We started as far back as the dinosaurs and moved forwards incrementally to the present day. As a result, I have had a mental image in my mind of every century down the ages with major events recorded on this timeline of history, so that I know where I am in the great scheme of things. I can see how mankind got to where it is today. It is like belonging to the timeline of humanity where everything makes sense, even the bad things, because wars have causes that can be traced back and great transitions, like the one we are experiencing now, can be anchored in time and better understood.

Do children still learn history this way? I meet so many young people who have no idea what happened before World War II (and don’t see the socio-economic and political factors that brought about that global conflict). Yes, they know about the Romans and perhaps the Ancient Egyptians but can’t pin them down to a particular era.

Photo by Fauxels from Pexels

And here in the UK how many of the people who are so proud to be British know anything about the history of the British Isles? Why do we use the words British and English; what’s the difference? We were a nation of immigrants long before the Roman occupation, during which time we really were British but not English. If everyone understood that we have all migrated here from other countries, would we rethink our current attitude to immigration? And if we knew more about our imperialist past with its horrors of slavery and oppression, would we see how racism developed and be better able to reject it?

Everything that happens is a lesson and the lessons of history will keep repeating on the timeline until we decide to take a stand and say no more. Only by understanding the timeline of the past can we see the need for change in the present. Allowing children to grow up without reference points or connections to ancestral knowledge, is not giving them freedom. It leaves them adrift in the modern world not knowing why things are the way they are. To teach children the lessons of history is to give them the tools they need to make their world a better place and create a brighter future.

History is important. In my book Being Krystyna – A Story of Survival in WWII I showed how intolerance for other people’s differences can lead to persecution and conflict. Krystyna herself always feared the Nazis would return, and looking at world events today I think she was right. One way to stop the resurgence of such evil is to make sure that the lessons of history are never forgotten. But first we have to learn them.

Here is a brief introduction to my book. Thank you for reading it.

It’s 2012, the year of the London Olympics, and for young Polish immigrant Agnieszka, visiting fellow countrywoman Krystyna in a Peterborough care home is a simple act of kindness. However, the meeting proves to be the beginning of a life-changing experience.

Krystyna’s stories about the past are not memories of the good old days but recollections of war-ravaged Europe: The Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak Prison, Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, and the death march to freedom.

The losses and ordeals Krystyna suffered and what she had to do to survive, these are horrors Agnieszka must confront when she volunteers to be Krystyna’s biographer.

Will Agnieszka find a way to accomplish her task, and, in this harrowing story of survival, what is the message for us today?

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Born in Stafford in the UK, Carol Browne was raised in Crewe, Cheshire, which she thinks of as her home town. Interested in reading and writing at an early age, Carol pursued her passions at Nottingham University and was awarded an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living and working in the Cambridgeshire countryside, Carol usually writes fiction and is a contracted author at Burning Willow Press. Being Krystyna, published by Dilliebooks on 11th November, 2016, is her first non-fiction book.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Friday Features’

We talk about

Writers playing games.

For many years folks played board games at night with their kids. This of course was before the widespread use of video game consoles and even TV. Imagine spending hours sitting around looking at a game board trying to figure out the next move to make. Sound boring? Or are you playing board games now?

As writers, don’t we sit at our desks trying to figure out our characters’ next moves? Bet that doesn’t sound boring, if you are a writer. Have you ever thought of using a board game in a novel? How about using a board game as a way to escape from prison?

Too fanciful you say? Well hold on a minute. The British secret service MI9 came up with a way for captured British airman to escape POW camps. They sent them the board game Monopoly. MI9 conspired with the British manufacture of the game to produce “special edition” Monopoly sets with a red dot on the Free Parking space. While that looked like a printing error the dot meant possible freedom. The Monopoly escape kits had compasses and files disguised as playing pieces. French, German, and Italian bank notes were hidden in among the Monopoly money. Maps, printed on silk, were concealed within the board itself. British historians believe the Monopoly games could have helped thousands of captured soldiers escape from their prison camps.

Though silk maps from that era exist in libraries, homes and museums around the world, none of the original rigged Monopoly sets still remain. You see the airmen were instructed to destroy the special game sets so they would not be discovered.

Do you plan to have a game board in one of your books or have you already used the idea? Let us know.

While you think about that, why not navigate over to our Amazon Author Page to see what books we have to offer.

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

The Artist Who Dressed As She Pleased

By Caroline Warfield

Rosa Bonheur dressed in trousers when women were still trussed in corsets. She required permission from the prefect of police to do so, but she was unapologetic about her choices. She lived her life as she pleased. She said, “The epithets of imbeciles have never bothered me.” Among the great Victorian examples of eccentricity Bonheur stands out as someone whose personal life and work intertwined in ways that benefited both.

Best know as a painter and sculptor of animals, she grew up in a household notable for its affiliation with Saint-Simonianism, a . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

History Imagined blog

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

Elizabeth Van Lew–Self-Taught Spy

By Becky Lower

The Civil War was a trying time in America’s history, and brought out the best and worst in people. The nation divided itself into North and South, with the livelihood of the South hanging in the balance. A person’s sensibilities on the issue of slavery did not always necessarily align with their state’s position on the matter.

Female spies on both sides of the conflict were known as secret agents in hoop skirts. Historian Elizabeth Leonard, author of All The Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies, claims “One of the things that made women so effective as spies during this time period was that. . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

History Imagined

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

History July 4th

Bet You Didn’t Know: Independence Day

Did you know New York City has the biggest fireworks display in the United States and that three U.S. presidents died on July 4?

Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to

For the rest of the blog go to:

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th

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Thurs Thread book shelfs2Thursday Threads is taking the day off from promoting books due to the holiday.

In honor of the day we would like to share a quote we came across:

“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor . . . I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being . . . That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks . . . And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions.”

George Washington, October 3, 1789

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