Wednesday, September 15, 2010

RTW: Historical Era

This week's Roadtrip Wednesday question is: If you could travel back to any historical era for research purposes, which would you choose?

I really like history. You could set me in many, many different time periods and I'd be happy--as long as I got out before I got killed by the plague or a spear or something. But I have a few particular favorites:

Prehistoric Times

I don't know that this will shock anyone. They had the coolest animals back then. Some of them predated humans, but there were still cool ones when humans were around, too. Everything was so different back then. Everything was giant and dangerous and wild. And we really know so little about it compared to all the other time periods.

Medieval England

I know the plagues should turn me off, but this is a wicked fascinating time too. People were so...feral. They did crazy things like bleeding each other out to get rid of the demons causing illnesses, and they had the most insane, horrifying torture devices (actually there were horrifying torture devices all over medieval Europe and beyond). Even royalty were dirty and unsanitary. And what must it have been like to be a peasant? You weren't going to live that long, and you were going to work very hard and life all around was kind of uncool. It'd be interesting to see what it was like to be one of those grungy people living in that dirty world. Also, I have kind of a thing for castles--dungeons, in particular, and also hidden passageways of any sort.

Ancient Rome
I took this picture--please excuse my amateur photography skills
I have been obsessed with Rome for a long while, too. I don't know what to say about it really, it's just mind-blowing. They did horrible things to people too, I mean, gladiator fights? But I am pretty sure if I lived back then, I would be one of those psychotic people who swoons over the gladiators who win a lot. It's just somewhere I would have loved to see at the height of its glory.


Right when Mount Vesuvius erupted. I would actually like to go a bit before the eruption, because no thanks to being made into an obsidian sculpture, but I would also like to go just slightly after, and see what it all looked like. Everything was buried under the lava, and I mean, holy crap! What must it have looked like, when the lava first cooled? So scary. And I wonder if there were signs a few days in advance that some people noticed and others passed off as nothing. I would also accept Pompeii as a location to visit, but when I was in middle school, we read a book about Herculaneum that was facts and pictures of preserved stuff, interspersed with this fictionalized story of right before it happened (thanks Mom, best fifth grade teacher ever!) And obviously I found it fascinating, if I still remember it.

Colonial New England
For real you guys, this picture of (part of) my parents' barn came up when I googled it!
Because I live here. Because it'd be way cool to go back to the late 1700s/early 1800s and stay in my own house, back when it was a B&B. It would also be way cool to see places like Salem, MA (during the witch trials--as long as I didn't get burned at the stake or drowned or anything) or Boston in its early days, or Plymouth when settlers first arrived. Everything from the 1600s to the 1800s is very interesting to me.

Those are, by no means, the only historical times that interest me, but (other than colonial New England which is basically just self indulgent) those are the times I'd want to write books set in, so that's where I'd go. How about you? Where would you go for the sake of research? 

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Amanda Hannah said...

lol I specifically avoided plagues while you go out looking for them ;) Awesome post! So many different eras.

Sarah Enni said...

Dude, you would see some truly messed up things in your travels!

I am coming with you to the Jurassic or the Pre-Cambrian or whatever so we can prove that Triceratops is real!!

Margo said...

Agree with these so hard, especially the dinosaurs! Lol I'd probably go there though and it would be like, "Wow, T-Rex!" "CHOMP"

Kristin Miller said...

Woah. Time traveler extraordinaire! Here's my tip: Go Medieval first, grab some armor, THEN head back to see the dinos. :D

Rebecca B said...

Ancient Rome and Pompeii! I would so love to travel trip there, not just because I could finally put my Latin to use. Good choices.

Kaitlin Ward said...

Kristin: good call on the armor! LOL.

Kate Hart said...

ROFL-- "death! death! more death! even more death! annnnd New England!" Love it.

Tere Kirkland said...

Hmmm, Belle Epoch Paris would be the first stop, then Minoan Crete.

Of course, at the end of the day, I just want to sleep in my own bed.

Fun post!

Erinn said...

Prehistoric times... there was a set of animals that were around before the dinosaurs they were half reptile half mammal. But they were wiped out in the forth mass extinction. Bummer. Dinos get so much attention my brain nearly exploded when I learned about animal PRE dinos.

I wish I could edit my blog and add prehistoric times. Sigh.

Michelle Schusterman said...

Feral = such a good word to describe medieval times. The bleeding out stuff is ooooogy.

Susan said...

Woah! I didn't even think of pre-history! I add that to my list -- I really want to see dinos too.

Alicia Gregoire said...

I think if you went to all those places, you'd suffer from serious jet lag.

You know what's funny? I grew up in New England, but I rarely think about traveling back there. Maybe I've hit the Freedom Trail too much?

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, what a dream tour. Kristin's right - take armor back to meet the dinosaurs, and then take a dinosaur to Rome. You will OWN that arena!