2018 has been a very difficult year for me, and it doesn’t look like 2019 is going to be much easier. However, other than getting my puppy Agnes in February, the biggest thing I’ve done for myself is moving to more of a historical focus on the blog. History blogs aren’t really profitable, but for me, it is immensely enjoyable. I love being able to share my favourite places, periods, and people of the past with you, dear readers. So, these are the 5 best history posts of 2018 from An Historian About Town, and I hope that you find a new favourite here!
Trained as an historian, I love being able to do my research and sort out out my thoughts, and even visit places when possible. I think that history impacts us all, and that there is a kind of history for everyone. My own tastes skew towards cultural history and royal history, but I do write about others as well. These are a variety of topics, but all through the lens of the past! I do try to make sure that my posts are accessible for anyone, and you don’t need any prior knowledge to enjoy.
Ah, Mary, Queen of Scots. My favourite historical figure but quite often my least favourite in terms of media. Mary, Queen of Scots’ had a fascinating life, dare I say bonkers? It is drama filled from the moment she was born until her head was removed from her body, but film makers insist on making changes so that it is even more dramatic and sympathetic. I was able to see the new Mary, Queen of Scots film that came out in December 2018, and these are my thoughts on the film and Mary’s story. I do love that they bringing Mary back into the cinematic spotlight, but they made some very large changes that weren’t really necessary at all. Still, I think that everyone needs to see it, and it is a great cinematic note to end the year on! Will you be seeing Mary, Queen of Scots yourself?
On my February 2019 trip to the UK, I will be visiting the beautiful city of Bath. While I am quite happy to spend time wandering through Jane Austen’s Bath, I will also be visiting the Fashion Museum. I have only in the last year really become interested in style and fashion history, so being able to visit the Fashion Museum is quite a coup for me. There is a Royal Women exhibition that focuses on the clothing of Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and Queen Elizabeth II. It is essentially the perfect exhibition for me. I’ve got my ticket all booked, and I’ve even organised a chat with a curator so that I can ask all of my nerdy questions! I am quite thrilled to have it set up.
For many of us with history degrees, once you graduate, you are often done with history entirely. There are essentially no jobs in history and heritage related fields, so it is left to you to pursue history in your spare time if you want. Thankfully, I have found a variety of ways to keep up with history and stay interested in the field, not counting this blog! These are free and accessible ways to learn more, engage more, and connect with other people still interested in the field. Many of these suggestions apply to other fields as well, so if you are missing your courses after your degree, there are options!
Another fashion history post! (Technically the first fashion history post, I do believe.) I am hoping to have more style history posts up in the new year; they take a fair bit of research but I do find them fascinating. My trip will certainly be jump starting those posts, as I have several opportunities that I can’t turn down. I will be visiting the Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum on my trip, as well as visiting the Romanov exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery. While these are the sorts of things that are well-known enough to be read about frequently but seeing them in person will be absolutely amazing! I don’t have many opportunities to observe fashion history in person, so I am certainly taking advantage of it when I can.
On one hand, I am surprised that it has taken me this long to foray into ballet history on the blog! Both ballet and history feature prominently. On the other hand, it is quite a specialist subject that takes quite a bit of “translating” to make sure that everyone can enjoy it. So, I am quite proud that I finally wrote up a quick history of The Nutcracker ballet! The Nutcracker is an annual holiday tradition for my family, and I know that it is for many other families as well. It is also very well known, and even if you haven’t seen it, you know something of it. From the grumpy theatres of Russia to the eager North American theatres, although it had a rocky start, The Nutcracker has an interesting story!
Of course, I will have many, many, many history posts coming out of my trip to the UK. I also have some interesting Winnipeg history outings planned as well that you can keep your eye out for! However, if there is some area of history that you would like to see on the blog, please let me know in the comments or through a message! I love learning about new areas of history, and a push in the right direction can lead you on a wonderful path. Request away!
As this is the end of Blogmas 2018, my daily posting is now at an end! I will be back to my regular schedule:
Sunday: Culture (Books, Ballet, Theatre, etc)
Wednesday: History Bite
Friday: Style File Friday
Saturday: Throwback Post
What has been your favourite history post of 2018 here on An Historian About Town? And, have you learned anything new from them?