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What makes us choose . . .

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Sun December 7th, 2008, 12:08 pm

Annie, that's fascinating. I think we can be sensitive to atmospheres of past strong emotions. Children often seem to have a stronger affinity for such than adults.
About 4 years ago my dad was visiting a stately home in Cornwall with my mum. They reached one room and my dad had to leave it pronto. Mum couldn't feel anything, but dad said he was positive something dreadful had happened in that room.

[
QUOTE][quote=""AuntiePam""]I think my fascination began when I realized that the world didn't begin when I was born, and that people's lives didn't stop just because I wasn't watching them.
[/quote]

Yes, that's how I feel too. There's a wonderful poem by Tolkien called I sit and think which always calls to me in this vein.

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall never see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.
Last edited by EC2 on Sun December 7th, 2008, 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: bodged my quote highlights!
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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AuntiePam
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Post by AuntiePam » Sun December 7th, 2008, 4:08 pm

[quote=""Carine""]
I do know my mother telling me that as a child, when I saw a church, I wanted to visit it !!??[/quote]

Any church, or just the ones that look like cathedrals?

With me, it's cemeteries. My daughter shares my fascination, and whenever we travel together, we manage to visit at least one.

EC2, thank you so much for sharing that poem. It's beautiful.

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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Sun December 7th, 2008, 4:12 pm

[quote=""AuntiePam""]Any church, or just the ones that look like cathedrals?

With me, it's cemeteries. My daughter shares my fascination, and whenever we travel together, we manage to visit at least one.

[/quote]

My husband and I had one of our first dates at a cemetery--to see the grave of Dorothy Parker's husband in Richmond, Virginia. (Dorothy herself, of course, wouldn't be caught dead in the place.)
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Sun December 7th, 2008, 4:27 pm

Annie, your story is very creepy - Hampton Court is reputed to be haunted!

I've also got a fascination for old churchyards - I don't actively seek them out but if I come across one I love nosing around. I would love to do a walk in Highgate Cemetery.

Ash
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Post by Ash » Sun December 7th, 2008, 7:06 pm

[quote=""AuntiePam""]
With me, it's cemeteries. My daughter shares my fascination, and whenever we travel together, we manage to visit at least one.[/quote]

Ditto. I didn't realize that I loved them till my first visit to England. I was amazed at the cemetaries, so different from the trimmed and sterile American ones. We seek them out whenever we travel, and even here have discovered some amazing ones.

Whats funny is that I don't like ghost stories or horror fiction.

Jen Black
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What makes us choose...

Post by Jen Black » Sun December 7th, 2008, 8:00 pm

Coming late to this thread as I've just joined HFO so I hope I don't tread on any toes or send replies to the wrong board. I became more and more interested in Historical fiction as I got older. As a child I read avidly about animals, adventures and space stories but now I read historical almost exclusively. Perhaps it has something to do with all the things everyone has mentioned (- including Anne's creepy story! - I long for something like that to hapen to me though I'd probably be terrified if it did.) plus which the decisions seemed bigger in days gone by and therefore make better reading. So often life hung by a thread. Then there's the attraction of the clothes and the slower pace of life. Going to somewhere like Durham cathedral in my home town, touching a pillar and wondering how many people before me have touched that stone...the goose bumps are rising already!

Jen Black

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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Sun December 7th, 2008, 8:02 pm

No treading on toes! Welcome to the board Jen!
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Edith Wharton

Ash
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Post by Ash » Sun December 7th, 2008, 8:45 pm

Going to somewhere like Durham cathedral in my home town, touching a pillar and wondering how many people before me have touched that stone...

We've been to Durham a few times and just loved it. The last time we went we saw the bottom of the cathedral (I know theres a name for it, the name escapes me) that had work from 900 CE. Touching those pillars did the same thing to me.

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MrsMorland
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Post by MrsMorland » Sun December 7th, 2008, 9:08 pm

I seem to go through phases as far as interest in time periods go. I used to devour everything I could on the Tudor/Stewart era, and now not so much. Right now I'm interested in Early America.
As far as creepy experiences, I still remember several strange things happening to me when I lived in Wales as a child. Especially at Cardiff Castle. I was only 6, but I refused to go in a certain area of the castle courtyard.
When my Father first joined the service and was sent to Germany he got off the transport bus in a small town en route to Hamburg and he knew his way around like he had grown up there. Very strange.

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Sun December 7th, 2008, 10:36 pm

I go through phases, too. My first love was ancient history, and I still regard it as a stalwart favorite of mine, but in the hands of a good author I like reading about virtually any period. I used to think I was an eclectic reader until I discovered book forums on the net and discovered just how much there is out there that I haven't yet read. I now think I'm just a dabbler. I'm easily led astray by connections when I'm reading. My current reads often lead me to surprising new subjects and periods to investigate... and it may be months before I get back to the subject I originally was trying to learn more about.

I agree that cemeteries are fascinating. When I was teen, my friends and I used to look for old ones and walk about in the twilight hours looking for the oldest grave we could find. I'd leave with that feeling I get when looking at the night sky -- infinitesimally small in the grand scheme of all those other lives already lived and thoughts about the people buried there. Just what were their stories?

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