Tuesday, February 28, 2017

If Only I Could Time Travel

I've always loved history. It was my second favorite subject in school (the first being English, of course). Though I actually find research boring, I like learning history. I think I'd find research more fun if I hadn't always hated to do it for school papers. Creative writing was my forte, not nonfiction. In any case, I don't know why I don't read more historical fiction or even nonfiction than I do, given how much I love learning about different time periods and people throughout history. But I want to start, especially when it comes to things I find particularly fascinating (which is so much).

I've read a lot more YA historical fiction that isn't WWII-inspired in recent years, and it's been so fun. Stacey Lee's Under a Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon, The Valiant, A Madness So Discreet, a book about Pocahontas for a college course. Also alternate history or historical fantasy, like Iron Cast, Stalking Jack the Ripper, and the Great Library series. (which I still think counts a little, no?)

and what inspired this post, my current read:
Alexandra Bracken's Passenger duet, which is not strictly hist fic, but a time travel storyline that is so richly detailed in history.

I love the idea of time travel SO MUCH. I can't get over how amazing it would be to have history right at your fingertips, to be able to go back in time and discover things that have been left buried and forgotten. History books, especially those we learn from in school here in the U.S. are geared toward white people and unbelievably lacking in EVERYTHING. How much of it is the truth and how much was fabricated based on who was doing the recording? How many people were lost to history? How many civilizations and cultures are there that we don't know nearly enough about? There is so much we could learn, so much that I'd want to do, if I could go back in time.

I'd want to meet the Founding Fathers. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton (!!!), etc. I'd want to be there when they founded our nation, when they signed the Declaration of Independence. I'd want to meet Abraham Lincoln, one of our greatest past leaders. I started watching Timeless last month, and though I've only seen two episodes, I can't wait to finish the first season. The second episode was about Abraham Lincoln. One of the main characters is a historian, and it was hard for her to be around the man, knowing he'd die. And that if she tried to prevent it, she could damage history irrevocably. I had such feels, because I understood her hesitation and anger and yearning to warn him. Like how could you stand by and NOT change history?

I don't think I would dare change history even if I desperately wanted to because the untold damage I could do would probably scare me too much. I mean, what if I ended up erasing my whole family and myself? History is meant to be the past. (HOWEVER idk if I could resist not saving priceless artifacts and pieces of history that have been lost. It's so sad that there is SO MUCH missing in the world). Anyway, seeing it through my own eyes would definitely be an experience of a lifetime. So time travel appeals to me greatly, and I've done a lot of thinking during my reread of Passenger, and Wayfarer. Some of the families in the books collected things, and I was like: YUP THAT'D PROBS BE ME. Haha. I would also want to make sure people knew the truth. Because like I said, I don't trust that all we learn and read about history is true.

And here are some things I'd want to do if I could time travel. I'd want to see my earliest ancestors, and find out how I came to be here today. I'd want to go to a ball during the Victorian era (for the fashion, no matter how painful). I'd want to watch a Shakespeare play, the way it was meant to be watched, and meet the man who seemed ahead of his time. I'd want to meet the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen, women who wrote and published books even when they were probably told that no one would want to read them. I'd want to take a stroll through the Library of Alexandria. I'd want to visit Pompeii before the volcano erupted. I'd want to taste what it'd feel like to watch history play out. I'd want to find out what happened to Amelia Earhart. I'd want to meet the women, the people, who were ignored and forgotten because cishet white men held the power to record events.

I'd want to explore Ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt. I'd want to travel back as far as I can, see a dinosaur maybe (idk they're super scary). I'd want to see and do EVERYTHING. My historical knowledge needs to vastly improve as well, because I'd have way more on this list and it'd be more diverse if I wasn't so ridiculous about researching. I REALLY want to get into doing that. And it's kind of a must as an author, depending on what you're writing, I think. I just need to get out of the mindset that it's boring and too much like school. I also want to start reading more books on history for sure. So, I'd love some recommendations, specifically in the nonfiction area! I've got some feminist historical books and one about Rome (SPQR) on my wishlist already, but I want more! :D

And this post begs the question: if you could time travel, would you? Where and when would you go? Let's talk!

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