Picking My Specialist Era: Part #1
I have almost completed my first year at university, and have started to think about which period in history I would like to specialise in. I am finding the decision incredibly difficult. The trouble is, there are so many periods I know and love already, that choosing between them is a never ending battle. I know the time will come when I have to decide, probably much quicker than I want it to. So; I’ve decided to tell you about each era I am considering, with reasons for my choices. Seeing them there in front of me may help, as will any comments or input you have. The only thing I know for sure (I think!) is that my chosen period will be a part of English history.
The Early Medieval Period. By this, I mean the time spanning the lives and reigns of Edward I and II of England (1239-1327). There are many things I find fascinating about this period in history; Edward I’s early life and military career, the Welsh conquest, the Scottish wars of Independence, the deposition of a monarch, the rumours, the intrigue… There’s plenty of interesting people that lived during this time; Simon de Montford, Hugh Despenser, Edward I himself. There is also a lot of myth surrounding this period. I like nothing more than discovering the truth about a period in history!
- The Later Medieval Period. My meaning here is the lives and reigns of Edward III and Richard II of England (1312-1400). There’s plenty of interesting things to learn about this period as well! I have read about the Peasant’s Revolt for my blog about execution, which was a time of great upheaval, dealt with by a teenage king remarkably. Again there’s the deposition of a monarch, potential murder, rebellion, intrigue and plenty of interesting people. At the end of this period there is of course the reign of the first Lancastrian king, Henry Bolingbroke- he’s got something intriguing about him too.
- The Tudor Period. (1485-1603). This period in history was my first love. I remember that day in my primary school classroom, with my teacher explaining about public executions and six wives (we were eight, there wasn’t much detail). Since then my knowledge has increased in various parts of this period. I know the reigns of Henry VIII and Mary I very well. What makes me not want to specialise in this era is the fact that it was my first love; I didn’t marry my first boyfriend (I am almost married and he is very much married to someone else) so why should I settle for my first history love as well? It is still a consideration, though, as I do love the period.
Georgian England. (1714-1837). Here, my interest is not so much in the Royal House of Hanover as it is the social history of England during this time. I am interested in the developments and lives of the common people, the criminal activities, society in general and of course the BIG HAIR.
Victorian England. (1837-1901). There is so much about this time in English history that interests me, in both the Royal Family and the general public. The gaps between rich and poor, the developments in religious thinking, scientific and medical discoveries, child labour and the workhouses, living conditions, the criminal world and methods of punishment. Then there is Victoria herself, the lives of her children, her expanding Empire, her prolonged mourning period….
These are the periods in history I am torn between right now. Goodness knows how I’ll feel on May 15th after I’ve been to the Charles II and his Restoration Court exhibit at Hampton Court Palace, or completed my university modules on the English Civil Wars and the French Revolution. Other times and places that pop into my head are Ancient Rome and Egypt, Ancient Greece and Philosophy, The Glorious Revolution of Mary II and William III, Renaissance Italy and the Borgia / Medici families……
I need help.
(The reason this is called ‘Part #1′ is because I know I will brainstorm like this again in the future.)