Beam Me Up, Scotty!

0002  Susan Sarah on a rainy Friday morning … and let’s face it, some days we just don’t have much time for a bit o’ bloggery, so I’ll make this a short and hopefully fun bit o’ bloggery.

Here at Word Wenches, we love historical fiction and non-fiction, and most of us love reading and learning about history, studying eras and people, and reading and writing within those generous parameters. And this morning, seeing the trailers and reading the reviews for the new movie "The Duchess" — where Keira Knightley, according to advance word, has stepped completely and beautifully into the very elegant slippers of the Duchess of Devonshire — I got to thinking.

What if we could not just read about, or act as, but actually BE our favorite historical person for a little while?

WaterhousecrystalballWhat if you were shown an actual time machine — one that works effortlessly, within the expanded laws of quantam physics — and then told that you could step into this thing and program something specific in time, for as long or as brief a period as you like — so that your conscious awareness would be projected and merged with that of any historical person you choose? If that were possible, what woman (or man) would you want to be? You have the ability to step into their shoes and their life, and you can duck out before things get sticky. And if you like, you can stay much longer, though knowing what we do about the denouement and demise some of our favorites, we might want to opt out.

You’d probably have more than one choice – my own list is pretty long. Last night I asked my sons and my husband who they would want to be. My oldest son (the doctah) said, “I’d love to be Socrates, except for that whole hemlock thing. Though it’s really quick as long as the rhythm of the heart is…" blah blah. He said he’d also like to live for a while as a historical Shaolin monk. Not too long.

John_the_viking My middle son answered that he’d like to be Roland, Charlemagne’s elite knight (what a nice revelation for his mom, who didn’t even know he was too aware of the Chanson de Roland) – or that he’d choose to do the Viking thing, and maybe pop in as Leif Eriksson sailing to and discovering North America. Or he’d step into a Samurai’s flip-flops for a while (my youngest son didn’t answer his cell, so he didn’t get to participate!).

Crouchingtiger My husband said he’d like to be Nikola Tesla or Andrew Carnegie, and when I suggested that there might be, er, more exciting choices … he admitted he’d secretly love to be a medieval Mongol on the Steppes, galloping a horse across the plains. I loved that part in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon …

As for myself, the choices were so very many and so very tempting that my decision circuits were practically overloaded (this is not a stretch for a Libra). So I settled on a few picks for today, and tomorrow I’ll think of more, and more the next day, and the next … I’d keep that time device thang pretty busy.

I’ll go with these:

1) Joan of Arc (she utterly fascinates me … I’d love to feel the freedom, power and wonder of all that she experienced, but I’ll duck out before the end!)

2) Eleanor of Aquitaine (I’d stick around for quite a while here, though when the dysfunctional family stuff got too tedious, I might leave … no wait, I’d  probably knock their heads together and make them sit there until they worked it out ) … popping in as the absolute diva of medieval queens brings in the full medieval experience and I wouldn’t want to miss that.

Abbinterior2 3) Charlotte Charpentier, wife of Sir Walter Scott … mostly because I absolutely adore the woman’s house and would love to live there for as long as I could (and who could resist lovely Regency gowns AND Abbotsford!)

4) Margaret of Scotland — 11th century queen … the research opp alone would be incredible, since she’s the central subject of my current novel-in-progress. I’d duck in and out of Margaret’s life, taking notes, while skipping the excessive prayer and fasting routines — really I’d want to observe her, rather than be her — so I’d also choose to be one of her closeSt_margaret_feeding_children_2 circle of Scottish and Saxon ladies, to better study this incredibly complex woman. Though my needlework is not up to the task, and I’d have to fake it.

Who would you be, and why?  And what would send you running back to the time machine, yelling “Beam me up!” while you still had the chance?

~Susan Sarah

140 thoughts on “Beam Me Up, Scotty!”

  1. Hi, Queen Elizabeth 1 would be my choice…lets go for real power, it would be nice to know a few secrets there!
    The clothing and itchy hair would probably be the thing to drive me home…after some early adversity we know she lived a long life!
    Cheers

    Reply
  2. Hi, Queen Elizabeth 1 would be my choice…lets go for real power, it would be nice to know a few secrets there!
    The clothing and itchy hair would probably be the thing to drive me home…after some early adversity we know she lived a long life!
    Cheers

    Reply
  3. Hi, Queen Elizabeth 1 would be my choice…lets go for real power, it would be nice to know a few secrets there!
    The clothing and itchy hair would probably be the thing to drive me home…after some early adversity we know she lived a long life!
    Cheers

    Reply
  4. Hi, Queen Elizabeth 1 would be my choice…lets go for real power, it would be nice to know a few secrets there!
    The clothing and itchy hair would probably be the thing to drive me home…after some early adversity we know she lived a long life!
    Cheers

    Reply
  5. Hi, Queen Elizabeth 1 would be my choice…lets go for real power, it would be nice to know a few secrets there!
    The clothing and itchy hair would probably be the thing to drive me home…after some early adversity we know she lived a long life!
    Cheers

    Reply
  6. Oh, what a question!
    I don’t think I should want to be anybody famous. I should like to be an ordinary (though comfortably well-off) native female inhabitant of Roman Britain some time during the reigns of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius or Marcus Aurelius, that is, any time in the 2nd century AD.
    What a lot that I now have to struggle to understand would become crystal clear!
    🙂

    Reply
  7. Oh, what a question!
    I don’t think I should want to be anybody famous. I should like to be an ordinary (though comfortably well-off) native female inhabitant of Roman Britain some time during the reigns of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius or Marcus Aurelius, that is, any time in the 2nd century AD.
    What a lot that I now have to struggle to understand would become crystal clear!
    🙂

    Reply
  8. Oh, what a question!
    I don’t think I should want to be anybody famous. I should like to be an ordinary (though comfortably well-off) native female inhabitant of Roman Britain some time during the reigns of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius or Marcus Aurelius, that is, any time in the 2nd century AD.
    What a lot that I now have to struggle to understand would become crystal clear!
    🙂

    Reply
  9. Oh, what a question!
    I don’t think I should want to be anybody famous. I should like to be an ordinary (though comfortably well-off) native female inhabitant of Roman Britain some time during the reigns of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius or Marcus Aurelius, that is, any time in the 2nd century AD.
    What a lot that I now have to struggle to understand would become crystal clear!
    🙂

    Reply
  10. Oh, what a question!
    I don’t think I should want to be anybody famous. I should like to be an ordinary (though comfortably well-off) native female inhabitant of Roman Britain some time during the reigns of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius or Marcus Aurelius, that is, any time in the 2nd century AD.
    What a lot that I now have to struggle to understand would become crystal clear!
    🙂

    Reply
  11. Oh, I’d want to be my dear William, if only for an hour! What it must be like to be able to write such immortal prose and poetry…. but wait. If I was William Shakespeare, I wouldn’t know it, because I’d BE him. If I weren’t, I’d be Edith trying to be him, which wouldn’t work at all.
    Hmmm…. so maybe, I’d like o be a fly on the wall at the Mermaid Tavern.
    But wait.
    If I wre a fly all I’d want would be his breadcrumbs.
    OK. So I’d be a fly on the wall with my own brain.
    But what if he squished me?
    Oh dear. I’m not at all good at these temporal changes, even though I’m a Trekkie from way back. OKay then. Last try:
    I’d be ME at the Mermaid tavern, sitting in a dark corner, listening and watching. That’s what I’d be.

    Reply
  12. Oh, I’d want to be my dear William, if only for an hour! What it must be like to be able to write such immortal prose and poetry…. but wait. If I was William Shakespeare, I wouldn’t know it, because I’d BE him. If I weren’t, I’d be Edith trying to be him, which wouldn’t work at all.
    Hmmm…. so maybe, I’d like o be a fly on the wall at the Mermaid Tavern.
    But wait.
    If I wre a fly all I’d want would be his breadcrumbs.
    OK. So I’d be a fly on the wall with my own brain.
    But what if he squished me?
    Oh dear. I’m not at all good at these temporal changes, even though I’m a Trekkie from way back. OKay then. Last try:
    I’d be ME at the Mermaid tavern, sitting in a dark corner, listening and watching. That’s what I’d be.

    Reply
  13. Oh, I’d want to be my dear William, if only for an hour! What it must be like to be able to write such immortal prose and poetry…. but wait. If I was William Shakespeare, I wouldn’t know it, because I’d BE him. If I weren’t, I’d be Edith trying to be him, which wouldn’t work at all.
    Hmmm…. so maybe, I’d like o be a fly on the wall at the Mermaid Tavern.
    But wait.
    If I wre a fly all I’d want would be his breadcrumbs.
    OK. So I’d be a fly on the wall with my own brain.
    But what if he squished me?
    Oh dear. I’m not at all good at these temporal changes, even though I’m a Trekkie from way back. OKay then. Last try:
    I’d be ME at the Mermaid tavern, sitting in a dark corner, listening and watching. That’s what I’d be.

    Reply
  14. Oh, I’d want to be my dear William, if only for an hour! What it must be like to be able to write such immortal prose and poetry…. but wait. If I was William Shakespeare, I wouldn’t know it, because I’d BE him. If I weren’t, I’d be Edith trying to be him, which wouldn’t work at all.
    Hmmm…. so maybe, I’d like o be a fly on the wall at the Mermaid Tavern.
    But wait.
    If I wre a fly all I’d want would be his breadcrumbs.
    OK. So I’d be a fly on the wall with my own brain.
    But what if he squished me?
    Oh dear. I’m not at all good at these temporal changes, even though I’m a Trekkie from way back. OKay then. Last try:
    I’d be ME at the Mermaid tavern, sitting in a dark corner, listening and watching. That’s what I’d be.

    Reply
  15. Oh, I’d want to be my dear William, if only for an hour! What it must be like to be able to write such immortal prose and poetry…. but wait. If I was William Shakespeare, I wouldn’t know it, because I’d BE him. If I weren’t, I’d be Edith trying to be him, which wouldn’t work at all.
    Hmmm…. so maybe, I’d like o be a fly on the wall at the Mermaid Tavern.
    But wait.
    If I wre a fly all I’d want would be his breadcrumbs.
    OK. So I’d be a fly on the wall with my own brain.
    But what if he squished me?
    Oh dear. I’m not at all good at these temporal changes, even though I’m a Trekkie from way back. OKay then. Last try:
    I’d be ME at the Mermaid tavern, sitting in a dark corner, listening and watching. That’s what I’d be.

    Reply
  16. I like everyone else’s choices–indeed, Elizabeth the Great is the one who first came to my mind.
    Beyond that–hmmm, Mulan, the Woman Warrier of China? That would be educational! Maybe Winston Churchill in the fight-them-on-the-beaches days, though perhaps even better to observe him.
    I also like the Tigress’s suggestion of being an average but prosperous woman in an earlier time. Perhaps a female sea captain in the great age of sail?
    The horrors of primitive plumbing would drive me off every time. 🙂
    Mary Jo, thinking the Romans had a definite edge when it came to plumbing.

    Reply
  17. I like everyone else’s choices–indeed, Elizabeth the Great is the one who first came to my mind.
    Beyond that–hmmm, Mulan, the Woman Warrier of China? That would be educational! Maybe Winston Churchill in the fight-them-on-the-beaches days, though perhaps even better to observe him.
    I also like the Tigress’s suggestion of being an average but prosperous woman in an earlier time. Perhaps a female sea captain in the great age of sail?
    The horrors of primitive plumbing would drive me off every time. 🙂
    Mary Jo, thinking the Romans had a definite edge when it came to plumbing.

    Reply
  18. I like everyone else’s choices–indeed, Elizabeth the Great is the one who first came to my mind.
    Beyond that–hmmm, Mulan, the Woman Warrier of China? That would be educational! Maybe Winston Churchill in the fight-them-on-the-beaches days, though perhaps even better to observe him.
    I also like the Tigress’s suggestion of being an average but prosperous woman in an earlier time. Perhaps a female sea captain in the great age of sail?
    The horrors of primitive plumbing would drive me off every time. 🙂
    Mary Jo, thinking the Romans had a definite edge when it came to plumbing.

    Reply
  19. I like everyone else’s choices–indeed, Elizabeth the Great is the one who first came to my mind.
    Beyond that–hmmm, Mulan, the Woman Warrier of China? That would be educational! Maybe Winston Churchill in the fight-them-on-the-beaches days, though perhaps even better to observe him.
    I also like the Tigress’s suggestion of being an average but prosperous woman in an earlier time. Perhaps a female sea captain in the great age of sail?
    The horrors of primitive plumbing would drive me off every time. 🙂
    Mary Jo, thinking the Romans had a definite edge when it came to plumbing.

    Reply
  20. I like everyone else’s choices–indeed, Elizabeth the Great is the one who first came to my mind.
    Beyond that–hmmm, Mulan, the Woman Warrier of China? That would be educational! Maybe Winston Churchill in the fight-them-on-the-beaches days, though perhaps even better to observe him.
    I also like the Tigress’s suggestion of being an average but prosperous woman in an earlier time. Perhaps a female sea captain in the great age of sail?
    The horrors of primitive plumbing would drive me off every time. 🙂
    Mary Jo, thinking the Romans had a definite edge when it came to plumbing.

    Reply
  21. I would like to be able to be me and just pop from time to time, rather like Dr. Who. I’d want to be in a significant enough position to witness history from a first hand perspective meaning, I’d want to be in some position that would allow me to be in the room when the Declaration of Independence is signed, or when Flora MacDonald aided Bonnie Prince Charlie (whether I agree with that entire disaster of history or not), different eras in history from a first hand point of view, without giving up me to do it.
    And I suppose that makes no sense but I’ve drunk two pots of coffee and still can’t wake up today!
    grrrrrrr

    Reply
  22. I would like to be able to be me and just pop from time to time, rather like Dr. Who. I’d want to be in a significant enough position to witness history from a first hand perspective meaning, I’d want to be in some position that would allow me to be in the room when the Declaration of Independence is signed, or when Flora MacDonald aided Bonnie Prince Charlie (whether I agree with that entire disaster of history or not), different eras in history from a first hand point of view, without giving up me to do it.
    And I suppose that makes no sense but I’ve drunk two pots of coffee and still can’t wake up today!
    grrrrrrr

    Reply
  23. I would like to be able to be me and just pop from time to time, rather like Dr. Who. I’d want to be in a significant enough position to witness history from a first hand perspective meaning, I’d want to be in some position that would allow me to be in the room when the Declaration of Independence is signed, or when Flora MacDonald aided Bonnie Prince Charlie (whether I agree with that entire disaster of history or not), different eras in history from a first hand point of view, without giving up me to do it.
    And I suppose that makes no sense but I’ve drunk two pots of coffee and still can’t wake up today!
    grrrrrrr

    Reply
  24. I would like to be able to be me and just pop from time to time, rather like Dr. Who. I’d want to be in a significant enough position to witness history from a first hand perspective meaning, I’d want to be in some position that would allow me to be in the room when the Declaration of Independence is signed, or when Flora MacDonald aided Bonnie Prince Charlie (whether I agree with that entire disaster of history or not), different eras in history from a first hand point of view, without giving up me to do it.
    And I suppose that makes no sense but I’ve drunk two pots of coffee and still can’t wake up today!
    grrrrrrr

    Reply
  25. I would like to be able to be me and just pop from time to time, rather like Dr. Who. I’d want to be in a significant enough position to witness history from a first hand perspective meaning, I’d want to be in some position that would allow me to be in the room when the Declaration of Independence is signed, or when Flora MacDonald aided Bonnie Prince Charlie (whether I agree with that entire disaster of history or not), different eras in history from a first hand point of view, without giving up me to do it.
    And I suppose that makes no sense but I’ve drunk two pots of coffee and still can’t wake up today!
    grrrrrrr

    Reply
  26. Oh, what a delightful question!
    Let’s see. Marie Antoinette, at the height of her popularity. Churchill, on the day of the surrender of Germany. Elizabeth I, when notified of the defeat of the Armada. One of Shakespeare’s actors in the first read-through of “Julius Caesar.” The apostle Peter at the moment he believed Jesus was the redeemer. With Nero when Rome is burning. I’d like to see Hitler interact with Eva Braun. My mother when she first met my father, and visa versa. I’d like to meet all the movie stars of the 30’s through the 50’s. I’d love to go to a dinner party with Oscar Wilde, Byron, Shakespeare, Jesus, Schindler, and Dorothy Parker. Oh, the list could go on and on. Maybe that’s what a heaven’s for!

    Reply
  27. Oh, what a delightful question!
    Let’s see. Marie Antoinette, at the height of her popularity. Churchill, on the day of the surrender of Germany. Elizabeth I, when notified of the defeat of the Armada. One of Shakespeare’s actors in the first read-through of “Julius Caesar.” The apostle Peter at the moment he believed Jesus was the redeemer. With Nero when Rome is burning. I’d like to see Hitler interact with Eva Braun. My mother when she first met my father, and visa versa. I’d like to meet all the movie stars of the 30’s through the 50’s. I’d love to go to a dinner party with Oscar Wilde, Byron, Shakespeare, Jesus, Schindler, and Dorothy Parker. Oh, the list could go on and on. Maybe that’s what a heaven’s for!

    Reply
  28. Oh, what a delightful question!
    Let’s see. Marie Antoinette, at the height of her popularity. Churchill, on the day of the surrender of Germany. Elizabeth I, when notified of the defeat of the Armada. One of Shakespeare’s actors in the first read-through of “Julius Caesar.” The apostle Peter at the moment he believed Jesus was the redeemer. With Nero when Rome is burning. I’d like to see Hitler interact with Eva Braun. My mother when she first met my father, and visa versa. I’d like to meet all the movie stars of the 30’s through the 50’s. I’d love to go to a dinner party with Oscar Wilde, Byron, Shakespeare, Jesus, Schindler, and Dorothy Parker. Oh, the list could go on and on. Maybe that’s what a heaven’s for!

    Reply
  29. Oh, what a delightful question!
    Let’s see. Marie Antoinette, at the height of her popularity. Churchill, on the day of the surrender of Germany. Elizabeth I, when notified of the defeat of the Armada. One of Shakespeare’s actors in the first read-through of “Julius Caesar.” The apostle Peter at the moment he believed Jesus was the redeemer. With Nero when Rome is burning. I’d like to see Hitler interact with Eva Braun. My mother when she first met my father, and visa versa. I’d like to meet all the movie stars of the 30’s through the 50’s. I’d love to go to a dinner party with Oscar Wilde, Byron, Shakespeare, Jesus, Schindler, and Dorothy Parker. Oh, the list could go on and on. Maybe that’s what a heaven’s for!

    Reply
  30. Oh, what a delightful question!
    Let’s see. Marie Antoinette, at the height of her popularity. Churchill, on the day of the surrender of Germany. Elizabeth I, when notified of the defeat of the Armada. One of Shakespeare’s actors in the first read-through of “Julius Caesar.” The apostle Peter at the moment he believed Jesus was the redeemer. With Nero when Rome is burning. I’d like to see Hitler interact with Eva Braun. My mother when she first met my father, and visa versa. I’d like to meet all the movie stars of the 30’s through the 50’s. I’d love to go to a dinner party with Oscar Wilde, Byron, Shakespeare, Jesus, Schindler, and Dorothy Parker. Oh, the list could go on and on. Maybe that’s what a heaven’s for!

    Reply
  31. What I wouldn’t give to be Marconi doing his early experiments with Radio!
    Or maybe Edison and his elictrical devices!
    Wonder if, in the future, such a thing will be possible.
    Delightful thought!

    Reply
  32. What I wouldn’t give to be Marconi doing his early experiments with Radio!
    Or maybe Edison and his elictrical devices!
    Wonder if, in the future, such a thing will be possible.
    Delightful thought!

    Reply
  33. What I wouldn’t give to be Marconi doing his early experiments with Radio!
    Or maybe Edison and his elictrical devices!
    Wonder if, in the future, such a thing will be possible.
    Delightful thought!

    Reply
  34. What I wouldn’t give to be Marconi doing his early experiments with Radio!
    Or maybe Edison and his elictrical devices!
    Wonder if, in the future, such a thing will be possible.
    Delightful thought!

    Reply
  35. What I wouldn’t give to be Marconi doing his early experiments with Radio!
    Or maybe Edison and his elictrical devices!
    Wonder if, in the future, such a thing will be possible.
    Delightful thought!

    Reply
  36. Eleanor of Aquitaine is a good choice I think.
    But I think like someone else said, I would prefer to be a “someone else” rather than a really important historical figure. I would like to be someone that is close to the action though. So maybe a lady in waiting? I think I would rather watch the historical figures be themselves rather than have to be them, knowing as we do what happens in their future, and how they are portrayed today.

    Reply
  37. Eleanor of Aquitaine is a good choice I think.
    But I think like someone else said, I would prefer to be a “someone else” rather than a really important historical figure. I would like to be someone that is close to the action though. So maybe a lady in waiting? I think I would rather watch the historical figures be themselves rather than have to be them, knowing as we do what happens in their future, and how they are portrayed today.

    Reply
  38. Eleanor of Aquitaine is a good choice I think.
    But I think like someone else said, I would prefer to be a “someone else” rather than a really important historical figure. I would like to be someone that is close to the action though. So maybe a lady in waiting? I think I would rather watch the historical figures be themselves rather than have to be them, knowing as we do what happens in their future, and how they are portrayed today.

    Reply
  39. Eleanor of Aquitaine is a good choice I think.
    But I think like someone else said, I would prefer to be a “someone else” rather than a really important historical figure. I would like to be someone that is close to the action though. So maybe a lady in waiting? I think I would rather watch the historical figures be themselves rather than have to be them, knowing as we do what happens in their future, and how they are portrayed today.

    Reply
  40. Eleanor of Aquitaine is a good choice I think.
    But I think like someone else said, I would prefer to be a “someone else” rather than a really important historical figure. I would like to be someone that is close to the action though. So maybe a lady in waiting? I think I would rather watch the historical figures be themselves rather than have to be them, knowing as we do what happens in their future, and how they are portrayed today.

    Reply
  41. Louis, I can’t give you Edison, but if you ever come to Michigan, go through Greenfield Village. You can walk down the street in the evening, lit by the original lights Edison had outside Ford’s rooming house. It’s all so very cool. 🙂

    Reply
  42. Louis, I can’t give you Edison, but if you ever come to Michigan, go through Greenfield Village. You can walk down the street in the evening, lit by the original lights Edison had outside Ford’s rooming house. It’s all so very cool. 🙂

    Reply
  43. Louis, I can’t give you Edison, but if you ever come to Michigan, go through Greenfield Village. You can walk down the street in the evening, lit by the original lights Edison had outside Ford’s rooming house. It’s all so very cool. 🙂

    Reply
  44. Louis, I can’t give you Edison, but if you ever come to Michigan, go through Greenfield Village. You can walk down the street in the evening, lit by the original lights Edison had outside Ford’s rooming house. It’s all so very cool. 🙂

    Reply
  45. Louis, I can’t give you Edison, but if you ever come to Michigan, go through Greenfield Village. You can walk down the street in the evening, lit by the original lights Edison had outside Ford’s rooming house. It’s all so very cool. 🙂

    Reply
  46. I see we’re not being constrained by gender here–or for that matter, by reality, as several have chosen fictional figures.
    I think I might like to be Morgan le Fey for a while, though I wouldn’t pull any of her nastier tricks.
    I’d like to be an American scholar working at the British Museum who gets invited to spend her holidays with the Wimseys at Talboys.
    I’d like to be someone at the court of Richard III who would be in a position to find out what REALLY happened to the Princess in the Tower. And if possible, able to rescue them. And no, Edith, Richard didn’t do it.
    A cautionary tale, though:
    Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
    Grew lean while he assailed the seasons
    He wept that he was ever born,
    And he had reasons.
    Miniver loved the days of old
    When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
    The vision of a warrior bold
    Would send him dancing.
    Miniver sighed for what was not,
    And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
    He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
    And Priam’s neighbors.
    Miniver mourned the ripe renown
    That made so many a name so fragrant;
    He mourned Romance, now on the town,
    And Art, a vagrant.
    Miniver loved the Medici,
    Albeit he had never seen one;
    He would have sinned incessantly
    Could he have been one.
    Miniver cursed the commonplace
    And eyed a khaki suit with loathing:
    He missed the medieval grace
    Of iron clothing.
    Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
    But sore annoyed was he without it;
    Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
    And thought about it.
    Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
    Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
    Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
    And kept on drinking.
    — Edwin Arlington Robinson
    Isn’t “Miniver Cheevy” just the most perfect possible name for someone like this?

    Reply
  47. I see we’re not being constrained by gender here–or for that matter, by reality, as several have chosen fictional figures.
    I think I might like to be Morgan le Fey for a while, though I wouldn’t pull any of her nastier tricks.
    I’d like to be an American scholar working at the British Museum who gets invited to spend her holidays with the Wimseys at Talboys.
    I’d like to be someone at the court of Richard III who would be in a position to find out what REALLY happened to the Princess in the Tower. And if possible, able to rescue them. And no, Edith, Richard didn’t do it.
    A cautionary tale, though:
    Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
    Grew lean while he assailed the seasons
    He wept that he was ever born,
    And he had reasons.
    Miniver loved the days of old
    When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
    The vision of a warrior bold
    Would send him dancing.
    Miniver sighed for what was not,
    And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
    He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
    And Priam’s neighbors.
    Miniver mourned the ripe renown
    That made so many a name so fragrant;
    He mourned Romance, now on the town,
    And Art, a vagrant.
    Miniver loved the Medici,
    Albeit he had never seen one;
    He would have sinned incessantly
    Could he have been one.
    Miniver cursed the commonplace
    And eyed a khaki suit with loathing:
    He missed the medieval grace
    Of iron clothing.
    Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
    But sore annoyed was he without it;
    Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
    And thought about it.
    Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
    Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
    Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
    And kept on drinking.
    — Edwin Arlington Robinson
    Isn’t “Miniver Cheevy” just the most perfect possible name for someone like this?

    Reply
  48. I see we’re not being constrained by gender here–or for that matter, by reality, as several have chosen fictional figures.
    I think I might like to be Morgan le Fey for a while, though I wouldn’t pull any of her nastier tricks.
    I’d like to be an American scholar working at the British Museum who gets invited to spend her holidays with the Wimseys at Talboys.
    I’d like to be someone at the court of Richard III who would be in a position to find out what REALLY happened to the Princess in the Tower. And if possible, able to rescue them. And no, Edith, Richard didn’t do it.
    A cautionary tale, though:
    Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
    Grew lean while he assailed the seasons
    He wept that he was ever born,
    And he had reasons.
    Miniver loved the days of old
    When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
    The vision of a warrior bold
    Would send him dancing.
    Miniver sighed for what was not,
    And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
    He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
    And Priam’s neighbors.
    Miniver mourned the ripe renown
    That made so many a name so fragrant;
    He mourned Romance, now on the town,
    And Art, a vagrant.
    Miniver loved the Medici,
    Albeit he had never seen one;
    He would have sinned incessantly
    Could he have been one.
    Miniver cursed the commonplace
    And eyed a khaki suit with loathing:
    He missed the medieval grace
    Of iron clothing.
    Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
    But sore annoyed was he without it;
    Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
    And thought about it.
    Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
    Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
    Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
    And kept on drinking.
    — Edwin Arlington Robinson
    Isn’t “Miniver Cheevy” just the most perfect possible name for someone like this?

    Reply
  49. I see we’re not being constrained by gender here–or for that matter, by reality, as several have chosen fictional figures.
    I think I might like to be Morgan le Fey for a while, though I wouldn’t pull any of her nastier tricks.
    I’d like to be an American scholar working at the British Museum who gets invited to spend her holidays with the Wimseys at Talboys.
    I’d like to be someone at the court of Richard III who would be in a position to find out what REALLY happened to the Princess in the Tower. And if possible, able to rescue them. And no, Edith, Richard didn’t do it.
    A cautionary tale, though:
    Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
    Grew lean while he assailed the seasons
    He wept that he was ever born,
    And he had reasons.
    Miniver loved the days of old
    When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
    The vision of a warrior bold
    Would send him dancing.
    Miniver sighed for what was not,
    And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
    He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
    And Priam’s neighbors.
    Miniver mourned the ripe renown
    That made so many a name so fragrant;
    He mourned Romance, now on the town,
    And Art, a vagrant.
    Miniver loved the Medici,
    Albeit he had never seen one;
    He would have sinned incessantly
    Could he have been one.
    Miniver cursed the commonplace
    And eyed a khaki suit with loathing:
    He missed the medieval grace
    Of iron clothing.
    Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
    But sore annoyed was he without it;
    Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
    And thought about it.
    Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
    Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
    Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
    And kept on drinking.
    — Edwin Arlington Robinson
    Isn’t “Miniver Cheevy” just the most perfect possible name for someone like this?

    Reply
  50. I see we’re not being constrained by gender here–or for that matter, by reality, as several have chosen fictional figures.
    I think I might like to be Morgan le Fey for a while, though I wouldn’t pull any of her nastier tricks.
    I’d like to be an American scholar working at the British Museum who gets invited to spend her holidays with the Wimseys at Talboys.
    I’d like to be someone at the court of Richard III who would be in a position to find out what REALLY happened to the Princess in the Tower. And if possible, able to rescue them. And no, Edith, Richard didn’t do it.
    A cautionary tale, though:
    Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
    Grew lean while he assailed the seasons
    He wept that he was ever born,
    And he had reasons.
    Miniver loved the days of old
    When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
    The vision of a warrior bold
    Would send him dancing.
    Miniver sighed for what was not,
    And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
    He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
    And Priam’s neighbors.
    Miniver mourned the ripe renown
    That made so many a name so fragrant;
    He mourned Romance, now on the town,
    And Art, a vagrant.
    Miniver loved the Medici,
    Albeit he had never seen one;
    He would have sinned incessantly
    Could he have been one.
    Miniver cursed the commonplace
    And eyed a khaki suit with loathing:
    He missed the medieval grace
    Of iron clothing.
    Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
    But sore annoyed was he without it;
    Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
    And thought about it.
    Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
    Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
    Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
    And kept on drinking.
    — Edwin Arlington Robinson
    Isn’t “Miniver Cheevy” just the most perfect possible name for someone like this?

    Reply
  51. Grrr! That was supposed to be “PRINCES” in the Tower, not “Princess.” All that talk about punctuation and possessives screwed me up.
    I blame Loretta.
    And, of course, Canada.

    Reply
  52. Grrr! That was supposed to be “PRINCES” in the Tower, not “Princess.” All that talk about punctuation and possessives screwed me up.
    I blame Loretta.
    And, of course, Canada.

    Reply
  53. Grrr! That was supposed to be “PRINCES” in the Tower, not “Princess.” All that talk about punctuation and possessives screwed me up.
    I blame Loretta.
    And, of course, Canada.

    Reply
  54. Grrr! That was supposed to be “PRINCES” in the Tower, not “Princess.” All that talk about punctuation and possessives screwed me up.
    I blame Loretta.
    And, of course, Canada.

    Reply
  55. Grrr! That was supposed to be “PRINCES” in the Tower, not “Princess.” All that talk about punctuation and possessives screwed me up.
    I blame Loretta.
    And, of course, Canada.

    Reply
  56. Oooh yes, definitely being in the right place at the right time to solve famous mysteries like the Princes in the Tower, or who really killed Edward 2nd, who was Jack the Ripper, what really happened to the mysterious vanishing nephew of King John, where *did* Agatha Christie go, what really happened to Amelia Earhart, and the Marie Celeste, and did Sir Geoffrey Mandeville really sail round the world, did Henry St Clare actually reach America, who shot the arrow that killed William 2nd, who was the *real* King Arthur, did William Shakespeare *really* write those plays, why was Christopher Marlowe really murdered… I’d be so busy I guess I’d be away for a while and dizzy as all hell jumping from age to age but at least I’d know a thing or two *g*

    Reply
  57. Oooh yes, definitely being in the right place at the right time to solve famous mysteries like the Princes in the Tower, or who really killed Edward 2nd, who was Jack the Ripper, what really happened to the mysterious vanishing nephew of King John, where *did* Agatha Christie go, what really happened to Amelia Earhart, and the Marie Celeste, and did Sir Geoffrey Mandeville really sail round the world, did Henry St Clare actually reach America, who shot the arrow that killed William 2nd, who was the *real* King Arthur, did William Shakespeare *really* write those plays, why was Christopher Marlowe really murdered… I’d be so busy I guess I’d be away for a while and dizzy as all hell jumping from age to age but at least I’d know a thing or two *g*

    Reply
  58. Oooh yes, definitely being in the right place at the right time to solve famous mysteries like the Princes in the Tower, or who really killed Edward 2nd, who was Jack the Ripper, what really happened to the mysterious vanishing nephew of King John, where *did* Agatha Christie go, what really happened to Amelia Earhart, and the Marie Celeste, and did Sir Geoffrey Mandeville really sail round the world, did Henry St Clare actually reach America, who shot the arrow that killed William 2nd, who was the *real* King Arthur, did William Shakespeare *really* write those plays, why was Christopher Marlowe really murdered… I’d be so busy I guess I’d be away for a while and dizzy as all hell jumping from age to age but at least I’d know a thing or two *g*

    Reply
  59. Oooh yes, definitely being in the right place at the right time to solve famous mysteries like the Princes in the Tower, or who really killed Edward 2nd, who was Jack the Ripper, what really happened to the mysterious vanishing nephew of King John, where *did* Agatha Christie go, what really happened to Amelia Earhart, and the Marie Celeste, and did Sir Geoffrey Mandeville really sail round the world, did Henry St Clare actually reach America, who shot the arrow that killed William 2nd, who was the *real* King Arthur, did William Shakespeare *really* write those plays, why was Christopher Marlowe really murdered… I’d be so busy I guess I’d be away for a while and dizzy as all hell jumping from age to age but at least I’d know a thing or two *g*

    Reply
  60. Oooh yes, definitely being in the right place at the right time to solve famous mysteries like the Princes in the Tower, or who really killed Edward 2nd, who was Jack the Ripper, what really happened to the mysterious vanishing nephew of King John, where *did* Agatha Christie go, what really happened to Amelia Earhart, and the Marie Celeste, and did Sir Geoffrey Mandeville really sail round the world, did Henry St Clare actually reach America, who shot the arrow that killed William 2nd, who was the *real* King Arthur, did William Shakespeare *really* write those plays, why was Christopher Marlowe really murdered… I’d be so busy I guess I’d be away for a while and dizzy as all hell jumping from age to age but at least I’d know a thing or two *g*

    Reply
  61. There are some fascinating answers here. If I can explain why I would opt to be ‘an ordinary citizen’ rather than a famous figure, it is this: what interests me is the texture of everyday life – the food people eat, the clothes they wear, the objects they use and admire, their pleasures and anxieties – rather than major historical events. I would not wish to be grindingly poor in any era, because this would be just too painful, but leaders, those who make history, are often insulated from the ‘normal’ life of their own era.
    The ordinary man/woman in the forum hears all about affairs of state, of course, so one would still learn more than we can understand today from formal written history.
    The very common fear of ‘lack of hygiene’ in the past is also exaggerated. As it happens, this was far less of a problem in the Roman period than later, but even if one were an ordinary person in the Middle Ages, one would simply not have the same sensibilities that modern Westerners have. Sights and smells that revolt us would barely impinge upon the consciousness of a person of that time. To use a modern example, do those of you who live in cities regularly notice the permanent, strong and acrid smell of vehicle exhaust fumes? I bet it would pretty well knock out a 15th-century peasant, yet most of the time, we don’t even think about it. When horse-drawn vehicles were normal, people did not notice the smell of horse, and horse-dung, in the streets. These things recede into a background that the brain learns to edit out. In the days when most adults smoked, one could enter a room that was so thick with cigarette smoke that one could hardly see the opposite wall, and yet (provided one lighted up oneself) still be able to ignore the fug completely after a few minutes.
    In the same way, a Medieval person would simply not to be aware of the odour of human bodies and unwashed clothing when these smells were a constant olfactory background, like our traffic fumes. If one were fully translated into the consciousness of such a person, rather than being a 21st-century bystander, it would not be a problem.

    Reply
  62. There are some fascinating answers here. If I can explain why I would opt to be ‘an ordinary citizen’ rather than a famous figure, it is this: what interests me is the texture of everyday life – the food people eat, the clothes they wear, the objects they use and admire, their pleasures and anxieties – rather than major historical events. I would not wish to be grindingly poor in any era, because this would be just too painful, but leaders, those who make history, are often insulated from the ‘normal’ life of their own era.
    The ordinary man/woman in the forum hears all about affairs of state, of course, so one would still learn more than we can understand today from formal written history.
    The very common fear of ‘lack of hygiene’ in the past is also exaggerated. As it happens, this was far less of a problem in the Roman period than later, but even if one were an ordinary person in the Middle Ages, one would simply not have the same sensibilities that modern Westerners have. Sights and smells that revolt us would barely impinge upon the consciousness of a person of that time. To use a modern example, do those of you who live in cities regularly notice the permanent, strong and acrid smell of vehicle exhaust fumes? I bet it would pretty well knock out a 15th-century peasant, yet most of the time, we don’t even think about it. When horse-drawn vehicles were normal, people did not notice the smell of horse, and horse-dung, in the streets. These things recede into a background that the brain learns to edit out. In the days when most adults smoked, one could enter a room that was so thick with cigarette smoke that one could hardly see the opposite wall, and yet (provided one lighted up oneself) still be able to ignore the fug completely after a few minutes.
    In the same way, a Medieval person would simply not to be aware of the odour of human bodies and unwashed clothing when these smells were a constant olfactory background, like our traffic fumes. If one were fully translated into the consciousness of such a person, rather than being a 21st-century bystander, it would not be a problem.

    Reply
  63. There are some fascinating answers here. If I can explain why I would opt to be ‘an ordinary citizen’ rather than a famous figure, it is this: what interests me is the texture of everyday life – the food people eat, the clothes they wear, the objects they use and admire, their pleasures and anxieties – rather than major historical events. I would not wish to be grindingly poor in any era, because this would be just too painful, but leaders, those who make history, are often insulated from the ‘normal’ life of their own era.
    The ordinary man/woman in the forum hears all about affairs of state, of course, so one would still learn more than we can understand today from formal written history.
    The very common fear of ‘lack of hygiene’ in the past is also exaggerated. As it happens, this was far less of a problem in the Roman period than later, but even if one were an ordinary person in the Middle Ages, one would simply not have the same sensibilities that modern Westerners have. Sights and smells that revolt us would barely impinge upon the consciousness of a person of that time. To use a modern example, do those of you who live in cities regularly notice the permanent, strong and acrid smell of vehicle exhaust fumes? I bet it would pretty well knock out a 15th-century peasant, yet most of the time, we don’t even think about it. When horse-drawn vehicles were normal, people did not notice the smell of horse, and horse-dung, in the streets. These things recede into a background that the brain learns to edit out. In the days when most adults smoked, one could enter a room that was so thick with cigarette smoke that one could hardly see the opposite wall, and yet (provided one lighted up oneself) still be able to ignore the fug completely after a few minutes.
    In the same way, a Medieval person would simply not to be aware of the odour of human bodies and unwashed clothing when these smells were a constant olfactory background, like our traffic fumes. If one were fully translated into the consciousness of such a person, rather than being a 21st-century bystander, it would not be a problem.

    Reply
  64. There are some fascinating answers here. If I can explain why I would opt to be ‘an ordinary citizen’ rather than a famous figure, it is this: what interests me is the texture of everyday life – the food people eat, the clothes they wear, the objects they use and admire, their pleasures and anxieties – rather than major historical events. I would not wish to be grindingly poor in any era, because this would be just too painful, but leaders, those who make history, are often insulated from the ‘normal’ life of their own era.
    The ordinary man/woman in the forum hears all about affairs of state, of course, so one would still learn more than we can understand today from formal written history.
    The very common fear of ‘lack of hygiene’ in the past is also exaggerated. As it happens, this was far less of a problem in the Roman period than later, but even if one were an ordinary person in the Middle Ages, one would simply not have the same sensibilities that modern Westerners have. Sights and smells that revolt us would barely impinge upon the consciousness of a person of that time. To use a modern example, do those of you who live in cities regularly notice the permanent, strong and acrid smell of vehicle exhaust fumes? I bet it would pretty well knock out a 15th-century peasant, yet most of the time, we don’t even think about it. When horse-drawn vehicles were normal, people did not notice the smell of horse, and horse-dung, in the streets. These things recede into a background that the brain learns to edit out. In the days when most adults smoked, one could enter a room that was so thick with cigarette smoke that one could hardly see the opposite wall, and yet (provided one lighted up oneself) still be able to ignore the fug completely after a few minutes.
    In the same way, a Medieval person would simply not to be aware of the odour of human bodies and unwashed clothing when these smells were a constant olfactory background, like our traffic fumes. If one were fully translated into the consciousness of such a person, rather than being a 21st-century bystander, it would not be a problem.

    Reply
  65. There are some fascinating answers here. If I can explain why I would opt to be ‘an ordinary citizen’ rather than a famous figure, it is this: what interests me is the texture of everyday life – the food people eat, the clothes they wear, the objects they use and admire, their pleasures and anxieties – rather than major historical events. I would not wish to be grindingly poor in any era, because this would be just too painful, but leaders, those who make history, are often insulated from the ‘normal’ life of their own era.
    The ordinary man/woman in the forum hears all about affairs of state, of course, so one would still learn more than we can understand today from formal written history.
    The very common fear of ‘lack of hygiene’ in the past is also exaggerated. As it happens, this was far less of a problem in the Roman period than later, but even if one were an ordinary person in the Middle Ages, one would simply not have the same sensibilities that modern Westerners have. Sights and smells that revolt us would barely impinge upon the consciousness of a person of that time. To use a modern example, do those of you who live in cities regularly notice the permanent, strong and acrid smell of vehicle exhaust fumes? I bet it would pretty well knock out a 15th-century peasant, yet most of the time, we don’t even think about it. When horse-drawn vehicles were normal, people did not notice the smell of horse, and horse-dung, in the streets. These things recede into a background that the brain learns to edit out. In the days when most adults smoked, one could enter a room that was so thick with cigarette smoke that one could hardly see the opposite wall, and yet (provided one lighted up oneself) still be able to ignore the fug completely after a few minutes.
    In the same way, a Medieval person would simply not to be aware of the odour of human bodies and unwashed clothing when these smells were a constant olfactory background, like our traffic fumes. If one were fully translated into the consciousness of such a person, rather than being a 21st-century bystander, it would not be a problem.

    Reply
  66. These are fabulous answers — lots to think about here. You’ve expanded into the fictional realm, which is brilliant, and the mystery-solving potential is very tempting too — so many incredible choices!
    And AgTigress, I do agree with you on the advantages of popping into an everyday existence. I would definitely want to try that. As I mentioned in the blog, I’d rather be one of Queeen/St. Margaret’s ladies than Margaret herself; she’s such a psychological puzzle from a modern point of view that observing her would be even more interesting than being her. Compassionate and aloof, deeply nurturing to others and wickedly demanding with herself — she was possibly anorexic, very driven, and probably smarter and tougher than Malcolm Canmore, who seems to have been a big, tough, brute of a king (with a softer side apparently seen only by Margaret and her family, and the monk who wrote all of it down in his biography of her).
    But to use this time device to zip over there myself and check it all out — how cool. Just to know what these people LOOKED like would be utterly fascinating. To sense the charisma that they must have had would tell us so much — yet another reason to enter the past as a satellite person.
    You all have come up with such great stuff that I’m inspired to refresh my list:
    — I’d love to know what the REAL Wallace and Bruce were like, so I’d pop in as a guy in 14th century Scotland
    — What was up with those casket letters? I’d spend some time with Mary, Q. of Scots at Sheffield
    — I’d love to know the real Arthur, too, as Alison said (great history-mystery choices, btw!)
    — Roanoke! What happened there?!
    (though that could easily fall under you-don’t-wanna-know)
    — I would love to know some of the Egyptian greats – Nefertiti, Tut, Hatshepsut, Ramses the G., etc. — I’d like to be a priest or a family member than the people themselves, that fly-on-the-wall perspective.
    …and I could go on, but there are other things to do on Saturday. I’m at the Baltimore Book Festival this afternoon, speaking at 4 pm, if any of you will be in the area.
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  67. These are fabulous answers — lots to think about here. You’ve expanded into the fictional realm, which is brilliant, and the mystery-solving potential is very tempting too — so many incredible choices!
    And AgTigress, I do agree with you on the advantages of popping into an everyday existence. I would definitely want to try that. As I mentioned in the blog, I’d rather be one of Queeen/St. Margaret’s ladies than Margaret herself; she’s such a psychological puzzle from a modern point of view that observing her would be even more interesting than being her. Compassionate and aloof, deeply nurturing to others and wickedly demanding with herself — she was possibly anorexic, very driven, and probably smarter and tougher than Malcolm Canmore, who seems to have been a big, tough, brute of a king (with a softer side apparently seen only by Margaret and her family, and the monk who wrote all of it down in his biography of her).
    But to use this time device to zip over there myself and check it all out — how cool. Just to know what these people LOOKED like would be utterly fascinating. To sense the charisma that they must have had would tell us so much — yet another reason to enter the past as a satellite person.
    You all have come up with such great stuff that I’m inspired to refresh my list:
    — I’d love to know what the REAL Wallace and Bruce were like, so I’d pop in as a guy in 14th century Scotland
    — What was up with those casket letters? I’d spend some time with Mary, Q. of Scots at Sheffield
    — I’d love to know the real Arthur, too, as Alison said (great history-mystery choices, btw!)
    — Roanoke! What happened there?!
    (though that could easily fall under you-don’t-wanna-know)
    — I would love to know some of the Egyptian greats – Nefertiti, Tut, Hatshepsut, Ramses the G., etc. — I’d like to be a priest or a family member than the people themselves, that fly-on-the-wall perspective.
    …and I could go on, but there are other things to do on Saturday. I’m at the Baltimore Book Festival this afternoon, speaking at 4 pm, if any of you will be in the area.
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  68. These are fabulous answers — lots to think about here. You’ve expanded into the fictional realm, which is brilliant, and the mystery-solving potential is very tempting too — so many incredible choices!
    And AgTigress, I do agree with you on the advantages of popping into an everyday existence. I would definitely want to try that. As I mentioned in the blog, I’d rather be one of Queeen/St. Margaret’s ladies than Margaret herself; she’s such a psychological puzzle from a modern point of view that observing her would be even more interesting than being her. Compassionate and aloof, deeply nurturing to others and wickedly demanding with herself — she was possibly anorexic, very driven, and probably smarter and tougher than Malcolm Canmore, who seems to have been a big, tough, brute of a king (with a softer side apparently seen only by Margaret and her family, and the monk who wrote all of it down in his biography of her).
    But to use this time device to zip over there myself and check it all out — how cool. Just to know what these people LOOKED like would be utterly fascinating. To sense the charisma that they must have had would tell us so much — yet another reason to enter the past as a satellite person.
    You all have come up with such great stuff that I’m inspired to refresh my list:
    — I’d love to know what the REAL Wallace and Bruce were like, so I’d pop in as a guy in 14th century Scotland
    — What was up with those casket letters? I’d spend some time with Mary, Q. of Scots at Sheffield
    — I’d love to know the real Arthur, too, as Alison said (great history-mystery choices, btw!)
    — Roanoke! What happened there?!
    (though that could easily fall under you-don’t-wanna-know)
    — I would love to know some of the Egyptian greats – Nefertiti, Tut, Hatshepsut, Ramses the G., etc. — I’d like to be a priest or a family member than the people themselves, that fly-on-the-wall perspective.
    …and I could go on, but there are other things to do on Saturday. I’m at the Baltimore Book Festival this afternoon, speaking at 4 pm, if any of you will be in the area.
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  69. These are fabulous answers — lots to think about here. You’ve expanded into the fictional realm, which is brilliant, and the mystery-solving potential is very tempting too — so many incredible choices!
    And AgTigress, I do agree with you on the advantages of popping into an everyday existence. I would definitely want to try that. As I mentioned in the blog, I’d rather be one of Queeen/St. Margaret’s ladies than Margaret herself; she’s such a psychological puzzle from a modern point of view that observing her would be even more interesting than being her. Compassionate and aloof, deeply nurturing to others and wickedly demanding with herself — she was possibly anorexic, very driven, and probably smarter and tougher than Malcolm Canmore, who seems to have been a big, tough, brute of a king (with a softer side apparently seen only by Margaret and her family, and the monk who wrote all of it down in his biography of her).
    But to use this time device to zip over there myself and check it all out — how cool. Just to know what these people LOOKED like would be utterly fascinating. To sense the charisma that they must have had would tell us so much — yet another reason to enter the past as a satellite person.
    You all have come up with such great stuff that I’m inspired to refresh my list:
    — I’d love to know what the REAL Wallace and Bruce were like, so I’d pop in as a guy in 14th century Scotland
    — What was up with those casket letters? I’d spend some time with Mary, Q. of Scots at Sheffield
    — I’d love to know the real Arthur, too, as Alison said (great history-mystery choices, btw!)
    — Roanoke! What happened there?!
    (though that could easily fall under you-don’t-wanna-know)
    — I would love to know some of the Egyptian greats – Nefertiti, Tut, Hatshepsut, Ramses the G., etc. — I’d like to be a priest or a family member than the people themselves, that fly-on-the-wall perspective.
    …and I could go on, but there are other things to do on Saturday. I’m at the Baltimore Book Festival this afternoon, speaking at 4 pm, if any of you will be in the area.
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  70. These are fabulous answers — lots to think about here. You’ve expanded into the fictional realm, which is brilliant, and the mystery-solving potential is very tempting too — so many incredible choices!
    And AgTigress, I do agree with you on the advantages of popping into an everyday existence. I would definitely want to try that. As I mentioned in the blog, I’d rather be one of Queeen/St. Margaret’s ladies than Margaret herself; she’s such a psychological puzzle from a modern point of view that observing her would be even more interesting than being her. Compassionate and aloof, deeply nurturing to others and wickedly demanding with herself — she was possibly anorexic, very driven, and probably smarter and tougher than Malcolm Canmore, who seems to have been a big, tough, brute of a king (with a softer side apparently seen only by Margaret and her family, and the monk who wrote all of it down in his biography of her).
    But to use this time device to zip over there myself and check it all out — how cool. Just to know what these people LOOKED like would be utterly fascinating. To sense the charisma that they must have had would tell us so much — yet another reason to enter the past as a satellite person.
    You all have come up with such great stuff that I’m inspired to refresh my list:
    — I’d love to know what the REAL Wallace and Bruce were like, so I’d pop in as a guy in 14th century Scotland
    — What was up with those casket letters? I’d spend some time with Mary, Q. of Scots at Sheffield
    — I’d love to know the real Arthur, too, as Alison said (great history-mystery choices, btw!)
    — Roanoke! What happened there?!
    (though that could easily fall under you-don’t-wanna-know)
    — I would love to know some of the Egyptian greats – Nefertiti, Tut, Hatshepsut, Ramses the G., etc. — I’d like to be a priest or a family member than the people themselves, that fly-on-the-wall perspective.
    …and I could go on, but there are other things to do on Saturday. I’m at the Baltimore Book Festival this afternoon, speaking at 4 pm, if any of you will be in the area.
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  71. I’d like to be Sacajawea with Lewis & Clark for a while.
    I’d like to be a cloistered medeival French nun, to see what that was like.
    I, too, would like to be a priest or scribe in an ancient Egyptian temple.
    Also an apprentice in the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, learning the art of l’haute ecole.
    Can-can dancer in Paris.
    Audrey Hepburn on the set of My Fair Lady
    ’nuff for now!

    Reply
  72. I’d like to be Sacajawea with Lewis & Clark for a while.
    I’d like to be a cloistered medeival French nun, to see what that was like.
    I, too, would like to be a priest or scribe in an ancient Egyptian temple.
    Also an apprentice in the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, learning the art of l’haute ecole.
    Can-can dancer in Paris.
    Audrey Hepburn on the set of My Fair Lady
    ’nuff for now!

    Reply
  73. I’d like to be Sacajawea with Lewis & Clark for a while.
    I’d like to be a cloistered medeival French nun, to see what that was like.
    I, too, would like to be a priest or scribe in an ancient Egyptian temple.
    Also an apprentice in the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, learning the art of l’haute ecole.
    Can-can dancer in Paris.
    Audrey Hepburn on the set of My Fair Lady
    ’nuff for now!

    Reply
  74. I’d like to be Sacajawea with Lewis & Clark for a while.
    I’d like to be a cloistered medeival French nun, to see what that was like.
    I, too, would like to be a priest or scribe in an ancient Egyptian temple.
    Also an apprentice in the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, learning the art of l’haute ecole.
    Can-can dancer in Paris.
    Audrey Hepburn on the set of My Fair Lady
    ’nuff for now!

    Reply
  75. I’d like to be Sacajawea with Lewis & Clark for a while.
    I’d like to be a cloistered medeival French nun, to see what that was like.
    I, too, would like to be a priest or scribe in an ancient Egyptian temple.
    Also an apprentice in the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, learning the art of l’haute ecole.
    Can-can dancer in Paris.
    Audrey Hepburn on the set of My Fair Lady
    ’nuff for now!

    Reply
  76. I’d love to know the real Arthur, too, as Alison said (great history-mystery choices, btw!)
    There are so many but one I forgot was what really happened to the Viking Greenlanders? That one has intrigued me for years and I’d love to know the answer.

    Reply
  77. I’d love to know the real Arthur, too, as Alison said (great history-mystery choices, btw!)
    There are so many but one I forgot was what really happened to the Viking Greenlanders? That one has intrigued me for years and I’d love to know the answer.

    Reply
  78. I’d love to know the real Arthur, too, as Alison said (great history-mystery choices, btw!)
    There are so many but one I forgot was what really happened to the Viking Greenlanders? That one has intrigued me for years and I’d love to know the answer.

    Reply
  79. I’d love to know the real Arthur, too, as Alison said (great history-mystery choices, btw!)
    There are so many but one I forgot was what really happened to the Viking Greenlanders? That one has intrigued me for years and I’d love to know the answer.

    Reply
  80. I’d love to know the real Arthur, too, as Alison said (great history-mystery choices, btw!)
    There are so many but one I forgot was what really happened to the Viking Greenlanders? That one has intrigued me for years and I’d love to know the answer.

    Reply
  81. I’m still thinking on this and it’s not so much that I’d like to be someone famous or even ordinary though there’s plenty of characters I’d like to meet just to see how close an author had got to the real person. The truth is there’s a wicked little part of me that would like to…oh so many choices…go back to Senlac Hill and push Harold Godwineson out of the way of that arrow just to see how things might have panned out that day if only… *g* History is so full of tantalising if onlys.

    Reply
  82. I’m still thinking on this and it’s not so much that I’d like to be someone famous or even ordinary though there’s plenty of characters I’d like to meet just to see how close an author had got to the real person. The truth is there’s a wicked little part of me that would like to…oh so many choices…go back to Senlac Hill and push Harold Godwineson out of the way of that arrow just to see how things might have panned out that day if only… *g* History is so full of tantalising if onlys.

    Reply
  83. I’m still thinking on this and it’s not so much that I’d like to be someone famous or even ordinary though there’s plenty of characters I’d like to meet just to see how close an author had got to the real person. The truth is there’s a wicked little part of me that would like to…oh so many choices…go back to Senlac Hill and push Harold Godwineson out of the way of that arrow just to see how things might have panned out that day if only… *g* History is so full of tantalising if onlys.

    Reply
  84. I’m still thinking on this and it’s not so much that I’d like to be someone famous or even ordinary though there’s plenty of characters I’d like to meet just to see how close an author had got to the real person. The truth is there’s a wicked little part of me that would like to…oh so many choices…go back to Senlac Hill and push Harold Godwineson out of the way of that arrow just to see how things might have panned out that day if only… *g* History is so full of tantalising if onlys.

    Reply
  85. I’m still thinking on this and it’s not so much that I’d like to be someone famous or even ordinary though there’s plenty of characters I’d like to meet just to see how close an author had got to the real person. The truth is there’s a wicked little part of me that would like to…oh so many choices…go back to Senlac Hill and push Harold Godwineson out of the way of that arrow just to see how things might have panned out that day if only… *g* History is so full of tantalising if onlys.

    Reply
  86. No I hadn’t read it, Talpianna. Thanks for pointing the way. It actually made me realise how little of Kipling I have read. I look forward to correcting that.

    Reply
  87. No I hadn’t read it, Talpianna. Thanks for pointing the way. It actually made me realise how little of Kipling I have read. I look forward to correcting that.

    Reply
  88. No I hadn’t read it, Talpianna. Thanks for pointing the way. It actually made me realise how little of Kipling I have read. I look forward to correcting that.

    Reply
  89. No I hadn’t read it, Talpianna. Thanks for pointing the way. It actually made me realise how little of Kipling I have read. I look forward to correcting that.

    Reply
  90. No I hadn’t read it, Talpianna. Thanks for pointing the way. It actually made me realise how little of Kipling I have read. I look forward to correcting that.

    Reply
  91. Of course, Miniver Cheevy lived before the days of the SCA and RenFaires, although he should have been able to locate some suitable type of entertainment. My grandfather’s uncles had a mild local fame for doing jousting demonstrations at the Boone County, Missouri, agricultural fairs in the 1870s.

    Reply
  92. Of course, Miniver Cheevy lived before the days of the SCA and RenFaires, although he should have been able to locate some suitable type of entertainment. My grandfather’s uncles had a mild local fame for doing jousting demonstrations at the Boone County, Missouri, agricultural fairs in the 1870s.

    Reply
  93. Of course, Miniver Cheevy lived before the days of the SCA and RenFaires, although he should have been able to locate some suitable type of entertainment. My grandfather’s uncles had a mild local fame for doing jousting demonstrations at the Boone County, Missouri, agricultural fairs in the 1870s.

    Reply
  94. Of course, Miniver Cheevy lived before the days of the SCA and RenFaires, although he should have been able to locate some suitable type of entertainment. My grandfather’s uncles had a mild local fame for doing jousting demonstrations at the Boone County, Missouri, agricultural fairs in the 1870s.

    Reply
  95. Of course, Miniver Cheevy lived before the days of the SCA and RenFaires, although he should have been able to locate some suitable type of entertainment. My grandfather’s uncles had a mild local fame for doing jousting demonstrations at the Boone County, Missouri, agricultural fairs in the 1870s.

    Reply
  96. –Mark Twain.
    –Mary Magdalene
    –Dunnett’s Francis Crawford of Lymond
    –O’Brian’s Stephen Maturin
    –Hannibal
    –Loretta’s Jessica Trent
    –My dog, Nova (so I could discover why she freaks out at floor registers and narrow passageways)
    –Beau Brummell
    –Prinny
    –Benjamin Franklin
    –a Pilgrim at the first Thanksgiving feast
    –Annie Oakley

    Reply
  97. –Mark Twain.
    –Mary Magdalene
    –Dunnett’s Francis Crawford of Lymond
    –O’Brian’s Stephen Maturin
    –Hannibal
    –Loretta’s Jessica Trent
    –My dog, Nova (so I could discover why she freaks out at floor registers and narrow passageways)
    –Beau Brummell
    –Prinny
    –Benjamin Franklin
    –a Pilgrim at the first Thanksgiving feast
    –Annie Oakley

    Reply
  98. –Mark Twain.
    –Mary Magdalene
    –Dunnett’s Francis Crawford of Lymond
    –O’Brian’s Stephen Maturin
    –Hannibal
    –Loretta’s Jessica Trent
    –My dog, Nova (so I could discover why she freaks out at floor registers and narrow passageways)
    –Beau Brummell
    –Prinny
    –Benjamin Franklin
    –a Pilgrim at the first Thanksgiving feast
    –Annie Oakley

    Reply
  99. –Mark Twain.
    –Mary Magdalene
    –Dunnett’s Francis Crawford of Lymond
    –O’Brian’s Stephen Maturin
    –Hannibal
    –Loretta’s Jessica Trent
    –My dog, Nova (so I could discover why she freaks out at floor registers and narrow passageways)
    –Beau Brummell
    –Prinny
    –Benjamin Franklin
    –a Pilgrim at the first Thanksgiving feast
    –Annie Oakley

    Reply
  100. –Mark Twain.
    –Mary Magdalene
    –Dunnett’s Francis Crawford of Lymond
    –O’Brian’s Stephen Maturin
    –Hannibal
    –Loretta’s Jessica Trent
    –My dog, Nova (so I could discover why she freaks out at floor registers and narrow passageways)
    –Beau Brummell
    –Prinny
    –Benjamin Franklin
    –a Pilgrim at the first Thanksgiving feast
    –Annie Oakley

    Reply
  101. I’d want to hear some great speeches from the front row. Like the Gettysburg Address. Or the Lincoln/Douglass debates. Or maybe a Jonathan Edwards sermon. “I Have A Dream” (or anything by ML King Jr.). Joan of Arc. Chief Joseph.

    Reply
  102. I’d want to hear some great speeches from the front row. Like the Gettysburg Address. Or the Lincoln/Douglass debates. Or maybe a Jonathan Edwards sermon. “I Have A Dream” (or anything by ML King Jr.). Joan of Arc. Chief Joseph.

    Reply
  103. I’d want to hear some great speeches from the front row. Like the Gettysburg Address. Or the Lincoln/Douglass debates. Or maybe a Jonathan Edwards sermon. “I Have A Dream” (or anything by ML King Jr.). Joan of Arc. Chief Joseph.

    Reply
  104. I’d want to hear some great speeches from the front row. Like the Gettysburg Address. Or the Lincoln/Douglass debates. Or maybe a Jonathan Edwards sermon. “I Have A Dream” (or anything by ML King Jr.). Joan of Arc. Chief Joseph.

    Reply
  105. I’d want to hear some great speeches from the front row. Like the Gettysburg Address. Or the Lincoln/Douglass debates. Or maybe a Jonathan Edwards sermon. “I Have A Dream” (or anything by ML King Jr.). Joan of Arc. Chief Joseph.

    Reply
  106. Sherrie has mentioned something that I think would be wonderful – to experience the world from within the consciousness of an intelligent animal of another species. We are still such a long way from really understanding the way any other animal thinks and feels, and we tend to assess their experience only in terms of our own, from the human viewpoint. Well, it is hard for us to step outside the human viewpoint. Just a brief glimpse of being a dog, a cat, a horse, a parrot! What a lot one would learn!

    Reply
  107. Sherrie has mentioned something that I think would be wonderful – to experience the world from within the consciousness of an intelligent animal of another species. We are still such a long way from really understanding the way any other animal thinks and feels, and we tend to assess their experience only in terms of our own, from the human viewpoint. Well, it is hard for us to step outside the human viewpoint. Just a brief glimpse of being a dog, a cat, a horse, a parrot! What a lot one would learn!

    Reply
  108. Sherrie has mentioned something that I think would be wonderful – to experience the world from within the consciousness of an intelligent animal of another species. We are still such a long way from really understanding the way any other animal thinks and feels, and we tend to assess their experience only in terms of our own, from the human viewpoint. Well, it is hard for us to step outside the human viewpoint. Just a brief glimpse of being a dog, a cat, a horse, a parrot! What a lot one would learn!

    Reply
  109. Sherrie has mentioned something that I think would be wonderful – to experience the world from within the consciousness of an intelligent animal of another species. We are still such a long way from really understanding the way any other animal thinks and feels, and we tend to assess their experience only in terms of our own, from the human viewpoint. Well, it is hard for us to step outside the human viewpoint. Just a brief glimpse of being a dog, a cat, a horse, a parrot! What a lot one would learn!

    Reply
  110. Sherrie has mentioned something that I think would be wonderful – to experience the world from within the consciousness of an intelligent animal of another species. We are still such a long way from really understanding the way any other animal thinks and feels, and we tend to assess their experience only in terms of our own, from the human viewpoint. Well, it is hard for us to step outside the human viewpoint. Just a brief glimpse of being a dog, a cat, a horse, a parrot! What a lot one would learn!

    Reply
  111. I’d like to spend some time as several of my own great-grandparents. Particularly one who was a ship’s captain, going between Australia and New Zealand, Auckland and San Francisco, and Mauritius and Lyttelton. And one of my great grandmothers, who looks dour in her photos, but who signed the petition asking for women to have the vote. They belonged to a time when the British were setting off all over the world – ordinary people were amazingly brave and adventurous, setting off to make new lives on the other side of the world. It would be fascinating to look at the nineteenth century through their contemporary eyes.

    Reply
  112. I’d like to spend some time as several of my own great-grandparents. Particularly one who was a ship’s captain, going between Australia and New Zealand, Auckland and San Francisco, and Mauritius and Lyttelton. And one of my great grandmothers, who looks dour in her photos, but who signed the petition asking for women to have the vote. They belonged to a time when the British were setting off all over the world – ordinary people were amazingly brave and adventurous, setting off to make new lives on the other side of the world. It would be fascinating to look at the nineteenth century through their contemporary eyes.

    Reply
  113. I’d like to spend some time as several of my own great-grandparents. Particularly one who was a ship’s captain, going between Australia and New Zealand, Auckland and San Francisco, and Mauritius and Lyttelton. And one of my great grandmothers, who looks dour in her photos, but who signed the petition asking for women to have the vote. They belonged to a time when the British were setting off all over the world – ordinary people were amazingly brave and adventurous, setting off to make new lives on the other side of the world. It would be fascinating to look at the nineteenth century through their contemporary eyes.

    Reply
  114. I’d like to spend some time as several of my own great-grandparents. Particularly one who was a ship’s captain, going between Australia and New Zealand, Auckland and San Francisco, and Mauritius and Lyttelton. And one of my great grandmothers, who looks dour in her photos, but who signed the petition asking for women to have the vote. They belonged to a time when the British were setting off all over the world – ordinary people were amazingly brave and adventurous, setting off to make new lives on the other side of the world. It would be fascinating to look at the nineteenth century through their contemporary eyes.

    Reply
  115. I’d like to spend some time as several of my own great-grandparents. Particularly one who was a ship’s captain, going between Australia and New Zealand, Auckland and San Francisco, and Mauritius and Lyttelton. And one of my great grandmothers, who looks dour in her photos, but who signed the petition asking for women to have the vote. They belonged to a time when the British were setting off all over the world – ordinary people were amazingly brave and adventurous, setting off to make new lives on the other side of the world. It would be fascinating to look at the nineteenth century through their contemporary eyes.

    Reply
  116. Commenting further on AgTigress’s reply to my earlier comment: I sooooo agree about how marvelous it would be to be able to get inside the mind of an animal and view the world through their own unique perspective! What I wouldn’t give for that opportunity!
    I’ll bet we’d be in for some serious surprises. I used to rehabilitate “bad” dogs and then kept them as pets. Some of the best dogs I ever had were those I adopted as rescues that were given up as “bad.” If more people understood dogs better, if they started thinking like a dog rather than a human, there would be a huge reduction in “problem” dogs.

    Reply
  117. Commenting further on AgTigress’s reply to my earlier comment: I sooooo agree about how marvelous it would be to be able to get inside the mind of an animal and view the world through their own unique perspective! What I wouldn’t give for that opportunity!
    I’ll bet we’d be in for some serious surprises. I used to rehabilitate “bad” dogs and then kept them as pets. Some of the best dogs I ever had were those I adopted as rescues that were given up as “bad.” If more people understood dogs better, if they started thinking like a dog rather than a human, there would be a huge reduction in “problem” dogs.

    Reply
  118. Commenting further on AgTigress’s reply to my earlier comment: I sooooo agree about how marvelous it would be to be able to get inside the mind of an animal and view the world through their own unique perspective! What I wouldn’t give for that opportunity!
    I’ll bet we’d be in for some serious surprises. I used to rehabilitate “bad” dogs and then kept them as pets. Some of the best dogs I ever had were those I adopted as rescues that were given up as “bad.” If more people understood dogs better, if they started thinking like a dog rather than a human, there would be a huge reduction in “problem” dogs.

    Reply
  119. Commenting further on AgTigress’s reply to my earlier comment: I sooooo agree about how marvelous it would be to be able to get inside the mind of an animal and view the world through their own unique perspective! What I wouldn’t give for that opportunity!
    I’ll bet we’d be in for some serious surprises. I used to rehabilitate “bad” dogs and then kept them as pets. Some of the best dogs I ever had were those I adopted as rescues that were given up as “bad.” If more people understood dogs better, if they started thinking like a dog rather than a human, there would be a huge reduction in “problem” dogs.

    Reply
  120. Commenting further on AgTigress’s reply to my earlier comment: I sooooo agree about how marvelous it would be to be able to get inside the mind of an animal and view the world through their own unique perspective! What I wouldn’t give for that opportunity!
    I’ll bet we’d be in for some serious surprises. I used to rehabilitate “bad” dogs and then kept them as pets. Some of the best dogs I ever had were those I adopted as rescues that were given up as “bad.” If more people understood dogs better, if they started thinking like a dog rather than a human, there would be a huge reduction in “problem” dogs.

    Reply

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