I have spent most of my life reading about European history. My great-aunt once gave me an enormous picture book about the customs of different countries. It was much too advanced for my six-year-old prowess, but I poured over those exotic photos for years, so I was indoctrinated early. My life-long reading habit took me from the courts of Britain to the peasant huts of Russia. Research for my Regencies, including the Napoleonic Wars, immersed me in the histories of most of Europe. But reading about palaces and medieval towns isn’t the same as actually standing in them.