Travels with my research

One wicked sin - US Nicola here! For my new book, One Wicked Sin, I delved into a lesser known part of British history and had a great deal of fun doing so. One Wicked Sin takes place against the background of the lives of Napoleonic War prisoners in Britain and it is something that seems largely to have disappeared from the history books. At one point during the early nineteenth century there were sixty thousand prisoners in Britain, either locked up in prison ships or high security gaols or, more intriguingly, given their liberty in country towns all over England and Scotland. These were not just French prisoners. I discovered that during that period just about everybody united to take on the British in war. There were Americans from the War of 1812-1814, there were Scandinavian privateers, Spanish, Dutch, and Irish soldiers and sailors. There were prisoners from the West Indies, who had to be issued with extra clothes to keep them warm in the British weather. I wanted to find out more about their stories so I visited two very different places; Portchester Castle, which had been used as a prison to house Napoleonic prisoners of war, and the town of Wantage, where prisoners had been given their liberty to live amongst the population.

Portchester

I visited Portchester on what felt like the wettest day of the year (which those of you who know England Porchester castle will realise is no small matter.) I was the only visitor at the castle that morning and the sheer miserable state of the weather added enormously to the atmosphere. As I stood in the massive keep and saw the water running down the walls and listened to it dripping relentlessly and heard the wind howling in the tower I thought that had I been incarcerated in here I would very likely have run mad.

Interior of the Keep Portchester Castle dates originally from Roman times so by the time it was used as a prison, from the start of the 18th century, it was already ancient. There were many complaints about cramped conditions and protest riots. Despite the building of an "airing ground" where prisoners could take exercise within the confines of the Roman outer wall, overcrowding at Portchester continued to be a problem.  The men slept in hammocks and were allowed a sleeping space of only 2 foot 6 by 6 foot. It is no surprise that in such conditions tempers would fray. The picture gives an idea of what this would have looked like. I stood in the vast keep of the castle – it's empty now – and imagined it festooned with hammocks only 2 foot apart. The noise, smell and crowding would have been overwhelming.

The prisoners were very creative and spent a great deal of their time making craft items which they Carving would then sell at market.  This picture shows an item made by one of the Portchester prisoners, who also entertained themselves by forming a theatre troupe and performing various productions including Rossini's Barber of Seville sung to the accompaniment of a twelve piece orchestra!

Another useful resource was a recent Time Team archaeology programme (for those who have not seen it, Time Team is brilliant!) which excavated the prison camp at Norman Cross near Cambridge. There's a link to the Time Team article here. Norman Cross was built new to house the increasing number of prisoners from the wars.  Compared to the dripping medieval keep at Portchester these new prisons may well have seemed state of the art but conditions in them soon deteriorated and disease was rife. Within a few years Norman Cross had developed a reputation for being a place of hard gambling. Many gaming pieces have been found there and in some cases prisoners froze in the winter because they had literally gambled the clothes off their backs. There is a link here to the Norman Cross website.

Wantage

Wantage In stark contrast to the treatment meted out to the common soldiers at places like Portchester and Norman Cross, the life of an officer on parole was very different. In order to research this in more detail I visited my local parole town, Wantage in Oxfordshire. The first point that struck me about many of the parole towns was that they were very small. Modern day Wantage has a population of ten thousand people. In 1800 it was much smaller so that an influx of foreign officers into the population would have created quite a stir and had a cultural effect as well as a political one.

The second point that hit me was that there is very little in Wantage and a lot of other parole towns to Leek Memorial mark the fact that foreign prisoners of war ever lived amongst the population. At Leek in Staffordshire, another parole town, there is a monument to the prisoners who lived – and died – there. In Wantage there is no public acknowledgement. In the museum, though, I had my most exciting moment of my research when I held in my hand the original letter from 1809 from a French colonel who was also a Duke addressed to his bankers Coutts, in London, asking them to transfer some money to the local bank in Wantage to cover his costs whilst he lived there on parole. The letter was in the original French and he was asking for 123 pounds – but that was just for a few months and in addition to the allowance all parole prisoners also received.

The life of a parole officer was pretty civilised. Although they were under curfew and were not allowed to go more than a mile out of the town bounds, they were accepted socially and invited to dine with the local gentry. They had given their word – their parole – not to escape but some did of course attempt it. Others eloped with local girls, or intermarried and stayed in England and Scotland after the end of the Wars. Some taught French and dancing (a great way to meet the local ladies!) They played billiards, formed theatre groups and spent their money in the local shops. In many places, Wantage included, the only thing that marks the fact that these men were ever there are street names such as Frenchman's Walk. The American, French and Irish prisoners who once bought their brandy in the The Bear Inn or who joined the parties at Becket House have vanished forever.

A Question and A Prize!

Whisper_350 For me, holding in my hand that letter written by the French Duke was the highlight of my research and a very special moment. Have you ever discovered anything exciting that linked you directly to the past? If so what was it and how did you feel? If not, what would you like to find? I'm giving away a set of my trilogy books, Whisper of Scandal, One Wicked Sin and Mistress By Midnight to one commenter.

205 thoughts on “Travels with my research”

  1. Fascinating info and I can’t wait to read the books – they’re on my ‘to be bought’ list right now.
    I’ve not held anything of real historical note in my hands. Once in a museum they had a complete suit of armour that you could touch and examine (with a cotton glove on). That was quite intersting.
    Other than that, in my house, when we were renovating, we found written on the underside of a stair tread signatures from the men who built it. Really rather neat – the house was built in the late 1800’s – not old by your standards in the UK perhaps, but here, it’s an old home. And in my husband’s parent’s house, on one bedroom wall is the signature of the man who built the house and the year – 1904 I think. I think it’s amazing that despite the number of times the wallpaper has been changed in that room that the signature is still there.

    Reply
  2. Fascinating info and I can’t wait to read the books – they’re on my ‘to be bought’ list right now.
    I’ve not held anything of real historical note in my hands. Once in a museum they had a complete suit of armour that you could touch and examine (with a cotton glove on). That was quite intersting.
    Other than that, in my house, when we were renovating, we found written on the underside of a stair tread signatures from the men who built it. Really rather neat – the house was built in the late 1800’s – not old by your standards in the UK perhaps, but here, it’s an old home. And in my husband’s parent’s house, on one bedroom wall is the signature of the man who built the house and the year – 1904 I think. I think it’s amazing that despite the number of times the wallpaper has been changed in that room that the signature is still there.

    Reply
  3. Fascinating info and I can’t wait to read the books – they’re on my ‘to be bought’ list right now.
    I’ve not held anything of real historical note in my hands. Once in a museum they had a complete suit of armour that you could touch and examine (with a cotton glove on). That was quite intersting.
    Other than that, in my house, when we were renovating, we found written on the underside of a stair tread signatures from the men who built it. Really rather neat – the house was built in the late 1800’s – not old by your standards in the UK perhaps, but here, it’s an old home. And in my husband’s parent’s house, on one bedroom wall is the signature of the man who built the house and the year – 1904 I think. I think it’s amazing that despite the number of times the wallpaper has been changed in that room that the signature is still there.

    Reply
  4. Fascinating info and I can’t wait to read the books – they’re on my ‘to be bought’ list right now.
    I’ve not held anything of real historical note in my hands. Once in a museum they had a complete suit of armour that you could touch and examine (with a cotton glove on). That was quite intersting.
    Other than that, in my house, when we were renovating, we found written on the underside of a stair tread signatures from the men who built it. Really rather neat – the house was built in the late 1800’s – not old by your standards in the UK perhaps, but here, it’s an old home. And in my husband’s parent’s house, on one bedroom wall is the signature of the man who built the house and the year – 1904 I think. I think it’s amazing that despite the number of times the wallpaper has been changed in that room that the signature is still there.

    Reply
  5. Fascinating info and I can’t wait to read the books – they’re on my ‘to be bought’ list right now.
    I’ve not held anything of real historical note in my hands. Once in a museum they had a complete suit of armour that you could touch and examine (with a cotton glove on). That was quite intersting.
    Other than that, in my house, when we were renovating, we found written on the underside of a stair tread signatures from the men who built it. Really rather neat – the house was built in the late 1800’s – not old by your standards in the UK perhaps, but here, it’s an old home. And in my husband’s parent’s house, on one bedroom wall is the signature of the man who built the house and the year – 1904 I think. I think it’s amazing that despite the number of times the wallpaper has been changed in that room that the signature is still there.

    Reply
  6. Lynne, that’s exactly the kind of thing I love! Discovering the initials of the men who built houses, or the graffiti of people who were in a particular place a hundred years ago always gives me a little happy historical shiver. That and stuff like a piece of jewellery that was my grandmother’s or something with a personal connection. Iwear her engagement ring a lot and often look at it and feel a connection to her.

    Reply
  7. Lynne, that’s exactly the kind of thing I love! Discovering the initials of the men who built houses, or the graffiti of people who were in a particular place a hundred years ago always gives me a little happy historical shiver. That and stuff like a piece of jewellery that was my grandmother’s or something with a personal connection. Iwear her engagement ring a lot and often look at it and feel a connection to her.

    Reply
  8. Lynne, that’s exactly the kind of thing I love! Discovering the initials of the men who built houses, or the graffiti of people who were in a particular place a hundred years ago always gives me a little happy historical shiver. That and stuff like a piece of jewellery that was my grandmother’s or something with a personal connection. Iwear her engagement ring a lot and often look at it and feel a connection to her.

    Reply
  9. Lynne, that’s exactly the kind of thing I love! Discovering the initials of the men who built houses, or the graffiti of people who were in a particular place a hundred years ago always gives me a little happy historical shiver. That and stuff like a piece of jewellery that was my grandmother’s or something with a personal connection. Iwear her engagement ring a lot and often look at it and feel a connection to her.

    Reply
  10. Lynne, that’s exactly the kind of thing I love! Discovering the initials of the men who built houses, or the graffiti of people who were in a particular place a hundred years ago always gives me a little happy historical shiver. That and stuff like a piece of jewellery that was my grandmother’s or something with a personal connection. Iwear her engagement ring a lot and often look at it and feel a connection to her.

    Reply
  11. I’m delurking here for a moment, because this post struck a strong chord for me.
    In the mid 1980’s, I was working on a senior thesis for my undergraduate history degree. I was researching an abortive uprising in the Frederick MD area during the American Revolution. The conspirators were betrayed and caught before they could be effective. Eventually they were hanged. A number of them confessed and there were original extant trial records–but I couldn’t find them. I started in Frederick, went to Annapolis, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and finally, about a week before the thesis was due, I found them at the Baltimore Museum of History (if my memory of the name of the institution is correct).
    When they brought me the box and I opened it and held the papers and read the signatures and the scrawled “X”‘s of the dead Tory plotters… the whole incident became real, immediate and visceral in a way that all the other research had not achieved.

    Reply
  12. I’m delurking here for a moment, because this post struck a strong chord for me.
    In the mid 1980’s, I was working on a senior thesis for my undergraduate history degree. I was researching an abortive uprising in the Frederick MD area during the American Revolution. The conspirators were betrayed and caught before they could be effective. Eventually they were hanged. A number of them confessed and there were original extant trial records–but I couldn’t find them. I started in Frederick, went to Annapolis, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and finally, about a week before the thesis was due, I found them at the Baltimore Museum of History (if my memory of the name of the institution is correct).
    When they brought me the box and I opened it and held the papers and read the signatures and the scrawled “X”‘s of the dead Tory plotters… the whole incident became real, immediate and visceral in a way that all the other research had not achieved.

    Reply
  13. I’m delurking here for a moment, because this post struck a strong chord for me.
    In the mid 1980’s, I was working on a senior thesis for my undergraduate history degree. I was researching an abortive uprising in the Frederick MD area during the American Revolution. The conspirators were betrayed and caught before they could be effective. Eventually they were hanged. A number of them confessed and there were original extant trial records–but I couldn’t find them. I started in Frederick, went to Annapolis, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and finally, about a week before the thesis was due, I found them at the Baltimore Museum of History (if my memory of the name of the institution is correct).
    When they brought me the box and I opened it and held the papers and read the signatures and the scrawled “X”‘s of the dead Tory plotters… the whole incident became real, immediate and visceral in a way that all the other research had not achieved.

    Reply
  14. I’m delurking here for a moment, because this post struck a strong chord for me.
    In the mid 1980’s, I was working on a senior thesis for my undergraduate history degree. I was researching an abortive uprising in the Frederick MD area during the American Revolution. The conspirators were betrayed and caught before they could be effective. Eventually they were hanged. A number of them confessed and there were original extant trial records–but I couldn’t find them. I started in Frederick, went to Annapolis, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and finally, about a week before the thesis was due, I found them at the Baltimore Museum of History (if my memory of the name of the institution is correct).
    When they brought me the box and I opened it and held the papers and read the signatures and the scrawled “X”‘s of the dead Tory plotters… the whole incident became real, immediate and visceral in a way that all the other research had not achieved.

    Reply
  15. I’m delurking here for a moment, because this post struck a strong chord for me.
    In the mid 1980’s, I was working on a senior thesis for my undergraduate history degree. I was researching an abortive uprising in the Frederick MD area during the American Revolution. The conspirators were betrayed and caught before they could be effective. Eventually they were hanged. A number of them confessed and there were original extant trial records–but I couldn’t find them. I started in Frederick, went to Annapolis, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and finally, about a week before the thesis was due, I found them at the Baltimore Museum of History (if my memory of the name of the institution is correct).
    When they brought me the box and I opened it and held the papers and read the signatures and the scrawled “X”‘s of the dead Tory plotters… the whole incident became real, immediate and visceral in a way that all the other research had not achieved.

    Reply
  16. I’d like to find stories about historical women who defied the establishment and won. For example, a woman who wanted to be archeologist or a mathematician and succeeded. Please, no success through sex. At this point, courtesans have been way overdone.

    Reply
  17. I’d like to find stories about historical women who defied the establishment and won. For example, a woman who wanted to be archeologist or a mathematician and succeeded. Please, no success through sex. At this point, courtesans have been way overdone.

    Reply
  18. I’d like to find stories about historical women who defied the establishment and won. For example, a woman who wanted to be archeologist or a mathematician and succeeded. Please, no success through sex. At this point, courtesans have been way overdone.

    Reply
  19. I’d like to find stories about historical women who defied the establishment and won. For example, a woman who wanted to be archeologist or a mathematician and succeeded. Please, no success through sex. At this point, courtesans have been way overdone.

    Reply
  20. I’d like to find stories about historical women who defied the establishment and won. For example, a woman who wanted to be archeologist or a mathematician and succeeded. Please, no success through sex. At this point, courtesans have been way overdone.

    Reply
  21. Nicola, I just finished (ok, inhaled)Whisper of Scandal and it is wonderful–one of the best books I’ve read all year, or maybe ever.
    I am lucky to have photocopies (not the originals, unfortunately) of a letter my great-great grandfather wrote home after a Civil War battle. I love the careful copperplate handwriting combined with the woeful spelling and grammar. I also appreciate my great-grandfather’s attempt to describe the battle and its aftermath while skimming over some details he deems too frightening for his wife to know about.

    Reply
  22. Nicola, I just finished (ok, inhaled)Whisper of Scandal and it is wonderful–one of the best books I’ve read all year, or maybe ever.
    I am lucky to have photocopies (not the originals, unfortunately) of a letter my great-great grandfather wrote home after a Civil War battle. I love the careful copperplate handwriting combined with the woeful spelling and grammar. I also appreciate my great-grandfather’s attempt to describe the battle and its aftermath while skimming over some details he deems too frightening for his wife to know about.

    Reply
  23. Nicola, I just finished (ok, inhaled)Whisper of Scandal and it is wonderful–one of the best books I’ve read all year, or maybe ever.
    I am lucky to have photocopies (not the originals, unfortunately) of a letter my great-great grandfather wrote home after a Civil War battle. I love the careful copperplate handwriting combined with the woeful spelling and grammar. I also appreciate my great-grandfather’s attempt to describe the battle and its aftermath while skimming over some details he deems too frightening for his wife to know about.

    Reply
  24. Nicola, I just finished (ok, inhaled)Whisper of Scandal and it is wonderful–one of the best books I’ve read all year, or maybe ever.
    I am lucky to have photocopies (not the originals, unfortunately) of a letter my great-great grandfather wrote home after a Civil War battle. I love the careful copperplate handwriting combined with the woeful spelling and grammar. I also appreciate my great-grandfather’s attempt to describe the battle and its aftermath while skimming over some details he deems too frightening for his wife to know about.

    Reply
  25. Nicola, I just finished (ok, inhaled)Whisper of Scandal and it is wonderful–one of the best books I’ve read all year, or maybe ever.
    I am lucky to have photocopies (not the originals, unfortunately) of a letter my great-great grandfather wrote home after a Civil War battle. I love the careful copperplate handwriting combined with the woeful spelling and grammar. I also appreciate my great-grandfather’s attempt to describe the battle and its aftermath while skimming over some details he deems too frightening for his wife to know about.

    Reply
  26. Ursamater, thank you for delurking to share that wonderful story. What a powerful feeling to open that box and see the signatures on the original trial records. Real shiver down the spine stuff!

    Reply
  27. Ursamater, thank you for delurking to share that wonderful story. What a powerful feeling to open that box and see the signatures on the original trial records. Real shiver down the spine stuff!

    Reply
  28. Ursamater, thank you for delurking to share that wonderful story. What a powerful feeling to open that box and see the signatures on the original trial records. Real shiver down the spine stuff!

    Reply
  29. Ursamater, thank you for delurking to share that wonderful story. What a powerful feeling to open that box and see the signatures on the original trial records. Real shiver down the spine stuff!

    Reply
  30. Ursamater, thank you for delurking to share that wonderful story. What a powerful feeling to open that box and see the signatures on the original trial records. Real shiver down the spine stuff!

    Reply
  31. That’s a very interesting point you raise, Linda. I too love discovering the stories of women who were pioneers in unusual and male-dominated fields.
    At the same time I have to acknowledge that it’s entirely historically authentic that some women have succeeded through sex. I was recently reading a book called Theodora by Stella Duffy, which tells the story of the 6th century heroine of the classical world. Theodora became a child comic actor then a prostitute with a repertoire of racy acts before marrying the future emperor Justinian. I doubt she would have acheieved so much good in her later life had she not used her courtesan career to get her there. Interesting, but as you say, perhaps the whole courtesan theme has received a great deal of exposure (no pun intended!)

    Reply
  32. That’s a very interesting point you raise, Linda. I too love discovering the stories of women who were pioneers in unusual and male-dominated fields.
    At the same time I have to acknowledge that it’s entirely historically authentic that some women have succeeded through sex. I was recently reading a book called Theodora by Stella Duffy, which tells the story of the 6th century heroine of the classical world. Theodora became a child comic actor then a prostitute with a repertoire of racy acts before marrying the future emperor Justinian. I doubt she would have acheieved so much good in her later life had she not used her courtesan career to get her there. Interesting, but as you say, perhaps the whole courtesan theme has received a great deal of exposure (no pun intended!)

    Reply
  33. That’s a very interesting point you raise, Linda. I too love discovering the stories of women who were pioneers in unusual and male-dominated fields.
    At the same time I have to acknowledge that it’s entirely historically authentic that some women have succeeded through sex. I was recently reading a book called Theodora by Stella Duffy, which tells the story of the 6th century heroine of the classical world. Theodora became a child comic actor then a prostitute with a repertoire of racy acts before marrying the future emperor Justinian. I doubt she would have acheieved so much good in her later life had she not used her courtesan career to get her there. Interesting, but as you say, perhaps the whole courtesan theme has received a great deal of exposure (no pun intended!)

    Reply
  34. That’s a very interesting point you raise, Linda. I too love discovering the stories of women who were pioneers in unusual and male-dominated fields.
    At the same time I have to acknowledge that it’s entirely historically authentic that some women have succeeded through sex. I was recently reading a book called Theodora by Stella Duffy, which tells the story of the 6th century heroine of the classical world. Theodora became a child comic actor then a prostitute with a repertoire of racy acts before marrying the future emperor Justinian. I doubt she would have acheieved so much good in her later life had she not used her courtesan career to get her there. Interesting, but as you say, perhaps the whole courtesan theme has received a great deal of exposure (no pun intended!)

    Reply
  35. That’s a very interesting point you raise, Linda. I too love discovering the stories of women who were pioneers in unusual and male-dominated fields.
    At the same time I have to acknowledge that it’s entirely historically authentic that some women have succeeded through sex. I was recently reading a book called Theodora by Stella Duffy, which tells the story of the 6th century heroine of the classical world. Theodora became a child comic actor then a prostitute with a repertoire of racy acts before marrying the future emperor Justinian. I doubt she would have acheieved so much good in her later life had she not used her courtesan career to get her there. Interesting, but as you say, perhaps the whole courtesan theme has received a great deal of exposure (no pun intended!)

    Reply
  36. Another v interesting piece of history, thank you Nicola. My long tme dream has been to visit Britain, mainly to visit all the historical sites, and also to see where my grandparents came from. You are so very lucky to live amongst it all.
    NZ is not a very ‘old’ country by comparison to most, but I was lucky enough to live down the road from Alberton House. It was originaly built in 1863 and we could see part of it from our living room windows. When we were kids mum always refered to it as the fairy house, (it had that look about it), and told us it was where the tooth fairy lived. Ok, gullible I know but see for yourself. http://www.historicplaces.org.nz/placesToVisit/auckland/Alberton.aspx
    When I got older and actually visited the place it was the most wonderful experience, to be able to step back in time. Everything was set up as it was back in the day, complete with original wallpaper in some rooms, clothing, newspapers, furniture, kitchen implements, the works. The old well was even still there in one of the out buildings. From then onwards I’ve been facinated with the past.
    The other memorable brush with history for me was more recently in Fort Smith Arkansas. We visited the gallows, they are a replica as the original were demolished some time ago, but they have been rebuilt exactly as they were and on the very same spot so it was still an extremely eerie moment to stand under the trap doors. The originals were in use from 1873 – 1896.

    Reply
  37. Another v interesting piece of history, thank you Nicola. My long tme dream has been to visit Britain, mainly to visit all the historical sites, and also to see where my grandparents came from. You are so very lucky to live amongst it all.
    NZ is not a very ‘old’ country by comparison to most, but I was lucky enough to live down the road from Alberton House. It was originaly built in 1863 and we could see part of it from our living room windows. When we were kids mum always refered to it as the fairy house, (it had that look about it), and told us it was where the tooth fairy lived. Ok, gullible I know but see for yourself. http://www.historicplaces.org.nz/placesToVisit/auckland/Alberton.aspx
    When I got older and actually visited the place it was the most wonderful experience, to be able to step back in time. Everything was set up as it was back in the day, complete with original wallpaper in some rooms, clothing, newspapers, furniture, kitchen implements, the works. The old well was even still there in one of the out buildings. From then onwards I’ve been facinated with the past.
    The other memorable brush with history for me was more recently in Fort Smith Arkansas. We visited the gallows, they are a replica as the original were demolished some time ago, but they have been rebuilt exactly as they were and on the very same spot so it was still an extremely eerie moment to stand under the trap doors. The originals were in use from 1873 – 1896.

    Reply
  38. Another v interesting piece of history, thank you Nicola. My long tme dream has been to visit Britain, mainly to visit all the historical sites, and also to see where my grandparents came from. You are so very lucky to live amongst it all.
    NZ is not a very ‘old’ country by comparison to most, but I was lucky enough to live down the road from Alberton House. It was originaly built in 1863 and we could see part of it from our living room windows. When we were kids mum always refered to it as the fairy house, (it had that look about it), and told us it was where the tooth fairy lived. Ok, gullible I know but see for yourself. http://www.historicplaces.org.nz/placesToVisit/auckland/Alberton.aspx
    When I got older and actually visited the place it was the most wonderful experience, to be able to step back in time. Everything was set up as it was back in the day, complete with original wallpaper in some rooms, clothing, newspapers, furniture, kitchen implements, the works. The old well was even still there in one of the out buildings. From then onwards I’ve been facinated with the past.
    The other memorable brush with history for me was more recently in Fort Smith Arkansas. We visited the gallows, they are a replica as the original were demolished some time ago, but they have been rebuilt exactly as they were and on the very same spot so it was still an extremely eerie moment to stand under the trap doors. The originals were in use from 1873 – 1896.

    Reply
  39. Another v interesting piece of history, thank you Nicola. My long tme dream has been to visit Britain, mainly to visit all the historical sites, and also to see where my grandparents came from. You are so very lucky to live amongst it all.
    NZ is not a very ‘old’ country by comparison to most, but I was lucky enough to live down the road from Alberton House. It was originaly built in 1863 and we could see part of it from our living room windows. When we were kids mum always refered to it as the fairy house, (it had that look about it), and told us it was where the tooth fairy lived. Ok, gullible I know but see for yourself. http://www.historicplaces.org.nz/placesToVisit/auckland/Alberton.aspx
    When I got older and actually visited the place it was the most wonderful experience, to be able to step back in time. Everything was set up as it was back in the day, complete with original wallpaper in some rooms, clothing, newspapers, furniture, kitchen implements, the works. The old well was even still there in one of the out buildings. From then onwards I’ve been facinated with the past.
    The other memorable brush with history for me was more recently in Fort Smith Arkansas. We visited the gallows, they are a replica as the original were demolished some time ago, but they have been rebuilt exactly as they were and on the very same spot so it was still an extremely eerie moment to stand under the trap doors. The originals were in use from 1873 – 1896.

    Reply
  40. Another v interesting piece of history, thank you Nicola. My long tme dream has been to visit Britain, mainly to visit all the historical sites, and also to see where my grandparents came from. You are so very lucky to live amongst it all.
    NZ is not a very ‘old’ country by comparison to most, but I was lucky enough to live down the road from Alberton House. It was originaly built in 1863 and we could see part of it from our living room windows. When we were kids mum always refered to it as the fairy house, (it had that look about it), and told us it was where the tooth fairy lived. Ok, gullible I know but see for yourself. http://www.historicplaces.org.nz/placesToVisit/auckland/Alberton.aspx
    When I got older and actually visited the place it was the most wonderful experience, to be able to step back in time. Everything was set up as it was back in the day, complete with original wallpaper in some rooms, clothing, newspapers, furniture, kitchen implements, the works. The old well was even still there in one of the out buildings. From then onwards I’ve been facinated with the past.
    The other memorable brush with history for me was more recently in Fort Smith Arkansas. We visited the gallows, they are a replica as the original were demolished some time ago, but they have been rebuilt exactly as they were and on the very same spot so it was still an extremely eerie moment to stand under the trap doors. The originals were in use from 1873 – 1896.

    Reply
  41. Fascinating post. And thank you for the Time Team link to the Norman’s Cross piece. I was so cross to miss that episode on TV.
    My greatest thrill was seeing one of the actual pieces of gingerbread sold during the last Frost Fair on the Thames in 1814. I was terribly tempted to take a bite – though it would probably have been rock hard and broken my teeth if I’d tried!
    It’s in the Museum of London and I’ve often wondered why they don’t have it analysed and get the recipe. They could sell ‘genuine Frost Fair gingerbread’ in the cafe. I’d buy a piece!

    Reply
  42. Fascinating post. And thank you for the Time Team link to the Norman’s Cross piece. I was so cross to miss that episode on TV.
    My greatest thrill was seeing one of the actual pieces of gingerbread sold during the last Frost Fair on the Thames in 1814. I was terribly tempted to take a bite – though it would probably have been rock hard and broken my teeth if I’d tried!
    It’s in the Museum of London and I’ve often wondered why they don’t have it analysed and get the recipe. They could sell ‘genuine Frost Fair gingerbread’ in the cafe. I’d buy a piece!

    Reply
  43. Fascinating post. And thank you for the Time Team link to the Norman’s Cross piece. I was so cross to miss that episode on TV.
    My greatest thrill was seeing one of the actual pieces of gingerbread sold during the last Frost Fair on the Thames in 1814. I was terribly tempted to take a bite – though it would probably have been rock hard and broken my teeth if I’d tried!
    It’s in the Museum of London and I’ve often wondered why they don’t have it analysed and get the recipe. They could sell ‘genuine Frost Fair gingerbread’ in the cafe. I’d buy a piece!

    Reply
  44. Fascinating post. And thank you for the Time Team link to the Norman’s Cross piece. I was so cross to miss that episode on TV.
    My greatest thrill was seeing one of the actual pieces of gingerbread sold during the last Frost Fair on the Thames in 1814. I was terribly tempted to take a bite – though it would probably have been rock hard and broken my teeth if I’d tried!
    It’s in the Museum of London and I’ve often wondered why they don’t have it analysed and get the recipe. They could sell ‘genuine Frost Fair gingerbread’ in the cafe. I’d buy a piece!

    Reply
  45. Fascinating post. And thank you for the Time Team link to the Norman’s Cross piece. I was so cross to miss that episode on TV.
    My greatest thrill was seeing one of the actual pieces of gingerbread sold during the last Frost Fair on the Thames in 1814. I was terribly tempted to take a bite – though it would probably have been rock hard and broken my teeth if I’d tried!
    It’s in the Museum of London and I’ve often wondered why they don’t have it analysed and get the recipe. They could sell ‘genuine Frost Fair gingerbread’ in the cafe. I’d buy a piece!

    Reply
  46. I love visiting old houses and museums to see things from the past – but I must confess I’m always disappointed when I see clothes from the older period. They always seem much duller than my imagination pictures them – so many drab browns and blues (mainly, I know, because these were the dyes largely available at the time).

    Reply
  47. I love visiting old houses and museums to see things from the past – but I must confess I’m always disappointed when I see clothes from the older period. They always seem much duller than my imagination pictures them – so many drab browns and blues (mainly, I know, because these were the dyes largely available at the time).

    Reply
  48. I love visiting old houses and museums to see things from the past – but I must confess I’m always disappointed when I see clothes from the older period. They always seem much duller than my imagination pictures them – so many drab browns and blues (mainly, I know, because these were the dyes largely available at the time).

    Reply
  49. I love visiting old houses and museums to see things from the past – but I must confess I’m always disappointed when I see clothes from the older period. They always seem much duller than my imagination pictures them – so many drab browns and blues (mainly, I know, because these were the dyes largely available at the time).

    Reply
  50. I love visiting old houses and museums to see things from the past – but I must confess I’m always disappointed when I see clothes from the older period. They always seem much duller than my imagination pictures them – so many drab browns and blues (mainly, I know, because these were the dyes largely available at the time).

    Reply
  51. When my family was doing some genealogy research we found a handwritten letter from my great-aunt talking about our ancestors that had come over on the Mayflower. I thought that was wonderful to have that letter. Also we found out that one of our ancestors was the first woman physician in our state, that to me was a big honor.

    Reply
  52. When my family was doing some genealogy research we found a handwritten letter from my great-aunt talking about our ancestors that had come over on the Mayflower. I thought that was wonderful to have that letter. Also we found out that one of our ancestors was the first woman physician in our state, that to me was a big honor.

    Reply
  53. When my family was doing some genealogy research we found a handwritten letter from my great-aunt talking about our ancestors that had come over on the Mayflower. I thought that was wonderful to have that letter. Also we found out that one of our ancestors was the first woman physician in our state, that to me was a big honor.

    Reply
  54. When my family was doing some genealogy research we found a handwritten letter from my great-aunt talking about our ancestors that had come over on the Mayflower. I thought that was wonderful to have that letter. Also we found out that one of our ancestors was the first woman physician in our state, that to me was a big honor.

    Reply
  55. When my family was doing some genealogy research we found a handwritten letter from my great-aunt talking about our ancestors that had come over on the Mayflower. I thought that was wonderful to have that letter. Also we found out that one of our ancestors was the first woman physician in our state, that to me was a big honor.

    Reply
  56. To Alison — if you live anywhere near Los Angeles, there is a wonderful exhibit of clothing at the LA County Museum of the Arts (LACMA) on men’s and women’s clothing (including the all-important undergarments and accessories) from the late 18th to the early 20th C. I highly recommend it. The gorgeous fabrics alone are worth seeing, and the level of workmanship is extraordinary (although one interesting fact I learned is that some early clothing relied on the sumptuous cloth as a sign of the owner’s wealth, and the garments weren’t actually made all that well).
    When I was a young girl my mother’s best friend had a document from a mid-19th C ancestor. On one side was the girl’s arithmetic problems and on the other an account of her older brother, aged 20, who got a chill while riding home and then died. All the sorrow she felt was captured in her retelling of the events, and it was also clear that paper was scarce and she used whatever was at hand. The juxtaposition of the everyday with the lifechanging was so poignant that I have always remembered what it felt to hold that paper in my hand and understand the grief of a girl from over a century before.
    Another example, although this time I did not get to hold the document, was a letter from Abraham Lincoln that I saw in the Pierrepont Morgan Library in New York. It was a response to a slave trader who was scheduled to be hanged for his crimes and who had written to the President for clemency. Lincoln refused because he said the crime was so heinous that the man had to look to God for mercy as Lincoln was not able to find it within himself. Chills went down my spine to see that letter.

    Reply
  57. To Alison — if you live anywhere near Los Angeles, there is a wonderful exhibit of clothing at the LA County Museum of the Arts (LACMA) on men’s and women’s clothing (including the all-important undergarments and accessories) from the late 18th to the early 20th C. I highly recommend it. The gorgeous fabrics alone are worth seeing, and the level of workmanship is extraordinary (although one interesting fact I learned is that some early clothing relied on the sumptuous cloth as a sign of the owner’s wealth, and the garments weren’t actually made all that well).
    When I was a young girl my mother’s best friend had a document from a mid-19th C ancestor. On one side was the girl’s arithmetic problems and on the other an account of her older brother, aged 20, who got a chill while riding home and then died. All the sorrow she felt was captured in her retelling of the events, and it was also clear that paper was scarce and she used whatever was at hand. The juxtaposition of the everyday with the lifechanging was so poignant that I have always remembered what it felt to hold that paper in my hand and understand the grief of a girl from over a century before.
    Another example, although this time I did not get to hold the document, was a letter from Abraham Lincoln that I saw in the Pierrepont Morgan Library in New York. It was a response to a slave trader who was scheduled to be hanged for his crimes and who had written to the President for clemency. Lincoln refused because he said the crime was so heinous that the man had to look to God for mercy as Lincoln was not able to find it within himself. Chills went down my spine to see that letter.

    Reply
  58. To Alison — if you live anywhere near Los Angeles, there is a wonderful exhibit of clothing at the LA County Museum of the Arts (LACMA) on men’s and women’s clothing (including the all-important undergarments and accessories) from the late 18th to the early 20th C. I highly recommend it. The gorgeous fabrics alone are worth seeing, and the level of workmanship is extraordinary (although one interesting fact I learned is that some early clothing relied on the sumptuous cloth as a sign of the owner’s wealth, and the garments weren’t actually made all that well).
    When I was a young girl my mother’s best friend had a document from a mid-19th C ancestor. On one side was the girl’s arithmetic problems and on the other an account of her older brother, aged 20, who got a chill while riding home and then died. All the sorrow she felt was captured in her retelling of the events, and it was also clear that paper was scarce and she used whatever was at hand. The juxtaposition of the everyday with the lifechanging was so poignant that I have always remembered what it felt to hold that paper in my hand and understand the grief of a girl from over a century before.
    Another example, although this time I did not get to hold the document, was a letter from Abraham Lincoln that I saw in the Pierrepont Morgan Library in New York. It was a response to a slave trader who was scheduled to be hanged for his crimes and who had written to the President for clemency. Lincoln refused because he said the crime was so heinous that the man had to look to God for mercy as Lincoln was not able to find it within himself. Chills went down my spine to see that letter.

    Reply
  59. To Alison — if you live anywhere near Los Angeles, there is a wonderful exhibit of clothing at the LA County Museum of the Arts (LACMA) on men’s and women’s clothing (including the all-important undergarments and accessories) from the late 18th to the early 20th C. I highly recommend it. The gorgeous fabrics alone are worth seeing, and the level of workmanship is extraordinary (although one interesting fact I learned is that some early clothing relied on the sumptuous cloth as a sign of the owner’s wealth, and the garments weren’t actually made all that well).
    When I was a young girl my mother’s best friend had a document from a mid-19th C ancestor. On one side was the girl’s arithmetic problems and on the other an account of her older brother, aged 20, who got a chill while riding home and then died. All the sorrow she felt was captured in her retelling of the events, and it was also clear that paper was scarce and she used whatever was at hand. The juxtaposition of the everyday with the lifechanging was so poignant that I have always remembered what it felt to hold that paper in my hand and understand the grief of a girl from over a century before.
    Another example, although this time I did not get to hold the document, was a letter from Abraham Lincoln that I saw in the Pierrepont Morgan Library in New York. It was a response to a slave trader who was scheduled to be hanged for his crimes and who had written to the President for clemency. Lincoln refused because he said the crime was so heinous that the man had to look to God for mercy as Lincoln was not able to find it within himself. Chills went down my spine to see that letter.

    Reply
  60. To Alison — if you live anywhere near Los Angeles, there is a wonderful exhibit of clothing at the LA County Museum of the Arts (LACMA) on men’s and women’s clothing (including the all-important undergarments and accessories) from the late 18th to the early 20th C. I highly recommend it. The gorgeous fabrics alone are worth seeing, and the level of workmanship is extraordinary (although one interesting fact I learned is that some early clothing relied on the sumptuous cloth as a sign of the owner’s wealth, and the garments weren’t actually made all that well).
    When I was a young girl my mother’s best friend had a document from a mid-19th C ancestor. On one side was the girl’s arithmetic problems and on the other an account of her older brother, aged 20, who got a chill while riding home and then died. All the sorrow she felt was captured in her retelling of the events, and it was also clear that paper was scarce and she used whatever was at hand. The juxtaposition of the everyday with the lifechanging was so poignant that I have always remembered what it felt to hold that paper in my hand and understand the grief of a girl from over a century before.
    Another example, although this time I did not get to hold the document, was a letter from Abraham Lincoln that I saw in the Pierrepont Morgan Library in New York. It was a response to a slave trader who was scheduled to be hanged for his crimes and who had written to the President for clemency. Lincoln refused because he said the crime was so heinous that the man had to look to God for mercy as Lincoln was not able to find it within himself. Chills went down my spine to see that letter.

    Reply
  61. RevMelinda, thank you! I don’t think anyone has inhaled one of my books before! I am very happy that you enjoyed Whisper of Scandal so much.
    The letter written by your great grandfather sounds a marvellous piece of history. Although it was many years ago now, I still remember the series about the American Civil War and the quotations from letters and reports. They were intensely moving.

    Reply
  62. RevMelinda, thank you! I don’t think anyone has inhaled one of my books before! I am very happy that you enjoyed Whisper of Scandal so much.
    The letter written by your great grandfather sounds a marvellous piece of history. Although it was many years ago now, I still remember the series about the American Civil War and the quotations from letters and reports. They were intensely moving.

    Reply
  63. RevMelinda, thank you! I don’t think anyone has inhaled one of my books before! I am very happy that you enjoyed Whisper of Scandal so much.
    The letter written by your great grandfather sounds a marvellous piece of history. Although it was many years ago now, I still remember the series about the American Civil War and the quotations from letters and reports. They were intensely moving.

    Reply
  64. RevMelinda, thank you! I don’t think anyone has inhaled one of my books before! I am very happy that you enjoyed Whisper of Scandal so much.
    The letter written by your great grandfather sounds a marvellous piece of history. Although it was many years ago now, I still remember the series about the American Civil War and the quotations from letters and reports. They were intensely moving.

    Reply
  65. RevMelinda, thank you! I don’t think anyone has inhaled one of my books before! I am very happy that you enjoyed Whisper of Scandal so much.
    The letter written by your great grandfather sounds a marvellous piece of history. Although it was many years ago now, I still remember the series about the American Civil War and the quotations from letters and reports. They were intensely moving.

    Reply
  66. Hi,
    I was digging in the garden one day and became fascinated by a lump of mud! I don’t know how I knew it contained anything interesting, but somehow I did. I took it inside and put it under the tap and a stone tool emerged. It is shaped like a small axe head and fits perfectly in my hand. Holding it, I got a vision of a woman scraping an animal skin with it. I have never taken it to a museum as I don’t want anyone to tell me it isn’t what I think it is. The vision comes back whenever I hold it and I’m back crouching on the ground scraping that animal skin in front of a simple thatched round house. Mx

    Reply
  67. Hi,
    I was digging in the garden one day and became fascinated by a lump of mud! I don’t know how I knew it contained anything interesting, but somehow I did. I took it inside and put it under the tap and a stone tool emerged. It is shaped like a small axe head and fits perfectly in my hand. Holding it, I got a vision of a woman scraping an animal skin with it. I have never taken it to a museum as I don’t want anyone to tell me it isn’t what I think it is. The vision comes back whenever I hold it and I’m back crouching on the ground scraping that animal skin in front of a simple thatched round house. Mx

    Reply
  68. Hi,
    I was digging in the garden one day and became fascinated by a lump of mud! I don’t know how I knew it contained anything interesting, but somehow I did. I took it inside and put it under the tap and a stone tool emerged. It is shaped like a small axe head and fits perfectly in my hand. Holding it, I got a vision of a woman scraping an animal skin with it. I have never taken it to a museum as I don’t want anyone to tell me it isn’t what I think it is. The vision comes back whenever I hold it and I’m back crouching on the ground scraping that animal skin in front of a simple thatched round house. Mx

    Reply
  69. Hi,
    I was digging in the garden one day and became fascinated by a lump of mud! I don’t know how I knew it contained anything interesting, but somehow I did. I took it inside and put it under the tap and a stone tool emerged. It is shaped like a small axe head and fits perfectly in my hand. Holding it, I got a vision of a woman scraping an animal skin with it. I have never taken it to a museum as I don’t want anyone to tell me it isn’t what I think it is. The vision comes back whenever I hold it and I’m back crouching on the ground scraping that animal skin in front of a simple thatched round house. Mx

    Reply
  70. Hi,
    I was digging in the garden one day and became fascinated by a lump of mud! I don’t know how I knew it contained anything interesting, but somehow I did. I took it inside and put it under the tap and a stone tool emerged. It is shaped like a small axe head and fits perfectly in my hand. Holding it, I got a vision of a woman scraping an animal skin with it. I have never taken it to a museum as I don’t want anyone to tell me it isn’t what I think it is. The vision comes back whenever I hold it and I’m back crouching on the ground scraping that animal skin in front of a simple thatched round house. Mx

    Reply
  71. Wow! Alberton House looks stunning, Kim, and I can see it has a fairytale look about it. I have always wanted to visit NZ. Must put that on my list of places to go when I do!
    Elizabeth, I’m glad you liked the Time Team link. I missed the fact that the series was back and had to catch it on the “Watch Again” feature. I thought it was an excellent episode.
    Gingerbread from the 1814 Frost Fair! Now that really would be something. I wonder what was in it to have preserved it for so long. As you say, it would probably be inedible but what a marvellous idea for a recipe!

    Reply
  72. Wow! Alberton House looks stunning, Kim, and I can see it has a fairytale look about it. I have always wanted to visit NZ. Must put that on my list of places to go when I do!
    Elizabeth, I’m glad you liked the Time Team link. I missed the fact that the series was back and had to catch it on the “Watch Again” feature. I thought it was an excellent episode.
    Gingerbread from the 1814 Frost Fair! Now that really would be something. I wonder what was in it to have preserved it for so long. As you say, it would probably be inedible but what a marvellous idea for a recipe!

    Reply
  73. Wow! Alberton House looks stunning, Kim, and I can see it has a fairytale look about it. I have always wanted to visit NZ. Must put that on my list of places to go when I do!
    Elizabeth, I’m glad you liked the Time Team link. I missed the fact that the series was back and had to catch it on the “Watch Again” feature. I thought it was an excellent episode.
    Gingerbread from the 1814 Frost Fair! Now that really would be something. I wonder what was in it to have preserved it for so long. As you say, it would probably be inedible but what a marvellous idea for a recipe!

    Reply
  74. Wow! Alberton House looks stunning, Kim, and I can see it has a fairytale look about it. I have always wanted to visit NZ. Must put that on my list of places to go when I do!
    Elizabeth, I’m glad you liked the Time Team link. I missed the fact that the series was back and had to catch it on the “Watch Again” feature. I thought it was an excellent episode.
    Gingerbread from the 1814 Frost Fair! Now that really would be something. I wonder what was in it to have preserved it for so long. As you say, it would probably be inedible but what a marvellous idea for a recipe!

    Reply
  75. Wow! Alberton House looks stunning, Kim, and I can see it has a fairytale look about it. I have always wanted to visit NZ. Must put that on my list of places to go when I do!
    Elizabeth, I’m glad you liked the Time Team link. I missed the fact that the series was back and had to catch it on the “Watch Again” feature. I thought it was an excellent episode.
    Gingerbread from the 1814 Frost Fair! Now that really would be something. I wonder what was in it to have preserved it for so long. As you say, it would probably be inedible but what a marvellous idea for a recipe!

    Reply
  76. Linda, I think it is huge honour that one of your ancestors was a pioneering physician and just the thing that Linda B was talking about earlier. I love the way that genealogy research can reveal these sorts of links.
    Alison, I remember that when I visited the Bath Costume Museum the gloves were the one item of clothing that made a particular impression. They were incredibly beautiful and intricate – and tiny! I have quite small hands but I would have split those seams.

    Reply
  77. Linda, I think it is huge honour that one of your ancestors was a pioneering physician and just the thing that Linda B was talking about earlier. I love the way that genealogy research can reveal these sorts of links.
    Alison, I remember that when I visited the Bath Costume Museum the gloves were the one item of clothing that made a particular impression. They were incredibly beautiful and intricate – and tiny! I have quite small hands but I would have split those seams.

    Reply
  78. Linda, I think it is huge honour that one of your ancestors was a pioneering physician and just the thing that Linda B was talking about earlier. I love the way that genealogy research can reveal these sorts of links.
    Alison, I remember that when I visited the Bath Costume Museum the gloves were the one item of clothing that made a particular impression. They were incredibly beautiful and intricate – and tiny! I have quite small hands but I would have split those seams.

    Reply
  79. Linda, I think it is huge honour that one of your ancestors was a pioneering physician and just the thing that Linda B was talking about earlier. I love the way that genealogy research can reveal these sorts of links.
    Alison, I remember that when I visited the Bath Costume Museum the gloves were the one item of clothing that made a particular impression. They were incredibly beautiful and intricate – and tiny! I have quite small hands but I would have split those seams.

    Reply
  80. Linda, I think it is huge honour that one of your ancestors was a pioneering physician and just the thing that Linda B was talking about earlier. I love the way that genealogy research can reveal these sorts of links.
    Alison, I remember that when I visited the Bath Costume Museum the gloves were the one item of clothing that made a particular impression. They were incredibly beautiful and intricate – and tiny! I have quite small hands but I would have split those seams.

    Reply
  81. I certainly got the shivers down the spine when reading the story of your find, Morton. How extraordinary to get such a strong vision associated with an object. I wonder if anyone else has ever had that experience?

    Reply
  82. I certainly got the shivers down the spine when reading the story of your find, Morton. How extraordinary to get such a strong vision associated with an object. I wonder if anyone else has ever had that experience?

    Reply
  83. I certainly got the shivers down the spine when reading the story of your find, Morton. How extraordinary to get such a strong vision associated with an object. I wonder if anyone else has ever had that experience?

    Reply
  84. I certainly got the shivers down the spine when reading the story of your find, Morton. How extraordinary to get such a strong vision associated with an object. I wonder if anyone else has ever had that experience?

    Reply
  85. I certainly got the shivers down the spine when reading the story of your find, Morton. How extraordinary to get such a strong vision associated with an object. I wonder if anyone else has ever had that experience?

    Reply
  86. I enjoyed your interesting post. I love history, but no, I’ve never discovered anything exciting that linked me to the past. I’d love to find letters from my great-grandparents (or even relatives further back) that would give me a better understanding of just who they were.

    Reply
  87. I enjoyed your interesting post. I love history, but no, I’ve never discovered anything exciting that linked me to the past. I’d love to find letters from my great-grandparents (or even relatives further back) that would give me a better understanding of just who they were.

    Reply
  88. I enjoyed your interesting post. I love history, but no, I’ve never discovered anything exciting that linked me to the past. I’d love to find letters from my great-grandparents (or even relatives further back) that would give me a better understanding of just who they were.

    Reply
  89. I enjoyed your interesting post. I love history, but no, I’ve never discovered anything exciting that linked me to the past. I’d love to find letters from my great-grandparents (or even relatives further back) that would give me a better understanding of just who they were.

    Reply
  90. I enjoyed your interesting post. I love history, but no, I’ve never discovered anything exciting that linked me to the past. I’d love to find letters from my great-grandparents (or even relatives further back) that would give me a better understanding of just who they were.

    Reply
  91. I love history and books. And in my house I have a large collection of both fiction and non-fiction books. What I really love, but have very few of, is old books. Most likely the most special I have (though never authinicated) Mark Twian’s “The American Claimant Etc.” c. 1892, 1899. Signed “This is the authorized uniform edition of all my books. Markk Twian” The book’s pages have not even been cut apart (ie the bottom’s are still connected to each other) and the edges are still rough. I am not sure if the signature is printed or unique, but it is still a really old book, which I love!
    Vicky

    Reply
  92. I love history and books. And in my house I have a large collection of both fiction and non-fiction books. What I really love, but have very few of, is old books. Most likely the most special I have (though never authinicated) Mark Twian’s “The American Claimant Etc.” c. 1892, 1899. Signed “This is the authorized uniform edition of all my books. Markk Twian” The book’s pages have not even been cut apart (ie the bottom’s are still connected to each other) and the edges are still rough. I am not sure if the signature is printed or unique, but it is still a really old book, which I love!
    Vicky

    Reply
  93. I love history and books. And in my house I have a large collection of both fiction and non-fiction books. What I really love, but have very few of, is old books. Most likely the most special I have (though never authinicated) Mark Twian’s “The American Claimant Etc.” c. 1892, 1899. Signed “This is the authorized uniform edition of all my books. Markk Twian” The book’s pages have not even been cut apart (ie the bottom’s are still connected to each other) and the edges are still rough. I am not sure if the signature is printed or unique, but it is still a really old book, which I love!
    Vicky

    Reply
  94. I love history and books. And in my house I have a large collection of both fiction and non-fiction books. What I really love, but have very few of, is old books. Most likely the most special I have (though never authinicated) Mark Twian’s “The American Claimant Etc.” c. 1892, 1899. Signed “This is the authorized uniform edition of all my books. Markk Twian” The book’s pages have not even been cut apart (ie the bottom’s are still connected to each other) and the edges are still rough. I am not sure if the signature is printed or unique, but it is still a really old book, which I love!
    Vicky

    Reply
  95. I love history and books. And in my house I have a large collection of both fiction and non-fiction books. What I really love, but have very few of, is old books. Most likely the most special I have (though never authinicated) Mark Twian’s “The American Claimant Etc.” c. 1892, 1899. Signed “This is the authorized uniform edition of all my books. Markk Twian” The book’s pages have not even been cut apart (ie the bottom’s are still connected to each other) and the edges are still rough. I am not sure if the signature is printed or unique, but it is still a really old book, which I love!
    Vicky

    Reply
  96. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post, Barbara. I think old letters are fabulous in the way that they connect us to those generations that have gone before. I have some letters written by the Countess of Craven in the early 20th century to the parents of the children who studied at the Ashdown Choir School. They are frightfully proper and quite formal but you can see from the news she gives how important the welfare of the pupils was to her.
    Vicky, wow on the old books! I think I would feel a very real sense of awe handling something like that!

    Reply
  97. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post, Barbara. I think old letters are fabulous in the way that they connect us to those generations that have gone before. I have some letters written by the Countess of Craven in the early 20th century to the parents of the children who studied at the Ashdown Choir School. They are frightfully proper and quite formal but you can see from the news she gives how important the welfare of the pupils was to her.
    Vicky, wow on the old books! I think I would feel a very real sense of awe handling something like that!

    Reply
  98. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post, Barbara. I think old letters are fabulous in the way that they connect us to those generations that have gone before. I have some letters written by the Countess of Craven in the early 20th century to the parents of the children who studied at the Ashdown Choir School. They are frightfully proper and quite formal but you can see from the news she gives how important the welfare of the pupils was to her.
    Vicky, wow on the old books! I think I would feel a very real sense of awe handling something like that!

    Reply
  99. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post, Barbara. I think old letters are fabulous in the way that they connect us to those generations that have gone before. I have some letters written by the Countess of Craven in the early 20th century to the parents of the children who studied at the Ashdown Choir School. They are frightfully proper and quite formal but you can see from the news she gives how important the welfare of the pupils was to her.
    Vicky, wow on the old books! I think I would feel a very real sense of awe handling something like that!

    Reply
  100. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post, Barbara. I think old letters are fabulous in the way that they connect us to those generations that have gone before. I have some letters written by the Countess of Craven in the early 20th century to the parents of the children who studied at the Ashdown Choir School. They are frightfully proper and quite formal but you can see from the news she gives how important the welfare of the pupils was to her.
    Vicky, wow on the old books! I think I would feel a very real sense of awe handling something like that!

    Reply
  101. That was an interesting post and what a difference between the soldiers and the officers. I live near in the town next to where Washington crossed the Delaware so it was interesting to go to that area and imagine watching Washington cross the river all those years ago.

    Reply
  102. That was an interesting post and what a difference between the soldiers and the officers. I live near in the town next to where Washington crossed the Delaware so it was interesting to go to that area and imagine watching Washington cross the river all those years ago.

    Reply
  103. That was an interesting post and what a difference between the soldiers and the officers. I live near in the town next to where Washington crossed the Delaware so it was interesting to go to that area and imagine watching Washington cross the river all those years ago.

    Reply
  104. That was an interesting post and what a difference between the soldiers and the officers. I live near in the town next to where Washington crossed the Delaware so it was interesting to go to that area and imagine watching Washington cross the river all those years ago.

    Reply
  105. That was an interesting post and what a difference between the soldiers and the officers. I live near in the town next to where Washington crossed the Delaware so it was interesting to go to that area and imagine watching Washington cross the river all those years ago.

    Reply
  106. Great post, Nicola! I managed to catch that Time Team programme and was fascinated to hear how the prisoners spent their time (and money!), but as you say, the conditions must have been atrocious. I had no idea there were so many of them in England though, that’s amazing!
    As for interesting things from the past, I’ve come across quite a few while doing genealogy. I once sat in a Record Office and held a will in my hands which was dated 1601. I couldn’t believe they’d actually give me the real thing (usually you only see copies or microfilm obviously) and it gave me goosebumps to think my ancestor had written this over 400 years ago as he lay dying. Very poignant.
    Like you, I also treasure jewellery inherited from my grandmother and feel the connection when I wear it.

    Reply
  107. Great post, Nicola! I managed to catch that Time Team programme and was fascinated to hear how the prisoners spent their time (and money!), but as you say, the conditions must have been atrocious. I had no idea there were so many of them in England though, that’s amazing!
    As for interesting things from the past, I’ve come across quite a few while doing genealogy. I once sat in a Record Office and held a will in my hands which was dated 1601. I couldn’t believe they’d actually give me the real thing (usually you only see copies or microfilm obviously) and it gave me goosebumps to think my ancestor had written this over 400 years ago as he lay dying. Very poignant.
    Like you, I also treasure jewellery inherited from my grandmother and feel the connection when I wear it.

    Reply
  108. Great post, Nicola! I managed to catch that Time Team programme and was fascinated to hear how the prisoners spent their time (and money!), but as you say, the conditions must have been atrocious. I had no idea there were so many of them in England though, that’s amazing!
    As for interesting things from the past, I’ve come across quite a few while doing genealogy. I once sat in a Record Office and held a will in my hands which was dated 1601. I couldn’t believe they’d actually give me the real thing (usually you only see copies or microfilm obviously) and it gave me goosebumps to think my ancestor had written this over 400 years ago as he lay dying. Very poignant.
    Like you, I also treasure jewellery inherited from my grandmother and feel the connection when I wear it.

    Reply
  109. Great post, Nicola! I managed to catch that Time Team programme and was fascinated to hear how the prisoners spent their time (and money!), but as you say, the conditions must have been atrocious. I had no idea there were so many of them in England though, that’s amazing!
    As for interesting things from the past, I’ve come across quite a few while doing genealogy. I once sat in a Record Office and held a will in my hands which was dated 1601. I couldn’t believe they’d actually give me the real thing (usually you only see copies or microfilm obviously) and it gave me goosebumps to think my ancestor had written this over 400 years ago as he lay dying. Very poignant.
    Like you, I also treasure jewellery inherited from my grandmother and feel the connection when I wear it.

    Reply
  110. Great post, Nicola! I managed to catch that Time Team programme and was fascinated to hear how the prisoners spent their time (and money!), but as you say, the conditions must have been atrocious. I had no idea there were so many of them in England though, that’s amazing!
    As for interesting things from the past, I’ve come across quite a few while doing genealogy. I once sat in a Record Office and held a will in my hands which was dated 1601. I couldn’t believe they’d actually give me the real thing (usually you only see copies or microfilm obviously) and it gave me goosebumps to think my ancestor had written this over 400 years ago as he lay dying. Very poignant.
    Like you, I also treasure jewellery inherited from my grandmother and feel the connection when I wear it.

    Reply
  111. That is so neat, to be able to not only see the places of such history that England has, but to be able to hold something so irreplaceable.
    My family lived, for a short time, in Virginia and we made as many trips to battle fields and historic places as we could. Standing in the exact spot that so many fought, and died, for what they believed in was an awesome experience.

    Reply
  112. That is so neat, to be able to not only see the places of such history that England has, but to be able to hold something so irreplaceable.
    My family lived, for a short time, in Virginia and we made as many trips to battle fields and historic places as we could. Standing in the exact spot that so many fought, and died, for what they believed in was an awesome experience.

    Reply
  113. That is so neat, to be able to not only see the places of such history that England has, but to be able to hold something so irreplaceable.
    My family lived, for a short time, in Virginia and we made as many trips to battle fields and historic places as we could. Standing in the exact spot that so many fought, and died, for what they believed in was an awesome experience.

    Reply
  114. That is so neat, to be able to not only see the places of such history that England has, but to be able to hold something so irreplaceable.
    My family lived, for a short time, in Virginia and we made as many trips to battle fields and historic places as we could. Standing in the exact spot that so many fought, and died, for what they believed in was an awesome experience.

    Reply
  115. That is so neat, to be able to not only see the places of such history that England has, but to be able to hold something so irreplaceable.
    My family lived, for a short time, in Virginia and we made as many trips to battle fields and historic places as we could. Standing in the exact spot that so many fought, and died, for what they believed in was an awesome experience.

    Reply
  116. My grandmother did a lot of genealogical research on our family and had our coat of arms made as pendants. I remember her giving me mine as a teenager and feeling very connected to the ancestors she would tell stories about.
    I am also a huge fan of museums that occupy the houses of the collectors/donors that give you a true feel of what it must be like to live in a certain period and style.

    Reply
  117. My grandmother did a lot of genealogical research on our family and had our coat of arms made as pendants. I remember her giving me mine as a teenager and feeling very connected to the ancestors she would tell stories about.
    I am also a huge fan of museums that occupy the houses of the collectors/donors that give you a true feel of what it must be like to live in a certain period and style.

    Reply
  118. My grandmother did a lot of genealogical research on our family and had our coat of arms made as pendants. I remember her giving me mine as a teenager and feeling very connected to the ancestors she would tell stories about.
    I am also a huge fan of museums that occupy the houses of the collectors/donors that give you a true feel of what it must be like to live in a certain period and style.

    Reply
  119. My grandmother did a lot of genealogical research on our family and had our coat of arms made as pendants. I remember her giving me mine as a teenager and feeling very connected to the ancestors she would tell stories about.
    I am also a huge fan of museums that occupy the houses of the collectors/donors that give you a true feel of what it must be like to live in a certain period and style.

    Reply
  120. My grandmother did a lot of genealogical research on our family and had our coat of arms made as pendants. I remember her giving me mine as a teenager and feeling very connected to the ancestors she would tell stories about.
    I am also a huge fan of museums that occupy the houses of the collectors/donors that give you a true feel of what it must be like to live in a certain period and style.

    Reply
  121. I’ve never held anything as grand as a museum piece. I’m an avid antique collector though and have many things from the mid 1800’s.
    I also collect research books, the older the better, and have a few from the 1850’s.
    But the one piece of history I hold most dear is my grandmother’s bible, given to her by her father when she made her trip to American from Scotland to join *my* grandfather. The original date is 1882, in a fine, delicate scribe and is written to my great grandfather from his brother. Then underneath is the inscription from my great grandfather to my gran.
    It’s falling apart with age now and I rarely handle it, but just to hold it and imagine the hands that held it before me…that’s history.

    Reply
  122. I’ve never held anything as grand as a museum piece. I’m an avid antique collector though and have many things from the mid 1800’s.
    I also collect research books, the older the better, and have a few from the 1850’s.
    But the one piece of history I hold most dear is my grandmother’s bible, given to her by her father when she made her trip to American from Scotland to join *my* grandfather. The original date is 1882, in a fine, delicate scribe and is written to my great grandfather from his brother. Then underneath is the inscription from my great grandfather to my gran.
    It’s falling apart with age now and I rarely handle it, but just to hold it and imagine the hands that held it before me…that’s history.

    Reply
  123. I’ve never held anything as grand as a museum piece. I’m an avid antique collector though and have many things from the mid 1800’s.
    I also collect research books, the older the better, and have a few from the 1850’s.
    But the one piece of history I hold most dear is my grandmother’s bible, given to her by her father when she made her trip to American from Scotland to join *my* grandfather. The original date is 1882, in a fine, delicate scribe and is written to my great grandfather from his brother. Then underneath is the inscription from my great grandfather to my gran.
    It’s falling apart with age now and I rarely handle it, but just to hold it and imagine the hands that held it before me…that’s history.

    Reply
  124. I’ve never held anything as grand as a museum piece. I’m an avid antique collector though and have many things from the mid 1800’s.
    I also collect research books, the older the better, and have a few from the 1850’s.
    But the one piece of history I hold most dear is my grandmother’s bible, given to her by her father when she made her trip to American from Scotland to join *my* grandfather. The original date is 1882, in a fine, delicate scribe and is written to my great grandfather from his brother. Then underneath is the inscription from my great grandfather to my gran.
    It’s falling apart with age now and I rarely handle it, but just to hold it and imagine the hands that held it before me…that’s history.

    Reply
  125. I’ve never held anything as grand as a museum piece. I’m an avid antique collector though and have many things from the mid 1800’s.
    I also collect research books, the older the better, and have a few from the 1850’s.
    But the one piece of history I hold most dear is my grandmother’s bible, given to her by her father when she made her trip to American from Scotland to join *my* grandfather. The original date is 1882, in a fine, delicate scribe and is written to my great grandfather from his brother. Then underneath is the inscription from my great grandfather to my gran.
    It’s falling apart with age now and I rarely handle it, but just to hold it and imagine the hands that held it before me…that’s history.

    Reply
  126. What an exciting look at history! Thank you for sharing it! I have found a couple exciting links to the past in my ancestry first of all, my mother’s great grandfather was from Leeds and lived until she was nine, dying at an old age. Also in searching my ancestry found a copy of my father’s grandfather’s military card from World War I. Another link I have to the past that one day I want to research is a silver spoon made in 1875 given to my mother for me by an English woman whose name I do not know.
    Thank you again Nicola for sharing your wonderful historical research with us and for your lovely novels!

    Reply
  127. What an exciting look at history! Thank you for sharing it! I have found a couple exciting links to the past in my ancestry first of all, my mother’s great grandfather was from Leeds and lived until she was nine, dying at an old age. Also in searching my ancestry found a copy of my father’s grandfather’s military card from World War I. Another link I have to the past that one day I want to research is a silver spoon made in 1875 given to my mother for me by an English woman whose name I do not know.
    Thank you again Nicola for sharing your wonderful historical research with us and for your lovely novels!

    Reply
  128. What an exciting look at history! Thank you for sharing it! I have found a couple exciting links to the past in my ancestry first of all, my mother’s great grandfather was from Leeds and lived until she was nine, dying at an old age. Also in searching my ancestry found a copy of my father’s grandfather’s military card from World War I. Another link I have to the past that one day I want to research is a silver spoon made in 1875 given to my mother for me by an English woman whose name I do not know.
    Thank you again Nicola for sharing your wonderful historical research with us and for your lovely novels!

    Reply
  129. What an exciting look at history! Thank you for sharing it! I have found a couple exciting links to the past in my ancestry first of all, my mother’s great grandfather was from Leeds and lived until she was nine, dying at an old age. Also in searching my ancestry found a copy of my father’s grandfather’s military card from World War I. Another link I have to the past that one day I want to research is a silver spoon made in 1875 given to my mother for me by an English woman whose name I do not know.
    Thank you again Nicola for sharing your wonderful historical research with us and for your lovely novels!

    Reply
  130. What an exciting look at history! Thank you for sharing it! I have found a couple exciting links to the past in my ancestry first of all, my mother’s great grandfather was from Leeds and lived until she was nine, dying at an old age. Also in searching my ancestry found a copy of my father’s grandfather’s military card from World War I. Another link I have to the past that one day I want to research is a silver spoon made in 1875 given to my mother for me by an English woman whose name I do not know.
    Thank you again Nicola for sharing your wonderful historical research with us and for your lovely novels!

    Reply
  131. It was a thrill back in 1984 to visit the Tower of London and see the wall carving that Robert Dudley (later Earl of Leicester) and his brothers made when they were imprisoned there. I had recently read a novel by Constance Heaven where the creation of that carving was described, so to actually see it gave me goosebumps.
    In another of her books set during the Napoleonic wars, the hero (French or Russian I think), spends time as a POW in England. I used to adore Constance Heaven’s books, but haven’t re-read one in ages.

    Reply
  132. It was a thrill back in 1984 to visit the Tower of London and see the wall carving that Robert Dudley (later Earl of Leicester) and his brothers made when they were imprisoned there. I had recently read a novel by Constance Heaven where the creation of that carving was described, so to actually see it gave me goosebumps.
    In another of her books set during the Napoleonic wars, the hero (French or Russian I think), spends time as a POW in England. I used to adore Constance Heaven’s books, but haven’t re-read one in ages.

    Reply
  133. It was a thrill back in 1984 to visit the Tower of London and see the wall carving that Robert Dudley (later Earl of Leicester) and his brothers made when they were imprisoned there. I had recently read a novel by Constance Heaven where the creation of that carving was described, so to actually see it gave me goosebumps.
    In another of her books set during the Napoleonic wars, the hero (French or Russian I think), spends time as a POW in England. I used to adore Constance Heaven’s books, but haven’t re-read one in ages.

    Reply
  134. It was a thrill back in 1984 to visit the Tower of London and see the wall carving that Robert Dudley (later Earl of Leicester) and his brothers made when they were imprisoned there. I had recently read a novel by Constance Heaven where the creation of that carving was described, so to actually see it gave me goosebumps.
    In another of her books set during the Napoleonic wars, the hero (French or Russian I think), spends time as a POW in England. I used to adore Constance Heaven’s books, but haven’t re-read one in ages.

    Reply
  135. It was a thrill back in 1984 to visit the Tower of London and see the wall carving that Robert Dudley (later Earl of Leicester) and his brothers made when they were imprisoned there. I had recently read a novel by Constance Heaven where the creation of that carving was described, so to actually see it gave me goosebumps.
    In another of her books set during the Napoleonic wars, the hero (French or Russian I think), spends time as a POW in England. I used to adore Constance Heaven’s books, but haven’t re-read one in ages.

    Reply
  136. My most exciting find was not Regency-related, but medieval—a charter signed by Empress Matilda, the mother of Henry II. It inspired me to research her story, which is fascinating, and someday I’d like to write a book about her.

    Reply
  137. My most exciting find was not Regency-related, but medieval—a charter signed by Empress Matilda, the mother of Henry II. It inspired me to research her story, which is fascinating, and someday I’d like to write a book about her.

    Reply
  138. My most exciting find was not Regency-related, but medieval—a charter signed by Empress Matilda, the mother of Henry II. It inspired me to research her story, which is fascinating, and someday I’d like to write a book about her.

    Reply
  139. My most exciting find was not Regency-related, but medieval—a charter signed by Empress Matilda, the mother of Henry II. It inspired me to research her story, which is fascinating, and someday I’d like to write a book about her.

    Reply
  140. My most exciting find was not Regency-related, but medieval—a charter signed by Empress Matilda, the mother of Henry II. It inspired me to research her story, which is fascinating, and someday I’d like to write a book about her.

    Reply
  141. Fabulous post, as usual, Nicola! I never really thought about prisoners being held in England during the Napoleonic Wars. Fascinating!
    When I was studying at the Mozarteum I visited the house where Mozart was born quite frequently. When I was frustrated with my singing or feeling down I would walk up Getreidegasse and wander around the rooms of his first home. One rainy afternoon I was the only person in the museum. There is always a sort of guard in the room where Mozart’s first harpsichord stands. It is behind velvet ropes with a glass cover over the keyboard. I was standing there staring at it when the guard (who recognized me as a regular visitor) asked if I would like to touch Herr Mozart’s harpsichord! Needless to say he didn’t have to ask twice. I ducked under the ropes and he lifted the glass cover. I put my hands on the keyboard and just stood there in complete and utter awe. Truly one of the most memorable moments of my life.

    Reply
  142. Fabulous post, as usual, Nicola! I never really thought about prisoners being held in England during the Napoleonic Wars. Fascinating!
    When I was studying at the Mozarteum I visited the house where Mozart was born quite frequently. When I was frustrated with my singing or feeling down I would walk up Getreidegasse and wander around the rooms of his first home. One rainy afternoon I was the only person in the museum. There is always a sort of guard in the room where Mozart’s first harpsichord stands. It is behind velvet ropes with a glass cover over the keyboard. I was standing there staring at it when the guard (who recognized me as a regular visitor) asked if I would like to touch Herr Mozart’s harpsichord! Needless to say he didn’t have to ask twice. I ducked under the ropes and he lifted the glass cover. I put my hands on the keyboard and just stood there in complete and utter awe. Truly one of the most memorable moments of my life.

    Reply
  143. Fabulous post, as usual, Nicola! I never really thought about prisoners being held in England during the Napoleonic Wars. Fascinating!
    When I was studying at the Mozarteum I visited the house where Mozart was born quite frequently. When I was frustrated with my singing or feeling down I would walk up Getreidegasse and wander around the rooms of his first home. One rainy afternoon I was the only person in the museum. There is always a sort of guard in the room where Mozart’s first harpsichord stands. It is behind velvet ropes with a glass cover over the keyboard. I was standing there staring at it when the guard (who recognized me as a regular visitor) asked if I would like to touch Herr Mozart’s harpsichord! Needless to say he didn’t have to ask twice. I ducked under the ropes and he lifted the glass cover. I put my hands on the keyboard and just stood there in complete and utter awe. Truly one of the most memorable moments of my life.

    Reply
  144. Fabulous post, as usual, Nicola! I never really thought about prisoners being held in England during the Napoleonic Wars. Fascinating!
    When I was studying at the Mozarteum I visited the house where Mozart was born quite frequently. When I was frustrated with my singing or feeling down I would walk up Getreidegasse and wander around the rooms of his first home. One rainy afternoon I was the only person in the museum. There is always a sort of guard in the room where Mozart’s first harpsichord stands. It is behind velvet ropes with a glass cover over the keyboard. I was standing there staring at it when the guard (who recognized me as a regular visitor) asked if I would like to touch Herr Mozart’s harpsichord! Needless to say he didn’t have to ask twice. I ducked under the ropes and he lifted the glass cover. I put my hands on the keyboard and just stood there in complete and utter awe. Truly one of the most memorable moments of my life.

    Reply
  145. Fabulous post, as usual, Nicola! I never really thought about prisoners being held in England during the Napoleonic Wars. Fascinating!
    When I was studying at the Mozarteum I visited the house where Mozart was born quite frequently. When I was frustrated with my singing or feeling down I would walk up Getreidegasse and wander around the rooms of his first home. One rainy afternoon I was the only person in the museum. There is always a sort of guard in the room where Mozart’s first harpsichord stands. It is behind velvet ropes with a glass cover over the keyboard. I was standing there staring at it when the guard (who recognized me as a regular visitor) asked if I would like to touch Herr Mozart’s harpsichord! Needless to say he didn’t have to ask twice. I ducked under the ropes and he lifted the glass cover. I put my hands on the keyboard and just stood there in complete and utter awe. Truly one of the most memorable moments of my life.

    Reply
  146. Interesting about your Edinburgh Castle experience, Chey. I’d be the first to agree that you can feel a huge connection to the past when you step into ancient places. I feel like that every time I walk into Ashdown; even driving up the carriage sweep makes me think of how many people have walked or driven that way before.

    Reply
  147. Interesting about your Edinburgh Castle experience, Chey. I’d be the first to agree that you can feel a huge connection to the past when you step into ancient places. I feel like that every time I walk into Ashdown; even driving up the carriage sweep makes me think of how many people have walked or driven that way before.

    Reply
  148. Interesting about your Edinburgh Castle experience, Chey. I’d be the first to agree that you can feel a huge connection to the past when you step into ancient places. I feel like that every time I walk into Ashdown; even driving up the carriage sweep makes me think of how many people have walked or driven that way before.

    Reply
  149. Interesting about your Edinburgh Castle experience, Chey. I’d be the first to agree that you can feel a huge connection to the past when you step into ancient places. I feel like that every time I walk into Ashdown; even driving up the carriage sweep makes me think of how many people have walked or driven that way before.

    Reply
  150. Interesting about your Edinburgh Castle experience, Chey. I’d be the first to agree that you can feel a huge connection to the past when you step into ancient places. I feel like that every time I walk into Ashdown; even driving up the carriage sweep makes me think of how many people have walked or driven that way before.

    Reply
  151. Maureen, I should have mentioned in my last comment that places as well as buildings can be really evocative. Imagine being on the river bank watching Washington cross! Battlefields always give me the history shivers too.

    Reply
  152. Maureen, I should have mentioned in my last comment that places as well as buildings can be really evocative. Imagine being on the river bank watching Washington cross! Battlefields always give me the history shivers too.

    Reply
  153. Maureen, I should have mentioned in my last comment that places as well as buildings can be really evocative. Imagine being on the river bank watching Washington cross! Battlefields always give me the history shivers too.

    Reply
  154. Maureen, I should have mentioned in my last comment that places as well as buildings can be really evocative. Imagine being on the river bank watching Washington cross! Battlefields always give me the history shivers too.

    Reply
  155. Maureen, I should have mentioned in my last comment that places as well as buildings can be really evocative. Imagine being on the river bank watching Washington cross! Battlefields always give me the history shivers too.

    Reply
  156. Oh, JJ mentioned battlefields too! Yes, very evocative, as are all these wonderful documents and records that people have held, whether personal to your family or on a grand scale. A will from 1601 must be a very rare thing, Christina, and with the personal connection that is so poignant. And I loved the idea of a family coat of arms pendant, Amy Kathryn. Very special and personal. Thank you all for sharing these experiences!

    Reply
  157. Oh, JJ mentioned battlefields too! Yes, very evocative, as are all these wonderful documents and records that people have held, whether personal to your family or on a grand scale. A will from 1601 must be a very rare thing, Christina, and with the personal connection that is so poignant. And I loved the idea of a family coat of arms pendant, Amy Kathryn. Very special and personal. Thank you all for sharing these experiences!

    Reply
  158. Oh, JJ mentioned battlefields too! Yes, very evocative, as are all these wonderful documents and records that people have held, whether personal to your family or on a grand scale. A will from 1601 must be a very rare thing, Christina, and with the personal connection that is so poignant. And I loved the idea of a family coat of arms pendant, Amy Kathryn. Very special and personal. Thank you all for sharing these experiences!

    Reply
  159. Oh, JJ mentioned battlefields too! Yes, very evocative, as are all these wonderful documents and records that people have held, whether personal to your family or on a grand scale. A will from 1601 must be a very rare thing, Christina, and with the personal connection that is so poignant. And I loved the idea of a family coat of arms pendant, Amy Kathryn. Very special and personal. Thank you all for sharing these experiences!

    Reply
  160. Oh, JJ mentioned battlefields too! Yes, very evocative, as are all these wonderful documents and records that people have held, whether personal to your family or on a grand scale. A will from 1601 must be a very rare thing, Christina, and with the personal connection that is so poignant. And I loved the idea of a family coat of arms pendant, Amy Kathryn. Very special and personal. Thank you all for sharing these experiences!

    Reply
  161. Theo, Tai, the thought of all the other people who have held a book or document is a very powerful one, isn’t it, especially if it has family connotations.
    Susannah, I almost fell off my chair when you said you found a charter signed by Matilda… That is seriously exciting!

    Reply
  162. Theo, Tai, the thought of all the other people who have held a book or document is a very powerful one, isn’t it, especially if it has family connotations.
    Susannah, I almost fell off my chair when you said you found a charter signed by Matilda… That is seriously exciting!

    Reply
  163. Theo, Tai, the thought of all the other people who have held a book or document is a very powerful one, isn’t it, especially if it has family connotations.
    Susannah, I almost fell off my chair when you said you found a charter signed by Matilda… That is seriously exciting!

    Reply
  164. Theo, Tai, the thought of all the other people who have held a book or document is a very powerful one, isn’t it, especially if it has family connotations.
    Susannah, I almost fell off my chair when you said you found a charter signed by Matilda… That is seriously exciting!

    Reply
  165. Theo, Tai, the thought of all the other people who have held a book or document is a very powerful one, isn’t it, especially if it has family connotations.
    Susannah, I almost fell off my chair when you said you found a charter signed by Matilda… That is seriously exciting!

    Reply
  166. For some reason I have always liked carvings and graffiti, Lesley, like the Dudley carving. Maybe it’s because it feels such a direct link to the person who did it. A bit like touching Mozart’s harpsichord, Louisa – wow!!! I can see why you would feel inspired!
    I hadn’t realised that Constance Heaven had also set a book against the background of PoWs in England. I’ll look out for that. Elizabeth Hawksley very kindly pointed me in the direction of “Mr Rowl” but that was the only novel I found with that background. If anyone has any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

    Reply
  167. For some reason I have always liked carvings and graffiti, Lesley, like the Dudley carving. Maybe it’s because it feels such a direct link to the person who did it. A bit like touching Mozart’s harpsichord, Louisa – wow!!! I can see why you would feel inspired!
    I hadn’t realised that Constance Heaven had also set a book against the background of PoWs in England. I’ll look out for that. Elizabeth Hawksley very kindly pointed me in the direction of “Mr Rowl” but that was the only novel I found with that background. If anyone has any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

    Reply
  168. For some reason I have always liked carvings and graffiti, Lesley, like the Dudley carving. Maybe it’s because it feels such a direct link to the person who did it. A bit like touching Mozart’s harpsichord, Louisa – wow!!! I can see why you would feel inspired!
    I hadn’t realised that Constance Heaven had also set a book against the background of PoWs in England. I’ll look out for that. Elizabeth Hawksley very kindly pointed me in the direction of “Mr Rowl” but that was the only novel I found with that background. If anyone has any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

    Reply
  169. For some reason I have always liked carvings and graffiti, Lesley, like the Dudley carving. Maybe it’s because it feels such a direct link to the person who did it. A bit like touching Mozart’s harpsichord, Louisa – wow!!! I can see why you would feel inspired!
    I hadn’t realised that Constance Heaven had also set a book against the background of PoWs in England. I’ll look out for that. Elizabeth Hawksley very kindly pointed me in the direction of “Mr Rowl” but that was the only novel I found with that background. If anyone has any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

    Reply
  170. For some reason I have always liked carvings and graffiti, Lesley, like the Dudley carving. Maybe it’s because it feels such a direct link to the person who did it. A bit like touching Mozart’s harpsichord, Louisa – wow!!! I can see why you would feel inspired!
    I hadn’t realised that Constance Heaven had also set a book against the background of PoWs in England. I’ll look out for that. Elizabeth Hawksley very kindly pointed me in the direction of “Mr Rowl” but that was the only novel I found with that background. If anyone has any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

    Reply
  171. I love to read about historical finds and how people lived in the past. My husband received a gift from a friend. It was an oil lamp used in Israel to light the way through tombs. When you hold the lamp in your hands you can feel the energy in it. My husband has been told it is around 2000 yrs old! You can just imagine the people that may have used it all those years ago.

    Reply
  172. I love to read about historical finds and how people lived in the past. My husband received a gift from a friend. It was an oil lamp used in Israel to light the way through tombs. When you hold the lamp in your hands you can feel the energy in it. My husband has been told it is around 2000 yrs old! You can just imagine the people that may have used it all those years ago.

    Reply
  173. I love to read about historical finds and how people lived in the past. My husband received a gift from a friend. It was an oil lamp used in Israel to light the way through tombs. When you hold the lamp in your hands you can feel the energy in it. My husband has been told it is around 2000 yrs old! You can just imagine the people that may have used it all those years ago.

    Reply
  174. I love to read about historical finds and how people lived in the past. My husband received a gift from a friend. It was an oil lamp used in Israel to light the way through tombs. When you hold the lamp in your hands you can feel the energy in it. My husband has been told it is around 2000 yrs old! You can just imagine the people that may have used it all those years ago.

    Reply
  175. I love to read about historical finds and how people lived in the past. My husband received a gift from a friend. It was an oil lamp used in Israel to light the way through tombs. When you hold the lamp in your hands you can feel the energy in it. My husband has been told it is around 2000 yrs old! You can just imagine the people that may have used it all those years ago.

    Reply
  176. For me it was the moment I saw one of the first quilts my great grandmother made. The women in my family have always been heavy into sewing, quilting, cross stitching (basically anything dealing with thread or fabric). But when I cam across that quilt which was threadbare from use, had such common fabric, and seemed so simple compared to the more elaborate quilts in the trunk, it struck me. I was holding a piece of my family’s history. We keep all of the old quilts made by each of the different generations of women and I can’t wait to share that with future generations (though I will admit I can’t sew to save my life, so tragic),.

    Reply
  177. For me it was the moment I saw one of the first quilts my great grandmother made. The women in my family have always been heavy into sewing, quilting, cross stitching (basically anything dealing with thread or fabric). But when I cam across that quilt which was threadbare from use, had such common fabric, and seemed so simple compared to the more elaborate quilts in the trunk, it struck me. I was holding a piece of my family’s history. We keep all of the old quilts made by each of the different generations of women and I can’t wait to share that with future generations (though I will admit I can’t sew to save my life, so tragic),.

    Reply
  178. For me it was the moment I saw one of the first quilts my great grandmother made. The women in my family have always been heavy into sewing, quilting, cross stitching (basically anything dealing with thread or fabric). But when I cam across that quilt which was threadbare from use, had such common fabric, and seemed so simple compared to the more elaborate quilts in the trunk, it struck me. I was holding a piece of my family’s history. We keep all of the old quilts made by each of the different generations of women and I can’t wait to share that with future generations (though I will admit I can’t sew to save my life, so tragic),.

    Reply
  179. For me it was the moment I saw one of the first quilts my great grandmother made. The women in my family have always been heavy into sewing, quilting, cross stitching (basically anything dealing with thread or fabric). But when I cam across that quilt which was threadbare from use, had such common fabric, and seemed so simple compared to the more elaborate quilts in the trunk, it struck me. I was holding a piece of my family’s history. We keep all of the old quilts made by each of the different generations of women and I can’t wait to share that with future generations (though I will admit I can’t sew to save my life, so tragic),.

    Reply
  180. For me it was the moment I saw one of the first quilts my great grandmother made. The women in my family have always been heavy into sewing, quilting, cross stitching (basically anything dealing with thread or fabric). But when I cam across that quilt which was threadbare from use, had such common fabric, and seemed so simple compared to the more elaborate quilts in the trunk, it struck me. I was holding a piece of my family’s history. We keep all of the old quilts made by each of the different generations of women and I can’t wait to share that with future generations (though I will admit I can’t sew to save my life, so tragic),.

    Reply
  181. Wow, Snookie, when I read your comment I could visualise someone using that lamp to light their way through the tombs!
    Heather, that’s a wonderful thing to keep all the old quilts made by different generations. My grandmother was a seamstress and a prodigious knitter and quilter. I have always felt very sorry that I did not inherit a scrap of her talent!

    Reply
  182. Wow, Snookie, when I read your comment I could visualise someone using that lamp to light their way through the tombs!
    Heather, that’s a wonderful thing to keep all the old quilts made by different generations. My grandmother was a seamstress and a prodigious knitter and quilter. I have always felt very sorry that I did not inherit a scrap of her talent!

    Reply
  183. Wow, Snookie, when I read your comment I could visualise someone using that lamp to light their way through the tombs!
    Heather, that’s a wonderful thing to keep all the old quilts made by different generations. My grandmother was a seamstress and a prodigious knitter and quilter. I have always felt very sorry that I did not inherit a scrap of her talent!

    Reply
  184. Wow, Snookie, when I read your comment I could visualise someone using that lamp to light their way through the tombs!
    Heather, that’s a wonderful thing to keep all the old quilts made by different generations. My grandmother was a seamstress and a prodigious knitter and quilter. I have always felt very sorry that I did not inherit a scrap of her talent!

    Reply
  185. Wow, Snookie, when I read your comment I could visualise someone using that lamp to light their way through the tombs!
    Heather, that’s a wonderful thing to keep all the old quilts made by different generations. My grandmother was a seamstress and a prodigious knitter and quilter. I have always felt very sorry that I did not inherit a scrap of her talent!

    Reply
  186. I love anything historical. Museums, books, antiques, castles, churches, etc. I think it’s the best way to find out what a city or country is all about. Learning about what came before is fascinating.

    Reply
  187. I love anything historical. Museums, books, antiques, castles, churches, etc. I think it’s the best way to find out what a city or country is all about. Learning about what came before is fascinating.

    Reply
  188. I love anything historical. Museums, books, antiques, castles, churches, etc. I think it’s the best way to find out what a city or country is all about. Learning about what came before is fascinating.

    Reply
  189. I love anything historical. Museums, books, antiques, castles, churches, etc. I think it’s the best way to find out what a city or country is all about. Learning about what came before is fascinating.

    Reply
  190. I love anything historical. Museums, books, antiques, castles, churches, etc. I think it’s the best way to find out what a city or country is all about. Learning about what came before is fascinating.

    Reply
  191. There’s a wonderful programme on the BBC at the moment, Catslady, all about the history of one English village through 1000 years. It really helps connect you to the past by showing where people came from and the links between the way the village developed and the things that are still important today. Fascinating!

    Reply
  192. There’s a wonderful programme on the BBC at the moment, Catslady, all about the history of one English village through 1000 years. It really helps connect you to the past by showing where people came from and the links between the way the village developed and the things that are still important today. Fascinating!

    Reply
  193. There’s a wonderful programme on the BBC at the moment, Catslady, all about the history of one English village through 1000 years. It really helps connect you to the past by showing where people came from and the links between the way the village developed and the things that are still important today. Fascinating!

    Reply
  194. There’s a wonderful programme on the BBC at the moment, Catslady, all about the history of one English village through 1000 years. It really helps connect you to the past by showing where people came from and the links between the way the village developed and the things that are still important today. Fascinating!

    Reply
  195. There’s a wonderful programme on the BBC at the moment, Catslady, all about the history of one English village through 1000 years. It really helps connect you to the past by showing where people came from and the links between the way the village developed and the things that are still important today. Fascinating!

    Reply

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