I love reading fiction, and my interests are varied from children’s books to middle grade and YA to contemporary women’s fiction, but my absolute favorite is historical fiction. I especially love the mid-1800s. I suppose I got hooked with Gone with the Wind.
While history in school was not a favorite, it seems through books, I have developed quite an interest in the subject. Since becoming an adult, I enjoy visiting historical sites, especially homes, and admiring the women’s fashions. The people working at living history places such as Old World Wisconsin must have lots of fun wearing the clothes and stepping back in time. I discussed this with one volunteer and inspected the corset. I think I’d like to try it just to say I’ve had the experience, but they do look uncomfortable. I’ve always loved the dresses that belles wore so much so that my wedding dress has a bustle. My bucket list includes dressing up in that period’s clothing and having a vintage family picture taken.
A long time ago, my hometown had a ball where people dressed up in that era’s dress; however, my husband wasn’t interested at the time. I’m not sure where I would have found the clothes. As you know, I’m not much of a seamstress. These outfits probably cost quite a bit just to rent. Still it would be so fun. I’ll have to research this further.
I love movies and television series set in these times as well. I loved the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman series. I also enjoyed the Downton Abbey series on PBS that took us back to the early 1900s beginning with the sinking of the Titanic and going post WWI. Seeing how people lived in mansions and castles, learning about the culture, and grasping how the world has changed captivates me.
Perhaps the allure to both is the dress. While, other than my wedding dress, I haven’t owned any grand dresses, I still find it fun to dress up. I may not be elegant in reality, but I feel fancy, and that experience is part of the memory being created. Little girls love playing dress up. I suppose I’m still a little girl at heart. Of course then there are the horse drawn carriages and sleighs. Many girls love horses. Oh dear, I must never have outgrown those fancies.
Settings on a Southern plantation or in a newly established frontier town have a romance about them, although we know all too well what hard work there was for those living during these times. I’m thankful for the novels that whisk me back.
Is there a time in history that you find fascinating?