Saturday, June 23

History Lesson

Teachers can have a profound effect on their students. Slightly daunting when I know I had a couple of years of teaching last time I was in Tanzania ... hopefully making a positive influence! Many people have been asking me already whether I will teach there again ... who knows?! The girls will go to the school I used to teach in though, which is pretty cool!

One of my least favourite subjects at school was History. I dropped that subject as soon as I possibly could. So, in secondary school I only studied it for three years. I've often wondered what exactly was the big turn off. It may have something to do with the fact that in the first two years I had no less than six different teachers, the equivalent of one a term, all with very varied teaching styles. I would also wonder what the point of learning about a bunch of dead people was rather than things in the here and now!

Yes, I had a very juvenile opinion! I have grown up a lot since then and fully appreciate that our rich history has influenced so much of every day life and wish I had paid a little bit more attention in class. There are so many holes in my knowledge of the past now but over time I hope to fill in some of the gaps!

Almost ten years ago, knowing my love of reading a friend of mine suggested a book that she had just finished. 'The Other Boleyn Girl' by Philippa Gregory.

My instant reaction was ... great, an historical novel ... right up my street ... NOT!!!! But after a little bit of persuasion I promised I'd give it a go and honestly, I couldn't put it down. While it's only loosely based on fact, it gives a little window into Tudor life, through one persons, well-written interpretation of a short period of Henry VIII's reign and personal life. It had me wanting to know more and sifting through what was true and what wasn't. It intrigued me to know a lot more about history in general! Shocking!

I always have several books on the go and a list of those I would like to read (did I mention I love books?!!!), so it's extremely unusual for me to read a book twice but this is one of the few. It was because the movie was released and I'm definitely in the 'books are better than movies' category of people the majority of the time, so wanted to get the written story straight in my head before watching it. This was no exception at all ... I was SO disappointed by the movie but that's another story!

I've read some of Philippa Gregory's other Tudor based novels, some good, some I could have passed on but this one remains a definite favourite. At the moment I'm in the midst of reading a lot more informational type books than normal about things like parenting, blogging, God, mission etc ... maybe in the midst of them all I should crack open a guaranteed favourite for a third reading? Who knows?!!!


  1. I didn't enjoy history until I took American Civilazations my last semester of college. My professor told stories that you never read in history books, & it was so interesting. Since then, I've discovered that I love to read hiatorical fiction. I always end up researching to see what is true. I dont generally re-read either, but I have read a series called The Mark of the Lion twice & I'm thinking of reading it again this summer. It is my favorite!

  2. The Missionary Mum23 June 2012 at 17:37

    I LOVE the Mark of the Lion Trilogy ... I'm thinking I'll wait to re-read that one until we're in Tanzania and I have less access to new stuff!! ;o)