I cannot begin to tell you how nervous I am in starting a blog! For many years now I have dreamed of creating one, with the intention of sharing my passion for all things historical with the wider world. Now I have set it up… it is actually happening… and although the blog is in its early stages, I hope that it all goes well and that you enjoy it!
As I have said in my bio, I do not claim to be an expert in any historical period. I tend to delve into many eras, just to gain an insight or understanding into a historical character or event. For example, just last week I was reading several books on the evacuation of Dunkirk – now I am tucking into a book on Medieval England. I hope that because my interest is diverse and varied, you will find something that catches your eye. (If not I deeply apologise…)!
For many years I have read about, explored, studied, and worked with history. My love for the past began whilst I was still in primary school. I think many people remember their history lessons – even if for all the wrong reasons! I vividly recall my teacher telling me about those ‘Terrible Tudors’ for the very first time. I was absolutely horrified to hear that King Henry VIII had the tendency to cut off his wives’ heads! Yet despite the blood, guts and gore, I realised from a very early age that escaping into the historical world was hugely enjoyable. Now several years on, I still love to re-create the image of a world which existed many years ago, (even if it’s not always the Tudor world anymore)…
I have been extremely fortunate over the years, in being able to volunteer and work within amazing heritage sites. Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire is where it all started for me, when at the age of 16 I was lucky enough to volunteer during the castle’s celebrations for Katherine Parr’s Quincentenary. I later worked for English Heritage at Dover Castle, and now I work for Historic Royal Palaces at Hampton Court Palace. Heritage sites such as these, have made me realise just how important it is to keep history alive for the general public. History should be available for everyone – as well as hugely enjoyable!
This is another reason as to why I set up ‘The Past Presents’. Alongside sharing my historical adventures and thoughts on history books, I hope to make history more accessible and engaging to the general public. I am a firm believer that everyone should have the opportunity to learn, explore and appreciate history, (no matter how much or how little), and blogs, the media, historical attractions and history books all help to achieve this. Although my Tudor history lessons at school initially captured my attention, it wasn’t until Showtime’s ‘The Tudors’ came along, that I felt compelled to understand more about this fascinating period. After I had finished reading Alison Weir’s ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’, I was well and truly hooked! My life was transformed and before I knew it, I was studying history at university and working at historical properties. People, (especially historians), may criticise period dramas for their shocking inaccuracies, yet I am proof that this history in the media can transform people’s perceptions to the past – in a good way!
I hope that by talking about the history that intrigues me; as well as about the books that I have read, the places that I have explored and the dramas which I have watched, will help spread the word and hopefully spark other people’s interests. ‘The Past Presents’ is all about starting discussions, sharing your thoughts and expanding your love and knowledge of all things historical. Please bear with me whilst I get my head around this whole ‘blog’ thing, but hopefully given time I will succeed in my mission!