Sunday, February 22, 2009

What we learn

Lets talk about studying history for a minute or two.

I've picked up a book recently that makes me re-think why I enjoy studying history as a hobby. It's a biography of Sir Francis Drake by E.F. Benson (Harper & Brothers, 1927). Initially, I picked it up as part of my SCA research, but I've pulled a little more out of it.

The Drake biography is keeping me hooked. There's a portion of the book talking about Drake and Queen Elizabeth's involvement in the slave trade.

When did you learn about that in school?

Okay, to be honest, you probably didn't learn much about Drake in school. I didn't. I didn't take any interest in it until I started studying the Sea Dogs, and piracy in Elizabethan times. It never occurred to me to look at Elizabeth's involvement. But why not?

I remind myself that studying history is harsh and painful sometimes. Strip away the myth from your heroes, and see what's there.

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