Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And you are there!

There used to be a show on TV, back when I was very young (although I see by the dates, I must have been watching reruns), hosted by Walter Cronkite, looking at historical events as if they were happening in the present day.

Every episode ended with Mr. Cronkite saying, "What sort of day was it? A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times... and you were there."

I suspect this is one reason I write historicals.

There's a new show in a similar vein, History Bites. Although History Bites is primarily looking at history from a comic angle, it's fact-based and fascinating.

Today, wherever you live, this is a historic day because of the presidential election in the US. Like many others, I'll be watching the results roll in off and on during the day.

However, I'll also be watching The Tudors tonight.

Which brings me to something I often think about when I'm watching historical shows based on facts.

What was it like if you were the Tudor-era equivalent of, say, Joe the Plumber? How much did you know about what was going on in the corridors of power? How much did you care? Or were you just worried about what the taxes were going to be?

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