For as long as I can remember my biggest passion has been the written word. Whether reading the latest Harry Potter book or scribbling my thoughts in my carefully hidden journal I grew up with an affinity for text. Close behind that passion was my love of history. And luckily, the best way to experience history as a young girl living in a small town in Central Wisconsin, was through the written word.
I have always enjoyed reading non-fiction books about topics that interest me, but where those two passions really intersect is in the realm of historical fiction. Give me the latest Philippa Gregory or Margaret George book and you won’t hear from me for days. The best historical fiction authors are those who don’t play around with what did happen, but instead play around with why they happened. They seek to put their own spin or interpretation on the motivations of a character, or the unknown time frames of a character’s life.
With that some of the most rewarding and engaging historical fiction covers the history of England. If you read about the War of the Roses or Henry VIII and his six wives, you can’t help but think why? Historical fiction is a way to explore the side of history that we just can’t know for certain. Books like “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Phillipa Gregory have made me fall in love with England and the colorful people splashed through her history.
Which is why when my husband and I sat down and started discussing our first international trip my list only had one country on it. Sure, I want to visit the Vienna, the home of Maria Theresa, and France, the home of her poor misjudged daughter. But first? First I want to walk to courtyard where Elizabeth I grew up, and see the spot where so many victims of her father lost their heads. I want to visit the place where Cecily, the Rose of Raby grew up.
So next spring we head to England, and because their history is so tied together we will also be spending a few days in Scotland where one of my favorite women, Mary, spent so little of her time as queen. My heart is bursting at the thought of standing in the Scottish Highlands and finding my way through the rainy streets of London. Expect to hear a lot from me about my planning for this trip. London is calling and I can’t wait to answer!