The Romance of History

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My guilty pleasures often include reading a lot of Regency Romances and watching period films such as Persuasion and The Golden Bowl, or TV mini-series like, Downton Abbey and The Tudors.  I love the glitz and glamour of it all.  I do also enjoy injecting my pleasures with small doses of reality every once in a while.

Historical romances whether in written form or film all tend to gild the lily on what life was really like in whatever time period they are representing.  It’s enjoyable, but gives us a rose-tinted view of what history was truly like.

My hubby and I recently watched a fascinating BBC mini-series from 2001 called The Manor House.  They took a family along with twelve other volunteers and moved them into an estate house for a three month experiment where they all had to live as Edwardians.  From clothing to food to everything, it all centered around them living life as it was in the early 1900s.

The family became nouveau riche, titled and waited on hand and foot.  The other twelve volunteers became their servants from butler down to scullery maid.  It was a true glimpse at what life in a Downton Abbey style home would be like.  And it was nothing like the TV show.

It was fascinating to watch modern minds struggle with life in the 1900s.  The upstairs folk, naturally, handled it better.  The downstairs servants struggled with the inequality of it all.  I found it really intriguing to watch.

Three months really gave them long enough to truly immerse themselves into the roles they were playing.

It’s definitely worth watching if you’re at all interested in period films/romances.

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