Driving to the battle.
or Why You Should Attend a Performance by Leslie Goddard
Even I find campfires and rain a bit much at times. The former can dry out your eyes and the later can soak your socks. Sometimes I want to sit in a chair and have and entertaining experience that leaves me with a greater understanding of history. If you are of a like mind, may I suggest that you attend a performance by Leslie Goddard.
Audiences are transported through time and space for an hour of living history during Ms. Goddard’s performances. In the past year I’ve watched Ms. Goddard bring Louisa May Alcott, Georgia O’Keefe, and Grace Kelly to life. In each instance we, her audience, are made to feel as if we are welcomed visitors in the homes of these great women. Her performances are both entertaining and insightful looks into the lives of important figures from our past. The audience leaves with a greater understanding of the woman presented and her role in history. Ms. Goddard is the embodiment of living history. If you don’t want to smell of burnt wood or wet wool then I suggest you visit Ms. Goddard’s website and see if she if performing near you.
Ressting before battle.
Rain adds a sense of authenticity to living history.
But a Campfire Sent Me Looking for a Book
I’ve always been an avid reader, and books on various historical topics have always littered my bookshelves. I feel that it is important to view the world with one eye on the past. History provides perspective and perspective is necessary for understanding viewpoints (both our own and those of others). Books about history have helped me establish perspective and understanding, but many of those books were quite long (and some were also quite dry). This is why I enjoy historical reenactments and living history.
I attended a living history event a few weeks ago by a group representing French voyageurs. I already knew about the history of the French in Louisiana. I also knew that several cities, towns, rivers, and such near me have French names, but I did not know how far north France’s influence reached before I attended the event. Over the span of half an hour I learned about the lives of French voyageurs, American Indians, and how both impacted the history of the United States. Attending a reenactment and/or living history event may not make you an expert on a topic (neither does visiting a museum) but it is a great place to start learning. Standing next to a campfire learning about Nouvelle France and birch bark canoes was enough inspiration to send me to the library.