Saturday, April 7, 2012

What would medieval people think about our camping conveniences?

Since my family is taking a break to go camping over Easter weekend, I thought I'd take a break from blogging about the details of writing historical novels and think about it from the other direction so to speak.  I often wonder what people from days of yore would think of all the modern conveniences we enjoy.

Now, when I say we are going camping, I mean in an RV.  We tried true tent camping with our two kids once, and once was enough!  Anyway it is an old RV - no television, no slide-outs, no satellite internet.  Yet I can only imagine how amazing it would be for a person from even two hundred years ago to see it, not to mention a person from the 800s, to see it!  Just the refrigerator and running hot water would be enough to astonish them.  Add the plentiful food we did not have to grow, butcher and preserve; that we have bright lights with the flick of a switch; and the fact that we can turn a key to start an engine to move our little home on wheels and I would guess a visitor from the past would think he/she had landed on a different planet.

It is interesting to me that many of us who really enjoy all the modern conveniences of life still like to return to simpler times.  We find true relaxation spending an evening around the campfire instead of around the TV.  We rediscover kinship with the people right in front of us instead of typing away to our Facebook friends and Twitter followers (@jillhughey).

I wonder if that is why we love historical fiction so much?  It is like going on a little camping trip to the past without all the danger and deprivation.

Is there any character in a historical novel that you would be willing to change places with?

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