On the 12th of May 1820, Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Tuscany, the city she owes her name to. She was a national heroine in her lifetime already, elevated to near sainthood by some and bitterly criticised by others.
Originally posted on The History Girls
Admit it, you’re sick to death of Crimea. Writing a series set in one war has made me rather single-minded, and looking back over my time at the History Girls I seem to have written about little else. But as this will be my final post here I hope you’ll let me take just one last look at it, and tell the story no-one else in the West seems to want to tell.
They really don’t. When the official narrative is that ‘Russia has stolen Crimea’, no-one wants to hear about Crimeans except as Ukraine’s ‘property’ and a pawn in the Great Game. What they forget is that Crimeans are also people, and sometimes ordinary people can change the world. In the last week of February 2014 some of them did just that, and just this once I’d like it to be recognized.
All right, February is hardly history, but I think the story fits here because of what it reveals about the historical process itself. To me it was a unique one, because I know the place, I know the people, and I was aware of what was happening before it was history. Usually I start with the official narrative and work backwards to the primary sources, but this time I’ve watched events unfolding through the eyes of the people actually living them – and been astounded to see the entirely different narrative now hailed as ‘official history’. It’s made me start to wonder how much official history we can…
Re-blogged from The History Girls: ‘The History in the Words’ by A L Berridge.
All historical novelists know to avoid the ‘wrong words’ – the little anachronisms that boot us into the wrong century will the speed of a train crash. What I find much, much harder is learning when to avoid the right ones.