|Picture taken by yours truly (Versailles, 2011)|
When I was still a teeny, tiny student (and by that I mean middle and high school), we used to talk about history in different blocks. We started with the ancient Egypt and Greece, slowly made our way through the Holy Roman Empire all the way to the Third Reich (which basically covered all of our high school history lessons).
We concentrated mainly on Europe, Germany in particular, because this was the closest to us. Other regions were only covered, when it affected happenings in our country as well. So, you could say that history lessons were neither complete nor did they actually convey that the entirety of history is connected.
Everything seemed to be isolated; places, people and events. It was all concentrated on "the most important" parts. Of course, too much has happened in the world, to cover everything, and yet I feel like something was missing.
We always try to cover the big picture, leaving out the most interesting details, but at the same time focuse on little pieces without really putting them into perspective.
History is abundant and thus hard to grasp.
History is a never ending story, stretching further and further into what we call "the present", all the way towards "the future".
And everything is connected.
Great people lived among other great people.
Mozart, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great and Giacomo Casanova lived in the same era - the first two actually born only one year apart from each other. And when peasants stormed the Bastille in 1789, igniting the French Revolution, George Washington became the first president of the United States.
Ludwig II. of Bavaria was the cousin of Elisabeth of Austria ("Sisi") and patron of Richard Wagner, who shamelessly exploited him.
And while William Shakespeare was on his way to fame with this sonnets and plays, Elizabeth Báthory made history by torturing and killing young women. She allegedly bathed in the blood of her victims to sustain her youth.
While these connections are not what the great politics of the world were made of, it amazes me that these people actually lived at the same time; offering different fragments that shaped the era they had lived in.
There is so much more to history, than school usually teaches us.
So much more to learn and understand, and so much more to explore.
That being said, I can not wait to read my book about the divorce of Henry VIII. from Catherine of Aragon and it's connection to an Italian diplomat, as well as a work about the maladies of great writers (the number of hints connecting Shakespeare to syphilis and other fun STDs is too damn high!).
This is what history is made of as well and I can not wait to dive into it.