“If one could make alive again for other people some cobwebbed skein of old dead intrigues and breathe breath and character into dead names and stiff portraits. That is history to me!”
– G.M. Trevelyan
That quote serves well to describe my view of history. For many, history is nothing more than a series of meaningless names and dates, pieces of broken pottery unused for centuries and locked away underneath spotless barriers of glass, seldom-read markers scattered along busy highways, dreary paintings of important people now long past their deeds of note, or perhaps some dusty book of photographs tucked away in the attic. But real history is about the people behind the names, the ones who made and used the chipped tableware, who lived on the land now paved over, who were the subjects of artists commissioned to paint their likeness to commemorate and honor them, and who took great care in arranging visible reminders of the ones they held most dear. Their stories do not deserve to be reduced to mere footnotes in the records of time.
And so I have set a goal of locating these neglected memories and giving them a voice again. Some will come from my own family history, and many will be found in other research projects. By no means will these be exhaustive studies; rather, I intend them to re-introduce a sense of realness and context to what might usually be considered dry and irrelevant information.
I’m no great writer, but I will put my best effort into bringing these stories to life once more. Would anyone care to join me in this venture, either by suggesting stories or in giving them justice in the telling?