Where Romance and History Meet - www.heartsthroughhistory.com/

Thursday, October 21, 2010

If I Could Turn Back Time


Cher sang those words in a hit song in the 1990s…if you could turn back time and travel back to an era in history, where would you like to be? For me, the choice isn’t clear-cut. There are so many fascinating eras that I’d love to experience, I’d feel like I do in Starbucks…excited but just a bit bewildered.

My first choice would probably be America during the Civil War. Since this is my personal fantasy, I’d venture both North and South to get a peek at life during that turbulent time. My new release, Angel in My Arms, is set in Richmond at the end of the war. The story was inspired by the true story of Elizabeth Van Lew, a genteel Southern lady who funneled information from the South’s social circles to the North for years. Angel in My Arms is the story of spy ring run by Crazy Betsy, an eccentric Richmond matron, who recruits beautiful women with talents that suit her espionage purposes. Angel in My Arms is due out on November 12 in e-book form and is currently available in print from The Wild Rose Press.

After my Civil War time travel, I’d venture to late Victorian England, the time of Sherlock Holmes. What a fabulous time in history! Women were working to get the vote, technology was changing the way people lived – telephones and automobiles were two of the huge innovations during this period, and fashions were beautiful for women and elegant yet manly for men. I’d love to experience London in the last years of Victoria’s reign, when Britain was an empire and women were daring to ride bicycles and claim their place as equals.

What era would you visit if you could venture back in time? I’d love to see your thoughts!


17 comments:

Tess said...

I think God put me in the right century...I need running water and at least two showers a day. But I guess if I could go back and not have to live in a different era...just see it...I would want it to be a peaceful place...not sure where that would be in history? lol.

Keena Kincaid said...

I would love to visit medieval England for a day, but only if I could carry anti-bacterial wipes with me. :-)

What I think would be really cool is to pick a spot, say a spot just to the left of Tower Bridge, and move through time, watching the coming and going of various eras.

Emma said...

Ireland, 1921. I want to know if my grandmother left because she wanted to see NY or because they were arresting women in the Cumman Na mBann. Next stop, Georgia (?) in 1850. I'd find Michelle Obama's six year old ancestress and tell her one day one of her descendents will live in the White House. Next stop, St. Petersburg, Russia. I'd go sometime before 1914 to see what it was like before the war and revolution and sometime between late 1916 and 1917 to see what it was like during. I would definitely leave before 1918.

Susan Macatee said...

I'm with you! I'd love to visit America during the turbulent Civil War. For years, I spent weekends dressed in a gown, petticoats and hoops at Civil War reenactments, while my husband and sons marched off to battle. I also love visiting Civil War sites and Gettysburg is one of my favorite destinations.

Obe said...

Hi Victoria,

As you know my favorite would be the opening of the American West or even Washington Territory in the 1870's. Why Washington Territory??? Women were a premium commodity. Population mostly male! Oh the romance! wink Wink.
Great blog as always. I'm wishing you much success with your new book.
Nan

Lilly Gayle said...

I love Civil War stories and don't understand why the big NY publishing houses keep saying they don't sell. If I could visit another time, it would be post civil war. The British Victorian era, America's Gilded age or the Industrial revolution. What exciting times those must have been with so many new discoveries!

Victoria Gray said...

So many fascinating time periods...Tess, like you, I like some creature comforts, so the late Victorian age would be grand...but the fighting men in the Civil War all looked so dignified in their uniforms, and their passion for a cause, regardless of which side they were on, is something that seems rare today. Keena, I agree...bacterial wipes in medieval times would be a must...

Victoria Gray said...

Emma, I hadn't even thought about my personal history...my grandfather was the first child born in this country of Italian immigrants...a trip to Italy in the late 1800s might be fascinating.

Victoria Gray said...

Nancy,
The Wild West certainly has its appeal...I adore the movie Tombstone, although to my husband's dismay, I keep drooling over Johnny Ringo instead of Wyatt Earp...gotta love the bad boys!

Victoria Gray said...

Susan and Lilly,
I'm with you gals...love the Civil War era. Civil War stories would sell if they were published and effectively marketed. Maybe things will cycle back...I can hope :)

Paty Jager said...

I'd love the late 1800's in the west, and I mean the true west not Texas or Kansas but the Pacific NW. Gold rushes, fertile soil to till, timber as far as you can see. That would have been a great time to live.

The Barn Door said...

1880's Tombstone, Arizona. One of the last wild west frontiers. Would love to have experienced the whole OK corral, the Earps and Doc Holiday.

Sophia Harrop said...

I have this fantasy often, but for me it isn't clearcut either - having a time travel machine on a permanent basis would be good!

I LOVE the film Back to the Future where Marty gets to see his parents in the fifties - I'd love to visit my own grandparents' house when my mum and her brothers were all small, in the 1940s! Or meet my mum as a young woman, doing her nursing training in 1950s London.

Travelling back to Palestine and seeing Jesus preach - how about that one!!

At the moment I think I'd chose Britain in Roman times though, as that's what I'm writing about. I'd take a notebook and pencil (best not to attract too much attention with a laptop, although the notebook might also cause a stir!!) and come up with fab authentic detail for my story. That has to be the historical writer's dream.

Great post!

Cynthia Owens said...

Victoria, what a wonderful post! Time travel is the ultimate fantasy for historical writers - but so many times! I'm with Emma in Ireland in 1921 - what an amazing time that must have been, especially in Dublin. I'd also take Ireland in the time of the Tuatha de Danaan, and during the Famine. Fast forward to Victorian New York City, to see how America was opening up. Let's see, Montreal in the 1840's - I'd love to see my own city in such a fascinating time. And if I could, I'd pop into some of the battles of the Civil War fought by the Irish Brigade - as an observer, of course. I could go on and on, but those are enough for my first trip!

Margaret Tanner said...

Great blog. The two historical eras that fascinate me the most are World War 1, and Australia in the mid 1850's.I am not sure that I would like to live during those times though. I wouldn't be brave enough to face a war, nor resilient enough to suffer the hardships of our pioneers.Maybe I could just look down from above.

Regards

Margaret

Aislinn said...

Where to start? I love the Civil War period. I also love the old west. But I also have a particular weakess for the Revolutionary War.

Victoria Gray said...

I've always loved the Victorian era more than the Regency era, but the new Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr. pushed me over the edge to head over heels.

Civil War is also a love of mine. Growing up in Virginia, there was so much history...same with the Revolutionary War. There's something about riding a bicycle through the fields at Yorktown where George Washington defeated the British that brings a little shiver of excitement.