Tea Time Ruminations: History

Tea: Scottish Breakfast

Song: ‘Couldn’t Care Less’ – Broken Rivers

Hello, ruminants! It has been sporadic, I know. I am preparing for a blogging adventure soon, so tune in soon for that.

I wanted to ruminate over historical novels. I am asked often the reasons for which I prefer historical works over contemporary in general: I used to brush it aside with a jest about being prone to ‘nostalgia’ as a Cancer. In honesty, I admit that it lies deeper.

I do not read to read about myself, although I do learn about myself more, and more. I read to learn about the world outside. I am stuck inside this flesh-suit with myself: I want to know the world outside of it.

Historical novels help that better than our-tidely ones. I am reading Dracula — one of the last books that I have for the adventure previously mentioned –, and he describes a Europe that is far gone.

I do not wish to romanticise the Victorian Age: it was fully racist, sexist, homophobic — I would have been imprisoned, or tarred-and-feathered by small town people –, and I do not excuse the age’s past.

It was a different world though in makeup. German migrants were in Transylvania, Jewish populations around the world, and travel was done by train, and cart.

It got me thinking of World War II. After the war, many groups were sent away from their homes where they had been for generations. Germans who had fought against Germany were exiled from Danzig. Jewish populations were exiled from various countries — especially after 1948 from Middle Eastern countries as now ‘Jews had their own place’ –, and Romani (which my auto-correct wants to be Rōmānī for some reason. I must stop typing in other languages as often as I do.) populations not devastated by the Third Reich’s extermination programmes were even more ostracised by Europeans.

None of this has happened yet in Bram Stoker’s world.

So tears form as I think of the actions the world is to take. I am unable to change them. I am unable to alter history, and so I learn a bit more about myself.

Contemporary books show problems that we have today from our past actions, but I just hope that we can learn our lessons from historical works. I would like to pair this with a contemporary book about the region from one of the minority groups displaced by the aftermath of the war.

On that serious note, I must return to the novel.

I hope that one has a day full of tea, and wonderment.

-J.A. Victor Wilson

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