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Reading and Writing – Passports into History

By Gery de Pierpont

Tune into the dialogue between the ancient walls and the words that bring them alive

I find nothing more captivating than reading a literary work on the actual site that served as its inspiration. Certain historical novels, poems, theatrical dialogues or even philosophical essays have an extraordinary power to whisk us back into another era, immersing us in a forgotten context or drama-ridden atmosphere where humanity is called into question. And the pull is even greater when we are physically present on the site enlivened by such writing.

Conversely, an authentic historical setting breathes life into the words, gives ideas resonance and imbues metaphors with poetry. Flagstones ring with the sound of boots, surfaces flicker into life through moving shadows caused by candle flame, the fragrance of wax polish on antique furniture, enriched with forgotten perfumes …

historical-literature

If old books exude history through their period style and yellowed paper, past authors are not the only ones to transport us back in time © Eflon

Some “passport” reading

This is why for each accommodation venue linked to intoHistory, I try and suggest a little reading to help you get the maximum out of your experience on the site so your understanding of it, the way you perceive historical objects and the emotions you experience as night falls will inevitably be heightened.

Please share with us the books you have read which have given you an insight into the realms of history, these written “passports” (in the literal sense) which have transported you back in time through your imagination, or verses which have brought the settings which witnessed historical events back to life. If such works refer to accommodation venues promoted on the intoHistory website, ideally they should be mentioned in the comments section of the site itself, or you can do so below.

Heritage and literature dialogues

For my part, I have every intention of offering you on a regular basis “heritage and literature dialoguesbetween an historical site (region or era) and an extract from a book where there appears to be special bond between them. It could be a photograph, a text and two hyperlinks; little cultural hors d’oeuvres to excite your curiosity and titillate your imagination. Here are some suggestions already:

 

Do not hesitate to send me texts written by yourselves as well, should inspiration strike you during one of your stays in history: memories of an escape into the realms of the past, a few sentences scribbled on the edge of a tablecloth or taken from a novel abandoned in the bottom of a drawer, a passage taken from your latest play or an anthology of poems entwined in history … I would be delighted to publish such personal creations if they can enhance the experience of others as they immerse themselves in the mysteries of the past.

Historical literature: counting on you

Thank you in advance for your contributions to the development of a new style of voyage of discovery, which is both authentic, invigorating and really off the beaten track! And don’t miss the next heritage and history dialogues soon to be published in these columns.

Comments

Bonjour ,

Je suis particulierement sensible à votre approche et votre approche associant histoire et littérature . Je dirige une jeune entreprise spécialisée dans les séjours liés à la littérature: Nos séjours proposent des ateliers d'écriture en présence d'auteurs connus ou reconnus . Je vous invite a découvrir nos premieres offres en Provence sur notre site web : www.lantreparenthese.com . Je suis convaincu que nous pouvons trouver des synergies intéressantes en nos deux structures. Parlons-en !!

Marie Du Mas

24-04-2015

Thank you for your message Gery. I have been making a list of historical novels to read.
'intoHistory' has renewed my interest in different time periods and now I am armed with a list of books to add to my small collection ;-)

Thank you Marie for your nice comment! I'm myself in the heart of the Great Siege of Malta (1565), thanks to Tim Willocks thrilling historical novel The Religion. It is fascinating how such literature works can transport you back in time, especially when you are on the very place of the original event. I was in Malta a few weeks ago and concentrate now on the publication of another evocative Maltese old vacation rental. Quite moving! Gery

Marie Du Mas

24-04-2015

I love reading and some of it includes historical novels: Les Miserables, The Book Thief, The Jane Austen novels, Sarah's Key, How I live Now, The Drifters, Jane Eyre, ... all set in Europe. And yes I have felt cold and damp heat and excitement and awe of the Elite, joyed at the sight of the splendor and breadth of the grand homes and gardens, the beautiful clothing of decades/centuries past. In American settings that began in Africa or were linked to that country, The Book of Negroes - I loved and have reread many.

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