The dictionary tells us that a zealot is one ‘who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.’ Here is not the place to discuss the two unmentionables ‘politics and religion’ but other ideals maybe. In my ideal world people would engage with and preserve the heritage that surrounds them. They would value their ancestry and be interested in passing on the stories of preceding generations. Most people who undertake historical research as a hobby would agree that it very swiftly become much more than a hobby and yes, we may well own up to the ‘fanatical and uncompromising’ label. Anyone who has stuck with me from A all the way to Z during April can probably tell that, for me, history in all its forms is an obsession. Yes, it has taken over my life – although I enjoy making room for my other interests, not least of which are my wonderful family, my home and garden and the great outdoors – both near and far.
Back to the dictionary and we learn that a fanatic is ‘a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal’. Like any ‘fanatic’ I am single-minded about my history and I do want to share it with anyone who will listen. This doesn’t mean I want to bore people rigid with stories of my research – I want to encourage others to take an active part in history for themselves.
I like to think that my ‘audiences’, when I share aspects of the seventeenth century as Mistress Agnes, are entertained as well as informed. Just because I try (sometimes!) to make history amusing does not mean that it is not good history. I aim to get others to participate in history in an active way – then history does the job for itself – they are hooked!
I hope that some of these A-Z posts have been thought provoking. It has been hard work but fun. Normal blogging service will now resume, with less frequent posts and random musings about my historical and occasionally hysterical life.