H Is For History

“H Is For History” is the 8th article in the A-Z Blogging Challenge for April, where each day a post is written that is inspired by a successive letter of the alphabet.

Today it’s the turn of the Letter H, and this stands for one of my favorite subjects, History.

Even now (at a ripe old age) I remember what first got me interested me in history, in particular Ancient History. It was going to the cinema with my parents to see an Italian made Epic called The Wooden Horse Of Troy, which I found out was released in 1961. This was one of those epic movies with a cast of hundreds of actors, terrific battle scenes and of course the Greek Gods had to intervene.

The story fascinated me, and I also at acquired a Readers Digest book for children which had an article on Heinrich Schliemann, who spent years searching for the location of Troy, before finally discovering the site in 1868.

Well I was well and truly hooked on ancient history from that point on.

At that time in primary school I was learning about Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, and soon afterwards about the great explorers (Christopher Colombus, Vasco De Gama, Ferdinand Magellan) and the discovery of the New World, and I was hooked.

These were also the years of other great epic movies about King Arthur, with movies like Excalibur, and also the amazing Jason And The Argonauts featuring the animation talents of Ray Harryhausen.   Watching movies like these as a young boy in the 1960’s just took you straight into another world, and I yearned to learn more about the past. Other television shows of the time like Robin Hood or Ivanhoe had me very much interested in the Middle Ages as well.

While I do enjoy other periods in history, it is Ancient History that still has a hold over me, in particular since reading Chariots Of The Gods which was published when I was at university.  That got me hooked on exploring other works about unsolved mysteries, including the Mayan Civilization and the lost city of Atlantis among other things.

Transitions in my life caused me to lose track of this topic for a few years, but then in the 1990’s I had cause to go to the new Barnes And Noble bookstore that opened in town, and on a whim I went off and browsed the New Age shelves in search of something about Atlantis or other unsolved mysteries.

What I did find was a book called The Twelfth Planet by Zecharia Sitchin, and this together with other books that he has written just made everything that I had learned fall into place, and started me off on an even deeper search for knowledge of mankind’s most distant past.

But enough for now of Zecharia Sitchin, since unless I suddenly find a fascination for Zebras in the next few weeks, you could be reading more about him at the end of April when it becomes the turn of the Letter Z for me to find something to write about, so stay tuned.

More recently, research into my family history has let me to research my Grandfather’s voyages in the early 1900’s.  He was an apprentice on sailing ships and one of the last Cape Horner’s, sailing around Cape Horn in the last days of sail.

I have only got as far as writing the Preface to this book, which I published HERE to get an idea as to whether anyone would be interested in reading it or not.

During my research to find information on the actual events that the book is to be based on, I discovered a treasure trove of digitized newspaper articles, and being also interested in how our lives have changed in just the last 100 years, I have written a number of articles that were based on news stories that I found from 100 years ago, and which I also published on Squidoo as One Hundred Years Ago.

Well before I lose your attention completely, however I would like to think that if I had written this as the introduction to a book, in far more detail and allowing my boyish fascination with adventures from beyond my wildest dreams to shine through, that I might have you hooked from beginning to end.

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