Posted: 06/10/2016 at 19:55
I think that history is vital on so many levels. We all learnt at school about the Tudors and Stuarts, the Romans, the Victorians etc - but all from the perspective of the well-documented accounts. Of far greater value are the accounts of every day lives - the minutiae of daily living and working, of life and death and of various practices of the times.
I have found the programmes on the TV by Ruth Goodman - the Victorian Farm and the like - to be truly fascinating, since it looks at just those "small" events - the food, farming methods, medical knowledge etc in a way that is overlooked in the history books of political history, treaties signed, wars conducted and the like.
How often have we wished that we had quizzed our parents, grandparents and other family members about the way they lived, their own memories etc? So now we have the opportunity to pass on our memories, sometimes by village project or sometimes by personal family trees, and we are also enriched by the knowledge that is there at the touch of a few keys on the computer.
Even in the field of relatively recent gardening is history writ large. The chemicals that were taken for granted (for every pest there was a spray!) are - well, history. And we have learned the better ways of gardening with nature rather than against it, rather than trying to tame it to our wants and needs.
Todays fads will fade. New imperatives will come to the fore. We may well be indulging in Mediterranean styles of gardening by the end of the century. Or not. But the process of learning and developing are part and parcel of history.