I’ve been getting really big into history recently.
It started off with Ancient Rome, and then extended its tendrils further and further into the evolution of Europe, thanks in no small part to my reading of ‘Death of Kings’ by Bernard Cornwell. I also recently read the first book in that series (Saxon Stories), ‘The Last Kingdom’, which was amazing, and I would urge anyone who’s even remotely interested in the period, or just good writing to read it.
After that I’ve delved into whatever I can scour from ask historians on reddit, to the British History Podcast, and I have to say that it’s really made me think about my country in a different light.
It helps, I suppose, that I’ve been volunteering in the Nottingham Natural History Museum at Wollaton Hall for these last few months. It’s hard not to be inspired walking up to a tudor mansion on a regular basis. That, and sorting the remains of dead creatures from millions of years before humans even thought to stack two stones together.
In a way, I’m closer now than ever to understanding how some people can be proud of their country, though I doubt I’ll ever understand fully. I’m not proud that Britain has such an extensive and fascinating history, just as I’m not proud that there was life there for millions of years before humans that also were not me. I do however, find it extremely interesting, and, if I’m being honest, it’s hard not to feel a tinge of connectedness to it all.
I’m not proud to be British, but perhaps my feelings of attachment to its heritage are the closest thing I’m ever going to get to that.