Author Brings History to Life

November 14, 2011

Virginia, ZArchive (Old Blog)

My favorite boy toy and I went to Colonial Williamsburg yesterday – yes, to chase more fall colors!  We enjoyed a beautiful day walking around taking pictures and enjoying the scenery.  The cast members portraying colonial life were in their costumes as usual, cooking, working the farms, driving the horse teams, and giving tours.

I’ve had a greater appreciation for the War for Independence since reading Barbara Hamilton’s mystery books with the protagonist, Abigail Adams.  Abigail was the wife of John Adams, who would eventually be the second president of the United States.  Their son, John Quincy Adams, would become the sixth president.

The books are set in Boston before the revolutionary war, the most recent one (Sup With The Devil) happening immediately after the Boston Tea Party, three years before the United States declared its independence from British rule on July 4, 1776.

What I’ve really liked is that while fictional, the author brought history to life for me and helped me better understand the times in which the colonists lived, the social and cultural mores, and how the fight for independence created such tension.  It was not at all clear which side was right nor was it easy to know who to trust.  Samuel Adams was a rabble rouser and incited mob violence (note that not all historians agree with that).  Both he and Paul Revere often help Abigail as she chases down clues and gets to the bottom of the mystery, although Sam wisely stayed clear of Abigail after causing one of her sons to be kidnapped.

Colonial Williamsburg does many skits, speeches, and educational events to portray life in America as it was in this time period.  That helps to visualize the history.  The books help explain many additional nuances to make it more real.  Between both of them, I’ve learned a lot of new things about the founding of our country.

This picture is from a working farm at Williamsburg yesterday.  The pumpkin vines in the foreground were nipped by frost and are dead.  The greenery is beets, carrots, turnips, and cabbage, all of which are frost hardy.  The stockade fence is necessary protection against animals – I wish I had one of those in MY yard, although it sure wouldn’t keep the dratted squirrels out.

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Word for tomorrow – LENGTHEN.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

About dogear6

I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

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4 Comments on “Author Brings History to Life”

  1. Darlene Says:

    I would dearly love to visit Colonial Williamsburg some day. The books you describe sound great!

    • dogear6 Says:

      Williamsburg is cool, but there are a lot of good history parks / farms / villages around the country. We’ve been to Old World Wisconsin and Living History Farms (Des Moines, Iowa) and they are both fantastic also.

      Barbara’s books are really good – I’m glad you enjoyed me sharing about them.

      And thanks for visiting my blog. I had no idea you read it!

  2. pattisj Says:

    Thought I’d give your challenge a try. We live in driving distance, also, but haven’t toured Colonial Williamsburg, it was nice to read your post. Have you attended the Grand Illumination there?

  3. kittyhere Says:

    Oh that is some lovely color in your photo.

    Always nice to find out what books people are reading.

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