Time travel is a topic that seems to come up a lot around here. My sister and I will randomly talk about it, while she would much rather be able to have a time travel television where she could simply type in the date and place and observe from the comfort of her home, I would rather travel to a place so I could get the feel of it. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to travel back in time. Where would I go? What would I do? Who would I meet? Every time I pick up a good historical novel, I get a little bit of that feeling, there are times when I find myself wanting to find out more than I can by just reading a book. I especially find myself wanting to travel through time for research but only if I can come back at my command. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in the 15th century with an illness that would be fatal there but a round of antibiotics here could clear up in ten days.
There are a few projects that I need to research for. One of them being linked to the Robin Hood stories. While it is believed that the legend of Robin Hood is based on a real person there are discrepancies as to when he lived. The earliest mention of Robin Hood was 1377. I would like to travel back to 14th century England to really get a feel for the time. Understand how they lived, dressed, spoke, their hopes and dreams. What was it really like? I’d discover how the legend of Robin Hood came to be. Was he really a nobleman who lost all he had and then fought on the side of the peasants? Or was he a poor man who simply got fed up with being taxed into starvation? If he had a daughter would he have taught her to protect herself? Would she be as skilled as he in a time when gender divides were so strict?
I’d also like to travel to 16th century Scotland. While Queen Mary passed the Witchcraft Acts in 1563 the first major set of trials were in 1590-1591 when King James the VI became involved. He was so convinced that there were people using witchcraft against him that he had commissions for those willing to hunt down witches. The king was involved in the torture of many of the women who were accused of witchcraft. What was it like for females in this time? Did they have to watch every little thing that they said or did? What about the midwives and healers? If something went wrong could a cry of “witch” cost them their life? The king accused a teacher of using witchcraft to bring a storm against the ship that the king was travelling on; that accusation ended up with the teacher having to flea the country in order to save his life; giving up everything that he had and leaving all he had known. Was there a safe place where women could run to? Was it safer in the Highlands than it was in the Lowlands as many of the executions were in the Lowlands? These are all things that will help with my work The Man in the Mist which is a shot story I wrote years ago that I am not expanding into a novel.
I think I would also like to travel to 1804 so that I could travel with Sacajawea as she helped Lewis and Clark on their journey through the West. It amazes me that she not only made that journey but saved them a time or two. If not for her they never would have survived. I have read a few different accounts and I would like to be there to get the real story. Then I could write of that experience. I think I would stick around to see when she really died. While it is said she died in 1812 at the age of 24 there are legends that claim she made it back to her Shoshone people, remarried, and lived a long and happy life. I always liked to believe that she did make her way back home, she deserved to find some happiness after the horrible events she had to live through. I would love to be able to write her true story.
There are so many other places and times I would like to travel if there was a way to ensure I did not alter our history and I could come home any time I wanted to. Would you travel to a different time; past or future?