Why would American colonists remain loyal to England? – examining our preconceived notions about Loyalists

When you are starting out in living history / reenacting activities, you come equipped with many preconceived notions about American History. Regardless of the period, there are things that you learned in school, read in books, or saw in movies that help shape your vision of the past. The problem is, often times some of these are just plain wrong.

 Every country, as part of the fabric of its society, creates a historical narrative. The purpose of this “narrative” is to promote the country’s triumphs and strengths, and to promote a common national identity complete with a single set of political ideals and values. Continue reading

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Twelve Tips You Can Use for Getting Started in Living History / Reenacting – Part 2

7.      It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money….

If you choose what you buy carefully. Many things you will use are costly so this is a good reason to follow the advice about joining a group and asking them for help. If you don’t, when starting out, you will end up buying a ton of gear that you don’t need or is inappropriate for your impression. Eventually you will get tired of hauling it around and after that, it just gathers dust in your basement or storage shed

8.     Get it right for your impression.

Most of the sutlers (vendors of period equipment) that cater to the 18th century are honest, and want you  happy with your purchase so you will keep coming back. Continue reading

Twelve Tips You Can Use for Getting Started in Living History / Reenacting – part 1

1. Don’t believe everything you see in the movies.

In almost every case, historical accuracy was not the point of the film, TV show or novel; entertainment was. Don’t be confused by them. Base what you do and say on solid research, not TV, movies, or novels.

2. It will take time.

Building an impression takes time. It takes time to do research, to get clothing, to learn what the period was like. Like all beginners, you will be in a rush to Continue reading

Getting Started: Five questions to ask BEFORE getting involved.

Note: The periods that I reenact stretch from the mid-eighteenth Century (1750) up through the early parts of the nineteenth century (~1815). While portions of this article may show that “bias,” the principles discussed are applicable to any era.

 So, how did you get started in living history?” This one of the most frequent questions that I have heard over the years. Without a doubt, there are as many answers to this question as people involved in living history / reenacting. The thing is, I have learned that when people ask this question they are almost never interested in the details of how I got started. What they really want to know is, Continue reading