passports, 50s designs, St Dwynwen's day (the Welsh Valentine's day), architecture, Durga, quilts and so much more! At the moment we have an exhibition on about the period between 1500 and 1700 which also covers the Tudor period. It's actually a great subject to cover as children study it in school at about the age of 8 so there are lots of children coming to the activities with knowledge already.
To prepare for the Tudors I read a book by Alison Weir called 'Innocent Traitor'...
I know my limits and knew that I would never finish a non fiction history book, and I actually felt I learnt quite a bit from this novel. It's not something I would usually read but it was enjoyable and spurred me on to learn some more (mainly by looking on the internet I admit). I also got Alison Weir's next novel (she has written loads of non fiction too) called 'The Lady Elizabeth' out of the library, so am thinking of giving that a go too. If anyone can recommend any good historical novels I'd very much appreciate it, as am finding it hard to tell which ones are trashy and which are good!
Otherwise I have been reading the Clarice Lispector that I mentioned a little while ago. I love it, although I think it's going to take me quite a while to finish it. It's quite a serious book, with quite a bit of background covering Russia and Brazil which am not sure I'm completely taking in. Nevertheless, it's fascinating, and I've written a couple of quotes from Lispector in my sketchbook already:
'Not having been born an animal is one of my secret nostalgias.'
'When I learned how to read and write, I devoured books! I thought books were like trees, like animals: something that was born! I didn't know there was an author! Eventually I figured out that there was an author. So I said: That's what I want, too.'
When I need a break from the book (some of it is a little bleak) I've been reading Llewellyn's 2011 Witches' Spell-a-day almanac
which as you can tell from the title has a spell for everyday, along with rituals and folklore. Am not really much of a spellcaster, but I do love reading about them!