Blackadder Explains World War I

Since Tim Butcher mentioned Blackadder I suppose I have no choice but to post a clip from Blackadder, one of the greatest comedies set in different periods of history. You might know two of the actors: Hugh Laurie and Rowan Atkinson.

Civil War and PTSD

I think something important to bring up when it comes to this book is the idea of Post Traumatic Stress and its effect on W.C. Minor. First, here are definitions of PTSD by the National Institute for Mental Health as well as the American Psychological Association.

Here are articles that address this idea of PTSD and the Civil War. While at the time they would not have recognized mental disorders in the way we do today, I think it’s worthwhile to explore this subject on how the perception of mental illness has changed or not changed from the 19th century until now.

New York Times – PTSD and the Civil War

Smithsonian Institute – Did Civil War Soldiers Have PTSD?

U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs – History of PTSD in Veterans: Civil War to DSM-V

History Welfare Network- Dying to Get Home: PTSD in the Civil War


Elizabethan Era Portrayed in Movies


As we all know, movies are made to entertain, not educate. If they were for education then we’d all be frightened of giant sand worms, legions of zombies, falling pianos, ill-timed revenge, seeing big dramatic speeches in airports and all of our neighbors being psychopathic murderers. It’s all just for fun!

However, when Hollywood decides to do a period piece (any period if we’re honest) the costuming is what puts us into the time and the setting and most of the time that setting is decided not by historians but by producers and costumers. This blog entry nails many of the costuming shortcuts and faux pas in the most famous period pieces of our time.

And after you’re done reading that, go ahead and see their Top 5 Elizabethan movies/TV shows to get you in the spirit of the book.

Hey it doesn’t have to be accurate, just fun. Leave the historical reality to Ian Mortimer.

16th Century Food

You might have been wondering: how can I, a person of the 21st Century, eat like the people of the Elizabethan era? Well curious gourmand, wonder no more! Here are some recipes you can make to re-create the foods of an era long past!

On this website:, You will find a lot of recipes with links to pastries, candies, sweets and a few dinner items such as Stuffed Goose, Hen With Oysters, and Roast Pig with Pudding in its Belly.

This website: might be a little more feasable for the current chef.


Elizabethan Clothing

While Ian Mortimer does an excellent job describing life in Elizabethan England, I thought that maybe some pictures would help for those of us who haven’t seen accurate Elizabethan dress before.

Here is one website walking through the steps of putting on an upper-class Elizabethan dress: 

What colors mean in Elizabethan commoners clothing: 

This is a Prezi presentation on Elizabethan dress (keep clicking the right arrow under the picture): 


Blog at