Thursday, June 23, 2016

Final Destination This Tour - Elizabethan England with Tour Guide Carole P. Roman!

The year about 1578...Things were changing after the Middle Ages, and people were open to trying new things. It was considered a Renaissance or a time of rebirth of ideas and new points of view. The time period is referred to as the Elizabethan Age in history because it took place when Elizabeth I was the queen of England. A lot happened while she was the leader. England became a superpower. Queen Elizabeth sent out explorers to discover new lands and bring back discoveries. This made many people rich. A new class of people called merchants emerged. They had excess wealth, so they spent their extra money paying for artists to pain portraits or write poetry and literature. Playwrights like William Shakespeare flourished. It was called a golden age for art and literature.

Plays were organized by acting companies. The company belonged to shareholders who were responsible for everything but took most of the profit, leaving actors poor. They performed about six different plays per week. Your brother ran away to join an acting troupe that put on plays in the yard of the local inn. You paid a penny to see him and didn't even recognize him. He was the youngest member of the troupe and played a pretty girl. The actors didn't allow women in the troupe, so the youngest and newest members took the female parts.
If You Were Me and Lived In...
Elizabethan England

By Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by Paul Tabor

England, known for its long line of kings or queens normally have many of the children named after them. Girls might be called Elizabeth or Mary and boys might be called Henry or John. For a small country, this could get confusing, don't you think? LOL

While the beginning of the Elizabethan Era might have brought wealth and success. the family chosen to represent our new merchants was a family who owned a bakery. It would have taken free work by one of their ancestors to learn what was required and then a period of time working there before he had fully learned the trade. But it was his marriage of the baker's daughter that brought the bakery into the family, which then provided work for siblings from both families...

London was a busy place to live... The streets were narrow and made of cobblestones which were slippery and uneven. People three theur dirt, garbage, and waste out the window. There were no bathrooms in the houses. You could imagine what the trash smelled like when it rotted on the streets! Houses were crammed together; there was no lighting, so criminals and pickpockets roamed the streets. It was a dangerous place, and you never went out without one of your sisters...
Horses, coaches, fishmongers, tradesmen, and milkmaids filled the narrow streets. The city was a bustling collection of dirt, noise, people, and animals... 

Much research has been done to provide extensive information about the home life of tradesmen and many beautiful, detailed pictures representing that time provided by Illustrator Paula Tabor. Kudos to Tabor for her realistic work that even included a little boy with a tooth lost from his front teeth. And the addition of dogs and cats somehow made the busy life more acceptable and joyous. I was pleased to see that the life of the average boy and girl, though a hard life it may have been, as opposed to those who were part of the royal family... But there was also some times for fun such as the four-day event that took place at St. Bartholomew. There would be magic and puppet shows, jugglers and acrobats as well as vendors there selling their specialties. 

I was able to find a picture of one of the grand homes in the E-shape which was created in honor of Queen Elizabeth. I wanted to include it because I liked the story so much about Nan, who worked in that grand house! 

Your mother would tell you stories about her sister, Nan, who worked in a grand house in Bedfordshire in the country. The house was shaped like an "E" in honor of Queen Elizabeth. It had hundreds of rooms, filled with large fireplaces to keep it toasty and warm in the winter. The roof was decorated with an army of chimney pots that you could see for miles! The main salon had a gigantic hall filled with expensive tapestries from France and furniture from Italy...

There were two special points of interest to me personally... One that the way the baker's house was made, though in a different style, sounded like mine...half-timbered and white plaster, which, of course, is how my cabin was made...

The other point that I thought directly pertained to having a monarchy was that the religion you followed was whatever was "on the throne..." When Mary was queen, she didn't care for anybody's faith but her own; Elizabeth seemed more tolerant. While it was hard to be successful if you didn't follow the faith of your leader, it was important enough that some people stayed with their beliefs despite persecution. So your family became Protestant, but your cousins in the country stayed with the Church of Rome, Catholic.

This was thought-provoking for me since many came to America for religious freedom...Still, though, there is controversy about religion going on even today.  Does anybody know whether England is still following this method, I wondered...

Again, I want to point out that the quality of this series is certainly suitable for your home library and will be of interest to individuals of all ages, but is geared toward the older student. Included is a gallery of important people during the Elizabethan period, as well as an extensive Glossary. Highly recommended!


Award-winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons and combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. She has two highly successful series and is launching this new exciting series about civilizations throughout time. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.

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