Friday, February 19, 2010

BotD: A Place in Time: Middlesex County, Virginia 1650-1750

Unlike yesterdays piece, this one is not about personal hygiene, but it does remind me how grateful I am to live in an age of reliable indoor plumbing. I'm not a diagnosed ocd, but I won't even camp because I am way to big a fan of the daily ritual of sluffing all the muck from the universe off of me and going to bed in a state of clean.

I only one year of my life in a small town, and only a few months at a boarding school - the rest of my time on this planet has been spent either on acreage removed from the nearest neighbour by more than a shout or a city where I could bang on the wall to ask for help (or tell someone to turn down the damn stereo!).

So it's with a kind of voyeuristic glee that I read social histories of small communities. The kind of communities where everyone knows everyone's business, where your home will be judged 'fine' if you have a porch or whether your household purchased a box seat at church.

A Place in Time may have too many charts for the truly casual reader, but if you've every had any interest in the early life of the Mid-Atlantic states, whether it's a curiosity about living by the calendar, finding love or money in a coastal community or just a voyeuristic look into the past, this may be for you.


mim said...

Like you, I am an urban person. Grew up in a big city, went to school in a small town, but went right back to a big city and another big city, but somehow ended up in a small one, smack in the middle of it, in a lawnless neighborhood. I have however, traveled all over Virginia for work and spent some time passing through and around Middlesex County. Charts not withstanding, I'm going to give this book a go. Thanks for the info.

tarabu said...

Good for you! I think you'll enjoy it, especially if your familiar with the towns and landmarks. Obviously I enjoyed it, or it would have gotten sold at the beginning of a new term!

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