Wednesday, December 11

Historical Accuracy Bites the Dust

We have finally completed the text, which is all in the Boutcher children's own words (with a few linking bits from me).

We had to decide whether to make sure the material was all historically accurate, and in the end we decided not to.   We didn't actually suggest that they had steampunk soldiers like the ones above, but there was so much that the children had to learn, and no chance of them becoming historians in the time available, so we had to let a certain amount of accuracy go.

Of course we did our best to explain how different life was then....

"So I'll put that Mabel emailed her friends - "
"But they didn't have email or any sort of internet."
"All right, she skyped her friends."
"They didn't have skype."
"All right, then, she got out her phone and - "
"Hardly anyone had phones"
(Baffled silence)

And the children did very well indeed to understand how in Mabel's day there were no modern communications. They were interested to learn that horses were widely used, that trains were powered by steam - not to mention getting their heads around the idea of a flea circus and an ambulance train.   But it was clear that their story would be much better if they could be themselves.  Which meant letting a certain amount of reality escape out of the window!


  1. Even if it's not totally historically accurate, i'm sure they learned a great deal about that time and era, and they will continue to explore how different things were in the past. You've opened their minds to it, they are not going to forget.

  2. Chuckling at the baffled silence. I can JUST remember a doctor friend of my parents with one of the first mobile phones - it came in a briefcase and I was about 4 years old and in absolute FITS of excitement that we could call my mother on the landline (which answered in the hall) and tell her I was in the back lounge and /speaking on a phone!!!/

    On a more sensible note...I recently did a similar sort of project at the museum with a local school group, getting them to write 'story labels' for the objects in the cases. Pretty much all of them featured Lady Gaga, Peppa Pig and a curious obsession with sandwiches... My personal favourite ended "But mighty Thor was not hungry, so he had a ham sandwich instead." :)