Not a St. Patrick’s Day post

So, I debated for awhile over posting about the history of St. Patricus, you know, how he was actually a Roman Britain, not Irish, and was sold into slavery in Ireland; how the myth of him banishing the snakes from the Emerald Isle is really just a metaphor for bringing Christianity to the “pagans”.

Hell, as long as I’m not working at the moment, I might as well put to use all of those Medieval Latin texts I had to read.

But I’m interested in a different history today.

Last night I watched the first part of a program on HBO about John Adams. Now, as a medieval British historian, typically I’d find mid 18th century America rather, well, too modern. But call me crazy, something about the general fuckedup-ness of the American election procedures got me curious about how this whole mess began. So, as I usually do when I want to know something, I began reading.

For the past week now I’ve been reading a biography of John Adams by David McCullough. Great read, by the way, you know for anyone interested in the topic.

However, this week has been rather… chaotic in the CableGirl household and not much reading has been done. So, if you find me absent this week it’s because I’m off trying to finish my book. I have to get through it before the next episode on HBO.

Yes, I’m that annoying sort of geek that can’t watch a historical drama without knowing the actual history behind it.

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~ by CableGirl on Monday, March 17, 2008.

21 Responses to “Not a St. Patrick’s Day post”

  1. Go for it! I’d love the CableGirl’s version of events – like Cliff’s Notes!
    And you realize us Irish are just looking for yet another excuse to drink, right?

  2. Yes, Iโ€™m that annoying sort of geek that canโ€™t watch a historical drama without knowing the actual history behind it.

    I did the same thing with The Tudors. I couldn’t enjoy it until I knew how incredibly wrong it was.

  3. Oh good! I almost bought the John Adams book at a Target in Austin, but realized it’d be heavy to lug around, so I bought a novel about Lady Jane Grey instead (speaking of geeking out). Let me know how it is, I really want to read it.

  4. I would love to hear about it! When I was an exchange student in N. Ireland I was told that it’s more of a religious holiday over there like All Saints Day.

  5. Sounds interesting, although I can’t say I’ve ever been too interested in American politics and civic history. I prefer Edward Rutherford style history texts. But definitely tell us what you learned…that way I don’t have to slog through it.
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Oh no… I missed it. I am SOOOO SAD. My dvr is mildly retarded and only schedules things three days ahead. I am so truly sad I missed it… Then again, it is HBO. It’s likely to air 65 more times by Thursday.

  7. You’re a girl after my own heart. I love history. LOVE IT. I could read history book after history book. I just can’t get enough!

  8. You’re too cute. Be proud to be a scholar! I’m picky about history, some I love, some I find boring. I definitely want to try & catch the HBO special. Maybe even buy that book. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I find myself not appreciating the drama when I know too much about the historical accuracy – therefore, I choose to continue to be brainwashed by Hollywood and get my history lesson from them. Otherwise I might find out that BenHur didn’t really encounter BenHur or something crazy like that.

    KEEP BELIEVING

  10. I brainfarted that comment. I might find out that BenHur didn’t really encounter JESUS or something crazy like that.

  11. I think my college history professor ruined early American History for me-I honestly can’t read/hear about that time period without cringing from the memory of that prick I had to deal with to get through the class.

    Thank GOD I had a much better professor for 20th Century American History…which imo is a lot juicier anyway.

  12. How was the first segment? I’ve heard good things about it.

  13. I knew that St. Patrick was British. =)

    As for historic novels… I bought ‘Mayflower’ just because it mentions a relative of mine… yeah, I’m a book freak.

    I do the same thing… read books before seeing the movie… than spoil it for everyone by continually saying … that’s not in the book, or the book is SOOOO much better. Read on rock star!

  14. I’m the same way. I want the back story before I see anything on tv. I need to read the book before I see the movie. I just really like to envision it myself first, and then see how others think I should see it. They’re always wrong ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. I wanted to read the McCullough book for a while now but have been intimidated by it’s girth.

  16. Haha – it’s ok CableG! I get it. I’m like that with concerts. I can’t go to one unless I know every song by that artist, or else I feel like I’m not worthy to go. It stems from when I was a 15 yr old skate punk. No one wanted to be called a poseur, so we had to know everything about a band before we went to their show. Hey, you’re from Boston — remember TT the Bear’s place and the Middle East Restaurant in Central Square? Those are where the cool punk bands played.

  17. Whew! Thank god you didn’t talk about this history of St. Patrick, that stuff is so boring. Oh, right. Ooops. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. I’ve made friends with a Dubliner in Berlin… no chance Cormac O’Neill is one of yours, eh? Great craic!

  19. I thought that the John Adams series was actually based on the McCullough book, although I could be mistaken. I just saw the movie Breach, which was very good, and now I have a list of books on Robert Hanssen to check out and decide which is worth reading. Will check for used bargain editions of McCullough and others today. I love history….and this will keep me from re-reading Shelby Foote.

  20. I can’t believe I missed this the other day. Cause I almost posted about how I find it funny Patrick is celebrated for all things Irish but was, in fact, British. I knew you would know that, toots.

    I never was able to do a master’s in Medieval Britain solely due to my lack of Latin. It’s always been my big regret. I wish I would’ve known to study it earlier. I still know quite a bit for someone with a BA in it, though.

    And, I really wish I had HBO or Showtime for the new shows they are doing. I’ve missed the one on Ancient Rome, the Adams one, and The Tudors (although I am not a Tudor fan)…when did history become vogue again? Am I no longer a history geek but a woman in the know?

  21. But, that’s my favorite kind of geek… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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