by Nancy Niblack Baxter, Senior Editor Hawthorne Publishing
Or it could be from one of the other access sites, Netflix, Comcast On Demand, Peacock, and the rest. But I think Amazon Prime has been designed to attract a wide variety of entertainment seekers: huge amounts of TV shows and movies from genres including sports, mystery, classics, children’s, art, music, thrillers, Black-interest shows—on and on. Every day there are new offerings gleaned from national, public interest and local TV outlets and individuals and institutions which have created television material of an hour or more.
What I have learned in the past Covid months from Prime that I never knew before:
That the Goths and Visigoths who finally took over Rome had come from Sacandia—our Scandinavia, and traveled thousands of miles through many decades to find warm, welcoming homelands. Crossing southern Europe, they went by the tens of thousands to Carthage and then back over to Italy and sacked it, but also served in the Roman army, fighting sometimes and dealing sometimes, until they were absorbed all over the failing Roman Empire and became the ancestors of modern Europe.
That was today. I have a master’s degree and half a doctorate in English, specialty Victorian literature.
I have taught for twenty-three years seniors in high school and freshmen in college.
But I did not know, had not ever heard that:
- Hummingbirds can be big as well as tiny and are combative. They fight over food.
- Sherlock Holmes had weird relatives including a strange genius sister.
- Iceland has special breeds of interesting horses which they highly value, show and write about.
- The first saga still preserved from English tradition is the Icelandic family group, which tells tales which include Scottish women.
- The English have dramatized almost every book of Charles Dickens and they are all superb as dramas. Particularly brilliant and fascinating: Bleak House and Little Dorritt.
- There were ancient, successful empires around the Persian empire that are just being discovered and excavated.
- Greenland was the home of a Norse settlement for over 500 years. [Well, I knew that but not that it was in existence that long.] Scientists from several countries are still trying to find out why the colony vanished: when an inspector from Norway in the 1400s visited to see how the colony fared, he found empty homes and nobody around. Changing climate caused the food supply to fail? Overgrazing added to the problem? Local Inuits were coping nearby, but their skills weren’t tried by the Norse settlers. Conclusion of the scientists: all of the above or something else destroyed the settlement.
- America and other countries are fascinated, obsessed with World War II—anything about it.
- Every single acre, plot or back yard in Egypt is being investigated for more “Hidden Mysteries” of the Old or New Kingdom. What is enough digging up and investigating?
- Haydn was a nice person as well as a brilliant composer, Beethoven wasn’t (nice that is.)
- Medieval England and Ireland, in the villages particularly, were pretty spooky places to live, with old women being hounded as witches, people afraid that relatives or townspeople they had offended would return to personally attack them as ghosts, and annual rites of all sorts to appease the gods they had supposedly forsaken for Christianity.
- The average English person knows and cares more about, and reveres, the history of his or her country than does particularly the younger generations in America. A personal opinion.
- Everybody who watches TV in America and many other nations loves detective stories no matter how preposterous their setting: in the Morse series (three time periods), which is so intelligently done, Oxford has been the scene for fifty years of weekly killings which must be investigated by Thames Valley police immediately. Culprits must be found in two weeks or less or the upper law enforcement officials will be hounded by politicians and the empowered, corrupt capitalists in Oxford. It is dangerous to live in Oxford, very.
Well to recall that not everything you see on TV, or read in a book, as my Dad used to say, is necessarily true.
Click back to the website to see Nancy Baxter’s non-fiction books and historical novels.