And How Does It Relate to Our Life?

Hello Lovely Readers! It’s Liz B again. It must be the weekend for guest posting here at Farmgirl Writes. My friend Jessica posted yesterday and now Amanda has asked me to do another guest post here at her blog. (I’m so glad you liked the first one Amanda dear.) If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read here.

So that got me thinking…should I do a follow-up post to my last one? What angle can I approach it in order to get the most interesting/captivating result? And, so I thought and thought (for about a day) and came up with a perfect topic…one I’m very interested in applying to my own life:

How history relates to us today. And I’m not talking just historical facts.


I’m talking about how social customs change — each person has their own preference on changing fashions and etiquette faux pas, but really those ideals never go away for good. I had to answer a history question that compared and contrasted intellectual revolutions with political revolutions, and which was more endearing. Unless you can’t tell, I chose to side with intellectual revolutions because “a political system only lasts as long as the people want it to.” But, even if intellectual ideas change, and are “gone away with” in favor of change, those original ideas are always present in someone’s mind, and can be brought back at any moment.


Yesterday evening, I started watching BBC’s North and South. A couple of friends here on the blogging world were raving about it, so I thought I’d give it a shot, especially since I love history films. This movie is a four part series and it is about a family who moves to Milton, Northern England. This city is a work city essentially, and the workers in the cotton mills there plan a strike because they feel their wages are unfair. Then of course, there is the hero of the film…who doesn’t seem very heroic until the very end, Mr. Thornton — one of the cotton mill owners. The heroine, Margaret Hale doesn’t know which side she is on: the strikers’ side or the side of the other wealthy in the city. She has friends on both ends.

In this dear film we see many dresses — of the wealthy and working classes — and the social etiquette of the time. Poor Margaret needs to turn Mr. Thornton down when he shows his true feelings for her and she doesn’t know how. There are two things interesting with this picture: first, the fact that the man was bold enough to declare his love, even when he was unsure how it would be received (how many modern guys would do that?) and second, there were polite delicacies to be treated in such a situation, so that the poor girl did not know what to do for fear of being improper.

Now, do any of you think this is stifling? I guess it can be, if you think deeply about it. But it also seems to be uplifting, as if the rules and restraints take so much weight off ones shoulders, especially for the women (of course, not when we’re put into an uncomfortable situation like Margaret, but hey, I have had zero men propose marriage to me — she’s pretty lucky).

Now just look at this gorgeous wedding gown!

And that also brings around the question — how can this apply to us? I know many girls who see historical films — myself included — and are swept up by the passion that is seen is just one kiss. It makes sense, if a young lady and a young man aren’t allowed the intimate contacts that such modern couples indulge in, how much more they’d get out of just one touch, or one glance, or one kiss. If there are rules, it frees one from blubbering around and not knowing what to do, or what is expected of her. If there were ways to go about courting, or seeing someone you believed you were falling in love with…well, it might just be me, but it seems a whole lot easier.

I dream about being more “old-fashioned,” more courteous, more socially polite and feminine — as the ladies of the past did. That doesn’t mean I hate modernism (though I do have little taste for modern art) but that I’d rather we kept some of those old social customs and ideals.

Now tell me. Do you find this stifling or freeing? And if you haven’t already, I urge you to check out the movie, North and South. It really is amazing.

To read more of my ramblings, visit my blog. I’d love it if you stopped by!

6 thoughts on “And How Does It Relate to Our Life?

  1. Very interesting post, Liz! Thank you for guest posting. I have not seen North and South yet, but I have friends who have seen it and love it.
    Oh, and I love that wedding gown! *sigh* I wish we could return to the simplicity of olden days… πŸ™‚
    I will be checking your blog out soon!

    ~Hannah Grace

  2. I watched N&S and didn't really like it…I'm an optimist, and I like cheerful colorful movies. Like the 1995 Pride and Prejudice. So the gray bleakness of this movie turned me off so much that I didn't enjoy the story much. Having said that, I think I should probably give it a second chance, since so many people love it. πŸ™‚

    I would love to have lived in the 1800's. πŸ™‚ The dresses…the manners…so many great things from back then!

  3. Thanks for your opinion! I guess I can agree with you that it is a rather depressing story.. I like cheerful too, and so I like to balance. But sometimes, a great story that has a happy ending to it is wonderful, no matter if it was depressing in the beginning or not. You should definitely give it a second chance!

  4. I didn't see the movie, but I am a huge fan of historical romance. When I was younger, I remember thinking how unfair and stifling that way of life was, but now that I am 37 and a single mom with zero romance, I would give my eye teeth for some courtesy and social niceties. My luck, though, I would have been a consumptive scullery maid instead of a grand lady. Haha!

  5. I absolutely loved North and South. Stayed up all night watching it, and will definitely watch again one day. It was fantastic.

    Great post, Liz! I would love to go back in time and experience life in the 1800's, though not working in a cotton mill haha. I think it's all about balance. If we could have modern amenities with the class and moral of the 1800's, life would be perfect.

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