Why do I write?
History is nothing more than the collective memories of people who lived through an event.
This was the definition I gave my high school history students every September. They would challenge my definition, saying it should contain something about facts and dates, government actions or military battles. Others would insist I should also include the words “old” and “boring.”
So I provided the students with my own challenge: Accept my definition of history and by the end of the school year, you will recognize the difficult choices people have made before you. You will know the world’s history for its wisdom and its faults, and appreciate its story. If not, I will add your words to my definition.
I always won the challenge.
History is a story. A story of people living through events most of us can only empathize with. They made choices, some were noble, some inept. Some people saved the world, others saved themselves. But everyone has lived a life worth telling about.
The story of history is why I write.
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Jessica is a member of the Historical Novel Society