Hi Dominique, Thank you for taking the time to feature in this week’s Friends Friday Q and A. You are the creator of Some Sources Say blog where you look at archival records and secondary sources.
What made you decide to create a blog in that area?
I did a history and sociology degree and after graduating knew I wanted to continue researching and writing about history. Whilst at university I had dabbled with creating and writing for different blogs, so thought this would be the best avenue to continue my love of research. It’s often recommended to pick a historical niche when creating a blog. Instead I decided to keep things broad so I had the freedom to write about any historical person, place or event that took my interest. Using archival records where possible and secondary sources I try to create interesting content on different historical topics.
You also have a YouTube channel called ‘snapshot of history’. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
I created the YouTube channel in September 2018 as a bit of an experiment. I wanted to try to create history videos as a different type of output to compliment my blog. I chose to call it ‘Snapshot of History’ as I use it to give a whistle stop tour of a topic. My background isn’t in video editing so I’ve enjoyed learning as I go along. In the last 2 years I’ve created 5 videos, but am hoping to dedicate some more time to this area later in the year after getting some new video editing software.
Why do you think it important that we study history?
Our history is a part of us and has shaped the world we find ourselves in today. Without studying history we would never learn from past mistakes and how to move forward.
I love finding out about the history on my doorstep. I was born and raised in Essex, which has some amazing history. What is it about the history of the local area that you have found particularly interesting?
I live in Leeds and find it’s theatrical history particularly interesting. It was a topic I explored for a university project, and this inspired me to write a blog post on Leeds’ first theatre for the most recent Local History Month. The opening of the first theatre on Hunslet Lane in 1771 signalled the beginning of theatrical growth in the city. Today Leeds has some great venues like the Grand Theatre and Opera House, City Varieties, and Leeds Playhouse.
On your About me page you have a photo of Middleham Castle. I have a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses, and Middleham is where Richard grew up. Is this an area you find particularly interesting, do you have a view on the Princes in the Tower and their Uncle Richard?
I find Richard III and the Plantagenets so interesting, and really enjoyed my visit to Middleham Castle. Visiting a place where historical figures once lived really brings history to life! I’m not convinced Richard III was responsible for the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower. He had already usurped Edward V’s throne and declared him and his siblings illegitimate, so at this point in his reign he had nothing to gain from disposing of them. It’s a topic I would like to do more research on for a future blog post, as it’s one of English history’s greatest mysteries that has never really been answered.
Who is your favorite person in history and why?
That’s a tough one! I’m not sure I have a favourite, but a figure I find really interesting is Michel de l’Hôpital who was Chancellor of France from 1560-1568. He supported the young king Charles IX and his mother Catherine de Medici with a policy of religious tolerance during the early Wars of Religion. Religious violence was unfortunately common during this period, but Michel tried to pave a way to connect Catholics and Huguenots under royal authority. His efforts weren’t successful in the end, but he was ahead of his time for his tolerant outlook.
If you could go back in time and view a window of the past when and where would it be and why?
I think I would choose to go to the Imperial Russian Court at its height, and experience the opulence and decadence of the Winter Palace! It’s hard to imagine such extravagance today, and would definitely make for an interesting experience.
Finally, what does the future hold for you? Any future projects in the pipeline that you would like to share with us?
In the future I will continue with my monthly history themes, so keep an eye out for articles on the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer and the Gunpowder Plot! I also plan to create more videos for my Snapshot of History channel.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
For more information and to follow Dominique on Social Media head to the below links:
You Tube :Some Sources Say: Snapshot of History