I first watched her show Harlots, Housewives, and Heroines: A 17th century History for Girls on BBC Four and was drawn to her unique accent of English. I watched Act One: At Court, and then Act Two and Three; At Home and At Home and At Play respectively and was totally caught by her playful way to retell the history of the Restoration Era. She seems to be such a fun person and I would love to study Britain’s history with her as a lecturer. And the accent!!! Loved it. I was struck with the UK-mania ever since I was a little girl. The dreams of visiting castles, manors, and other stately homes were made true when I was 24 and lived a while in the UK; using the study excuses. Ha! I am in LOVE with everything UK, especially its history. I had to say I am a history buff too, though my ability to memorise dates and names is quite faint.
FASHIONS, WOMEN, AND THE INTERWOVEN TIMELINES
Fiennes was interested in anything new, in innovations, bustling towns, the newly fashionable spa towns such as Bath and Harrogate, and in commerce. – Wikipedia, 2012.
Yes, yes, I can imagine the influences of Western styles of clothing in Indonesia during 17th century period: Portuguese and Dutch have entered the ports and jetties. Not to mention the previously arrived Arabs, Indians, Gujaratis, Chinese, and several others. We might have some sense of influences in daily fashion and statel fashion from these new arrivals, either symbolically or explicitely.
Anyways, women in my country might not be wearing fashionable Venezian high heels on the 17th century, but I bet the domination of colours of brown, golden, yellow, red, and orange would beat the dull of the grey clouds. Oh God, I could go on when talking about the history of fashion; from chopines, to negligee, corsetry (especially THIS ONE!! I’m a fanatic!). Okay, remind me to write something about the history of fashion items in Indonesia too.. I know someone who has been working specifically and archaeologically about this.
WOMEN AND SOCIETY
Then, what came across my mind is about the shifting of women’s roles in society. Now here’s something totally different, in my views. When the Restoration women of the Great Britain found their voices and were able to speak up through writings of recipe books, midwifry guidelines, sexual relationship manual books; I was wondering what the women in my country at that time were doing. There is a tendency of stereotyping the role of women over here (avec ou sans emancipation…) that women should always stand behind their men (or THE men). Waves of feminist movements from the US after the WWII didn’t seem to affect much of the women in my country. Yes, nowadays you will find independent socialites spreading over there stories of successes in the Sunday newspaper or women’s magazines, but really…. it’s all a play. In reality, in daily life: they still embrace the feminist movement concepts half-heartedly. Why am I being judgmental about this? Hm… that’s another story.
One thing I find that is similar between women ANYWHERE is that the knowledge of household skills, hygiene, health, and personal matters (and how to handle men [!!!]) are handed down in a secretive and nearly sacred manner. Now this is what I call the real GIRL POWER; in addition to what the Spice Girls have been promoting in the late 1990s. And there is this other thing that is similar: prostitution is considered to be an unfortunate profession anywhere in the world. It is the lowest form of a job (pardon me), but there are high class ones, like: courtesans, mistresses; and this custom happens everywhere as well. I have an outline about this topic as well, where I shall mention the high-class category of prostitution is merely about the controlled environments of ‘activities’ (if you know what I mean). Those who works in a lower level might be prone to STDs more than those who’s working in a more controlled environment, where they may choose the clients varieties or to stick with several regulars. Oh yeah, archaeology of sexuality and this oldest profession always fascinates me, because I am passionate and I find the women who chose this profession are brave as not all of them do it for the sake of fun-ness.
THE STATELY HOMES
What is it about the Great Britain that keeps me falling in love with it? Everything! One of them is the architectures. As I mentioned, from the Roman baths, churches, graveyards, cathedrals, halls, manors, lodges, whatnot. I remember visiting Anne Hathaway’s home and really not wanting to go home at all (Gosh, those thatched roof is inviting!!). The series presented a bit about the rooms, chambers, and features of architecture and I have to tell you that I envy the detailed-ly recorded history of uses, users, owners, restorators, and even the person who demolished it (ehmmm, Henry!!!). Again, comparing to the supposedly stately homes in Indonesia (of course, the Westernised architectures were introduced by the Dutch, and Portuguese); I dont feel like we have proper information about the same thing.I have to sadly admit that over here, the custom is to think that colonisation is hurtful and bad and therefore the remains shall be demolished and turned it out to be grandeur shopping malls. If you do not catch my drift of cynicism, then I dont know what to say. Today’s laws were supposed to protect the stately homes and buildings, but when someone opened up the thick money-filled wallet, the law fades away. Oh God, have I been too honest here? Sorry… NOT! There is only ONE Anglican Church in Jakarta and look what happened to it? TSK!Where am I going with this? I was supposed to write about Lucy Worsley! Hahahaa… now now.. she inspired me to write this, so in a way, I am writing about her (not?). There are a lot of social aspects presented in the series of Harlots, Housewives, and Heroines. In conclusion, it shows the shifting of daily life aspects and point of view and customs around Great Britain. Just yesterday I was talking to a colleague of mine about ‘evolution of thinking’ and this example of case is far more relatable than the case he was offering. Hahahahahaha… sorry!