Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Illuminations at Colonial Williamsburg

Over a month ago we visited Colonial Williamsburg for the Christmas season. I've gotten behind in sharing pictures and stories of our adventures, so this may seem off topic, but actually it isn't. Christmas, as we know it, was not celebrated in the 18th century, not even in Virginia. For them, the days leading up to Christmas was a religious observance. Then with Christmas began the 12 Days of Christmas, which included much merriment and dances, at least in Virginia! "Virginians must dance or they will die, " Philip Vickers Fithian wrote. Many weddings also took place during this time. George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis and Thomas Jefferson married Martha Wayles Skelton during the 12 Days of Christmas.

When the historic area became "the historic area" in the 1920's and 1930's, visitors expected to see Christmas when they arrived in December. However none had been planned since it wasn't historically accurate. To accomodate guests' Christmas wishes, many new traditions and programmings have been devised over the years with leanings towards history. One of the many new traditions that we enjoy at CW today in December, are illuminations which are historically based in the 18th century for a grand event, such as the king's birthday.

There are three different illuminations, that I am aware of, the Illumination of the Taverns, the Illumination of the Palace Green and Illumination of the Capitol.

Our first night in town we got to see the Illumination of the Taverns, on Duke of Gloucester Street. The Fife and Drum Corps fife and drum their way up DOG Street, stopping in front of each of the taverns. The music pauses as a narrator on a loudspeaker shares history of that tavern of of the Illumination.

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Guns are fired (most definitely an 18th century Christmas tradition) and torches...
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light cressets in front of the tavern.
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Then the Fife and Drum Corps fife and drum their way to the next tavern, drawing huge crowds of guests to join in the merriment.

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Our last night in town we attended the Illumination of the Palace Green which starts at the Governor's Palace.

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The procession continues pretty much the same as on DOG Street, except there is a bit more intricate opportunity involving marching down the Palace Green then up the streets and back, this time with narration telling about the houses along the Palace Green.
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At the very end of the night, we got a photo of the entire Palace Green alight with cressets.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas at the Rockefellers' Williamsburg Home

Today we have the charming Colonial Williamsburg thanks to two men. Reverand Goodwin had a vision. In 1926 he convinced John D. Rockefeller that his vision was a worthy cause. Before long, Rockefeller himself caught the vision and poured his heart into the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. Rockefeller's wife also caught the vision and fell in love with Williamsburg. Goodwin even convinced Rockefeller to purchase Basset Hall. "I wish you would buy Basset Hall for yourself. It would give you a charming vantage point from which to play with the vision and dream which you see." Rockefeller was convinced and purchased Basset Hall to the delight of his wife. Her response at the purchase was, "Oh, I am so happy today. John has promised me we can have Basset Hall...And he says I can keep it if I promise not to take in tourists." She called it "our little colonial house" and it was the favorite of all their houses.

Today we are able to tour this home, which is styled as it was when the Rockefellers lived in it. The grandchildren return today and say it is just like it was when they visited as children. For Christmas it is decorated 1940's style.

The Rockefellers had two different tastes which one can read about in the previously linked article. Mr. Rockefeller liked the traditional but Mrs. Rockefeller liked folk art. You will see a sprinkling of both throughout the house. During the tour the tour guide tells great information about life in Basset Hall, both in the colonial days, and when the Rockefellers lived there.

Apart from the folk art, much of the 1940's decor reminds me of being at my grandparents' house, or even my parents' house because my mom inherited many things from her parents. Even the Christmas tree makes me feel like being at my parents' house.



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We were told that this was Mrs. Rockefeller's gown that she wore in the 1941 painting that can be seen here.

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My infamous fruitcake recipe (which is truly moist and delicious) came from my mom's cookbook...identical to the Borden pamphlet cookbook in the picture below! Also my mom had those silver cookie cutters for us to use while I was a little girl. My grandma gave me a cookie press just like the one below. Oh the memories.

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My mom still has a rug like that, lamps like that, buys wrapping paper like that...

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I've toured Basset Hall before, but it meant so much more after having seen the Williamsburg Old Time Radio Hour, set in the time of the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg, in the 1920's/1930's. All week I was walking through town thinking of how the town used to look before the restoration. Reading the above linked article tonight made me decide who I'm going to be when we do our 1930's history presentation next school year. I want to be Mrs. Rockefeller! I'm not as old as she was when her husband started donating to the historic area, but we'll bypass that minor detail. I'll be looking for lots of research on her! Stay tuned!

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Capitol Concert at Christmasy Colonial Williamsburg

My favorite concerts are with the Governor's Musick and when better to attend than at Christmas time? We are not allowed to take photos during the program but we had a long wait indoors because of the frigid chill outdoors. Everything was in place, as appropriate to the 18th century...candles, music, atmosphere.

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While watching some Jane Austen movies recently it was quite a thrill to see some some of the same music and candle stands. I could definitely feel myself transported to the past.

When the musicians entered, they shared that there is much music making during the 12 Days of Christmas, but very little is documented as to precisely what is played specific to the season. However they do know which music they could have played. These delightful pieces were played for us, even a few very old pieces that reflect the birth of the Saviour. We listened to the harpsichord, viola da gamba, violin, a German flute (I think, but much different than what we are used to today) and a female soprano. Most of the others also joined her in song. They played in different combinations and all took turns featuring their instrument or voice, so we could appreciate the beauty of each one as well as its place in history.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Williamsburg Old Time Radio Hour

The first program we got to see while visiting Colonial Williamsburg was the Williamsburg Old Time Radio Hour featuring a few familiar faces from CW and many new ones! This program is brand new to the CW Christmas lineup with hopes of more to come! As we entered the Hennage Auditorium we were instantly getting into the mood of 1920's Williamsburg. The stage was set with an old time radio studio complete with foley table (sound effects)! We knew all about that from an opportunity we had to produce our very own family radio show that we still have on CD! The kids were voices with Whit, Connie and Kris from "Adventures in Odyssey" and my husband and I were the foley crew. In the picture below you can see the "door" just like I had to use on the foley table in Colorado Springs. I quickly learned that great finesse and timing are key to make noise. Slamming a door requires much rehearsal!

Also my kids and I put together our own USO radio show for the troops of WWII, which was broadcast back home in America. (This is how I teach history.) Therefore we had plenty of background of experience to know that a lot of research and work went into this program and we couldn't wait to see it all come together! We know that anything that Colonial Williamsburg puts together is quality and we trusted this show would be great! I surprisingly even found myself in fashion to the 1920's, since I was wearing my 1920's cloche hat to help me keep warm on the wintery streets in the historic area. We were definitely getting "in the mood."

Anticipation was building as period 1920's music cheerfully played while a slide presentation showed us how the historic area looked in the days before the restoration followed by a picture of how it looks today. Many of these pictures I've seen before in the book Williamsburg: Before and After. However there were some new ones of Merchant's Square! I had no idea that corner of the CW property was that old! I always assumed it had been built more recently. There were other stores there at one time and we recognized all the store fronts from the A&P to the Harvey Diner (which made me wonder if there was a connection to Fred Harvey's western establishments that began in the late 19th century. They eventually turned to chain stores during the Great Depression, and I found this document from the College of William and Mary which discusses the beginning of chain stores in Merchants Square during the Great Depression.) This further set the stage for entering the 1920's Williamsburg, since this radio studio was set in the 1920's with many references were made to familiar places like Henry Street and the "first" reference to DOG Street.

Then each of the slides showcased each of the performers to help us get to know their background and it was hilarious. There was even a "War of the Worlds" reference which even my kids knew about because I thought that was important enough to teach them when we studied the early 20th century. We had listened to a radio drama I downloaded off of audible. So we were really getting "in the mood!"

The program itself was absolutely wonderful and was everything I've ever seen in movies or read about including tossing script sheets over one's shoulder! If it hadn't have been for all our own attempts dabbling in "radio" we would have thought this was easy, because the cast, especially the foleys, made everything look so simple! The program was well written pulling in many connective elements that a Colonial Williamsburg visitor could identify with, not to mention tying in to the classic 1920's radio feel and sound. The inside jokes/moments were great, like the Martha Washington interpretation that only a CW regular would "get!" Fun! Then the foley artists not only handled their miscellaneous spot-on noise makers with smooth precision but they contributed their voices and facial expressions to the wonderful line up of great talent on the stage!

The entire package deal was brilliant, well written, well performed, well choreographed, etc, etc, etc!

After the program we were invited to meet the performers and my son headed straight to the foley table. He asked for this picture, since we were asked not to take pictures during the program. These are the foley artists and she recognized us right off, from having seen us in other CW audiences. I'm always amazed when they tell me that!

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This program gave me a greater appreciation for the historic area. As I walked through the streets the remainder of the weekend, I thought about the photos and sounds of the past, the past before Williamsburg was restored to its colonial heritage.

Be sure to visit the Williamsburg Old Time Radio Hour facebook page for updates for upcoming shows!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

From della Robbia to Colonial Williamsburg-Wreaths

When visiting Colonial Williamsburg for Christmas, a most visted theme is at once non-historical to the colonial era yet has its origins in the Renaissance...Christmas wreaths. While the historic area was being first restored in the 1930's, visitors were disappointed to see no Christmas decorations on display. In colonial Virginia, Christmas was a religious observance in the days leading to Christmas. However the twelve days after were full of much merriment (hence the twelve days of Christmas), though little decoration. A compromise was found in the Colonial Revival of the early 20th century, incorporating natural elements in an old idea first originating in the Renaissance artists of the della Robbia family, which I wrote about here. You can read more of the CW story here. Each year these are freshly, creatively and uniquely made. It's always fun to see how they will be different this year. Here are a sample of my favorites. (I'm having media troubles so my first three pictures are huge. I'll downsize them when I can access the solution....Oh! They don't post as huge as they do on my draft. Photobucket is changing and I can't figure it out.)

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Family Pictures

Since my son got a new camera with money he's been saving for years, he volunteered to be in charge of family picture taking this year. I got the idea of using the staircase after seeing a friend's family picture on facebook...now I forget which friend it was! While my son patiently tested every seemingly available option for the best picture ever, we got sort of bored. (My goal of one family picture took an hour!) He took lots of practice shots of which we weren't aware. When I downloaded them onto my computer we couldn't stop laughing. I thought you all would enjoy them too!

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After a great shot (you have to wait for that one) my husband wanted to go through the entire process all over again in front of the tree. While
patientlywaiting, I noticed the colonial snowman on the stairs and said we should have had him in our stairstep photo, not that I thought we should go through all that again. Somehow this developed into each of us grabbing something Christmasy to use for a silly picture....which took several attempts to get to my son's pleasing. I had no idea candid meant perfect shots!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pret-a-Papier, Faberge Eggs and Napoleon

Today we visited the Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens to see the current exhibit of Pret-A-Papier...an exhibit of stunning 18th, 19th and 20th century gowns and accessories made of paper! (At this link you can see information on the artist creating these realistic looking paper gowns.) Although I took nearly 200 pictures to aid my own study of historic costuming and art appreciation, I am not permitted to showcase any of them here. However I did find Hillwood's pinterest page of the exhibit.

As we entered the Visitor Center, many paper kimonos were seen hanging from the ceiling. A great perspective of looking up at the kimonos is near the tall Christmas tree which is decorated with smaller paper kimonos. There is a picture of this on their facebook wall.

Then we went to the Adirondack Building which currently houses nothing but these lovely paper gowns. As we entered the huge double doors, we were greeted by a stunning display of the pièce de résistance, heralding the fashion trender of Paris herself, Empress Josephine Bonaparte's coronation gown. Inspired, I photographed the gown and long train from every angle, as I did all the others to come. We had audio sets and headphones for the private tours and the artist highly recommended we do just that, view the gowns from each angle. Stunning. Amazing. Breathtaking.

And I might add that in the audio, the narrator described that Josephine's "regal bearing and sympathetic personality won her the enduring love and admiration of her subjects." That agrees with what I read in the Cronin book, Napoleon Bonaparte. I didn't used to like Josephine until I read this book, based on primary sources. Now I like Josephine quite a bit!

Then there was the "big hip gown" as my daughter called it from the early 18th century. Most would recognize it as the early 18th century British court gown...with the 5 feet hips!

One that I recognized immediately was based on the 1791 "Self-portrait with a Harp." The paper lace was realistically sheer.

My daughter's favorite was one that reminded her of the Lady Dunmore gown from Colonial Williamsburg. We went to a special program a few years ago where the Costume Design Center directors talked about how they had the original fabric replicated to dress Mamie Gummer to portray Lady Dunmore. The paper gown we saw had some of the same colors and designs in it.

Then there was the frilly green Madame de Pompadour gown with pink bows and roses galore, made famous from the Francois Boucher painting. (sigh) Set next to this was an antique table from the museum collection, replicating the one in the Boucher painting. The little extra scene styling gave me the feeling that I was in her bourdoir, with a paper workbag (18th century version of a purse) hanging from the table. Paper roses were scattered nearby on the floor.

Next to that was another favorite, the Marie Antoinette pink gown of rustling poofy silk, made of paper. Next to this was an antique dog bed with canopy, from the estate's collection. This was an especially easy gown to take many angle shots and even the opportunity to photograph of the sea of gowns in various pastels, in that corner of the room.

These were my favorites from the entire collection, all in one spot. Yet next to these were three Fortuny gowns, all inspired by ancient Greek gowns. Of the three, the light aquas was my favorite and one I'd like to attempt to replicate. It has a lovely sheer aqua overlay (made out of paper) over the infamous Fortuny crinckled fabric (a Fortuny designer secret that was never revealed and has never been discovered) for the base gown, this time replicated in paper. I already own a similar base fabric, synthetically crinkled but easy since I don't know the trade secret.

Most of these gowns were on special platforms that allowed for underlighting to shine under and through the gown, creating a lifelike effect. I had fun capturing this on the camera.

Then we went to the mansion, which is the most elaborate mansion I have ever entered. More than a home for Marjorie Post, who inherited the famed cereal company, it became a museum of her growing collections from travel and work abroad. First she fell in love with all things French...which later developed into a fascination with Russian history...all because of living in these countries while her husband did diplomatic type work. The blend of the two within the walls of this beautiful home makes for a warm and intimate museum experience. I do not feel as though I am in the typical modern museum, but I feel like I'm visiting someone's house, which I am. Each room of the house showcases her multitudinous collections, which we first saw last May when we went to visit the Napoleon exhibit. The basic French and Russian items remain on display throughout the year, but with some changing out seasonally. For example the dining room and breakfast nook change out their place settings and tablescape according to the seasonal theme. In May the theme was military influence in honor of Napoleon to the Christmas tablescape we saw today. Also in Marjorie Post's dressing room are a couple of her personal gowns from the early 19th century on display. Last summer I got to see some lovely 1920's styles, and I'm not a fan of the 1920's but these were lovely. This time one was a beautiful 1907 gown and the other was a paper gown from the same collection.

Throughout the mansion's usual displays was the sprinkle of paper gowns. In the mansion's mid19th century media/entertainment room (think lavender velvet seats with balcony and iron railing with scrollwork) were 2 paper gowns. One was especially commissioned for the permament Hillwood Mansion collection. This was a lovely 1830's blue gown with white lace and prodigious leg o'mutton sleeves that is showcased in front of the museum's huge painting in the same room. "Tossed" onto a nearby chair was an intricately woven paper blanket with lush paper fringe.

On the opposite wall was a painting of a Russian wedding from which the artist replicated the bridesmaid's garment full of rich texture.

In the French room, was a pair of paper fashions from the late 18th century in the southern French style, inspired by the tapestry behind the display. A lady's jacket and petticoat and the gentleman's frock coat/waistcoat/breeches were in bright yellows, reds, oranges and greens of the region. My son, who often wears 18th century garments to Colonial Williamsburg, was glad to see a 3D paper garment for a man.

In the dining room was a Scottish take on an English-back gown, in reds, warmly harmonizing with the reds of the English hunting themed room.

Upstairs, in the casual library, was a vibrant 1780's jacket and petticoat with matching shoes nearby on the floor and hat on a nearby chair, all made from paper.

In the guest bathroom dressing area, was a man's banyan (18th century dressing robe) with a bit more Japanese influence than historicallhy accurate, because the artist purposed to be extremely creative on this one. She explains why in the audio tour. Showcased next to that was a bust of Peter the Great, because this was her homage of the Russian ruler.

In Marjorie Post's dressing room bay window was showcased a cream on cream 18th century jacket and petticoat combination.

In her bedroom was a lovely white on white gauzy layered confection of an equisite gown from the 1860's, such as Napoleon III's wife would have worn, more specifically a Worth gown. It was fun in that we began and ended our tour of paper gowns on Napoleonic notes, with gowns represntative of Empresses of France. I think it also goes with my latest blog theme, of Napoleon's positive influence on the world, for which homage continues to be paid today. There is no getting away from Napoleon. He's everywhere.

Even though we had visited the mansion last May, I had inadvertently missed the permament collection of Faberge eggs and the stunning jeweled crown of Russian Empress Alexandra. This time I focused on them. Two of my favorites were in the center room showcase which was designed by Faberge. There was a stunning azure blue and diamond encrusted egg that Czar Nicholas gave to his mother, the first one he commissioned and gifted. Hence a tradition began of gifting his mother and wife Faberge eggs. Rescued from the rubble of the Bolshevik Revolution, the surprise that used to be inside the stunning blue egg is now gone. Underneath that in the display case was a pink egg that represented Catherine the Great. Next to that was a pink music box that was made by Faberge. As I listened to the explanation on the audio tour, I got to hear the music box music for background, as I learned of the artistic techniques Faberge used for this lovely piece. This museum is a great place not only for admirers of history and art, but also for students of art history and of art technique.

When we returned to the Visitor Center, I noticed the hands-on section, where we could touch the type of paper the artist used to create her gowns. There was a flat screen television playing a video of her painting her papers to become gowns. There was a display that explained step-by-step how she used her choice of paper to create the colors and luminosity and various effects. Somehow she can even make the paper transparent to use as gauze, or to use as lace. Very realistic. Then there was a dress form that had the painted papers in the beginning stages of being artfully arranged to become a gown. Throughout the exhibit we learned bits and pieces of how she painted, used metallic threads in the paint (like the original court gowns themselves), crunched, pleated, folded, etc, of the papers to design historic gowns. Even though she is the typical artist who prefers to employ her own creative interpretations, I was quite amazed at how spot-on many of the gowns were in their various designs. In short the artist uses a technique called trompe 'oeil, which means to "fool the eye." Indeed these gowns and accessories did fool the eye, especially when viewed from afar. Up close it was obvious that the gowns were made of paper, but sometimes you had to look twice due to excellent effect.

Then I simply had to pop into the museum store. I found some little Faberge eggs! I was oohing and ahhing over the pink ones with pearls, that open to a satiny interior. My husband said he'd buy one for me as a future gift!

In the clearance section (50% off) I found 3 items that I purchased. After our Napoleonic studies, how could I resist Napoleon? I now have a Napoleon and Josephine paper doll book, complete with fashion history for $3! I'll be studying this to ensure it's accuracy!

I found magnetic bookmarks of 2 famous paintings of Napoleon for $1.50. Hmmm, I did need to find a few more stocking stuffers for my son. He who would not listen to anything Napoleonic four years ago might now accept a Napoleonic bookmark. Although I preferred the famous painting of Napoleon gallantly riding a rearing horse, my daughter said my son would like the simpler one of Napoleon riding his white horse in the snow.

Then I found a magnet that says, "Imagination rules the world.-Napoleon" For $1.50 I bought it for my son's stocking, but he has nothing magnetic to stick it upon. He might decide to keep it on my refrigerator. I wouldn't mind that. IF I decide to give it to him. I'm liking that quote more and more...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fabric Shopping with the Mantua Maker

I have made many a visit to Colonial Williamsburg's milliner shop where I've seen the creation of beautiful gowns and accessories. More than once I have asked about a particular fabric and wondered what it would be like to shop with the milliners. How wonderful it would be to have their expertise on period fabric and stylings while actually looking at colors and touching textures instead of trying to remember all the feasible possibilities from my limited research sources. One day my dream came true.

Last month I took a Burnley and Trowbridge sewing class with the Colonial Williamsburg Mantua Maker. It was wonderful, not only learning the draping of gowns, but also having the mantua maker check my work, answer my questions, and offer suggestions. When my gown was about halfway finished, I dared to look at the silks that B&T had propped in the corner, enticing us to purchase. There was a certain striped fabric in cream, peach and sage that was beckoning me. I had seen it the month before at my stay making workshop but my fear of stripes was not yet overcome. Yet at this moment as I struggled with the choice of purchasing or not while I furiously stitched at my workshop gown, the mantua maker happened by and started chatting about the gown I was currently sewing. This led to my confessing that working on my stiped silk that weekend had helped me overcome my fears of stripes so that I was becoming tempted by the stripe in the corner over yonder. Alas, I speculated it would be a difficult stripe to use and she assured me it was entirely possible to work into a gown, and even gave me some delightful ideas on how to go about basing the trimwork depending on how I decided to work the pleated back. In that case...I put down my sewng to put in my order because I knew the silk was near the end of the roll, and turns out it was. I purchased the last of the four yards. While I stood there chatting with Jim about petticoat colors, the mantua maker joined me and gave me more ideas! We matched colors of various silks to the striped fabric, oohing and ahhing over the various possibilities. I almost had to pinch myself to realize that this was real. I was actually looking at fabric options with the Colonial Williamsburg Mantua Maker! I have a few projects in my sewing basket, but when this silk is whipped out, I will most definitely be using the mantua maker's suggestions!

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Napoleonic Battles 1796 to 1815 Overlay Map

Napoleon is infamous for his battles, of which there seem to be millions, so I thought they would make a great overlay map project. By the way, did you know that his battles were defensive in nature? He kept seeking peace with Britain, who repeatedly refused tranquility. Instead Britain kept making alliances with European countries with the intent to squash the French Republic and restore the monarchy. They did not like Napoleon bringing the rights of man to the common people. The monarchs did not want revolution to come to their countries. Also Napoleon gave freedom for religion to all the people, Catholic, Protestant and Jew, which further angered the surrounding countries. Unfortunately none of the European monarchs liked Jews having religious freedom. Catholic European countries did not like Protestants having religious freedoms and vice versa. So the nations allied to conquer Napoleon and restore the Bourbons to the French throne before they lost their own necks at the hands of their own people who might possibly be influenced by the French revolutionists.

As I looked through possibilities for a European base map for this era, my son stumbled upon a historic map in French. He insisted we use that one. But it's in French! He was determined, he wanted the French map! We copied it to Word and readjusted settings in order to fill the page in landscape format. We allowed a bit of space to the right and bottom so my young conqueror could extend Russia and add Moscow to the map. He also included Egypt to the map.

Here is the version of the map my son designed, which we used for the base map.
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My initial goal was to design the overlays in such a way as to see the growth of Napoleon's Empire over the years, however I could not find any maps like that. We decided to break down each of the overlays into the various coalitions, which constantly formed against Napoleon, necessitating his defensive battle formations. My son used The Napoleonic Wars by Gunther Rothenberg, which I found at a used bookstore. Although the author is anti-Napoleon, the book is full of primary source paintings, renderings, battle charts, battle maps, etc. The author, at least, conceded to Napoleon's brilliant battle strategy and explained how that changed the course of war for all time. It was interesting to read how Napoleon's genius has been applied over the years, including in modern warfare with airplanes.

My son decided to start with the First Coalition so he could trace all of Napoleon's battles, even before he led France. The first three coalitions, which include Toulon and the Italian Campaign, Egypt and the Syrian Campaign, the battle of Marengo, the battle of Austerlitz and scores of others were added to the base map he started of the French Revolution. The Fourth Coalition picks up with the new map he designed, pictured above.

Here is the War of the Fourth Coalition (1806-1807) which includes the infamous battle of Jena. In the legend he indicates his markings for the battles, victories and the presence of Napoleon, Nelson, etc.
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The Peninsular War (1807-1814)...in the key on the bottom left he indicates battles, victories, and presence of famous people.
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The War of the Fifth Coalition (1809).
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The War of the Sixth Coalition (1812-1814) which includes the famed battle of Borodino and the invasion of Russia.
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The War of the Sixth Coalition focusing on Napoleon's final battles leading to abdication (which my son argued that Napoleon was actually doing well enough to have pursued preserving France. If it weren't for his marshalls and generals who gave up too quickly...)
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The War of the Seventh Coalition (1815), The Hundred Days.

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Through the process my son's geography skills of Europe increased enormously. He even exclaimed he can keep better track of some of Napoleon's key battles. I'm a bit better at it too. The actor/historian that we know who portrays Napoleon in Europe can enumerate every single detail of Napoleon's battles in rapid stacatto formation. If we ever get to meet Napoleon again, perhaps we can keep up with his quick discourse even better than before.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lewis and Clark Overlay Map

Here is my son's overlay map project which I designed for him using the following topics and resources. One of our resources to study the expedition was the book, Lewis and Clark: Voices from the Trail by Michael Kerrigan. We read the entire book, full of journal entries from Lewis and Clark as well as stunning photography of what they saw, sprinkled with primary source renderings. Because my son enjoyed this fascinating journey so much, I designed an overlay map project for him using an intereactive map from National Geographic.

For our base map I used a print out from Knowledge Quest.

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The first layer documents some of the various Indian tribes they met along the way.
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The second layer documents some of the flora discovered during the journey. We didn't have room to list them all so I had my son choose his favorites, being sure to include 2-3 from each leg of the expedition. The dots had little numbers, which he listed in the key in the bottom right corner with the full name of each of the species.
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The final layer documents the fauna discovered during the journey, again using representative samples. This time little red numbers represented the discoveries which are listed in the key in the bottom right corner.
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