Looking For a Route to the Past

by Julia Phillips Smith

As someone who writes historical and fantasy fiction, I get a magnificent sense of time travel when I run into events that include reenactors.

This past week saw the Tall Ships festival here in Halifax, Nova Scotia and just walking towards the forest of masts and rigging down on the waterfront put a joyous humming in my heart.

There was quite a large assortment of people dressed in period costume for this year's event, which I adored. Having been to many tall ships festivals here, this was a welcome addition for me--I hope it's a tradition that continues.

There's really nothing quite like seeing people moving about in costume when that's what you write about. Your sense of the weight of the fabric, how cumbersome or elegant the clothing feels, is heightened when you can reach out and touch it. Of course, permission required from the reenactor!

If you write historical or fantasy fiction, attending an event where you'll come across costumed staff using tools from that time period is a perfect way to add to your worldbuilding tool box.

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  1. I love re-enactors and the way they bring history to life. I've been to to the tall ships festival here in Chicago and it's always breathtaking.


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