In my last post I discussed my visit to New Bern to select and photograph homes. The next part of my research process was to select houses that I would analyze in Williamsburg. Initially I thought I would be able to compare homes of very similar ages but this turned out not to be the case. Although I had selected the oldest homes in New Bern, most were still built significantly later than those of Williamsburg. The homes in New Bern were built in the latter part of the 18th century, while many homes in Williamsburg were built in the early or mid 18th century. Additionally, the New Bern homes were all grand in size, most having two or more stories. In contrast, the majority of homes I researched in Colonial Williamsburg were more modest in size.
Since my last blog post I have traveled to New Bern, North Carolina. I photographed about 10 different structures that were built prior to 1800 and then chose about five that I will examine further. Before I leave campus for the summer I will also choose which five homes in Williamsburg I would like to analyze, and I will photograph those.
This summer I am researching the architecture of historical buildings and how they were perceived at the time of their construction. I’ll be looking at 18th century homes in Colonial Williamsburg as well as in coastal North Carolina. My firsts step in beginning my research process was to meet with Mr. Klee the architectural historian for Colonial Williamsburg. I had the opportunity to meet with him to discuss my project at the end of last semester and he provided me with valuable insights which have guided the direction of my research this summer. My original plan had been to analyze three towns in addition to Colonial Williamsburg but Mr. Klee suggested that this would be too ambitious given the time allotment of the research. Being familiar with both Bath and Beaufort, North Carolina, he warned that Beaufort’s history contains lots of myths and legends mixed in with facts. Sorting through all these stories would make it difficult to decide between fact and fiction. He recommended I just focus on New Bern, the second oldest town in North Carolina, which is the best-documented. My current plan is to compare several structures in New Bern, North Carolina to similar structures found here in Colonial Williamsburg.
While reading articles for my final paper, I came across a lot of divided opinions on whether Anna Karenina, Dido, and Scarlett O’Hara should be considered guilty. Many critics are quick to point out that they broke society’s rules, but does that mean they should be judged? In Dido’s case, it is difficult to say whether she even had a choice. She was pushed into her affair with Aeneas by the intervention of the gods. However, looking back on her story from a modern perspective, cupid’s arrow does not seem like a good enough excuse to put your personal happiness before the welfare of your kingdom. Dido breaks a vow of loyalty to her late husband and has nothing to show for it. Is love a good enough excuse for her actions?