Why learning from history is cool: fun Part III

This is a third part of series on why it is cool to learn from history. Here we will take a light hearted look at history with famous saying quotes from wise and famous people from our past. Hope you enjoy it.

Click now to read Why learning from history is cool : Part 1

Click now to read Why learning from history is cool : Part 2

Quotes on history

Professor Johnston often said that if you didn’t know history, you didn’t know anything.  You were a leaf that didn’t know it was part of a tree.  ~Michael Crichton

We used to root for the Indians against the cavalry, because we didn’t think it was fair in the history books that when the cavalry won it was a great victory, and when the Indians won it was a massacre.  ~Dick Gregory

History is herstory, too. (His-Story is Her-story too) ~Author Unknown

History is a cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of man.  ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.  ~Pearl Buck

History is philosophy teaching by examples.  ~Thucydides,

People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.  ~James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

The great eventful Present hides the Past; but through the din
Of its loud life hints and echoes from the life behind steal in.
~John Greenleaf Whittier

Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.  ~African Proverb

History:  gossip well told.  ~Elbert Hubbard

History never looks like history when you are living through it.  ~John W. Gardner

Legend:  A lie that has attained the dignity of age.  ~H.L. Mencken

God cannot alter the past, though historians can.  ~Samuel Butler, “Prose Observations”

The lovers of romance can go elsewhere for satisfaction but where can the lovers of truth turn if not to history?  ~Katharine Anthony

Most history is guessing, and the rest is prejudice.  ~Will and Ariel Durant

A lot of history is just dirty politics cleaned up for the consumption of children and other innocents.  ~Richard Reeves

Each time history repeats itself, the price goes up.  ~Author Unknown

The challenge of history is to recover the past and introduce it to the present.  ~David Thelen

History blogs

Here are some cool blogs you may want to check out on history.

Blog 4 History

History and Women

World History Blog

His-Story blog

Historical (Fictional) Romantic Movies

Some of the best historical Fictional Romantic movies we love and watch!

Pride and Prejudice (Restored Edition) For those who have been on an Austen binge–enjoying such excellent adaptations as Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion–this miniseries will round out the ultimate Austen video library. For those new to these romantic period pieces, this version of Pride and Prejudice will have you hooked and longing for more. One caveat, however: plan to watch it in an entire day, because very few have the self-control to not watch all six hours in a single sitting

Persuasion This movie is my favorite of Austen movies, while it lacks the charm of Mr. Darcy, it makes it up on love and it has one of the best love letter written ever (in my opinion), I melt every time I read or hear these words by Captain Wentworth! Second chance for love after 8 years! Ann Elliot is quieter and older than Elizabeth Bennett but we still want them to be together!

Pride and Prejudice (Full Screen) (2005) My first choice is always with Colin firth version however for those of you who are short on time to watch 6 hours mini series on Pride and Prejudice, this shorter version of movie is the ticket! This movie is also excellent for introduction to Jane Austen to new generation. It cuts our many part and focuses on the romance part, it has beautiful cinematography and no one really combs hair in it!

Masterpiece Theatre: The Bronte Collection This DVD has two classics in one, Jane Eyre and Wuthering heights, by Bronte’. Both love story, Gothic, one has sad end and other has happier end, both are classic and loved by us all. Mr. Rochester is passionate but he has a dark secret he must overcome before Jane and he can be united. Heathcliff is passionate and hurt in love and wanted to take revenge by hurting those around him to gain his lost love. Great love stories to watch.

Historical Documentary (Non-Fiction)

Some of the great non fiction historical documentary movies we love!

America: The Story of Us Starting about 100 years after Columbus with the arrival of the earliest white settlers from across the Atlantic and finishing in the present day, the series can boast episodes devoted to major conflicts like the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II.

In the Shadow of the Moon (1st Moon Landing) Looking back to first moon landing, Only 12 American men walked upon its surface and they remain the only human beings to have stood on another world. Now for the first time, and very possibly the last, IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON combines archival material from the original NASA film footage, much of it never before seen, with interviews with the surviving astronauts who emerge as eloquent, witty, emotional and very human.

The World at War (30th Anniversary Edition) Looking at the wars from past around the world, in Germany, Japan, Britain, Manhattan bomb project and so on with 26 original episodes plus over 12 hours of bonus material to be fascinated by.

Your turn: What fun historical books or movies do you love to read and watch?

Preeti AKA Zengirl

Image Source: DVD cover of Pride and Prejudice 1995 Miniseries.


  1. TheSimplePoppy says:

    I really recommend the newest BBC production of Sense and Sensibility. Although I love the Emma Thompson version, the new one doesn’t have the slickness of Hollywood and is much more realistic – and intense. I loved it.

    Also, I’ve always liked that quote by Dick Gregory. The American history I was taught in school was downright false in terms of American Indians and I remember being shocked by it. Hopefully children are learning a more balanced view these days.

  2. ayo says:

    hi preeti
    how are you?
    i loved the book by andrew marr the making of modern britain and as for movies i’m torn between hotel rwanda and ben hur lol!!!
    tale care and enjoy the rest of the day.

  3. taurian says:


    At this hectic time , not finding time to think about past 🙁

    Hence not finding time to learn some thing from Past, which definitely makes me crispy than cool.

    Good day


  4. Angela Artemis says:

    What a great post. I read the Bronte sisters too! I loved Jane Eyre. What a romance! Have you ever read Gone With The Wind? That’s a great glimpse of pre-civil war America even if it was written in the 20th century by Margaret Mitchell.

    I watched the first moon landing on television with my parents! What a moment in history it was!

  5. ZenGirl says:

    Simple Poppy,

    I have seen latest BBC mini series Sense and Sensibilities as I watch and read everything Jane Austen related and I agree it explains stories of characters much better. Only one mini series by BBC fell short in my mind was “Northanger Abby”. I love watching historical romances such as North and South, Bronte’ and Austen!

    Yes, many history are taught by winners and it may have skewed views hence I like to read and watch from a few perspective to see somewhat whole view.

  6. ZenGirl says:


    I am fine, how are you

    I have to read that book by Andrew Marr, I have not read it yet. I love non-fictional historical books with my fictional novels too.

    I have seen both Hotel Rwanda and Ben hur, and both are great! Hotel Rwanda grasps you in to its hold from the beginning despite sadness of the event, it shows hope and human compassion. Ben Hur in mind is classic which has beautiful sets and colors and great story that unfolds. Both are great in its own modern vs. classic Genre. Watch and pick both!

  7. ZenGirl says:


    I can understand life sometimes can be hectic and hurried for us to look back.

    I hope when you get a chance, take a break watch a couple of old movies mentioned here or others that may provide you some entertainment, some relief and little past learning, all in one. Take it easy, I hope you have cool day!

  8. ZenGirl says:


    I have read all books by all Bronte; sisters and watches movies (some) based on their novels. I have seen and read Gone with the Wind and it is beautiful story of survival, love (misplaced) and pre civil ware era and life of people there.

    Wow, it must be amazing to be part of history when you watched the moon landing! I have seen this video later on and I can feel the excitement and dedication of the team there. Many time we are learning from history or past but we do not realize it that we are learning!

  9. Elizabeth Whelan says:

    Hi Preeti,
    I’m new here, but enjoying your blog, and I completely agree with your history post. I too didn’t like the school part of learning history, until I chose to read “historical” works for their stories, instead of just trying to memorize their information. For our homeschooling we try to connect as many fiction stories as possible to where we are in our history timeline. Hopefully the knowledge of history will help us to see ourselves more clearly and in perspective, but yes I think it is just cool too, and love historical works, so far it is also one of my girls favorite subjects.

  10. Fran Aslam says:

    Hi Preeti:

    What a post. Reminds me of the younger days, when I used to be in college. I used to love Jan Eyre. All those stories were so new to my mind as they were happening. Now life has a different meaning. It felt good to be back and thinking of all that. You made history fun for me too. Keep up the good work

    Have a great day
    Fran Aslam

  11. Aileen says:

    You had me at the Pride and Prejudice photo! I love Jane Austin’s works and the Bronte sisters. I can’t count how many times I’ve read and watched Wuthering Heights.

    What a wonderful celebration of story..and…History

  12. Armen Shirvanian says:

    Hi Preeti.

    I liked reading those history quotes. It is sort of written by the winners and cheaters and whatnot, and somewhat filtered for children and innocents as that other quote says. History is not so clean because human nature is not so clean.

    Recovering the past and introducing it to the present is not so hard. Robert Greene does it quite well in “48 Laws Of Power”. The best way to do this is to explain how some past situation is nearly identical to some current situation, and then the reader or listener sees that they basically have a blueprint/example as to what they are doing.

  13. Steve says:


    Good stuff. I love the history stuff. Particularly some of the quotes. very cool!

    Sadly, I cannot say I am a huge Jane Austen fan, I don’t know many guys who are, But I have watched my share of the historical non-ficton. I have seen the whole “history of US” and some of the world at war. I may have to check out the moon landing stuff. It Looks interesting.

  14. Andrea DeBell - britetalk says:

    Hi Preeti! This is right up my alley. I love all the movies you listed. I love to watch them over and over again with my daughter. We love period pieces. I have a newer Wuthering heights version with Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes which is very beautiful (a bit dark though).

    I’ve been meaning to watch again Sense and Sensibility (with Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, and charming Hugh Grant) for days. It’s been in my Netflix instant queue waiting and today I’ll watch to celebrate your post.

    Thanks for the lovely reminder. Loving blessings!

  15. ZenGirl says:


    Welcome, I am glad you are liking the blog. I think many of us are liking history as an adult now as we are not forced to remember dates but it is because we want to learn. Teaching history through simple crafts is also works, that what we do for R who is in KG right now. We are using story of the world: part 1 books and activities and I am learning a lot with him. I am glad your girls loves historical works, I bet because way you teach them, they find it interesting. Great job!

  16. ZenGirl says:


    Yes these wonderful college days of care-free life and enjoying life with friends. I hope life still has fun even though we are bit grown. I am glad you liked it, you can still catch up one of the books or movies from library or friend’s and go back to old days of enjoying. Don’t work too hard now.

    Take care.

  17. ZenGirl says:


    Me too! I love Colin Firth! Zenguy has a competition with fictional character of Mr. Darcy 🙂 I have read all these books and watched a few versions of movies and mini series. 1995 version of this BBC series is my favorite. Zenguy bought the DVD (2pk) for me on my Birthday a few years ago and it has been watched many times already! I wished my history classes were all like that ! 🙂

  18. ZenGirl says:


    You are right about the quotes! History is usually written by winners so it has skewed views as I mentioned in first part that we have to read it from a few perspective to understand all angles and still we may not know 100% truth but that is the case with everything we learn in school. We just have to keep an open mind when learning things from past and take positives that work for us.

    I have to catch up on 48 laws of power again! Seems like you love the book so I am going to check it out, seems like you like to read, me too!

  19. ZenGirl says:


    I am glad you liked the quotes!

    I know a few guys who love Austen and their girlfriends or wives love them for it, you may try watching it once.It may do wonder in your love life! And You may like the story too, if not, we are still friends even though I am a big fan of Austen.

    Yes, I watched that moon landing video, it is pretty neat! History of us is nice and educational. I like fictional and non fictional dvds to keep balance. 🙂

  20. Mary R says:

    Dear Preeti,
    Like you, I love the Jane Austen films and those Masterpiece Theater dramas! I also just recently viewed the World at War. Very good list! Strangely, many times I tell friends I watch those shows, and they look at me funny. Glad to see others share the same interest!

  21. ZenGirl says:


    Sounds like you are like me, some of the movies like Pride and prejudice 1995 version, I have seen many times. I have not seen the new Wuthering heights version yet, I should check it out. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre can be Gothic and bit dark!

    I own sense and sensibility (Emma Thompson one) and I love it, I loved the latest BBC version too! Lot longer and it explains lot in details, similar to book. Book are generally the best. 🙂 I may watch it soon and celebrate your watching that movie.

  22. ZenGirl says:


    I agree, we can get together and have Austen film marathon! I can never have enough of watching these great movies and mini series.

    Some of my friends watch movies because it is popular and not because they want to learn from it. I watch some at home on DVDs now so I can watch what I like and when I like. I am glad we share the interest too.

  23. Evelyn says:

    Hi Preeti,

    I enjoyed the quotes. I do like reading historical books and viewing the movies. I cannot think of anything to share that I like. 🙁

    You know what that means? I will be broadening my horizons. 😉

    Take care,


  24. Adam Paudyal says:

    Hey preeti,

    This is the first time I have been over at your blog.

    Not a big fan of history however, I did enjoy the history quotes. Well maybe learning from history ain’t that bad after all…:)

    Later Preeti…

  25. Keith Davis says:

    Hi Preeti
    I’ve always enjoyed history and even as a young child my daughter loved the Tudors.
    Some of the TV programmes on history really bring the subject to life – never had that when I was at school.
    One channel uses the slogan “Bringing the past into the present”.

    BTW – the Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth in is the best I’ve ever seen – I think it was a BBC production.
    Only problem is… it takes my wife about a week to recover each time she watches the “wet shirt” scene.

  26. Farnoosh says:

    Preeti, leaving you a comment and reading your post from Hong Kong Airport just to show you how special you are :)!! And YES you know how much I love that 1995 P&P movie and you may not know but I also LOVE LOVE Michael Crichton so thank you for that quote – among others. I have only recently in my life started to appreciate history….and it’s better late than never, no? :)! Great series!

  27. Steven H says:

    My favorite history movies are the war/action one’s…Glory, The Patriot, Gladiator, etc.

    Great links and quotes! Needs some Thomas Jefferson though so let me add this:

    “When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.”

  28. Betsy Bargain says:


    Have you ever seen any of the PBS Series “Colonial House”, “Manor House” or “Frontier House”? They each provide a fascinating look at how people lived during those time periods. I loved all of them! Given your interest in history, I think you would really enjoy them if you haven’t seen them.

    Thanks for another interesting post. Loved the quotes.

  29. ZenGirl says:


    I am glad you enjoyed the quote, learning from history is something I have learned recently. You always share great things on your blog that broadens my horizons, specially about being vegan and blogging.

  30. ZenGirl says:


    Welcome. Even I was not big fan of history, I preferred science and math over it all my life. I am also learning that history can be fun in my recent time. It is funny, many things we probably do today will be history for tomorrow but it does not quite feel like history right now right?

  31. ZenGirl says:


    You are wise man to like history and so is your daughter who loved Tudors. I did not appreciate history till a few years ago and I am glad I finally did.

    I am with your wife on Pride and Prejudice, the lake scene, the piano scene when Elizabeth visits Pemberly when she is helping his sister as they share a look are priceless and hard to recover! I have seen this series so many times and every time, it is sheer joy! I feel for you as I know Zenguy has competition from fictional guys like Mr. Darcy, Mr. Wentworth and Mr. Thronton 🙂

  32. ZenGirl says:


    What are you doing commenting on from airport, girl! I love everything Jane Austen, Bronte’, Gaskell, Wodehouse and many more. I did not know you love Micheal Crichton too, isn’t that quote great? I am glad you liked it. I am like you too, I did not appreciate history until just a few years ago! Yes, letter late than never for both of us!

  33. ZenGirl says:


    I think those are great movies, I have seen those too. Sometime these Hollywood movies stretch a truth, tweak a book a little or sometimes lot! 🙂

    Thank you for adding a great quote from Jefferson to the Mix! It is so profound.

  34. ZenGirl says:


    I have seen Frontier house a few times and I agree these shows are fascinating to look back how they lived and how much things have changed since. I will check out colonial and manor house when I get a chance. I am not a history buff, but I am beginning to appreciate our past to see how it has shaped our present life.

    I am glad you liked the post and quote!

  35. ZenGirl says:


    Thank you for liking it, I have done mostly historical romance fictions but lately as I am teaching I am wanting to learn more about it so I have picked up a few books to read. History can be dry subject so even I had avoided it till recently. 🙂

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