Happy 4th of July, y'all! (Even if you're not American, it's still the 4th, after all. You're not just skipping the day and getting the global calendar in a twist ... are you?)
For those of us in the States, it's Independence Day, not to be confused with the movie featuring Will Smith - though if you want to celebrate by blowing up spaceships, I suppose I won't judge just this once.
I've always been fascinated with this part of history, the last few decades of the colonial era leading up to the Revolution and the immediate aftershocks. I've even written a short story set in a secondary world that much resembles America around the beginning of the 1800s, featuring a werewolf bounty hunter, a wisewoman and a very small dragon. Menagerie was published in The Sword Review (now defunct) an eon ago, and I've never returned to that storyline, though it was rife for a sequel.
There's a lot about that time period (the real one) that doesn't make it past the headlines. Mercy Otis Warren's political writings and letters had a lot of influence on both the public level - plays protesting royal authority; a pamphlet advocating the need for a Bill of Rights in the Constitution; one of the earliest histories of the American Revolution, a massive three volume compendium - and on the private: she corresponded with John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Martha Washington ... (One of my never-returned-to story ideas was to write about a Mercy Otis Warren-like figure in the alternate-America I discuss above.)
Sybil Ludington, whose ride to warn of the advancing British - at the tender age of sixteen - is arguably more impressive than Paul Revere's. When I was a wee thing, I was fascinated with the poetry of Phyllis Wheatley, the first published female African-American poet.
Of course, there's some hilarity in the fact that Benjamin Franklin really was all that and a bag of chips. Reading a colonial history gets exasperating: "What, him again?"
No fireworks for me, though. I'll be having some khachapuri (Georgian cheese bread) and a ripasso-style IGT Veneto wine. Cheers!