I Believe In Yesterday

Written by Tim Moore
Review by Doug Kemp

Tim Moore, known more for his amusing travel books, has written a wonderfully funny and intelligent account of his seven experiences in various periods and locations of “living history” or re-enactment. These range from Iron Age England to the 19th century US Civil War. He is searingly self-honest and is prepared to laugh at himself as well as the occasionally easy targets of those who enthusiastically embrace this expanding phenomenon of trying to live in and recreate the past. These groups range in degrees of commitment from uncommitted amateurs, to those who are essentially looking for a good brutal fight and, more recently, to the impossible and almost ideological Holy Grail of pure historical authenticity where no aspect of the contemporary life is allowed to contaminate the unadulterated purity of the past. Living history participants can seem a bit, well, wacky, but like most human endeavours it attracts a range of people, from thoroughly decent, sociable folk to those who anyone would want to avoid in any situation, and certainly not when they are tooled-up with a variety of ancient and potentially lethal weaponry. A delight to read.