I live in Johannesburg, South Africa with my supernaturally calm, madly talented blogger husband, 23thorns, our really funny, smart son who isn’t brilliant at sports but is absolutely brilliant at life, our beautiful, bossy daughter who wears more pink and purple clothes in one day than most would need in their whole lives and talks as if her life depends on it, and our two unmanageable dogs.

By day, I run a literary gift company. That is, I make presents for people who like books. I like books. I also research family histories and more often than not am lost in some part of a Long Time Ago. By night, I read books and obsess about historical timelines and World War I.

tracyloveshistory is the story of what interests me and makes me laugh. It is for my dad; some of whose last words to me were to “tell the story”, and it is for my two children so that they might know something about their place in time.


36 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello Tracy. I like your pictures and comments on the shoes. I like all of them in their way. I need some help with selling my poetry books. You are too far away……. Hope you looked me up on internet. Nice to learn a little of your family. Love from Caroline, who shares your great, great, great? grandmother. x.

    • Hi Caroline,

      Yes, Ethel was my 3X great grandmother. I did look you up and your readings are beautiful. We will be coming to NZ in December but alas, we’ll still be separated by a sea albeit not the entire Indian Ocean.

      Happy day to you. xoxo

    • Oh! they’re fabulous. I love how full of life and expression they are; also that they’re quite casual. One would almost be forgiven for thinking that the insurance industry offered utterly thrilling opportunities!

  2. In those days, they probably did – face to face with customers, helping to save them from destitution before the welfare state. But this was written by them, so we have to allow them a bit of self promotion. It’s a surprisingly good little book. Glad yo liked them. I often buy old books just so I can canibalise the pics. always a bonus if the text is worthwhile also. cheers

  3. I love your blog- so interesting I have always loved history. I read this quote the other day: Guess it would be written on a personal journal or can apply to your blog 🙂
    “To the Past, Present and Future , I dedicate this book. To the Past because I come from it; to the Present because I live in it; and to the Future because my children shall inherit it.”

    • Thanks, Anne. Due to a regular crisis of confidence, that is really wonderful to hear.

      I love doing the research so much, and I love the idea that even I never know where it’s going to take me. From a codpiece with a face to the painfully awful stories of the Boer concentration camps seems like a long journey but really every step is just the continuation of the same story.

    • Wow! Thank you so much. That is supremely, wonderfully cool. It is my first nomination for anything other than the general knowledge team at school which was social suicide and did not leave me with a long-lasting flush of pleasure. I will check out all of the details on the good morrow. Jo’burg is just too cold for my brain to function effectively in it after 3 p.m. I am not a fan of the cold. Thanks again. I appreciate it so.

      • Hi Tracy, you write beautifully and I love your take on life in all it’s wondrous glory. History shapes who we are and the world we live in and it’s great to see someone like yourself embracing it.
        p.s I simply adore the image used for an inordinate fondness.


  4. Thanks for liking my post. Your blog is pretty good too!! You can follow me on Twitter if you want – @holliegraceanne. Happy blogging!:)

  5. I checked in to peek at your “When I was young…” So much personal history is lost because of course, mom/dad/gramps/granny were never young, and their stories are well, boring.

    • One of my jobs is researching family histories for people. Every single client has expressed regret at not listening more intently to the stories of a long time ago. And yup, they didn’t listen because it was boring.

      I was lucky to have a completely, wonderfully mad grandpa who was anything but boring (you can read about him in my Grandpa Bob and Syphillis post). Perhaps he is the reason I spend quite as much time as I do with ghosts and memories at least 30 years before my time!

      Thanks for visiting.

    • I sold books from behind bookshop counters. I sold them to bookshop managers. I sold them at fairs and at festivals. I’ve carried them through shopping centres in heavy suitcases. I’ve built towers of them in exhibition halls. I’ve built small towers of them in every room in the house. It was just all about books from the time I was 18. I like to imagine that selling books deserves a separate job description to other sales jobs. It’s madly pretentious at best and an anachronism at worst in a world that rapidly moves away from paper!

      Thanks for dropping in and for reading.

    • Thank you so much. I’ve never written an awards post up till now, but I have got so out of the habit of writing that I think I must just do it this week to get back into things.

      I am flattered. Thanks again.

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