I was sent a press release last week that shocked me about the number of secondary school aged girls who are ignorant about historical events and people such as Henry the VIIIth. Now maybe my family are unusual but I was brought up with a love of history - visiting castles etc., watching documentaries and reading history both fact and fiction. I have passed this on to my children and they took up medieval re-enactment as babies:
The founder of A Girl For All Time has decided to do her bit to turn this statistic around with the launch of a range of dolls, novels and keepsake books for girls aged 8 and over. I was lucky enough to be sent one of these to review with my daughter who has just turned 8. Her reaction when she looked in the box was ecstatic (think this is her favourite review product so far!):
With the doll having an RRP of £89.99 this a gift that I hope will be passed down the generations! The attentions to detail are incredible and when you read the book (Matilda's Secret £6.99) you can match the description of her outfit:
All of her clothes can be removed and my daughter was amazed at how many layers there were. It is also possible to buy her additional outfits to go with the story (let's just say Santa has a list of all of these from my daughter!).
We have been reading the story together at bedtime. It is written as a secret journal of Matilda Marchmont sent to court by her uncle the Duke of Norfolk to help engineer the marriage of her cousin Katherine Howard to Henry the VIIIth. It is full of little details of life at court and Tudor times such as men peeing in the fireplaces and the daily routine of the Queen's maids of honour. As a history buff I know how it all ends in tragedy but hearing it from the point of view of an innocent 13 year old caught up in it all makes for gripping reading. My daughter keeps asking for "one more section" at bed time!
I can see why this has won awards this year. As a fabulous change from a high tech Christmas this would make a marvellous gift. Just make sure your child is beyond the stage of drawing on her dolls! Yes it comes with a large price tag but if looked after well it will be a family treasure for generations to come.
There are more dolls to come in the series (Elizabethan, Restoration, Georgian, Victorian, WW2) as Matilda's descendants tell their own stories. An amazing collection for girls 8 plus or even grown ups!