But some things are proving very tricky. Were there many pigeons in Rome then? I have had the same problem with pigeons before. How many pigeons were there in Venice in 1576? Clearly not the tide of pigeons that sweeps over the Piazza now. I suppose people probably caught and ate pigeons then. There are never any pigeons in paintings from that period of Venice or Rome, but nor are there any rats or spiders, so that's not a reliable source.
|Not a pigeon in sight|
This week, my summer school students have been writing historical fiction. They all came back, astounded at the amount of research they needed to do. Did young women in 1921 wear pyjamas or nightdresses? What did the interior of a bank look like in 1850s Massachusetts? When was spray paint invented? Were there typewriter erasers in 1940?
They have steered clear of more distant historical periods because of the burden of research. But I'm not actually sure it's any harder to research Canterbury in 1375 than Wild West frontier towns in the 1850s. But please, does anyone know the pigeon population of Rome in 1580?