The October Lowdown: Top 5 things to do this month

October is my favourite month of the year, not just because it’s my birthday, but because it’s Halloween, it’s winter coat buying time, it’s Strictly and Downton and Oscar-bait-movie watching time!  There’s also some exhibitions on and that.  So, here is the History Girl Lowdown for the month, and as we say here in Scotland, have a gid yin!

  1. Halloween/Samhain – The run up

We LOVE Halloween.  Karen makes the most ridiculous and inspired costumes I have ever seen, for herself and her pals every year, this year they are all planning on dressing up as numerous different versions of Freddy Mercury, because why the hell not!?

I personally adore a ghost story and a horror novel, and I read nothing but from mid-September onwards, to really set the mood.  I have just finished the truly ominous The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley, which is currently in glorious hardback form.  I highly recommend it for its beautifully descriptive and eerie prose. I have now moved on to the classic Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, a brilliantly ghoulish American coming of age tale, set at Halloween, and my wee sister is very kindly buying me the The Woman in Black and Other Ghost Stories: The Collected Ghost Stories of Susan Hill, for my birthday.  This book is a must for collectors, it’s a really gorgeous little hardback.

2. Macbeth: The Movie

The delightfully talented, attractive and stylish Michael Fassbender plays the doomed Scottish King in this new adaption of the dark classic.  Shot mostly on location in Scotland I am intrigued to see how this film looks, the trailer definitely has the wow-factor, very moody and stylish, and reviews have been positive.  It’s out now, and I will definitely be going to see it on the big screen.  There’s nothing better than a night at the movies as the days get shorter and we all huddle up for winter.

3. Suffragette: The Movie

We are spoilt for choice for movies this month, and this one has us particularly excited.  When we watched the trailer together for Suffragette we were both genuinely a bit choked up, so I can only imagine the state we’ll be in watching the full film, out on 12th October.  As feminists, and personally, as someone who has studied and written about the suffragettes, we are thrilled to see this subject given the blockbuster treatment.  Meryl Streep, Anne-Marie Duff and Carey Mulligan all star in what I think will be an instant classic.  The marketing and PR behind the film has been really interesting, and I am pleased to say has been emphasising the how thankful we should be to our courageous Suffragette sisters.  I think about these women every time I vote.

4. Exhibition: Photography: A Victorian Sensation

Ok, so this one has actually been open for a while now, but who in their right mind goes in to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival/Tattoo time?!  I am really looking forward to seeing this, it closes in mid-November so there is plenty of time left for a wander.  I love fashion history and creepy old photos so this is right up my street.  As its title suggests, the exhibition focuses on the Victorian craze for photography and it features hundreds of photographs, some odd, some sublime, as well as cameras and other technical paraphernalia.  To find out more or to book tickets, click here.

5. Exhibition: A Century of Style: Costume and Colour 1800-1899

As the owner of a Dress and Textile Histories Masters, I am VERY excited about this one, as is fellow devotee Karen.  There will definitely be an epic History Girls outing this month to Kelvingrove Museum to swoon over the beautiful garments in this drool-worthy exhibition.  There are even accessories and pieces of jewellery on display, all from Glasgow’s vast collections, and best news of all, there’s an accompanying book! Yaaas!  For more info on this divine exhibition click here, I mean just look at the poster, phwooooar.

Rachael P.

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