Please review all the topics below. If you have an idea of a topic, please contact me and I’ll let you know if I think it’s something I can do!

I work within any budget for your group, club, class, retreat or conference. I am focused on offering accurate information for your participants’ use. Contact me at valfassnight@gmail.com and let’s talk!

WRITING ANCIENT GREEK LIVES

(4 week online class)

Ancient Greece seems to be an under-used time period in fictional romance but the greatest romantic epics comes from this time: The Iliad and The Odyssey. Each story is a thrill a minute ride of military derring-do, seduction, love, elopements, murder, betrayal, clever manipulations, bravery, cowardice, and temper tantrums… and that’s just talking about the human characters. The Gods of the Greeks and Trojans are a whole other tennis match to read and watch in the stories. 

The time of the Ancient Greeks is not as long as the ancient Egyptians or even the Romans, but they have been a monumental influence on Western civilization since their very beginnings. So frankly, let’s give the Greeks some love. 

In this course I seek to give an overview of being Greek: daily life, religion, politics, a bit of history, military life, theater, education, and, of course, sex. The Greek idea of sex and what was acceptable sex is a far cry of what modern people consider acceptable or sometimes ethical. Th class will go from the of the Greek poleis to the Roman occupation and preoccupation with Greece.

WRITING ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LIVES

(4 week online class)

Egypt has been a source of fascination since they began constructing their civilization on the banks of the Nile. From Old Kingdom Dynasties starting at 2700 B.C. to the Arab conquest in 600s A.D., Egypt has been one of the most powerful or influential countries in the ancient world. The unique ebb and flow of the Nile River made Egypt one of the primary grain producers, making it rich through trade and allowing it to expand one of the most powerful empires at the height of the New Kingdom. 

The names of pharaohs and the gods the people worshipped are household names even today: Hatshepsut, Ramesses II, Tutankhamun, Akhenaten, Narmer, Cleopatra, Bastet, Osiris, Isis, Set, Horus and more. Archaeology has brought to life not only their funerary practices of mummification but also their lives alive, through excavations of villages, individual homes, and studying funerary art. Egypt gave us the color blue before trade with the Far East was established. The idea of ‘taking it with you’ was given a whole new meaning when Egyptians died. 

In this course I will seek to give you a taste of being Egyptian, from the life in the tomb makers village, civic and priest obligations, to being royal with all the duties and dangers that entailed.

THE AGE OF ALEXANDER

(4 week online class)

The intent of this class is to give an overview of the life and death of Alexander the Great, including details on daily life of the age, how the Greek city-states were setup, background on Alexander’s childhood and development, his adult career, death, and what happened afterward. 

Alexander III of Macedon is one of these most important figures in all of Western history and some of Asian history as well. His influence on his conquered territories affect those areas even to this day, 2500 years later. Legends about Iskandarmah, Iskander and more litter the religious and literature histories of the Middle East and India. In some religions, he is considered a devil, in others an angel. Medieval Romances featured him doing fantastic miracles and traveling to wonderous locations under the sea or to the moon. Julius Caesar was ashamed that at the same age Alexander died, Caesar himself had accomplished so little. Napoleon intended to follow in Alexander’s footsteps, starting with Egypt but was thwarted by Great Britain and her allies. Alexander’s megalomania and overzealous desire for conquest has been compared, unfairly, to Adolf Hitler. Alexander’s tactics are still taught in military academies throughout the world. His life and times fascinate and scintillate historians and laymen alike today as much as so long ago. 

He is Alexander the Great.

Witch Hunting in Great Britain

(4 week online class)

The witch hunts of Europe are infamous in history for the thousands of lives lost in the hysteria. Great Britain was late in joining the craze but the brutality was no less horrific.

This class will cover some of the early witch hunts prior to James I, the rise of the hunts under James until the last witch persecuted in the 20th Century. It will cover the laws and methods of obtaining confessions and convictions in all sections of the British Isles, including focus on individuals like Matthew Hopkins, the Witch-Finder General. This class is perfect for the Halloween month of October.

The Courts of Henry VIII’s Wives

(2 week online class)

Each court surrounding Henry VIII’s wives were as varied as the personalities of the women at the center. From humble, conservative Katherine of Aragon to the forward-thinking intellectual Katherine Parr, each court had its share of major players, shifting loyalties and overall tone of life.

Each lesson will focus on one queen and the life of her court in this two week course. It will delve into what it was like to be a lord, lady, and servant in each queen’s sphere.

The Tudor Kitchen

(2 week online class)

From everyday eating to feasts for religious holidays, join me on an explanation of a Tudor royal kitchen. Learn about the food and drink, sweets and savories, as well as the lingo for the foods and how they were made. Includes recipes at the end of each lesson and chock full of Tudor scrumptiousness. We will look into the Tudor kitchen inside and out, on both sides of the eating table.

VICTORIAN DRESS: 
HOW THE ICONIC FASHIONS 
OF THE MOST FAMOUS 
AGE CAME TO BE

(1-2 hour presentation)

 This live class features a slide show with information on the development of Victorian fashion starting with the Georgian/American Colonial fashions of the late 18th Century to the death of Victoria in 1901.  

Join me for an overview of women’s, men’s and children’s fashion from 1840-1890. We will cover day and evening wear and all the things that were worn underneath.

FASHION OF THE ROARING 20S

(1-2 hour presentation)

This live class features a slide show presentation on women’s, men’s and children’s clothing of the 1920s.

Join me for an overview of what to wear to a speakeasy, on the town, daily wear, athletic wear and all the stuff that went underneath.

I can make the presentation as long as you would like or need.

FAN FICTION 101: HOW TO WRITE FAN FICTION AND WHY YOU SHOULD

(1 hour presentation)

The phenomena of fan fiction is taking the publishing world by storm. Authors who cut their teeth on this form of entertainment are now superstars of the publishing industry.

Join me for this 1 hour slide show presentation as I explain the concept of fan fiction, how it began, why it’s relevant to our culture and why it’s not for the kids in their parents’ basement, but for the writing community to cut their metaphorical teeth on.

Is there a topic you think your group would be interested in but not listed? Shoot me an email and we’ll discuss a topic you’re group or class would be interested in.

Classes regarding ethnic cultures I do not feel qualified to teach. You would be better off contacting someone of that culture. I’m also not very versed in Asian or Asiatic history as well, though given several months lead time I could research a specific topic, such as life in the imperial court of Japan or China.

I am willing to research and present any topic on social history, clothing and fashion, customs and traditions of most European cultures. I would dearly love to help anyone writing historical fiction. Just contact me at valfassnight@gmail.com and we’ll discuss it.