My thoughts on last night’s Colonial House:

  • The colony was a low-end success but a high-end failure. The economics and society were on the money, the politics and culture were not.
  • The bad relations between colony and natives would have continued despite the good intentions of the colonists.
  • Governor Heinz’s vision for the growth of the colony was too grand. Whereas Wyers failed on faith, housing, and trade relations, Heinz failed because he idealized how the colony would develop (and because he acted like a mayor in a court city rather than the mayor of a commercial city).
  • Wyers looks better with a beard.
  • Awareness of gender history is weak with respect to men.
  • The epilogue suggests that the experience forced the participants to re-evaluate their concepts of spirituality (everyone but the Vorhees).
  • Despite his anachronistic coming out, my favorite participant was Jonathan Allen. He gave the show an “Upstairs-Downstairs” feel. He could be very witty: he never strayed too far from character when he joked about the social hierarchy. His little scenario was funny.
  • Best moment: when the auditors revealed that the colonists had trouble with provisions of beer.