Thank you for visiting our site! “Remembering the Princess Sophia” is an undergraduate project in association with the University of Victoria’s course HIST 359 – A City at War: Putting Victoria’s History on the Internet. Our purpose was to explore the realm of digital history and the field of micro-history by developing a micro-historical website.
What is micro-history?
Micro-history is the practice of intensively investigating a specific event, object, or person in order to answer large-scale questions. It is not merely a case-study. Rather, micro-historians attempt to understand the interaction between overarching historical themes – cultural, societal, political, and so on – and small-scale historical events.
The Princess Sophia project:
Our micro-historical mission in creating this website was to understand how the mass death of the Sophia sinking fit into the death culture of the 20th century, more specifically the wartime era. We hoped to challenge the “heroic myth” which arose during the Great War, where the grief of young men dying in the thousands was dealt with by prescribing meaning to their suffering. The Sophia tragedy occurred as the Great War was ending, and certainly constituted an event of mass loss, yet it could not easily be moulded into a story of heroic sacrifice. The deaths on the Sophia were tragic, senseless, and inherently unheroic. As we hoped to show, the Sophia was thus pushed out of public memory as its story could not easily be told in a way that provided comfort to the living. In a culture that was learning stoicism and resilience, the Princess Sophia became lost in public memory as more positive events, such as Armistice Day, took its place.