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Favorite Historical Figure?
December 4, 2010
5:27 pm
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Brett
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Thought i'd start a new topic. So who is everybody's favorite historical figure? And why?

"En ma Fin gît mon Commencement…" "In my End is my Beginning…"

December 4, 2010
9:59 pm
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Kim
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Besides Anne, obviously?? Wink

Mine is Lucius Cornelius Sulla. I think he is completely fascinating. He is one of the only people I have ever heard of throughout history that have taken a dictatorship, only to use it to restore the balance of power and then resigned it so that normal government can be restored. He was completely ruthless, but once he had achieved what he set out to, he was content to retire from public life, I find that pretty admirable. Most people would not have done the same.

December 4, 2010
10:18 pm
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Anyanka
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The Doctor.

It's always bunnies.

December 5, 2010
2:48 pm
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bethany.x
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Isabella of Castile. She is simply amazing. The way she fought for her crown and her faith is undeniably remarkable and I can do nothing but admire that woman.

Then there is Anne of course. The most influentual and contravertial woman and I adore her wit. Would Henry break with Rome without her? I think not.

Catherine of Aragon. Remained loyal until the bitter end. But was it all a great lie? History's most noble lie if it was.

Elizabeth because she never fails to fascinate me. Her quotes are THE BEST. Nothing compares to some of the things she said! I just love her.

Juana I of Spain. Hate the way she's seen as 'the Mad.' So underestimated. I don't see what she ever did wrong…

Marie Antoinette. So gorgeous. And once again, I think she is much underestimated. People just fail to look past her extravagance.

Margaret Beaufort. Despite the fact that I think she was a spiteful character, one has to admire her courage.

Lady Rochford. Another spiteful character, yes. But still fascinated I like to think..

Katherine Parr. Her intelligence was so great. I think she was a great influence on Elizabeth.

Kat Astley. Forever loyal to her Queen. A favourite of mine just for that.

I wish to confess to you and tell you my secret, which is that I am no angel. -Queen Elizabeth I

December 5, 2010
5:27 pm
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Bella44
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Anyanka said:

The Doctor.


Mine too, heh!

 

Aside from the Tudors, a couple of historical figures I admire are William Wilberforce and Mary Wollstonecraft.  William Wilberforce was a British MP who worked for years to bring about an end to the slave trade, dying a few days afters after hearing that his Bill had finally been passed in parliament in 1833.  He also helped to found the worlds first SPCA.

Mary Wollstonecraft was an early campaigner for women's rights, publishing her 'Vindication of the Rights of Woman' in 1792.  She also travelled alone to France so she could chronicle the French Revolution.  Her daughter was Mary Shelley, author of 'Frankenstein'.

Jesus (the historical person as well as the divine!), Ghandi and Martin Luther King are also people I admire enormously – changing the world for the better through non-violent means.  Smile 

December 5, 2010
5:35 pm
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Bella44
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Anyanka said:

The Doctor.


Mine too, heh!

December 5, 2010
6:10 pm
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Boleynfan
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Well, Anne beats everyone else by about a mile, but beyond her….

 

Elizabeth I, the extraordinary daughter who was almost as wonderful as her mother 🙂

Anastasia Romanov – I've always found the Romanovs, and Anastasia's story, very fascinating

Marie Antoinette – since 8 years old I have been obsessed with her!

Julius Caesar, for I think obvious reasons

Shakespeare, again for obvious reasons

Isabella of Castile – I didn't like what she did as Queen (Spanish Inquisition was horrible of course) but I thought her story interesting, her rise to power intriguing, and her courage throughout everything admirable

Cleopatra! Fantastic Queen, wily woman who used her femininity to her advantage (like Elizabeth, I might add), crafty, intelligent ruler

 

Hmm….I know I'll think of more soon!

"Grumble all you like, this is how it's going to be"

December 6, 2010
12:27 pm
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Sharon
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Besides Anne and Elizabeth:

Cynthia Ann Parker and her son Quannah Parker;  She was a girl of 9 when she was taken from her family by the Comanche.  She was raised by them and she married within the tribe.  Her son Quannah was Chief of the last band of Comanche to surrender in Texas.  A little antidote about Quannah; he became friends with many gov't officials.  Teddy Roosevelt used to hunt with him. As a Comanche he had four wives.  They told him he could not have four wives in America.  His reply was, “You tell 'em.”

Eleanore of Aquitaine; She went on Crusade with Louis.  Remarked upon as being the most beautiful woman in Christendom.  A woman ahead of her time.  Strong-willed and courageous.

King Charles II; The Merry Monarch.  Love reading about him and all of his loves.  He barely escaped with his life after his Father was executed. His youth was spent on the run.  He returned to pick up the the pieces after Cromwell died.

Abraham Lincoln; For his love of this country.  For his determination to see America whole again.

John Kennedy; for his vision of a new frontier.

Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy; For their belief in civil rights, and human rights. For their belief in peace.

Helen Keller; for showing strength in all types of adversity.

December 6, 2010
3:20 pm
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MegC
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I wish I had more women on my list of admirables, but I history so often gives women the short end of the stick…

 

So…most of mine are men…

Martin Luther–I have a deep and abiding respect for this man who really wanted nothing more than reformation–not a whole new church.  His quotes are awesome.  I think it truly broke his heart to finally have to admit to himself that reformation was not going to come.  He once said, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree”.  Such hope.

Abraham Lincoln–I am a southerner and there aren't a whole lot of people in the South more persona non grata than Abe, but I believe that Lincoln had a vision and I've always felt it so sad that he didn't live to see his vision come to fruition.

Charles Darwin–His contributions to biology have changed the way people think about the world and he is so often wrongly maligned.

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

December 7, 2010
11:57 am
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DuchessofBrittany
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Well, besides Anne, I have a few favourite historical figures.

Elizabeth I: I've admired this women since I was seven years old. Her intelligence, courage, and conviction. Need I say more?

Katherine Parr and Anne of Cleves: for surviving Henry VIII, and for being friends with, and positive role models for, Elizabeth in many capacities.

Katherine Swynford: more than simply a mistress to John of Gaunt, the ruling class feared her, and her beauty is legendary. One of the greatest romances in history.

Pierre Elliot Trudeau: Canadian Prime Minister, creator of Canada's first Constitution, and for making Canada a great country to live in.

Tommy Douglas: creator of Canada's health care system.

Margaret Mead: pioneering 20th century Anthropologist, who inspired me to be an Anthropologist too. Her most famous work Coming of Age in Samoa helped defined participant-observation and the importance of fieldwork for social research.

Michel Foucault: a brillant philospher the world lost too soon. His theories are groundbreaking (even if I don't always understand what they are about). His book The Will of Knowledge turned my world upside down.

Jesus (human and divine): I am not religious, but Jesus's life inspires me to be the best person I can, and to try and treat others how I want to be treated.

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

December 9, 2010
7:32 am
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Anyanka
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I'm surpprised no-one's mentioned Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc).

 

A peasant girl who lead the French forces against the English and won! After capture and another kangeroo court found her guilty of heresy due to Biblical clothing law. She was later burnt at the stake after resuming men's clothing. Her trial was later overturned and in the early 20th century she was canonised.

It's always bunnies.

December 10, 2010
7:17 pm
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Brett
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Some of my most favorite people are the most overlooked and mis-understood figures in history such as:

 

Mary Queen of Scots – I believe she is a woman who fought for what she believed was hers. Yes she may have made some mistakes along the way. But i believe she was the intellectual and political equal of Elizabeth. 

Mary Tudor: I hate the term “Bloody Mary”. I don't believe she put to death anymore people than Monarchs before or after her. Her childhood up until her end just intrigues me. She loved her country and her faith. 

Again going with more of the overlooked and mis-understood: American Presidents: John Adams and Lyndon Johnson. 

 

There are many many more and more ive yet to read about. 

"En ma Fin gît mon Commencement…" "In my End is my Beginning…"

December 10, 2010
9:38 pm
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Bella44
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I completely agree with you about both Marys but particularly Mary Tudor.  This year I've been reading more about her; the biographies by Linda Porter and Anna Whitelock are both worth checking out if you haven't done so already!

And as for American Presidents, I'm always interested in what Jimmy Carter has to say – though seeing as how he's not dead I don't suppose he counts as 'historical'!Laugh

December 11, 2010
2:59 pm
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Melissa
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MegC-glad to see a Southern fan of Lincoln and Darwin!  Two of my heroes.

DuchessOfBrittany-interesting that you mention Katherine Swynford.  I have only recently learned about her and her influence (and how many influential people to this very day are descended from her) but I love the medieval romance aspect of her story.  John of Gaunt was completely in love with his wife Blanche and Katherine loved her too.  It was only after her death that John and Katherine realized they were soul mates and flouted convention to be together.

Anyanka-Jehanne D'Arc is my patron saint!  To this day, when I pray, it's “Thank you, Saint Joan, for bringing me to the faith.”  As a teenager who couldn't identify with the role models I was presented with-mainly reality stars and people who came to fame from sex tapes and the like-I identified mostly with historical women.  This is where my obsession with Anne Boleyn began.  She was fully human and I've always felt an affinity with her.  The other person I felt that for was Jeanne D'Arc.  She died at 19-as a teenager, nothing could be a more powerful testimony.  She fought for what she believed in despite being made fun of my people on her own side and being attacked by her enemies.  She is also one of the few stories of God intervening for political reasons on earth.  Jesus Christ could have come to earth as a Roman heir, a rich emperor-to-be, but instead he came to earth as a poor son of a peasant in a random backwater town of Galilee.  St. Joan was not the noble militarily-trained son or daughter of a general but a random daughter of a peasant shepherd.  It makes me feel better for the rest of us!  When I joined the Catholic Church, they wanted me to take the name Guadalupe or Kateri for my Native American heritage, but I insisted on being “Joan,” after Joan of Arc.  

 

My favorite historical people are, of course, Anne Boleyn and Joan of Arc.  Other favorites include Cleopatra VII (is it bad that I only identified with her after seeing Lindsey Marshal's amazing portrayal in Rome?), St. Perpetua,   Elizabeth I, Marguerite de Navarre, Marguerite de Valois, Veronica Franco, Tullia D'Aragona, Carolina Otero, and others.  

Ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne.

December 12, 2010
10:43 am
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Sharon
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Melissa, I'm wondering if you are talking about Kateri, the Native American saint from the Mohawk tribe?  My family traveled to Auriesville shrine at least twice a year, if not more, for many years.  In fact, we still try to get there whenever we can.  The female saint honored there is Kateri.  Auriesville is a very special place for me and mine.  Have you ever been there?  If not, you should go.  There is such a wonderful feeling of peace there. 

December 12, 2010
9:51 pm
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MegC
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Melissa said:

MegC-glad to see a Southern fan of Lincoln and Darwin!  Two of my heroes.

 

Hey, I'm from East Tennessee and we were pro-Union for the entire Civil War.  People in East Tennessee couldn't afford slaves–we were mountain folk (some of whom had blue skin, but that's an entirely different story altogether).  Unfortunately, I do have a very distant relative who was a minor Confederate General.  He was supposed to be present at the Battle of Lookout Mountain, but he overslept.  That's probably why he was only a minor general.

 

As for Darwin, I'm definitely a minority around here in my support of him.  My students never believed me when I told them that he was buried in Westminster Abbey–I even have a picture of me standing on his grave (Shhhh…don't tell anyone I took a picture inside of Westminster Abbey).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

December 13, 2010
2:33 am
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bethany.x
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Brett said:

Some of my most favorite people are the most overlooked and mis-understood figures in history such as:

 

Mary Queen of Scots – I believe she is a woman who fought for what she believed was hers. Yes she may have made some mistakes along the way. But i believe she was the intellectual and political equal of Elizabeth. 

Mary Tudor: I hate the term “Bloody Mary”. I don't believe she put to death anymore people than Monarchs before or after her. Her childhood up until her end just intrigues me. She loved her country and her faith. 

Again going with more of the overlooked and mis-understood: American Presidents: John Adams and Lyndon Johnson. 

 

There are many many more and more ive yet to read about. 


I must agree- I loathe the term 'Bloody Mary' All she ever did was to follow her conscience. I don't see what's so bad about that…

I wish to confess to you and tell you my secret, which is that I am no angel. -Queen Elizabeth I

December 16, 2010
4:30 pm
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Melissa
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Yes Sharon, Kateri Tekakwitha, the “Lily of the Mowhawks!”

Ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne.

January 30, 2013
7:16 pm
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Alison
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Too many to mention but mine are:
Lady Jane Grey
Anne Askew
Margaret Clitheroe
Anne Boleyn
Catherine of Aragon
Arthur Tudor
St Robert Southwell
Robert Aske
Chidioch and Agnes Tichborne
Edward Earl of Warwick
Margaret Pole
Benjamin Disraeli
Prince John ( the epileptic son of George 5th and Queen Mary
Winston Churchill

and King Arthur, ok ok, he may not have exsisted or was based on a real war lord of Ancient Briton but I love King Arthur.

January 30, 2013
7:38 pm
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Louise
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Guess who? Although what he point is God only knows.

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