Thursday, March 22, 2012

David Gandy! Our champion.

Don't miss this great video of David Gandy,
 Ambassador to the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

I like cats myself. You've heard the saying, "Women and cats will do as they please; men and dogs should relax and get used to it."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Favorite Historical Movies

I love movies. If it's a cold or wet or tired day, a movie usually means complete relaxation and no guilt about doing nothing.
I have a passel of films I call "my favorites." I will watch them repeatedly and mindlessly. I wouldn't say I know all the lines, but many of them.

So let's look at the list in what we'll call "period movies."

10. Tristan and Isolde (Franco)
9. Moll Flanders (Freeman/Wright)
8. Rob Roy (Neeson)
7. The Count of Monte Cristo (Caviezel)
6. The Gladiator (Crowe)
5. Braveheart (Gibson)
4. Man in the Iron Mask (DiCaprio)
3. Tangled (Disney cartoon)
2. Ladyhawke (Hauer/Pfieffer)
1. Pride and Prejudice (Knightly/McFadden)

I would also classify several cable series in this group: Rome, The Tudor's, Spartacus. And yes, the movie Tangled. I think it is by far one of the best Disney classics.

Tell me what you think. I'd be interested in hearing about your favorites or hidden gems.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Napoleon Bonaparte

The French Revolution gave rise to its most famous son, Napoleon Bonaparte. He and Josephine were married today in history, in the year 1796. Two days after he married, he left Paris, taking charge of the French Army. He led the successful invasion of Italy.

From Wiki: "Napoleon was born in Corsica to parents of noble Genoese ancestry, and trained as an artillery officer in mainland France. He rose to prominence under the French First Republic and led successful campaigns against the First and Second Coalitions arrayed against France. In 1799, he staged a coup d'état and installed himself as First Consul; five years later the French Senate proclaimed him emperor. In the first decade of the 19th century, the French Empire under Napoleon engaged in a series of conflicts—the Napoleonic Wars—involving every major European power."

I had always believed they had some great love. Apparently, not so.

More from Wiki:
"Napoleon married Joséphine de Beauharnais in 1796, when he was 26; she was a 32-year-old widow whose first husband had been executed during the Revolution. Until she met Bonaparte, she had been known as 'Rose', a name which he disliked. He called her 'Joséphine' instead, and she went by this name henceforth. Bonaparte often sent her love letters while on his campaigns. He formally adopted her son Eugène and cousin Stéphanie and arranged dynastic marriages for them. Joséphine had her daughter Hortense marry Napoleon's brother Louis.
Joséphine had lovers, including a Hussar lieutenant, Hippolyte Charles, during Napoleon's Italian campaign. Napoleon learnt the full extent of her affair with Charles while in Egypt, and a letter he wrote to his brother Joseph regarding the subject was intercepted by the British. The letter appeared in the London and Paris presses, much to Napoleon's embarrassment. Napoleon had his own affairs too: during the Egyptian campaign he took Pauline Bellisle Foures, the wife of a junior officer, as his mistress. She became known as Cleopatra after the Ancient Egyptian ruler.
While Napoleon's mistresses had children by him, Joséphine did not produce an heir, possibly because of either the stresses of her imprisonment during the Reign of Terror or an abortion she may have had in her 20s. Napoleon ultimately chose divorce so he could remarry in search of an heir. In March 1810, he married Marie Louise, Archduchess of Austria, and a great niece of Marie Antoinette by proxy; thus he had married into a German royal and imperial family.
They remained married until his death, though she did not join him in exile on Elba and thereafter never saw her husband again. The couple had one child, Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles (1811–1832), known from birth as the King of Rome. He became Napoleon II in 1814 and reigned for only two weeks. He was awarded the title of the Duke of Reichstadt in 1818 and died of tuberculosis aged 21, with no children."

Since my illusions are now crushed, I will have to find a new evil dictator to admire.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tales of the French Revolution

A book from 1823, Bloody Buoy, talks of the "multitude of acts of HORRID BARBARITY, such as the eye never witnessed, the tongue never expressed or the imagination conceived, until the Commencement of The French Revolution."

Here is one short story: "In the same town, and on the same day, the ax was suspended on over the head of Mr. Teron, when the revolutionist bethought them that he had a son. This son was about ten years of age and in order to enjoy the father's torments and the child's tears both a a time, he was brought to the place of execution. His tears and cries gave a relish to the ferocious banquet. After tiring themselves with the spectacle, they put the father to death before the eyes of the child, whom they besmeared with his blood."

And another: "Two women, who had persisted in asking the life of their husbands, were tied, during six hours, to the posts of the guillotine. Their own husbands were executed before their eyes, and their blood sprinkled over them."

I had never considered writing a story set in this time period until recently, when I had the idea of a three-generation series, starting during the revolution.

Vive la France.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

David Gandy - Antique Style

A lovely new post from model David Gandy about his love of antiques. His great style sense is reflected in his decorating. Great pieces. What do you think?

My love of antiques extends only to books, but I can appreciate the value of period pieces, especially those of London Regency.