Monday, October 15, 2012

Birthday Bash!

Hello to everyone! I thought we might take some time today to recognize a man who has been dead for a couple thousand years - Virgil.

Looking quite spry for a man of 2,082.
He was born today in 70 B.C. somewhere in Gaul, if local legend is to be trusted. He was pretty much your average Roman dude: drinking wine, studying law, studying philosophy, writing poetry.....
You might recognize him from his marginally famous epic poem the Aeneid, which followed the founding of Rome by Trojan War survivor Aeneas. Maybe you've heard of it; it's been sold for over two millenia and will continue to be as long as it is required for all students to read before they graduate (usually in accompaniment with Homer or Sophocles or even Snooki's A Shore Thing).
Right up there with Poe and Dickens, everybody.
At any rate, Virgil was wildly popular, his books making the emperor Augustus's sister Octavia collapse from the drama of it all mid-story. I'm not kidding. Apparently she was passed out for so long that the emperor and Virgil thought it would be funny to paint a picture for posterity.
"She passed out, bro! Gimme five!"
Even after his death in 19 B.C. Virgil still had a busy and successful afterlife, his tomb said to work miracles and attracting pilgrims from all over the Roman empire. He also made a cameo as Dante's guide through hell and half of Purgatory in Dante's Inferno, which was another hugely successful book.
He would be the man on the right, calmly watching Dante drag a damned soul by the hair out of the ice it's trapped in.
Anyways, happy birthday, Virgil! Congrats on making it to 2,082 - go enjoy a glass of wine and celebrate your success.
Haters gonna hate.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Birthday Bash - George IV Edition

This is his dad. They had some issues.
Well, it's definitely been awhile despite my resolution to post more often (look how that one turned out). At any rate, today, August 12th, is the 250th birthday of King George IV of England. Why not celebrate?

So most people probably don't know a whole lot about George. As a matter of fact, he's probably more famous for his family connections: he was the oldest son of King George III, who went insane, and was the uncle of the future Queen Victoria.

Moving on: born in 1762, George, Prince of Wales, was the oldest of George III's FIFTEEN children (God knows how their mother survived every pregnancy and even outlived some of her own children in an era fraught with horrific medical care and doctors who still thought the best way to cure someone of an illness was to bleed them to death) and was the favorite of his mother and adored by his six younger sisters, though his father wasn't a fan of George, prefering his second son Frederick. When he was little he apparently was very charming and acted a lot like a little adult, once asking a governess if she was well-dressed enough to visit a royal relative later that day - something we would today think of as an insult from a bratty kid - though apparently the governess must've thought it was 'bloody cute,' since everyone seemed to think the sun rose and set on him as a child.
Who couldn't love that mischevious little grin?
George's teenage and young adult years passed by with the typical prince stuff: schooling, military stuff, an illegal marriage to a Roman Catholic that was swept under the rug, travel, etc. He finally settled down in 1795 and married Caroline of Brunswick - this is where this crap gets all "Days of Our Lives."

Americans said Hester Prynne had a scarlet letter. The British said Caroline of Brunswick had the whole dress.

So Caroline and George were happily married for about 30 seconds before some tension began to show. George didn't like his new wife very much and they had both expressed disappointment in each other the first time they met, but off to the altar they went. They had a daughter, Charlotte, nine months later and promptly split up, George off doing his princely thing, leaving Charlotte in the care of her aunts and banning his wife from being around her daughter, and Caroline surrounded by widespread rumours of public affairs with lovers from all over Europe and adopting children off the streets that many thought were of questionable maternity (i.e. people thought they were hers). During her parents' turbulent marriage Charlotte became the darling of the country and the people were fiercely loyal to her personally, celebrating when she married Leopold of Saxe-Coburg Saalfield.

Regency England's power couple.

George tried to divorce Caroline after George III died in 1820 but she died a year later. Sadly their daughter Charlotte, heir presumptive to the throne after George IV, died in 1817 giving birth to a son with her husband Leopold (another one of Queen Victoria's uncles on her mom's side), leaving England without an heir and kicking off a "race for the succession" among George's 6 brothers.

Meanwhile George III had become completely insane in 1811 and George became Regent of England for 9 years until his father died. After that he reigned for another 10 years until he died in 1830. One of the most influental things he did during his tenure was to agree to Catholic Emancipation (giving Catholics equal rights to Anglicans in England), though admittedly against his will. He also created a fashion wave by no longer wearing a wig, but that's a different story entirely.

Unfortunately for George, capes with padded shoulders just never caught on.

When George died most people did not mourn deeply as he was not well-liked among his subjects, though his sisters were distraught. His brother William succeeded the throne and after him, Queen Victoria.

For a helpful guide to the insanity that is the Hanoverian dynasty, check this out:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Profiles in Badassery: Boudica

Boudicca has fascinated me ever since I heard about her, being a Queen in an age where men held power and resisting the overwhelming Roman army's conquest of Britain. Her name apparently means "victory."

Let us kick some ass!

Basically, Boudicca was the Queen of the Iceni tribe in what is today the U.K. After her husband's death in battle and the brutal treatment given to herself and her daughters (we'll leave it at that), as well as the destruction of Druidic temples and the loss of many lives at the hands of the Romans, Boudicca went above and beyond trying to show the Romans that when somone messes with the Iceni, they suffer extreme consequences.

After storing weapons, Boudicca turned the Iceni loose and they completely (and I mean COMPLETELY) destroyed the town of Camulodunum, followed by Londinium, where Boudicca ordered her army to massacre anyone who got in the way, leading to the terrible loss of a number of innocent citizens. Rome responded by massacring the Iceni during a battle with Boudicca, and the situation continued to spiral out of control until the Romans supressed the rebellion. When the Romans marched onward to capture Boudicca and her daughters, they found them dead, having already taken poison and prefering death to captivity.

FUN FACT: Boudicca was said to have blades coming out of her chariot's wheels.

She made sure nobody sideswiped her chariot.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kells' Triumphant Return

I have returned!

Just FYI, I did not intentionally abandon this site. I actually thought about it several times in the past 5 months, but it was either in the middle of an English final, driving the car across town, or when I was REALLY into eating a Chipotle burrito (steak, olives, lettuce, cheese, and extra guacamole) and just couldn't be distracted.

At any rate, I believe there are some birthdays to celebrate! *pulls out streamers and inflates balloons*

Today is Nicolaus Copernicus' birthday (1473) - we have him to thank for figuring out that the earth is indeed orbiting the sun, and not the other way around.

I don't know what he's holding in his left hand, but it looks pretty damn awesome.

I think people probably listened to him because of his official and rather scary-looking instruments. And he was one smart Polish dude.

King of the Solar System

Also, this guy, 'Grandpa Jones,' who was a Banjo champion and a classic country singer, died today in 1998. He will be missed, and his impressive mustache will be missed as well. We salute your musical ability, Grandpa! (I'm not being sarcastic. I have a genuine awe of anyone who can play a musical intstrument, from banging on the drums in a coordinated rhythm to composing a concerto. You musicians are all awesome.)

He just unlocked 'Hardcore' on Banjo Hero: World Tour.

Love you all!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Really Am Still Alive

Well, hello. Just sending out a brief post to say:

I do indeed still exist and I will keep posting things, thanks to the lovely people who have given me input (and even just visited my blog). I was honestly about to delete this altogether and write off blogging for good.

So thank you all. I will try to have something up this week!

Off to study for an APUSH test..... perhaps I can get an idea from there. Let me know if there is anyone in particular you would like to see on this site! I'm a Brit History nut, so if no one sends an idea in, there may be nothing but George VI vs. Richard the Lionhart or Elizabeth II vs. Elizabeth I on here. :)

And thank you again!



In keeping with the historical theme, Peter II, Emperor of Russia, was born today in 1715. I really know nothing about Russian history, but as a (very late) birthday present to him, may as well put this up.

Hello, handsome.

Happy Birthday, Peter II. You're so amazing that you have your own Facebook account ( even though you've been dead for over 200 years, which automatically makes you my favorite Russian Emperor.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Queen Victoria vs. Queen Elizabeth I

These two women lived about 250 years apart, and were considered the some of the greatest monarchs of England's history.
It's only natural to question who would win in a fight.

Queen Elizabeth I 
Hand on globe = world domination

  • Fought the Spanish Armada, the great naval power of the 16th century- and won
  • Never married, prefering to keep her crown away from power-hungry men who wanted to take  it from her
  • Possessed the ability to look badass in lace ruffs and puffy sleeves
  • A ginger. Need I say more?
  • Showed the world that a woman can enter a traditionally male-dominated world and actually excel at leading a nation
  • Beloved by the English people
 Queen Victoria
Don't mess with a mother of nine.

  • Successfully steered Great Britain through one of the most tumultous revolutionary periods in  Europe and retained her crown
  • Managed to reverse England's terrible debt after the reigns of her wasteful uncles
  • Gave birth to nine children, all of whom lived to adulthood, without dying
  • Basically the great-something grandmother of every monarch in Europe, having married all of her children into Europe's ruling families
  • Wildly popular with her subjects, who called her "Little Vic"
  • Pretty badass for someone who was barely five feet tall, having survived multiple assassination attempts, some of them with her family sitting right beside her.

Vote for the winner in the comments!

*None of the images are mine. I kinda suck at art.

UPDATE: The winner is Queen Victoria! Sorry, Elizabeth, it was a valiant fight.

Plotting her revenge....