History: Actual, Fictional and Legendary discussion

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message 1: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
This is a place to let the rest of the members know who your favorite historically noteworthy people are. You can also say a few words as to why she or he is one of your favorites.

If a book is cited, please use the "book/author" feature so people can go directly to the book or author without having to use the search utility.


message 2: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 18 comments I'm not sure if this is a favorite or a "most intriguing" but I've been readingA Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan. William Jennings Bryan is a fascinating figure. The most significant contributions he made to American culture were his in his political career, as a speaker and presidential candidate, rather than his notorious part in the Scopes trial. Bryan championed the rights of labor to organize, govt. regulation of the power of big business, anti-imperialism, the vote for women, lots of things that are close to my heart. The man was admittedly racist, which is abhorrent. But even in his resistance to the teaching of evolution, he was partly concerned with the growing interest in eugenics and social Darwinism in the 20s, something we can sympathize with, esp. after Hitler.


message 3: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 66 comments In his day he was famous for his "cross of gold" speech against the gold standard. I'm not a fan of his myself.

A godly favorite of mine is Joan of Arc. I'm also a huge fan of St. Francis. And this is coming from someone who was brought up Jewish.


message 4: by Cobalt_Cin (last edited Sep 29, 2010 05:37PM) (new)

Cobalt_Cin | 23 comments I think my personal heroes from history or people I just like to learn and read about are:

Leonardo Da Vinci - okay he was crazy in his own way, but he seemed such a character, I'd have loved to meet him. His drawings of futureistic cities, flying cars and his interest in anatomy and in flight.So before his time)

Major Richard Winters - I believe he is still alive, so this one isn't dead figure from history, I have watched BOB, seen his bits of interview. He seemed like a leader made of awesome and was so quiet, calm and soft spoken.

Jane Austan - from her books her wit, humour and voice of irony of her own society are still so relevant today. I'd have loved to meet her as well and shake her hand. The fact she was a single, independant woman as well has added to the respect I have for her.

Elizabeth the 1st - One of history's great, tall figures and great Queen's.

Willam Wallace - naturally, I don't need to describe the reasons for this one, the name says it all. I mean the real William Wallace too, not the Braveheart versian.


message 5: by Alex (new)

Alex I've always been attracted to a series of shadowy scientists - or mad scientists, even:

• Imhotep, the architect of the first great pyramid;

• Archimedes, the Greek scientist who (probably apocryphally) came up with a way to destroy boats using mirrors;

• John Dee, Queen Elizabeth's favorite scientist / magician, who spent the last years of his life building a telephone to talk to angels.


message 6: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 18 comments Shomeret wrote: "In his day he was famous for his "cross of gold" speech against the gold standard. I'm not a fan of his myself.

A godly favorite of mine is Joan of Arc. I'm also a huge fan of St. Francis. An..."
I would not really call myself a "fan" either. I'm not sure I have "heros" anymore, just people who have done something admirable. I agree that WJB is not really "hero" material.


message 7: by Garret (new)

Garret (ggannuch) Cobalt_Cin wrote: "I think my personal heroes from history or people I just like to learn and read about are:

Leonardo Da Vinci - okay he was crazy in his own way, but he seemed such a character, I'd have loved to..."


Leonardo is on my short list as well.


message 8: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
I've got to do some thinking about this but two names I know will be on my final list are Leonardo Da Vinci and Winston Churchill.

Reasons will follow.


message 9: by Bettie (last edited Oct 01, 2010 03:10PM) (new)

Bettie In no particular order ( except Hereward will always be first)

1 - Hereward the Wake
2 - Boudica
3 - Enkidu
4 - Enoch
5 - Giordano Bruno


message 10: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 66 comments Boudica and Giordano Bruno are on my list too, Bettie. I'm a huge fan of rebels and heretics.


message 11: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
Bettie wrote: "In no particular order ( except Hereward will always be first)

1 - Hereward the Wake
2 - Boudica
3 - Enkidu
4 - Enoch
5 - Giordano Bruno


I consider myself reasonably conversant with rebels, but other than Giordano Bruno, who are these people?


message 12: by Alex (new)

Alex Boudica was a warrior queen of the first century AD, who led an ultimately unsuccessful rebellion against Rome. Total badass chick, and one of my favorites.

Enkidu was Gilgamesh's best friend, in the first book we know of. When he was killed, Gilgamesh took off to the underground to try to retrieve him.

Coincidentally, I'm currently reading Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic. Too early to give an opinion though.


message 13: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie My favorite is the philosopher Martin Buber. Check out I and Thou.


message 14: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 310 comments Mod
You may also have heard of Boudica as "Boadicea."


message 15: by Alex (new)

Alex BTW Susanna, speaking of dead people who kick ass, I finally got my grubby mitts on that Michelangelo bio. I'll be starting it as soon as I'm done with Bruno.


message 16: by Cobalt_Cin (new)

Cobalt_Cin | 23 comments Now Michelangenelo was an interesting historical figure as well. Up there with Leonardo and Raphael, fascinating, complex and quite crazy, but they seem to be a product of their time. I found it quite amusing, I took a few Art History classes in High School and early University days. Boy I never knew that Michaelengelo and Leonardo absolutly hated each other's guts and part of the reason Michelangelo accepted doing the Sistine Chapel was so Leonardo wouldn't get it. They were directly competing for commissions, but also just plain hated each other. Leonardo was pretty jealous and hated Raphael as well. They come across like such grumpy, catty old women haha its brilliant.

I believe all were homosexuals, again supposedly something to do with their time according to my Art History teachers, considering many leading artists, sculpters, musicans, composers, playwriters, actors etc were in the same erea too. But there was a story about Leonardo my Art History teacher told us. He was notorius for taking forever to do any of his paintings and when doing the Last Supper followed suit.Supposedly he spent a week staring at the wall doing nothing, this naturally upset the cardinal in charge of him.He must have given some suggestions for him to hurry up and get cracking.Because Leonardo turned around and informed him he was trying to figure out the face of Judas but could always use his. Great sense of humour haha.

I remember watching The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was a kid, I loved it. Then when I got to my early teens, started learning about the artist they are named after ie; Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo (Mikey was always my fave lol). But I found it pretty funny we have a bunch of cartoon superheros named after Renaissaince painters and if you look at their various lives, its pretty funny.


message 17: by Shomeret (last edited Oct 02, 2010 05:37PM) (new)

Shomeret | 66 comments I'm of a different generation. I enjoyed TMNT when I discovered them as an adult. I think the concept of TMNT is about the shock of incongruency. Wait! Turtles are supposed to be slow. Ninjas are fast. Teenagers can't be Renaissance master painters. The original Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo didn't eat pizza. What's up with all these incongruencies? The purpose is to get people curious, so they'll be interested in the concept.


message 18: by Alex (new)

Alex I can't believe we're talking about this, but okay: I knew Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the original Eastman and Laird comic, which was, I think, pointless - just them having fun doing weird stuff. Thumbs up to that.

Cin, I knew Michelangelo was gay (or at least sexually ambivalent), but I didn't know most of the rest. Thanks! Interesting time, huh?


message 19: by Cobalt_Cin (last edited Oct 02, 2010 10:54PM) (new)

Cobalt_Cin | 23 comments Yeah Alex its true. Raphael according to my teacher, who didn't mind giving us racy stories, was very er open to anything as it were, he lived pretty much the type of rock start lifestyle we see today only Renaissance style, pretty funny when he was supposedly aiming to be a cardinal. But Michelangelo, Donatello and Leonardo weren't just into men they hated women, or so my art history teacher's have taught, Leonardo in particular, if you look at his paintings that feature females, there's a certain mockery and personal commentary he makes.

Like there's a painting he did the one with the Girl and the Ermine? The ermine/ferret was his comment on the girl's character apparently. Like I said I love this man, his sense of humour and irony is really funny.


message 20: by Meg (new)

Meg | 7 comments Some of my favorite historical figures are
William Marshal
The Emperor Claudius
Mary Tudor
Thomas More
JohnAdams
Hans Holbein
Edwin Booth

In most of these cases a particular writer or playwright originally interested me in the person and just took off from there. So blame/credit James goldman, Robert Bolt, Robert Graves and so forth...


message 21: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa Fascinated by Gráinne Ní Mháille/Granuaile/baldy Grace. Irish pirate queen met Liz 1st and threw Liz's hanky in the fire. Rebel, pirate, smart, from Connaught.


message 22: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 66 comments Old-Barbarossa wrote: "Fascinated by Gráinne Ní Mháille/Granuaile/baldy Grace. Irish pirate queen met Liz 1st and threw Liz's hanky in the fire. Rebel, pirate, smart, from Connaught."

Ah Grace O'Malley in English. I'm fond of her too. She's my favorite pirate.


message 23: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 18 comments Okay, why did she throw Queen Elizabeth's hanky in the fire?


message 24: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Oct 12, 2010 08:24AM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa Andrea wrote: "Okay, why did she throw Queen Elizabeth's hanky in the fire?"

As it was covered in pirate snot it seemed the polite thing to do rather than return it. In some versions it was a handmaiden that gave Grace the hanky which she emptied her hooter into.


message 25: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Anyone a fan of Tony Blair? I wonder if his portrayal in at least two historically based movies (The Queen & The Special Relationship) are correct. Because if yes, wow, he's really cool.


message 26: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
Silvana wrote: "Anyone a fan of Tony Blair? I wonder if his portrayal in at least two historically based movies (The Queen & The Special Relationship) are correct. Because if yes, wow, he's really cool."

Like most politicians, Tony Blair was a bit of an enigma. I did like him but I never paid much attention to his policies. I used to watch "Question Time" on BBC in HK and was overwhelmed by his erudition.

He has a new book out which may delight or horrify you.


message 27: by Bettie (last edited Oct 19, 2010 12:20PM) (new)

Bettie You may like this video about Boudica (hattip misfit)

http://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot....


message 28: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 66 comments Re Boudica music video--Thanks, Bettie. That was really wonderful!


message 29: by Bettie (new)

Bettie Shomeret wrote: "Re Boudica music video--Thanks, Bettie. That was really wonderful!"

A supeh-stah!

:O)))


message 30: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
Terrific!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


message 31: by Esther (last edited Oct 29, 2010 12:57AM) (new)

Esther (eshchory) One of my favourite personages is Dr Martin Luther King jr. though I must admit I don't know a lot about him.
I admire people fighting against adversity and bigotry but so frequently it becomes 'them and us' with little aim of actually changing the situation just an attempt to switch who's 'on top'.
As far as I understand Dr King called for unity between all people against discrimination and he recognized the possibility of good in all people.
I find this so inspiring.

Silvana wrote: "Anyone a fan of Tony Blair? I wonder if his portrayal in at least two historically based movies (The Queen & The Special Relationship) are correct. Because if yes, wow, he's really cool."

For most of his tenure I thought Blair a bit 'wet' but one decision he made changed my mind and then I just had to find out more about him. I enjoyed The Queen and would be interested to read his autobiography.


Meg wrote: ".......In most of these cases a particular writer or playwright originally interested me in the person and just took off from there. So blame/credit James goldman, Robert Bolt, Robert Graves and so forth...."

Robert Graves holds a lot of responsibility for my opinions about, and fascination for, the Romans. I saw the TV adaptation of 'I, Claudius' at a young age and I was most impressed by August's wife Livia, I even wanted to name my daughter after her. She was so strong and powerful.
Somehow when I was 5 the fact that she seemed to have poisoned or otherwise killed off most of her friends & family didn't really concern me!


message 32: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
Esther wrote: "One of my favourite personages is Dr Martin Luther King jr. though I must admit I don't know a lot about him.
I admire people fighting against adversity and bigotry but so frequently it becomes 'th..."


Martin Luther King (MLK) was influenced by Ghandi and was able to inspire and make non-violence the core of his philosophy.

He had his faults. I believe he was not averse to straying sexually. He was also incredibly brave.

Still a role model for inspiring positive change.


message 33: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) Ed wrote: ".....Martin Luther King (MLK) ..... He had his faults. I.."

I prefer people with faults it reminds them that they too are fallabe and human.


message 34: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 8 comments In no particular order:

Benjamin Franklin
Helen Keller
Eleanor Roosevelt
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leonardo Da Vinci

And it's early here and I KNOW I am forgetting somebody! I post more later.


message 35: by Emmanuel (new)

Emmanuel | 2 comments Erwin Rommel. I wouldn't say i'm a fan cause i don't admire him so much but i find his life to be captivating to study. He was a genius in warfare who committed obvious tactical mistakes. A member of Hitler's close entourage who became his opponent and kept the secret of July 20th plot. He was made a hero both by German and the Allies after the war for being the only senior officer in the German army not to commit any war crime, and also because he died a martyr.
So a very ambiguous character with a golden legend that is partly undeserved (he was shocked by the Final Solution but did nothing to prevent it whereas he was really close to Hitler).


message 36: by Hock (new)

Hock Tjoa (hockgtjoa) Emmanuel wrote: "Erwin Rommel. I wouldn't say i'm a fan cause i don't admire him so much but i find his life to be captivating to study. He was a genius in warfare who committed obvious tactical mistakes. A member ..."

Very interesting choice and it makes me want to read more about him. But is he your "favorite"...?


message 37: by Emmanuel (new)

Emmanuel | 2 comments Well he is at the time. I'm also very interested in Yamamoto Isoroku, admiral in the Japanese Imperial Fleet. Also a peculiar person, very aware of his enemy's strength whereas politicians were blinded by their own power... I really enjoy reading about people who stood out in the Axis, people who embodied another way of war.


message 38: by Jack (new)

Jack Durish (jackdurish) | 3 comments Lord Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, is not only a great historical personality, he is the metaphorical father of two great fictional heroes, Hornblower (Forrester) and Jack Aubrey (O'Brien). His exploits were first chronicled by a midshipman who rose to captain his own frigate during the Napoleonic Wars, Frederick Marryat. Reading Marryat is like sitting by a cozy fire, listening to tales told by a beloved grandfather. He frequently lapses into personal recollections when his fictional tales remind him of an incident from his own experiences fighting in more than fifty engagements between wooden warships under sail.

Frederick Marryat


message 39: by KOMET (last edited Aug 22, 2015 05:58AM) (new)

KOMET | 48 comments Some of My Favorite Historical Personages are:

1) John F. Kennedy
2) George S. Patton Jr. (my father served under him as a soldier in the Third Army in Europe, 1944-1945)

3) Robert Kennedy
4) Indira Gandhi
5) Kemal Ataturk
6) Gamal Abdel Nasser
7) Senator Edward Kennedy
8) Franklin Delano Roosevelt
9) Queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba
10) Eleanor Roosevelt (a righteous, courageous woman)
11) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
12) Anwar Sadat (for having the courage to make peace with Israel in 1977 despite the slings and arrows flung at him)

13) Helmut Schmidt (former Chancellor of West Germany)
14) Willy Brandt
15) Yitzhak Rabin
16) Parmeshwar Narayan Haksar
17) Boadica
18) Zumbi dos Palmares
19) Toussaint L'ouverture
20) Napoleon Bonaparte (for his remarkable military acumen, achievements, and intellect, despite his disdain for democratic government)

21) James McCudden (outstanding WWI fighter pilot and tactician; his book "Flying Fury: Five Years in the Royal Flying Corps" is superb)

22) Gore Vidal (was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Vidal in September 2000 and have him autograph my copy of his novel "The Golden Age")

23) Josephine Baker
24) André Malraux
25) Malcolm X
26) Tina Modotti (see photo below)
Tina Modotti


message 40: by Mariah (new)

Mariah (sjmariah) | 2 comments One of my favourite historical figures is Jane Gray from the Tudor era. The first novel I ever read about her was The Nine Days Queen which was a well written novel about her journey and was a wonderful way to get to know this figure.


message 41: by Ellis (new)

Ellis Hastings (ellishastings) | 4 comments 1) Napoleon Bonaparte
2) George Washington
3) John Fitzgerald Kennedy
4) Amelia Earhart
5) William Shakespeare
6) Jesus Christ (of course. Because I am a Christian)
7) Moses
8) Caesar
9) Abraham Lincoln
10) Stonewall Jackson


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

1) Oscar Wilde
2) Harriet Tubman
3) Malcolm X
4) Galileo
5) Lilith (I don't believe the Bible is true but she's based on legends. Basically she was Adam's first wife, before Eve, who was banished because she refused to be submissive to Adam)
6) Eleanor Roosevelt
7) Simone De Beauvoir
8) Anne Frank
9) Princess Diana
10) Jacqueline Kennedy
11) Malala Yousafzai


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