Rejected “Disney” Princesses

Rejected Princesses – Imgur.

This artist’s ideas for an entirely different brand of Disneyfied princesses are beautiful and when you think of Disney actually considering them, hilarious.

For example:

Wu Zetian, Empress of China

Wu Zetian, Empress of China

The description begins:

“Introducing Wu Zetian, first and only Empress of China — seen here poisoning her infant daughter. Now, that’s actually a bit of a historical inaccuracy: the generally-accepted truth was that she *strangled* her young daughter, to frame the old queen and get her out of the way. It worked — both the old queen and the old queen’s mother were executed, and haunted her from that point forward. I thought they’d make good comic relief characters in the movie adaptation. From there, she ascended to be Emperor Gaozong’s predominant consort, and set about eradicating all other claimants to the throne. Early on, her method of choice was a slow-acting poison made from silkworms. As time went on and her influence grew, however, she took to engineering treason charges for her opponents, summoning them to the throne room and making them kill themselves in front of her.”

It makes me wonder about Disney’s version of Richard III, where the murdered princes are comic relief ghosts at the end.

Also:

Mai Bhago

Mai Bhago

“Introducing the eleventh Rejected Princess: Mai Bhago, 18th century Sikh warrior-saint and only survivor of the Battle of Khidrana.” Anyone who ever said women weren’t cut out for the military clearly never came across her story-you should check it out.

Others include Corn Maiden, Sita of the Ramayana, and the Italian fairy tale heroine Penta. I would also like to nominate, as impossible to Disneyfy (Disneyfie? Disneyfiant!): Sedna, Boadicea, and Pope Joan. It’s a fun game to play-who would be the comic relief character?? The bird-husband for Sedna? Pope Joan’s horse? o.O Feel free to join in. Who else is awesome and Disneyfiant?

Fantastically Bejeweled Skeleton News!

Meet the Fantastically Bejeweled Skeletons of Catholicism’s Forgotten Martyrs | Past Imperfect.

You must read this article.  It starts with:

“Paul Koudounaris is not a man who shies away from the macabre. Though the Los Angeles-based art historian, author and photographer claims that his fascination with death is no greater than anyone else’s, he devotes his career to investigating and documenting phenomena such as church ossuaries, charnel houses and bone-adorned shrines. Which is why, when a man in a German village approached him during a 2008 research trip and asked something along the lines of, “Are you interested in seeing a dilapidated old church in the forest with a skeleton standing there covered in jewels and holding a cup of blood in his left hand like he’s offering you a toast?” Koudounaris’ answer was, “Yes, of course.”

 

Includes good historical evidence riddled with details like:

“One thing the nuns did lack, however, was formal training in anatomy. Koudounaris often found bones connected improperly, or noticed that a skeleton’s hand or foot was grossly missized. Some of the skeletons were outfitted with full wax faces, shaped into gaping grins or wise gazes. “That was done, ironically, to make them seem less creepy and more lively and appealing,” Koudounaris says. “But it has the opposite effect today. Now, those with the faces by far seem the creepiest of all.”

 

And ends with his book about these spectacular skeletons, which “Accomplishing that was no small task. Nearly all the skeletons he visited and uncovered were still in their original 400-year-old glass tombs. To disassemble those cases, Koudounaris thought, would “amount to destroying them.” Instead, a bottle of Windex and a rag became staples of his photography kit…. After examining around 250 of these skeletons, Koudounaris concluded, “They’re the finest pieces of art ever created in human bone.””

 

And there you have it: The finest pieces of art ever created in human bone!  With Vatican blunders, worshiping believers, and a whole lot of photos-I conclude: You really want to add this to your Halloween reading!

 

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

By: Tom Reiss

(http://www.tomreiss.com/)

Broadway Books; Reprint edition (May 14, 2013)

A history nonfiction review

 

BLACK-COUNT-COVER

 

Simply put, The Black Count is my new favorite history book.  Reiss reveals the story of General Alex Dumas, father of famed Alexandre Dumas, in many ways.  The investigation includes the tale of Alex’s renegade aristocrat father and what’s known of his beautiful slave mother.  Reiss also explains details about his own search for information, the unique racial relations in early Haiti and revolutionary France, and several of Alexandre Dumas’ own quotes about his father.  With the premise that Alex Dumas was the true “Count of Monte Cristo,” this book includes enough swashbuckling and political analysis to inspire a film quite similar to something based on Dumas.

Reiss matches his grand premise and literary inclusions with a passionate and memorable writing style.  Napoleon treats conquered societies like medieval Lego sets he can dismantle and rebuild as he pleases and “France didn’t have a regular government, it had a bunch of caffeinated intellectuals holding all-day screaming matches in the old royal riding hall.”  It’s great fun.  Marinated in adventure, rather than a dry textbook, you can still tell that Reiss trusts his audience because of his thorough exploration of tangents.  The central figure has no competition, but Reiss realizes that there are side-stories that we want to know, like more about this mulatto master-swordsman of Europe and the backstory of one of the early French slaves to win his freedom in court.  Whereas many authors simply note such side things and leave it to the readers to look them up later, The Black Count fits it all in, without slowing down or drying up.  The swings between detail and the overall picture make the timeline slightly harder to follow, but this is a book, not a timeline, and you won’t regret it.  Even the footnotes are delightful!  They tell the truly glancing tales like the reason it’s called the “Marseillaise” and the man who pioneered vegetarianism in the west.

I can’t recommend it enough.  Go forth and find out the story behind Alexandre Dumas’ novels.

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-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/folvilles-law-the-john-swale-chronicles/

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/the-master-of-verona/

The White Queen 1×2 “The Price of Power”

This episode is all about drawing allegiance lines and telling the audience what side everyone’s on.  Also, about jumping right to the parts that have the simplest bad guy/good guy dynamics and, when that won’t quite fit in, have characters tell fairy tale versions of things where the “bad” people are devilspawn and werewolves.  It’s kindof relaxing, really.  They like to tell you things rather than expecting you to think, so you can just plunk yourself down and revel in all the foreshadowing.  Which is not to say things are bad, it just feels more like watching a romance drama than a political scheming intrigue one.  Usually, you feel compelled to side with schemers, etc.  With this one you’re really just letting them take care of their own fights and leaning into the ride.  Need to be in the right mood.

 

SAFE-TO-READ thoughts:

1. I am starting to really like Isabel Neville this episode.  The second the script let her grow more than one dimension she became engaging, particularly in her relationship with Anne.

2. Anne Neville herself has clearly been told to play her single dimension up as much as she can, and she complies.  It had better change soon.

3. I love Warwick’s furry-shoulders cape.

4. I appreciate how they make everything feel sudden.  Very helpful for keeping up interest, when you already know what’s going to happen.  It also feels more authentic.

5. It is really amusing to see what lengths they will go to to make sure everyone in the audience knows who everyone’s going to be as soon as humanly possible.

6. The magic sideline begins to swing in a dull direction rather than the fun one here, though.  Swing back-swing it back!

7. This portrayal of Richard remains sidelined, absurd, and somehow geek-vibed, though.  They had all better get on that.

 

SPOILERS:

1.The Duke of Buckingham and Catherine together-I luuuuuurve it.  Particularly when she’s swinging her feet.  Child-Marriage, FTW!

2. Okay, seriously, Edward rides off WITHOUT A SINGLE DAMN BODYGUARD when he retreats from Warwick’s army??  No.  Just no.  Take his fucking head when that happens.

3. So, they just let Edward send off letters giving Elizabeth advice?  And with a messenger that got there faster than Anthony?  >.>

4. I do appreciate how they’re keeping all the butchery things somehow one place removed-through dreams or flashbacks.  It lets the actual sadness of the moment and the drama of the living characters overshadow everything and connects the audience to them, rather than their own thoughts, feelings, or lack there of concerning the deaths.  I think that’s smart, especially considering how short a time we’ve known anyone in this show.

5. Is it just me or did the wording of all concerned when Warwick made his move just sound like Woodvilles=Always Right!, even Edward IV=wrong!?  Cause that’ll get annoying.

6. Margaret Beaufort, why don’t I care about this version of you?

7. I am saddened that Henry VI did not get to indulge his insanity on camera.  It’s his one opportunity to have fun, after all.

The White Queen 1×1 “In Love with the King”

A War of the Roses TV show, complete with the excuse of being based on a book to explain away historical inaccuracy, and a sideline in witchcraft!  What’s the worst that could happen?  Truth be told, I’m not sure yet.  The pilot was a decent entrance.  However, it manages it without doing anything to allay fears that it will fall apart soon or compel audiences to much of any definite emotions.  *side-eyes show*  Nevertheless, let’s saddle up.

 

SPOILER-FREE:

First and foremost, I feel that the entire drama played up by so many other shows for HOURS about Anne Boleyn playing for the hand of Henry VIII has been condensed, juiced, and served up as a pre-entree refreshment, because that Entire Storyline fit right into this pilot.  They had time left over for a heap of introductions, their magic sideline, and of course, gratuitous sex, even.  This amuses me greatly and gives me hope for more surprises in this show.

 

Second and side-eyed, are some of the casting choices.  WHY does the future Richard III look like he’s about to be in a high school geek movie??  Not happy.  MUST Warwick’s portrayal be so easily demonized so early?  Of course, this is balanced by the great choices of Elizabeth Woodville herself, her mother, and David Oakes (JUAAAN) as the Duke of Clarence.  I would almost be willing to watch this show solely for that, truth be told.

 

Third and thoughtful, why are the costumes not more amazing?  The whole look of the show is very “treat me seriously, I’m played down and authentic”, which is NOT the way something based on a Philippa Gregory book should go.

 

Fourth and finally, the magic sideline could be a lot of fun and humorous for people who love their history, or it could just be heavy-handed foreshadowing boring to those in the know and frustrating to those who aren’t at this point.  I very much hope it’s the former.

 

So, basically, my thoughts are still pretty up for grabs with this show.  How’re yours?

 

SPOILERS:

1. The fact that this century’s “love” arrangements are laid completely bare both rattles and pleases me.  I am torn.  On the one hand, probably-yeah, like that.  Plus, things that give Elizabeth excuses to play with knives are fun.  On the other hand, the fact that somehow the show is simultaneously trying to play out the love story as some kind of revamping of Edward IV’s character is…strange and disconnected.  At least for me.  So basically, what I’m left with is that I don’t know what to think of this Edward IV incarnation.  Cause on the one hand, he was this kind of bastard.  On the other hand, he’s not a glorious bastard enough for me to enjoy that part of him and it’ll be much easier to enjoy this show if he doesn’t rub me the wrong way all the time.  Plus, I feel like the actor is doing his best and it was mainly some gaps/rushing in the writing that is causing the disconnect.  So, we shall see.

2. I am deeply looking forward to the royal brotherly loves being foiled by the Woodville brotherly loves.  There should be a lot of that.

3. I do really enjoy Jaquetta.  I’d like to watch shows with her-I know she’ll be yelling out the reasonable advice right along with me.  Plus, you’ve just got to enjoy that kind of brashness.

 

Bones Belonged to Richard III

Scholars Say Bones Belonged to Richard III – NYTimes.com.

 

IT HAS BEEN CONFIRMED: THE LAST OF THE STUART KINGS HAS BEEN FOUND.  *tosses white roses*

 

 

King Richard III’s bones recovered?

 

BBC News – Richard III dig: ‘Strong evidence’ bones are lost king.

 

“A university spokesperson said the evidence included signs of a peri-mortem (near-death) trauma to the skull and a barbed iron arrow head in the area of the spine.

Richard [III] is recorded by some sources as having been pulled from his horse and killed with a blow to the head.

The skeleton also showed severe scoliosis – a curvature of the spine.

Although not as pronounced as Shakespeare’s portrayal of the king as a hunchback, the condition would have given the adult male the appearance of having one shoulder higher than the other.”

 

“The [DNA] tests are expected to take about 12 weeks to complete.

If their identity is confirmed, Leicester Cathedral said it would work with the Royal Household, and with the Richard III Society, to ensure the remains were treated with dignity and respect and reburied with the appropriate rites and ceremonies of the church.”

The last Stuart King’s bones may just have been found beneath a Leicester council carpark.  There are definite plans to treat Richard III’s remains with belated respect and a royal Westminster burial, whenever they are actually found.  The ides of September, the half-birthday of the ides of March, may give back the body of a great war leader.  I feel like the War of the Roses just really ended.  Huzzah!

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