Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Women in Wars of The Roses Part I: Books and Overview

Finally, I’m going back to writing about History! It has been a while since I last blogged about it.

I don’t really know how accurate my sources are but I’m purely going to write this post based on these references below and on memory. In case you don’t know, I’ve read all of these books right before I sleep and every time I’m free in Cambridge, even if it’s just for 15 minutes because reading is my sole entertainment. So writing this is just recounting my thoughts on what I’ve been reading for leisure when in UK:

Based on these references, written mostly based on memory:-

1. White Queen Series (drama) by Phillipa Gregory

2. Documentary of the 4 White Queen women figureheads also by Phillipa Gregory

3. Books by Phillipa Gregory featuring

a. Queen Elizabeth Woodville, by The White Queen

b. Jacquetta Woodville, by The Lady of The Rivers

c. Anne Neville, by The Kingmaker’s Daughter

d. Queen Elizabeth of York, by The White Princess

e. Lady Margaret Beaufort, by The Red Queen

4. YouTube videos, Wikipedia, and random sessions of getting lost in the internet

Sunday, October 13, 2013

On Hiatus

The writers have just started university. Updates here will be more sporadic. Thank you!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Europe Timeline

Disclaimer: Brief history and overview of the European Time Period, written in chronological order and in layman language. Whatever that is written below is to the best of the author's knowledge and interpretation; hence this post may be updated from time to time, with corrections and whatnot. Magnification of events-- mostly in Britain-- in a certain age is through the author's limited perspective, thus she only highlights what she deems eventful-- to her at least-- at that time. Insights into certain time periods may be written on separate posts, since dynasties and eras are magnificently intricate  and the author has no heart to discount them all. The author also acknowledges that the magnification of events are highly biased, but since the post is still under construction, magnification and addition of events will be improved over time. She may also reduce redundant information to prevent this post from becoming a bit too voluble; voluble information will be replaced with external links

Sunday, April 14, 2013

King Henry VIII and His Six Wives Part I

This wouldn't be considered a history blog if there isn't a post about King Henry VIII! Hence, I shall make a short write up about Henry VIII and each of Henry's wives. I will write a more detailed one about them later in separate posts.

The Tudor Dynasty has been one of my favourites in History. Actually the 16th century is probably one of the best historical era everywhere in the world (e.g Joseon Dynasty in Korea). There is a saying that in Henry VIII and Elizabeth I (Henry VIII's daughter), the Tudor Dynasty produced the two most famous monarchs in English History. The ironic twist is this: Henry VIII was infamously known as the tyrant yet his daughter made her ruling era (the Elizabethan Era) known as England's Golden Age. Another fun fact is Henry's eldest daughter, Queen Mary I (also known as Bloody Mary), is the most hated Queen in British History! All in all, 16th century England has been one of the most dramatic periods in History

To read more about Queen Elizabeth I click here

Here is a summarised version of Henry VIII's six wives in a form of a song:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Political Bride: Princess Wen Cheng (文成公主)

Politically-arranged marriages were very very common in the ancient world, be it China or other civilisations. Such is the fate of political brides to become the playthings of chance. To be sent off bearing a multitude of riches to a faraway land,a hostile court and perhaps, a ruthless husband is a nightmare that many had to endure. Some marriages might have been happy, but it is more likely that many suffered in obscurity and silence. Out of so many disastrous affairs, now and then there would be a bride whom, upon bringing upon lasting peace and prosperity to the nations,is granted eternal fame in historical texts and movie adaptations.

Like Wang Zhaojun, Princess Wencheng was a political bride. Like Yang Guifei, she was born during the Tang dynasty, albeit earlier. She is remembered for her contributions rather than her beauty, and her tale is as interesting as the aforementioned duo.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Oliver Cromwell

Contrasting opinions: Hero or Villain?
Rich in its History of Royal Families, England has been well known for its Monarchs. If you're ever wondering if there's a point of time whereby England had not had a King, then yes, that once happened. There was one man who had ruled England for 5 years but he was no King. That man who ran the country was none other than Oliver Cromwell, 1st Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

There are many divided opinions about this man and one of them was whether he was a great despot or a great hero.

Was he a tyrant? He was like a dictator.
But he refused the English crown. So what do you think of him now?

He certainly became infamous-- or famous-- when he got Charles I of England, the King at that time, to be executed. To hate him or not, Oliver Cromwell was indeed an admirable man. How many country farmers have risen to become a ruler of three countries (England, Scotland, and Ireland)?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Horatio Nelson: Love Story

Lady Hamilton and Lord Horatio Nelson
Almost everybody knows who Lord Horatio Nelson is: he won the Battle of Trafalgar; he lost an arm and an eye; and he said "kiss me Hardy" moments before his death. There is even a famous memorial of him in the streets of London. Yes, you are right, it's the monument in Trafalgar's Square, whereby perched on top of this column is a statue of Horatio, looking dead heroic as how people often portray him to be.

But what about his scandalous relationship with Lady Hamilton?

His relationship with Emma, Lady Hamilton was a very infamous one when he was alive, and the British government tried to quell this issue, because back then, his affair with Lady Hamilton had made Lord Nelson a laughing stock. An extramarital affair is an embarrassment and the people wanted to remember Horatio winning battles, not running around after Lady Hamilton. You don't want the man who is the epitome of heroism to be remembered for his "silliness" too now do you?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Four Greatest Beauties of China: Xi Shi (西施)

Two warring nations. Two ambitious arch-rivals. A resourceful military advisor. A beautiful female spy.

Add them all up together and you have the perfect plot for a drama. Throw in some special effects, some intrigue and romance, some snappy conversations, a Cold War background, and you have a Hollywood blockbuster.

But no, none of these happened in the West, nor did it happen in recent times. To appreciate this story fully, let us go back to the Dynasty of Warring States of China, around the years of 476BC-221BC.

The aforementioned female spy is Xi Shi, the first of the Four Greatest Beauties of Ancient China.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Four Greatest Beauties of China: Wang Zhaojun (王昭君)

The Emperors of China were quite notorious for their lavish lives, especially when it came to the sheer number of court ladies in the palace. The number 3000 was but a representation, in fact during the reign of Emperor Xuan Zong (Lady Yang's husband), it is said that he had 4 million ladies in the palace! Well, with such a staggering number, it was really hard to get to know them all personally. Besides, the camera was yet to be invented. But Emperor Yuan of the Western Han Dynasty(206BC-8AD) had just the perfect solution for it.

He employed artists to draw portraits of the beauties, which would be presented to him. He would then select whom to favour based on the portraits. It was the perfect chance for the artists to earn a fortune. The palace ladies, eager to win the emperor's favour, bribed the artists so that they could be painted in a more flattering manner. Talk about manual photoshop.

Things were going great for the artists, that is, until Wang Zhaojun came along.

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