Category: British History



Image found at underdogcontest.blogspot.com

Mary Tyler Moore Statue which can be found on the Nicollet Mall, Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Image found at underdogcontest.blogspot.com

That is not an exaggeration!  I am feeling like the girl who “could turn the world on with her smile,” as of late.  Last week was an amazing whirlwhind of promotion to Art Director of the school newspaper, Spring Play auditions, an interview with a New York Times National Best Selling Author, and many newspaper deadlines and events to cover.  School and career are finally taking off!  I am feeling so very fortunate and I am frequently tempted to pinch myself just to make sure it’s all real!

This week, I found out I got a part, a much better one than I had thought possible, in my school’s Spring Play.  I am over the  moon with excitement.  I haven’t been in a play since I performed The King and I with the Saint Paul Opera Workshop when I was 12.  I have sung on a stage since then, but not acted.  I am so very, very grateful to have the opportunity to learn more from this new experience, to soak in all the information I can from the Director and my peers, and to just have a blast while doing it!

Today I will be participating in a Student Success Day panel showcasing my Honors Project on Anne Boleyn.  I am so thrilled to be asked to do this and I can’t wait to show off my work!  I loved the Anne Boleyn project and am so proud that my British Literature professor recommended me!

Going to travel to Madison, Wisconsin for the very first time right after the Student Success Day panel.  I plan to take a lot of pictures to practice my photography skills for the newspaper.

I just feel like I can’t stop smiling.  I never in a million years thought that when I started school after 20 years and having never been to college that I could do all of these things.  I knew I loved to write.   That was it.  Now… so many changes, so much richness has been added to my life and I feel it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made.  I’m not looking back.  I am moving forward full steam ahead!!!!!!


Check out my post on Sir Thomas Wyatt here:  http://tudorgirl75.blogspot.com/2011/12/research-project-sir-thomas-wyatt.html


Picture from George Stuart's Gallery of Historical Figures

 

It’s been quite a while since I have written anything, so I felt it was high time I did something to change that fact.  This past Fall, I made a life changing decision to go back to school with a focus on my writing and have been enjoying it immensely.  One of the classes I am taking is British Literature.  Can we say, “No brainer?”  I love the class just as much as I thought I would.

My professor talked to the entire class about an Honors Project which is purely optional, but I was immediately intrigued.  After obtaining more information about the requirements, I decided to go for it and my topic would be…. what else?  Anne Boleyn!!!!!!  Keep this in mind:  I had not went on to college after high school, nor have I set foot in a classroom in about 20 years.  I knew I was striving for a lot when I agreed to try for an honors grade in British Literature, but I was confident I would be able to handle it.

As it turns out, the project was just what I needed to validate my feelings towards my skills as a writer, a researcher, and a presenter.  My best friend helped me with the artsy fartsy part of my project, and helped me to create an amazing Power Point presentation, but the rest was ALL ME.

My obsession with England’s most controversial Queen Consort paid off in a big way and all the years I had spent researching the history of her life helped tremendously when putting words to paper.

My professor loved my presentation!!!  He told me it was very well done!  When I later asked him about my chance of getting the Honors part of the grade, he let me know that I have it!!!!  🙂  It’s so exciting!!!!

I have decided to post a few excerpts from my honors research paper during the next few weeks.  I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!


On my blog, “A Lion’s Share,” I am going back to the very beginning to give you a very detailed synopsis on every single episode for all FOUR seasons!!!!!  I recently posted on the very first episode of Showtime’s “The Tudors” including some great pics I was able to find on the Tudors Wiki!

You can check it out here:  http://tudorgirl75.blogspot.com/… enjoy!  There will be lots more where that came from!

“The Duchess”


When I first saw the trailer for the movie, “The Duchess,” starrring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, I was immediately intrigued.  I love historically based movies (no, kidding, right?) and I wasted no time in snooping online to find out just exactly who this “Duchess” was.

From the moment I began to read about Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, I was hooked.  She is exactly the type of historical figure I admire, and her story is very unconventional.  My favorite kind!

I finally saw the movie last week, and I have to say, even this small glimpse into the Duchess’ life was amazing.

As a young girl who seemed to have the world at her fingertips, I am sure marriage to a very prestigious Duke was the icing on the cake for Georgiana.  Poor girl could not have been more mistaken about how her life was to be.  Of course, in those times, a woman really couldn’t expect much from a marriage, as such things were arranged without much consideration for the bride in question.  But, as it turns out, the Duchess of Devonshire had more to contend with than most wives of her day.

Lack of common interests and a string of mistresses and miscarriages served to drive her and the Duke apart.   Georgiana is forced to raise her husband’s bastard daughter after the girl’s mother dies, which she handled with grace and dignity, always treating the child with kindness.  I am sure Georgiana must have been so disheartened at the state of her marriage, wanting to bear the Duke the son he so desperately needed and wanted.  The Duchess eventually succeeded in giving the Duke his desire, giving him two daughters and a son.

In the movie, you get a glimpse into how Georgiana reacted to the strains of marriage, how the unexpected heartbreaks, such as the miscarriages, and then eventually a betrayal by her best friend shape her and her ideals.  It could not have been easy to have one the thing near and dear to her, with the exception of her children, taken away by her husband.   Befriending Elizabeth Foster, helping her when she was in a desperate situation, and then being utterly betrayed by her had to be quite a crushing blow.  Even in modern times, that is pretty ruthless and just plain rotten behavior from a dear friend.

As if that weren’t bad enough, being forced to live in a menage-a-trois of sorts with her husband and Elizabeth.   Elizabeth lived with them as if she were also married to the Duke and I am convinced that this was both hurtful and humiliating for Georgiana.  But, like all historical female figures I admire, she rises above it and manages to make the best of the life handed to her.

She was a fashion icon of her time, she hosted “salons” with some of the most popular and intriguing writers, artists, poets, and figures of the “Whig” party.  She also loved to gamble and go to parties frequently, even though the Duke and her parents did not approve.

The most difficult part of the movie for me was when Georgiana confessed she was pregnant as a result of her affair with Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey.  Her husband, the Duke, forced her to give the child up to Charles’ family.  It was excruciating to watch as she hands the baby over to Charles’ father and the baby is crying and she is just completely torn up, watching the baby go.  I do not even want to imagine how that must have felt.  Being a mother myself, it tore at my heart.  Fortunately, at the end, we do find that the Duchess eventually has a secret relationship with her daughter, whom she names Eliza.  It’s a small comfort in the face of such sadness.

All in all, I felt the movie was done wonderfully, and tastefully.  The only complaint I have is that I felt things were glossed over fairly quickly, only concentrating on a small frame of time in the Duchess’ life.  It left me wondering about quite a few things.  I have decided to find a copy of Amanda Foreman’s “The Duchess” as soon as possible, so I can get a more detailed and in depth understanding of Georgiana.  I am very much looking forward to the read!

***All images found via Google Image search