Madame de Pompadour

So. I am about to record a fantastic episode with some amazing guest hosts this coming weekend about Madame de Pompadour aka Reinette, her place in the Doctor Whoverse, and a bit of nerding out with the history and all. I thought I would visually prepare you, loyal readers, with some pictures of a visual nature because they are best consumed visually….visual. Enjoy.

 

 

 

Now the Doctor and Reinette in “The Girl in the Fireplace” written by Stephen Moffit- I love this episode!

 

I hope you look forward to the upcoming podcast. I will.

 

 

 

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Alternate History on a Rainy Day- Spoilers!

Hello, readers. It’s raining here in northwestern Georgia, and I am recovering from my wisdom teeth being removed. So since I am just sitting around, I started flipping through cable. Well, one of my favorite movies, Inglorious Basterds, just happened to be on TNT. Now some of you who know TNT would probably be wary of trying to watch a movie on that station. We all know the jokes about the amount of commercials making a two-hour movie more like 5 hours, but I love this movie so why not.

Anyway, this movie is a great example of how alternate history can be so much fun to watch. For those of you who need a refresher, Inglorious Basterds was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, came out in 2009, and offers an alternate look on how World War II could have ended. There are two storylines in this movie. One storyline follows Shosanna, a young French Jew who escapes the massacre of her family at the hands of Hans Landa, a Nazi “Jew Hunter,” who lives in Paris under a new identity as a cinema owner. She crosses paths with a German war hero, Frederick Zoller, the subject of Joseph Goebbels’ newest propaganda feature. The Nazis have chosen her cinema as the site for the big premier of the film where only the German/Nazi elite can attend. Zoller has a crush on Shosanna, who is being watched by Hans Landa, who has been put in charge of security for the event. Shosanna and her protectionist/ lover, Marcel, decided to exact revenge on the Nazis by trapping them inside during the premier and burning down the cinema. Storyline two follows a group of American Jewish soldiers called the Basterds who are led by Tennessean Aldo Raine. Their mission is to systematically hunt down and kill Nazi soldiers in France, collecting scalps along the way. Survivors of their ambushes are left with a swastika carved into their forehead so that everyone knows they were Nazis. The Basterds, mostly the German-speaking ones, join up with a German actress/ British double agent, Bridget von Hammersmark and a British solider to blow up this important film premier. They meet in a basement bar, where all hell breaks loose, as the German Basterds and the British solider are killed when their cover is blown. Aldo and the remaining Basterds are now responsible for carrying out the mission of killing the Nazi higher-ups because it is now revealed that Hitler will also be attending the premier! The two storylines intersect as Hans Landa investigates the bar shootings and the night of the premier arrives. Shosanna does not know the Basterds exist, The Basterds do not know Shosanna exists. The movie reaches its climax as both plans go into effect at the same time killing Hitler, other Nazis, and many of our heroes. Hans Landa switches sides in order to end his part in the war and Aldo Raine is ordered to bring Landa over to the Allied forces. Hans does not escape his fate with the Basterds though as they carve a swastika into his forehead. A lot happens in this movie so excuse me if it all sounds a little jumbled.

Anyway, the reason this movie is so much fun to me is it makes me wish it was real history. When I first watched this movie, I left the theater wanting the war to end earlier, for Hitler to suffer the way he did in the film, and for a group like the Basterds to really exist. Alternate history does that. It sometimes draws on what people wished had really happened in history instead of the truth. Tarantino does a great job with that. I have to say he seems to know his World War II history because the events in the movie are very believable. Hans Landa could have very well have been a  real Nazi that students read about when studying that time period. Also Tarantino’s use of real historical figures is great. They are either speaking characters or just pointed out with what looks like handwritten titles. I love this movie. Oh, and the tension at the beginning of the movie!! Geez!!!

Tarantino has another alternate history film coming out this winter, Django Unchained, which I am sure will hold up an uncomfortable mirror to the Southern U.S. as it looks at the 1860’s in a spaghetti western type flick. Cannot wait. I will definitely be talking about it on here.

Just some small thoughts:

I love Doctor Who. I am a definite Whovian. So as a Whovian and history nerd, I, of course, love episodes showing and/or dealing with historical figures. My favorite episode is where Amy and the 11th Doctor meet Vincent van Gough. It is such a wonderful episode that make me smile and cry every time I watch it. Below are the historical figures that have appeared in the show since the 1st Doctor in 1963. It shows which Doctor, the actor, and the episode. I am planning on getting more detailed on some specifics on here and maybe, just maybe the podcast.

Historical figure Actor(s) Doctor Episode/Serial(s)
Tigellinus Brian Proudfoot 1st The Romans
Lucius Caecilius Iucundus Peter Capaldi 10th The Fires of Pompeii
Poppaea Sabina Kay Patrick 1st The Romans
Nero Derek Francis 1st The Romans
Saladin Bernard Kay 1st The Crusade
Al-Adil I Roger Avon 1st The Crusade
Richard I of England Julian Glover 1st The Crusade
Joan of England, Queen of Sicily Jean Marsh 1st The Crusade
John, King of England Gerald Flood 5th The King’s Demons
Robert de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Leicester John Bay 1st The Crusade
Kublai Khan Martin Miller 1st Marco Polo
Marco Polo Mark Eden 1st Marco Polo
Gaspard de Coligny Leonard Sachs 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
Catherine de’ Medici Joan Young 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
Elizabeth I of England Vivienne Bennett 1st The Chase
Angela Pleasence 10th The Shakespeare Code
Charles IX of France Barry Justice 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
William Shakespeare[1] Hugh Walters 1st The Chase
Dean Lennox Kelly 10th The Shakespeare Code
William Kempe David Westhead 10th The Shakespeare Code
Cyrano de Bergerac David Cannon 2nd The Mind Robber
Charles II of England Paul Critoph 11th The Impossible Astronaut
Blackbeard Gerry Wain 2nd The Mind Robber
Henry Avery Hugh Bonneville 11th The Curse of the Black Spot
A Good Man Goes to War
Louis XV of France Ben Turner 10th The Girl in the Fireplace
Madame de Pompadour Jessica Atkins 10th The Girl in the Fireplace
(child)
Sophia Myles
(adult)
Paul François Jean Nicolas, vicomte de Barras John Law 1st The Reign of Terror
Maximilien Robespierre Keith Anderson 1st The Reign of Terror
Napoleon I[2] Tony Wall 1st The Reign of Terror
George Stephenson Gawn Grainger 6th The Mark of the Rani
Abraham Lincoln Robert Marsden 1st The Chase
Charles Dickens Simon Callow 9th The Unquiet Dead
11th The Wedding of River Song
Queen Victoria[3] Pauline Collins 10th Tooth and Claw
Louis Pasteur unknown 7th Time and the Rani
Paul Gachet Howard Lee 11th The Pandorica Opens
Benjamin Briggs David Blake Kelly 1st The Chase
Albert Richardson Dennis Chinnery 1st The Chase
Virgil Earp Victor Carin 1st The Gunfighters
Ike Clanton William Hurndall 1st The Gunfighters
Wyatt Earp John Alderson 1st The Gunfighters
Johnny Ringo Laurence Payne 1st The Gunfighters
Big Nose Kate Sheena Marshe 1st The Gunfighters
Doc Holliday Anthony Jacobs 1st The Gunfighters
Vincent van Gogh Tony Curran 11th Vincent and the Doctor
The Pandorica Opens
Bat Masterson Richard Beale 1st The Gunfighters
Warren Earp Martyn Huntley 1st The Gunfighters
Billy Clanton David Cole 1st The Gunfighters
H. G. Wells David Chandler 6th Timelash
Winston Churchill[4] Ian McNeice 11th The Beast Below
Victory of the Daleks
The Pandorica Opens
The Wedding of River Song
Albert Einstein Tom O’Leary 7th Time and the Rani
Nickolas Grace 11th Death Is the Only Answer
Charlie Chaplin M. J. Matthews 1st The Daleks’ Master Plan
Adolf Hitler[5] Albert Welling 11th Let’s Kill Hitler
Agatha Christie Fenella Woolgar 10th The Unicorn and the Wasp
Bing Crosby Robert Jewell 1st The Daleks’ Master Plan
Richard Nixon Stuart Milligan 11th The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon
Elizabeth II Mary Reynolds 7th Silver Nemesis
Jessica Martin 10th Voyage of the Damned
(voice)
Barack Obama Unknown 10th The End of Time

Some more side notes: There won’t be a new podcast for a couple of weeks due to some health things. But I have some great things planned so I am excited!

Tudor-time

So I am re-watching an episode from season 1 of the Tudors from Showtime. I’ll admit it is trashy, over-sexed, too many things glossed over, etc. I still love it. Makes me wonder though. Which is sexier the real Henry VIII or Jonathan Rhys-Myers? Both are still kinda scary! Anyone else notice how those Howard/ Boylen guys are so sleezy when it comes to their daughters. I know in real life they basically pimped out their daughters, but it is still a little disturbing.

Dangerous, kinda crazy

Not too bad if you don’t know the history.

A Duchess, A Movie, A Book, and A Podcast?

Hello, internet! It’s a cloudy, kind of rainy Saturday here at my apartment, but I like it that way. My husband, Will, has been helping me prepare for my first podcast!! I am excited. I thought I would preview a little of what we will be talking about in my first episode.

In college, I took several classes with a professor named Dr. Michael de Nie. These classes were about British and Irish History, which is an area of history I adore. While in one of these classes, I read Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman. It is now published as The Duchess. (See below)

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Anyway, this book is a great biography about Georgiana, who was born in 1757, married William, the Duke of Devonshire in 1774, and lead an interesting, albeit sometimes tragic, life as one of the most influential women in Britain. She grew up much loved by her parents and younger siblings, but she was constantly striving to please everyone she met. This was how she remained for the rest of her life. Her husband was the de facto leader of the Whig Party, which advocated personal freedom and that sovereignty ultimately rested with the people. She founded Salons that had the important literary and political figures meeting to discuss ideas of the day. In a world where women had little or no rights, she held rallies, fundraisers, and drives to get the vote for Whig and Devonshire candidates.

Georgiana’s marriage was a fairly loveless one. Her husband, the Duke, was a powerful man, who had many affairs, including with Georgiana’s best friend, Elizabeth Foster. He fathered child by a mistress before his marriage to Georgiana, several children with Georgiana, and two children with Elizabeth. Georgiana was involved with other men, but she was specifically involved with Lord Charles Gray, the future Prime Minister. She had a child with him, Eliza, who she was forced to give up and  was raised by his family. Georgiana is the great-great-great-great-aunt of Princess Diana (Spencer) through her brother, George Spencer, and the great-great-great-great grandmother of Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York, through her daughter, Eliza, with Gray. She was also a friend and pen pal with Marie Antoinette. She had to end her affair with Gray when the Duke made her choose between her lover and her Devonshire children. She ultimately choose her children by the Duke.

Georgiana was also fashion icon in late 18th century England. She was known for her hair styles as being BIG, outrageous, and daring. I have included one example.Image

In 2008, a movie version called The Duchess was released with Kiera Knightley as Georgiana and Ralph Fiennes as the Duke. They were good in their roles, but I did have an issue with the ages (Georgiana and the Duke were 7 years apart. They were married when she was 17, and he was 24.) I also had an issue with the fact they glossed over her influence in politics, her childhood, and even her status in fashion. It was mostly about love, affairs, freedom, etc. That part is interesting. Heck, I even mention it. Read the book. It’s great. The movie is good, but the book is better. Below are some photos from the movie.
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Look at that hair!!!! ^

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The Duke^

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Close up on the hair^

Anyway, get ready for the upcoming podcast. I will really get into the above subject matter and have some fun with it. Just one more picture to make us smile.

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Who doesn’t love corgis?