Posts Tagged ‘June 13th’

Termagent of Endearment

Posted in General, On This Day on June 12th, 2010 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

June 13, 1625:  The First Martyrdom of Charles I

There was a fifty/fifty chance that one of our states might have been “Henriettaland”. Fortunately, the wife of Charles I had a more palatable middle name: Marie. That probably was the most tolerable thing about her.

On this day in 1625, she became the wife of Charles I. What an unfortunate time for an English king to be a heterosexual. It did not help that Charles was a weak-willed dolt. The French Princess Henrietta was a domineering, belligerent moron. Her father, Henri IV was a wise, adroit, charming, tolerant ruler but who died when his daughter was an infant. Henrietta took after her mother, a blundering battle-axe (yes, Henri cheated on her) whose inept regency of France triggered rebellion and coups. In fact, the Queen Mother was eventually exiled by her annoyed son Louis XIII (on the always wise advice of then Bishop Richelieu).

However, England had no Richelieus. (James I had picked his ministers for their looks.) Charles I simply…very simply…deferred to his wife. Henrietta’s goading and provocations triggered the civil war that would kill her husband. In fairness, Cromwell should have beheaded her, too–but she was watching the Civil War from a spectator’s box in France.

Upon Restoration of the monarchy, she returned to England where her belligerent nature quickly exasperated her wise, adroit, charming, tolerant son Charles II (who obviously took after grandpere). She was encouraged to retire to France.

Nonetheless, as an observant Catholic, Henrietta Marie did have some admirers–among them her fellow parishioner Lord Calvert. In 1632 Calvert decided to sponsor a Catholic colony in North America, and it seemed a clever idea to name the haven for both the Queen of England…and the presumed Queen of Heaven.

Obituaries of 323 B.C.

Posted in General on June 10th, 2010 by Eugene Finerman – 3 Comments

Musing I:

Has it really been 2,333 years since Alexander the Great died?  I thought that Oliver Stone had embarrassed Alexander to death just six years ago.

I started watching Stone’s travesty “Alexander” but I gave up faster than a Persian.  (Will anyone here explain to me the appeal of Colin Farrell. He seems like a scrofular pub lout–which by a remarkable coincidence he is.)

Tell me, when did the Greeks have Irish accents? Given Stone’s pathological reinventing of history, I was surprised that we didn’t see James Joyce tutoring the young Alexander. And with computer graphics doing the casting, imagine Barry Fitzgerald as Ptolemy and Victor McLaglen as Philip. Furthermore, Maureen O’Hara is still available for the role of Olympias. If only John Ford had made the film….

However, I don’t think that Ford would have been comfortable with Alexander’s libido.    Scrolling through my papyrus editions of Asia on Five Denarii a Day I see that Alexander ‘s favorite bar was called The Hung Gardens of Babylon.

Musing II:

Chicago again has a championship team.  (The Capone Gang is still the sentimental favorite.)  In honor of the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, I will afflict you with this lecture on the Stanleys.