"History is a lie, that has been honed like a weapon by the people who have suppressed the truth."

A blog solely dedicated to the iconic people and events of the past, and the beautiful period dramas inspired by them.

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This Week In History

19th May - Tudor Queen Anne Boleyn is executed in 1523. Mughal Queen Mariam-uz-Zamani "Jodhaa Bai" dies after reigning for 43 years in 1623.

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Richard of Bordeaux (1367– 1400)

Richard was born on 6 January 1367 in Bordeaux, the son of Edward, the Black Prince and grandson of Edward III. Richard’s father died in 1376 and his grandfather the following year, making Richard king at the age of 10. The country was ruled largely by his uncle, John of Gaunt. The first crisis of Richard’s reign was the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. The young king bravely rode out to meet the rebels, who were led by Wat Tyler. Tyler was killed and the revolt crushed.

As Richard began to take control of government himself, he built a group of unpopular favourites. His request for money to fight in France prompted parliament to demand the dismissal of these favourites. Richard’s refusal provoked parliament into impeaching his chancellor, the Earl of Suffolk, and creating a commission to oversee the king’s activities. When Richard declared these measures treasonable, parliament and his opponents retaliated in 1388 by outlawing his closest friends, some of whom were executed. Richard appeared defeated and submitted to the demands of the five ‘Lords Appellant’.

For eight years Richard worked in apparent harmony with Gaunt and the Lords Appellant. Yet he was waiting for revenge. He gradually formed a second, stronger royalist party. In 1397, he arrested and tried three of the appellants. Arundel was convicted of treason and executed, Warwick was banished and Gloucester imprisoned and murdered. Richard was granted revenues for life and the powers of parliament were delegated to a committee.

In September 1398, a quarrel between two former appellants, Gaunt’s son Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, gave the king another opportunity for revenge and he banished them both. When Gaunt died in February 1399, Richard confiscated the vast Lancastrian estates, which would have passed to Bolingbroke. In May, Richard left to campaign in Ireland.

Bolingbroke invaded England and rallied both noble and popular support. Returning to England in August, Richard surrendered without a fight. In September, he abdicated and Bolingbroke ascended the throne as Henry IV. In October, Richard was imprisoned in Pontefract Castle, where he died four months later. Source [x]

“I love all history because it’s storytelling. But, I will always have a special place in my heart for the Tudor dynasty.”-Natalie Dormer

But I don’t forget and I don’t forgive.” 

Anonymous asked:
Are the statues, busts and sculptures that portray famous people actual representations of what they looked like? Or are they just idealized portrayals? Do we have evidence?


Great question!

We do know that many individuals whose portraits we have had to have been at least recognizable as them (the emperors and their wives couldn’t look completely different from their representations in art) but often, as an emperor aged (I’m looking at you, Augustus) the way they were represented in art did not change. In this way, they were not showing how they looked in life at that time, but rather how they wished to appear to the people: youthful, strong, and able.

However, there were certain times in Roman history when politicians and others wished to appear just as they were (and even older). This style was known as verism, a method of showing off the imperfections and signs of aging an individual had in their busts and portraiture. But this was not due to some great awakening as to the importance of truth in art: no, it was doing the exact same thing as the idealized portraits which both preceded and followed them. Verism existed to show the people that they could depend on their leaders because they were wise, they had lived a long and weary life, taking part in war and public life, and lived on past that. In a way, this style was also an idealization, as some people were made to look even more decrepit than they probably were.

So, I suppose the answer to your question is: yes and no. Obviously, some individuals preferred to look their best in art and would pay extra for “photoshopping” to make them look better, in whatever way better was defined at that time. However, public figures and politicians (less likely in poets and historians who were often shown a certain way to seem more artistic) would need to be recognizable in these portraits, either through unique hairstyles (Livia, Agrippina), glorious beards (Hadrian), or other traits (Julius Caesar’s infamous bald spot/Antinoos’ ridiculously good-looking everything). 

Concrete evidence for what these people looked like is technically impossible for us, but we can conjecture-and I believe this conjecture is valid-that at least some of these portraits are true to life and may portray these famous individuals as they looked, no more altered than any celebrity in a modern magazine might be.

I hope this helped!


Idealized Portrait of Nur Jahan

India, Mughal, 18th century

Opaque watercolors and gold on paper

make me choose -  asked Anne Boleyn or Kathryn Howard?

Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince and its Times" exhibition in Rome (2013)


Stories of Partition

The Partition of British India into modern day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh marks the largest forced human migration in history. According to estimates nearly 15 million people lost their homes in 1947 and that number stands at over 20 million today. It is also estimated that between 0.5 and 2 million people lost their lives. The Partition also fundamentally changed many South Asian cultures and ways of living. Yet, unlike other major events of the last century, such as the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Holocaust in Europe, the Partition of South Asia in 1947 has hardly been documented and understood. 

The 1947 Partition Archive is a non-profit organization that documents, preserves and shares eye witness accounts from all ethnic, religious and economic communities affected by the Partition of British India in 1947. We are proud to note that we support this initiative whole-heartedly!

Should you know anyone that has a story to tell, head here pronto -http://www.1947partitionarchive.org/share

Image courtesy giltoor



"In an age in which royal couples often lived separate lives in separate apartments, and kings were frequently absent on business of their own while queens stayed at home, Elizabeth and Henry participated together in a full social life at court and traveled together frequently, spending much time in each other’s company. They shared a common piety and, it seems, a sense of humor."
(requested and for the most amazing marthajefferson)