The Duchess

I recently watched the 2008 film The Duchess, because I am in love with all things that are both history-related and aesthetically pleasing.

There is something about the glamour that inspires me in everyday life, perhaps to inject a feather in my hair, or more blush upon my cheeks. I did not know much about Georgiana, although of course I’d heard of her. Like most historical movies, The Duchess gives its way over to pure unadulterated romanticism of the events that happened in Georgiana’s life, using a rose-tinted brush to gloss over the truth of the strange ménage à trois that existed between the Duke of Devonshire, Lady Elizabeth Foster and Georgiana until her death.

However, it does show a heartrendingly beautiful Georgiana, portrayed by the amazing lovely Keira Knightley. She brings a vivacity to each scene she is in, alongside an exquisite sadness to moments such as when she is reunited with her children and when she sees her husband playing with Elizabeth’s children.

Overall, I really liked the movie, and thought it was extremely compelling. One of the prettiest films I’ve ever seen, and for me, that is always a plus!

– Rhan

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Favourite Historical Figures: Part One

Side note: this list does not include figures from Ancient Greece/Rome or mythology because that’s a whole other ballpark.

This is a pretty random list with no discernible order as far as I can tell, and I missed a whole lot out to make it short and sweet. Here goes!

  • Marie Antoinette – I really don’t know what is so fascinating about Marie Antoinette but I am instantly drawn to anything regarding her or history during the period she ruled. I just find her and the history/culture that surrounds her so wonderfully engaging (and I will admit that I simply adore the 2006 Coppola film and had to include the picture above!) Perhaps it’s because of the intrigue surrounding Versailles, also one of my favourite palaces of all time, which brings me on to:
  • Louis XIV (and his brother Philippe, Duke of Orleans) – I recently binge-watched the BBC show Versailles over a course of two nights, and, while a lot of the show is probably over-exaggerated and it does mingle rumour and fact, its sheer opulence reminded me of why I have remained interested in Louis the Sun King and his brother. In fact, when studying Charles II A-level history, I spent most of my time waiting for Louis to pop up (sadly, he was only ever relevant to my course once.)
  • Lord Bryon – Anything to do with the Romantic movement I love, and I was originally going to put John Keats/Percy Shelley on this list, as they were who introduced me to Bryon, but Bryon comes first because of the ultimate sensationalism that must have surrounded his name during his lifetime and the often hilarious dramatics that are recorded for people like me to read, enjoy and then steadily become obsessed with Bryon like so many people of his day were.
  • William Shakespeare – I mean, he’s Will Shakespeare. I honestly don’t know why I am so interested in Will other than I have had to study so many of his plays and there is not much recorded information about him. The intrigue probably helps, but there is just something about Shakespeare that is so interesting and makes me want to find out more.

– Rhan