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Showing posts from November, 2009

Queen Suriyothai

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I am the Queen of Thailand, married to the king who reigned from 1549 to 1569. All consider me to be a heroine of Thailand, because I sacrificed my life while trying to save my husband during a battle. My husband was famous for his white elephants. He had a number of them and according to Brahminic beliefs, a monarch who had one or more white elephant was a symbol of glory and success. My husband's reign was extremely successful. He ascended to the throne in 1549. After just six months, he was challenged by the King of Burma to a war. The King of Burma had a personal grudge towards my husband and he wanted to capture the main city, Ayutthaya, which was the capital of Siam. During those days Thailand was called Siam. The Siamese king could not let the challenge go and my husband led his army in defense of the capital. During those times women were not allowed to take part in wars. But I was concerned about my husband’s well being and I wanted to be at his side during the battl

Fredegunde (550 - 597)

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(Image courtesy of:  Kristin Forbes-Mullane.  Visit her art gallery at:   http://kfmgallery.com/ ) Originally a servant, I became mistress to the king of Neustria after persuading him to murder his first wife. But I was not satisfied to be a mere mistress. Because he was a king, he remarried, but remained his mistress. I waited patiently and when the time was right, I induced him to murder his second wife, too. Thus I became his third and last wife. The murdered queen's sister, in revenge against my husband, began a feud which lasted more than 40 years. Her brother, too, constantly feuded with my husband who had inherited the western portion of the Frankish lands, which came to be known as Neustria. The hatred between the two intensified. When my husband's forces attacked Austrasia in 573, a desire for vengeance made the dear ex-brother-in-law vindictive, and in the fighting he overran Neustria. He was about to be proclaimed king of Neustria when I had him assassinated.

Anna Pavlova (1881 - 1931)

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To this very day, I am considered the most famous dancer in the world. I was born on January 31, 1881 in St. Petersburg. My mother was a washerwoman and my father was a reserve soldier whom I never knew. From the time I was a very small child, after I attended a perforamnce of Sleeping Beauty, all I wanted was to become a dancer. Two years later, I entered an elite school for classical dancers. The school and its students were under the protection of the highest leader of the land, who was its benefactor. In return, the school expected the highest degree of physical and mental dedication. But I was considered frail and thin, and even worse, unattractive. Regardless of these physical barriers, I was exceptionally supple and possessed beautiful arched insteps, critical to ballerinas. My love of the dance was exemplified in each step I danced. My talent soon came to the attention of a ballet master who became my most dedicated mentor. My debut occurred on September 19, 1899

Agnodice (300 B.C.)

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I was born in 300 BC in ancient Greece, and in today's world, you know me only as a legend. Did I exist? Or did I not? I shall leave it to you to decide. Here is my story: I was a noblewoman who dreamed of becoming a healer. More than anything, I wanted to practice medicine in an era when women were legally prohibited from the healing arts. The only way I could achieve my dream was to cut my hair and wear men's clothing. Encouraged by my father, I dressed thusly and soon become an avid student of the famous Alexandrian physician, Herophilus where I earned the highest marks. After I finished my studies, as I walked the streets of Athens, I heard the screams of a woman in the throes of labor. I rushed to assist her. The woman, believing me to be a man, refused to allow me to touch her. Desperate to convince her otherwise, I lifted up my clothes and revealed that I was a woman. She allowed me to deliver her baby. Women everywhere soon flocked to me. To evade the aut

Mary Barrett Dyer (1611 - 1660)

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I was married at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, on 27 October 1633. In 1637 I supported Anne Hutchinson, who preached that God "spoke directly to individuals" rather than only through the clergy. I joined with her and became involved in what was called the "Antinomian heresy," where we organized groups of women and men to study the Bible in contravention of the theocratic law of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. On October 17, 1637, after nearly four years of marriage, I gave birth to a deformed stillborn baby, who I buried privately. Because I had sided with Anne Hutchinson in the Antinomian heresy, my husband and I were banished. We settled in Providence, Rhode Island. Shortly thereafter, the authorities learned of the “monstrous birth,” and Governor Winthrop had it exhumed in March 1638, before a large crowd. He described it thus: “It was of ordinary bigness; it had a face, but no head, and the ears stood upon the shoulders and were like an ape’s; it h

Love Letters - Voltaire to Olympe Dunover

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Voltaire (1694-1778), a famous French author, wrote this love letter to his beloved Olympe Dunover while in prison. Why was he in prison? Because Olympe's mother and the French ambassador disapproved of their relationship, so poor Voltaire was thrown into prison to keep him away from the beautiful and beloved girlfriend. Shortly after he wrote this letter, Voltaire managed to escape by climbing out of the window. The Hague 1713 I am a prisoner here in the name of the King; they can take my life, but not the love that I feel for you. Yes, my adorable mistress, to-night I shall see you, and if I had to put my head on the block to do it. For heaven's sake, do not speak to me in such disastrous terms as you write; you must live and be cautious; beware of madame your mother as of your worst enemy. What do I say? Beware of everybody; trust no one; keep yourself in readiness, as soon as the moon is visible; I shall leave the hotel incognito, take a carriage or a chaise, we shall dr