Showing posts from February, 2013


  She was christened Cynthia Ann Parker, but she would have told you her name was Naduah -'Keeps Warm With Us.' Hers is one of the great love stories of the Wild West - and ultimately one of the saddest. She was born in 1824, to Silas and Lucy Parker in Illinois. When she was 9 years old the family moved to north-west Texas to follow the American Dream - land and a better life. They went to Fort Parker, established by Cynthia’s grandfather, in what is now Limestone County. But on May 9, 1836, around a hundred Comanche and Kiowa warriors attacked the fort, killing many of the men, including her grandfather. Cynthia and five other captives were led away. One teenage girl escaped; four others, including her brother John, were later released for ransom. Cynthia was beaten and treated as a slave at first, but her life improved when she was adopted by a Comanche couple, who raised her like their own.  While still barely a teenager she married Peta Nakoni

Lavinia Fontana

Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614)  Self-portrait- Lavinia at the clavichord Here is yet another fabulous lady in history, Lavinia Fontana.   This worldly renowned artist, was born in the late sixteenth century at a time where women had very little clout when it came to expressing themselves through art.   But, lucky for her, her father, Prospero Fontana, was a famous   art teacher at the School of Bologna and therefore commissioned to great works in  in their native city. This made it easy for Lavinia to practice her craft daily- art was everywhere around her.   So it was that Lavinia-even if not male- carried on the family tradition and business of making art for sale. Bologna being such an avant-garde place to flourish, Lavinia initially painted for the well known nobles of Bologna.   The aristocracy loved her and commissioned her to paint their family portraits.   Besides portraits, Lavinia dabbled in several different genres and one of her trademarks was altar

Shirley Temple Black - A Depression-Era Woman of Distinction by Normal Welty

Shirley Temple Black—A Depression-Era Woman of Distinction A guest post by Norma Welty Author of  The Dirty Days A Young Girl's Journey to and from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl There are several distinguished American women whose biographies would provide a wealth of information about their significant contributions to our society. But I have chosen to proclaim Shirley Temple as my Depression-era woman of distinction—a noteworthy American child who became a solid role model for American women. Especially in the eyes of the many living women who are of the same generation as Ms. Temple Black. Many girls, like myself, who grew up extremely poor in the Dust Bowl during the 1930s Great Depression revered Shirley Temple. We knew about her through listening to the girls from the more well-off families whose parents took them to see the young actress's movies. These more fortunate girls often brought pictures of Shirley Temple to school and talked profusely a

Vannozza dei Cattanei and her scandalous affairs and marriages

Vannozza dei Cattanei Born into the lowest levels of the Italian aristocracy, the beautiful and spirited Vannozza dei Cattanei was charismatic and clever enough to run not one, but two inns, or ‘osterias’ as they are called in Rome. It is likely there that her charms caught the attention of Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, whom she scandalously entered into an affair with, despite his vows of celibacy. He later became Pope Julius II. Giuliano della Rovere Pope Julius II In his elder years In her inns, she lavishly entertained rich, ambitious cardinals. Soon, the affair with Giuliano petered out and she turned her attentions to Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, from a very wealthy Spanish family. She soon became his favorite mistress – not bad for a guy at the highest levels of the church who is supposed to abstain from the sin of lust. Rodrigo Borgia Pope Alexander VI When it came to Rodrigo, she was obliging and compliant, never making demands, and always