Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Favourites - Your Favourite Historical Figure?

Friday Favourites - a chance to rave about a favourite reading/book related topic each week.

Sometimes you just want a chance to rave about some favourite aspect of reading that doesn't really come up during regular blogging posts - that's what this is about. I'm willing to bet that at least some of those will come up one week or another.

This week my question is really two questions: The first, the one that the title asks is "Who is your favourite historical figure?" However, the alternate question, and one I'm also interested in the answer to is (This was the question I'd meant to ask in the first place, I think) "Who is your favourite historical figure to read about?"

I can see there being two very different answers to those two questions.

My answer to the first question changes on a regular basis. I don't think I have any real "favourites" just interests that change from time to time. At the moment, I'm reading all I can about Alexander the Great, but who knows who my focus will change to next.

In terms of reading about, generally referring to fiction, I have to say my favourite historical figure is Cleopatra - especially as written by Jo Graham in her novel Hand of Isis. There's something about her that captures my imagination - but I'm not just limited to fiction. I've also quite enjoyed reading Stacy Schiff's biography Cleopatra: A Life, although to be honest, I've yet to finish the read.

I think throughout the years, a lot of people have agreed with me on this one - including such notables as Shakespeare. And yet, we don't really know all that much about her - only things said by her opponents really. Could that be part of her allure?

Who's your favourite historical figure, and if the answer is different, who's your favourite historical figure to read about?


Jenn said...

She is a really good pick.

I love reading about English royalty; specifically the Plantagenet and the Tudors. They're so complex and not always the good guys. It makes for fascinating reading.

Unknown said...

It does indeed. You've picked a time-period where there's plenty to read as well: Alison Weir, Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel are just three of the big names that come to mind.

Thanks for commenting, Jenn.

Anonymous said...

I hve been reading a wondrful history titled "The Age of Napolean" by Will and Ariel Durant.Its a part of a series on the history of civilization and its volume XI.It follows the history of course of one of the truly great generals.Covering Europe generally,and France during the revolution and the opening it left for such a genius to step into.I haven't seen the other books since I got this at a library book sale(what a glorious concept!).Worth the dollar I paid.I was also much impressed by a biography of Peter the Great by a historian from Eastern Kentucky Univ.Another intriguing person in history.Love that history!Great site so far.Garry in Kentucky


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