Thursday, September 20, 2012

5 Women in History I'd Like to Invite to a Cocktail Party


For some reason as I was motoring home from my evening yoga class I thought about who I would invite if I could have a dinner or cocktail party and invite 5 historical figures. Who would I invite and why?

It would be nearly impossible to limit my party to just 5, but if I had to, I’d cull the list to include some of the most fascinating and dynamic women in history. While there are any number of worthy men and women, I would love the chance to interview of chat with these women who lived, loved and fought for what they believed was right at times when women were chattel.

Here is my list:

Eleanor of Acquitaine – wife of the king of France, whom she divorced to marry Henry II of England, mother of Richard and John, both kings of England; heiress in her own stead to the duchy of Acquitaine – the richest province in France– and ultimately – prisoner. I want to know why she would denounce her role as queen of France and leave her daughters for Henry. Was he really that hot?

Matilda of Canossa– the only woman to be buried in the Vatican. She was a warrior ruler of Tuscany during the reigns of Henry IV of Germany and Pope Gregory VI. She served as the pope’s chief intermediary of communication with the rulers of northern Europe. There are rumors they were more than friends….inquiring minds want to know!

Caterina Sforza – Renaissance warrior and Countess of Forli who battled Cesare Borgia to defend her property and rights. Was her affair with the low life worth it?

Cleopatra Selene – daughter of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony; survived the invasion by Caesar Augustus, was raised by his sister Octavia and wed to Juba II, a close friend to Augustus. She became Queen of ancient Maurentania.  Really – who wouldn’t want to have a drink with Cleopatra’s daughter.

Queen Elizabeth I – daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn, never married, portrayed in film by Bette Davis, Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett. I want to know how she felt about her parents and siblings; if she really was the virgin queen, if she regretted executing Mary of Scotland, who she really loved; how bad her castles smelled.

Yes – they are all women, and I limited myself to 5. My list is actually much longer. I would need a circus tent to include them all. But it would be so much fun to bring these five dynamic women together to talk about family, politics, hygiene, regrets, love, loss, and contemporary mores. It may be a fantasy, but perhaps in my dreams we’ll all meet!



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