Historical people you admire

(14 Posts)
LiviaAugusta Tue 25-Sep-12 13:31:07

I was going to title this historical heroes, but then realised that some of the people whom I find interesting could never be described as heroic! Which people do you find fascinating? My list would be:
All the Tudors - an obvious one but I became Tudor-obsessed when I was very young and it's never stopped. Elizabeth in particular, a strong woman who lived through such trauma and survived to build a legend around herself. Yes, it went wrong in the 1590s but still she was an amazing woman.
William Marshall - a recent discovery of mine who had the most eventful life: nearly thrown from a catapault by Stephen during his war against Matilda, part of Eleanor of Aquitaine's retinue, became the archetypal knight invincible in tournaments, then regent for Henry III defending England against the French at the age of 70.
Julius Caesar and Augustus - ruthless and not averse to mass murder but shaped the course of the Roman Empire. I wonder what would have happened had Julius Caesar not been murdered and had instead headed off on his conquering trip East.
Eleanor of Aquitaine - such a fascinating woman. Married to the French King then had the marriage annulled and married Henry II eight weeks later. Mother of Richard and John, conspired with them against Henry, held captive for years before effectively ruling England whilst Richard went off crusading and being captured.

TunipTheVegemal Tue 25-Sep-12 13:33:23

Thomas More <sticks tongue out at BurlingtonBertie>

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 25-Sep-12 13:37:16

Florence Nightingale.

bureni Tue 25-Sep-12 13:40:10

Lt Col Paddy Blair Mayne, he was a local man who served with and commanded the SAS during WW2 becoming the highest decorated U.K soldier of the war. He strangely rarely gets a mention in history books.

LiviaAugusta Tue 25-Sep-12 13:46:14

TheDoctrine yes to Florence Nightingale, and Mary Seacole too.

R2PeePoo Tue 25-Sep-12 15:52:07

Women who did amazing things, stepped out of the status quo and challenged preconceptions.

Women like:

Alice Ramsay
Alice Hamilton
Harriet Tubman
Jacqueline Cochran
Mary Harris Jones

and hundreds more that I never learnt about at school.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Tue 25-Sep-12 16:01:43

William the Marshall is a very interesting character, OP. Also went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, was allegedly the only knight to ever unhorse Richard I, and took Templar vows before his death.

Charles II always seems interesting to me. Pleasure-loving, pragmatic, tolerant in an age of religious intolerance.

mathanxiety Tue 25-Sep-12 16:59:50

On a completely different note, Lyndon Johnson.

kiwigirl42 Tue 25-Sep-12 17:31:33

I really enjoyed the William Marshall books too.
The people who fascinate me are the everyday people - the women who travelled in covered wagons across the American prairies, knowing there was no going back; the women who went to deepest Africa to marry someone they may not have really known etc.
I've got some really interesting books about these type of people and just can't imagine me doing what some of them did.

My great great great grandmother (not sure if I got the greats right) was in New Zealand during the Maori wars in 1860ishs, where warriors were roaming out of the bush into farmsteads etc. Holy Crap - how did they bear the tension with young babies and no friends nearby?

Vagaceratops Tue 25-Sep-12 18:03:38

Eleanor of Aquitaine for so many reasons. She had the respect of the people of both England and Aquitaine, even though she lived in a very male dominated time. She negotiated Richard I's release from his captors in Germany, and despite her advanced years she travelled to Navarre to bring Berengaria to marry Richard.

Salbertina Tue 25-Sep-12 18:05:09

Hildegarde of Bingen, Elizabeth 1, Barbara castle

Vagaceratops Tue 25-Sep-12 18:07:25

For a second there I read Barbara Cartland grin

Salbertina Tue 25-Sep-12 18:09:50

Yep, all that pink grin

Penelope1980 Fri 05-Oct-12 07:54:26

The people I really admire tend to be normal people who find themself in extreme situations and act in admirable ways ... only person who springs to mind right now is one of the women who died at Auschwitz, Mala Zimetbaum. I read about her years ago and her story has stayed with me.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mala_Zimetbaum

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