I suppose everybody knows this is King Henry VIII who married six times and ended life fizzing with syphilis. And maybe most folks recognize his daughter Elizabeth, that shrewd queen. They say she had trouble relinquishing the nubile (read ‘impregnable’) look since she used her marriageable status as a carrot to dangle before possible suitors/heads of state who took one look at her and saw a realm. I learned from the PBS series Elizabeth R that she wore a centimeter-think paste of makeup later in life and laid on the perfume pretty heavy too. (This is Glenda Jackson in the title role.)
I felt for her so, hearing this, and prayed I would never do the same. Sure I wore a little eye shadow for a while there but all it took was seeing myself in a single photo to send me back to my roots as a Woodstock girl. (“She’s awfully PLAIN,” I once heard a new acquaintance say about me. “I mean how about a little makeup?!”)
So maybe you know those two heads of state but how about this king, with as notable a jaw as Jay Leno himself? 50 points if you ID this one right.
And finally who is this little maid? This picture was just discovered in the year 2000 though it goes back to 1865. Looks like it’s the real person too according to scientists who have scientifically compared it to the one known portrait of the lady. ID her for another 50 points and give yourself an additional 10 for saying something about how seeing this helped you understand her writings better.
Me I think it’s worth remembering all these long-gone ones. We want to be able to say Hey to them in heaven, right? And it really IS as William Faulkner said: The past isn’t dead. It really isn’t even past.