Little Miss Why

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This month, I’ll be featuring Queen Victoria’s children (mostly her daughters).

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, was the fourth daughter and sixth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She defied the role of “princess” a bit by becoming an artist, sculptor and architect.

She was born at Buckingham palace in 1848 and spent most of her childhood hopping around the palace as well as Windsor Castle and Balmoral Castle. Rough. Her family called her “Little Miss Why” because of her curious nature.

When her father died in 1861, the entire royal family went into an intense mourning period (Victoria spent the rest of her life in mourning). They became so morose, Louise was eventually so fed up with a house full of black-clad downers, that on her 17th birthday she begged to open the ballroom for a big party. Denied. Arguments ensued, and Victoria was said to be incredibly irritated with the matter AND her daughter.

Louise eventually fell in love with and married John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll in 1871. It started off pretty good, but they drifted apart for some time. Eventually they reconnected in 1911. When he died a few years later, she was devastated.

She is often referred to as Victoria’s “rebel” daughter due to some unconfirmed rumors that Louise gave birth to an illegitimate child at the age of 18 -and- that she supposedly had an affair with her mentor, sculptor Edgar Boehm. Boehm died at the age of 56 of a stroke while in his studio. The rebel Princess was the only person with him at the time. Rumors said that he had died while making love to the very gorgeous Louise.

So back to the illegitimate child… Queen Victoria’s obstetrician was Sir Charles Locock (unfortunate last name). Locock adopted a baby boy named Henry in 1867. When Henry grew up, he told everyone that he was Louise’s son. Scandal! In 2004, his descendants asked for DNA testing, but they were denied access by the Court of Arches. They wanted to compare his DNA with that of Louise’s niece, Tzarina Alexandra of Russia.

In 1939, Louise died at Kensington palace at the age of 91 where a marble statue of her mother (that Louise sculpted) still remains.

There’s a great article on her here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/dec/29/mystery-of-princess-louise-review

Another one here: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/march-18-1948-birth-of-the-princess-louise-duchess-of-argyll/

Rainbow Bright!

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Iris_Final

Last up for the Greek Goddesses this month… Iris. And this is well-timed if you’re a proud citizen of the United States. Iris is the Greek Goddess of the Rainbow! Oh happy day!

Iris is the messenger of the Gods, connecting them with humanity. She travels at the speed of wind and easily bounces between the sea and the underworld, bridging heaven and earth. She is almost always depicted with wings and a multi-hued gown.

Iris cannot deliver messages to humans in her “goddess form” so she takes on the appearance of someone the recipient knows. One of her duties is to carry water from the Styx (river of oaths) to Mount Olympus for the gods to swear by.

#lovewins

Our goose is cooked.

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HUGE news. We’ve developed a new Facebook page for our book that comes out June 2016. The official title is A Thyme and Place: Medieval Feasts and Celebrations for the Modern Table. This will be a series, featuring food from different periods in history. More information and pre-order links coming soon. For interesting tidbits, articles, illustrations and photos of our progress, go check it out!

https://www.facebook.com/deconstructinghistory

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wonder woman.

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Artemis, often called Diana (Roman), was the Greek Goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, the moon, childbirth and chastity. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister of Apollo.

She is almost always depicted with a bow and arrows, and often with deer. She hunted animals, but also protected them in the forest. She  protected women and female animals during labor and childbirth but could also bring on disease.

As an infant goddess, she helped deliver her own twin brother. Yes. That’s what I just wrote. That is why she is the Goddess of childbirth. And if that doesn’t impress you, on her third birthday (yes, third) she asked for the following: to never be distracted by love or marriage, a bow and arrow, hunting clothes, 80 nymphs to be her friends, and all the mountains in the world.

All the mountains in the world? Ok Veruca Salt. I got you a Fisher Price Farm Set, that will have to do.

A little more info here: http://www.ancient.eu/artemis/

and here: http://www.greek-mythology-pantheon.com/artemis-diana-greek-goddess-of-mountains-forests-and-hunting/

oh night divine.

Nyx

Nyx is the Greek Goddess of Night. She is shadowy and mysterious with exceptional power and beauty. So powerful, even Zeus feared her. She has many children including Hypnos (God of Sleep), Eris (Goddess of Strife), Eros (God of Procreation) Apate (Goddess of Deceit- which sounds like my next painting) Moros (God of Doom), Oizys (Goddess of Misery, which also sounds like another painting) end many many more.

Some records indicate that she was the mother of Hemera, Goddess of the Day. While other stories indicate they are siblings. Mother and daughter -or- Sister and Sister are said to live in a dreary house in the far west where they pass each other at sunrise and sunset.

There is a great, kid-friendly, article on Nyx here: http://www.talesbeyondbelief.com/greek-gods-mythology/nyx.htm

Triple Threat

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Hecate

Greek Goddesses, continued.

Hekate (also Hecate, Hecata) is usually portrayed with 3 faces, representing the goddess of the crossroads. She is the goddess of witchcraft, the protector of newborns, and the guardian of the household. She is a moon goddess over the kingdoms of earth, sea and sky. She has the power to create -or- withhold storms, as well as give -or- withhold gifts to the earth.

She was a trusted companion of Persephone while in Hades. Their time spent in the underworld is said to have contributed to Hekate’s black-magic, having developed the power to conjure up dreams and prophecies. She walked comfortably with outcasts, ghosts, the misunderstood, and the suffering. Because of this, she was sought out by witches, magicians, and mystics for guidance.

There’s a great article about her here: http://www.sibyllineorder.org/history/hist_hecate.htm

Greek Tragedy

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cassandra

Continuing with the Greek Goddess theme, although, Cassandra doesn’t really get classified as a “Goddess”. She was one of the mortal princesses of Troy.

She was the daughter of Priam and Hecuba, and said to be devastatingly beautiful and blessed with an astonishing gift… she could see the future.

Well, that gift didn’t work out so well. The God Apollo fell madly in love with Cassandra, when she turned away his affection, he placed a curse on her so that no one would ever believe her words or predictions. Mon dieu! This led to tragedy, as Cassandra foresaw the destruction of Troy by the Greeks. She told them NOT to let that stupid wooden horse through the gates, but thanks to Apollo, no one believed her. This is where the phrase “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts” comes from. Troy was destroyed.

I found a GREAT website that would be fun to share with the kids here: http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/greek-mythology.php?deity=CASSANDRA

the devil to pay.

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This month is all about the Greek Goddesses!

This is Persephone. She is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. She is the Queen of the Underworld and also of springtime, vegetation and maidenhood. Homer described her as the formidable, venerable majestic princess of the underworld, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead. Yikes. I like her.

She was abducted by Hades, the God of the Underworld, which infuriated her mother. Demeter took out her anger on the crops- making them wither and die. Zeus tried to bring his daughter back, but alas… Persephone had already eaten the seeds of a pomegranate given to her by her kidnapper. Apparently eating the seeds bound her to Hades for four months of each year. Who knew? Because of this arrangement, the four months she spends with Hades caused Winter due to Demeter’s grief.

There’s a more in-depth article here: http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/greek_goddess_persephone.htm

dangerous feet

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ciguapa

Last one for the mythological creatures (for now). This is the Ciquapa. She is a high mountain siren from Dominican folklore.

The Ciguapa are always naked with long shiny hair and one very unusual feature… they have backwards feet. This is so you can never tell which direction they are going. The backwards footprints make it difficult to track them. hmm.

They are described as magical, deceitful, deadly, and bewitching. The origins of the stories go back to the Taino natives. These people migrated from South America and settled throughout the Caribbean. Stories of the Ciguapo came with them (about 1500 years ago) and to this day- many people in the Dominican Republic still report sightings!

There”s a bit more info here: http://www.lizaphoenix.com/encyclopedia/ciguapa.shtml

drop dead gorgeous

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Valykyrie

More creatures of folklore!

A Valkyrie is a corpse goddess from Nordic mythology. The name translates to “chooser of the slain” and has a very similar story to the Morrigan from Celtic folklore. They are described as viking-like women that decide who will die in battle. Those who are selected are brought to to Valhalla- the afterlife “hall of the slain”.

These beautiful creatures are often depicted as loving helpers, but also as evil grim reapers… depends which Nordic poems you’re reading. They are associated with ravens (like the Morrigan) and sometimes swans.

Although they are painted as gorgeous women in heavy armor, they do not engage in battle. They are merely servant maidens of the god, Odin. Odin’s story is a bit confusing, but from what I gather- he is a German/Nordic God of healing, death, royalty, knowledge, battles, poetry, and sorcery. He is the ruler of the Valkyrie and Valhalla.

There’s a great article with much more information here: http://www.timelessmyths.com/norse/valkyries.html

and a book that looks pretty interesting on Viking Mythology here: http://www.amazon.com/Viking-Mythology-Thor-Norse-Myths-ebook/dp/B00MGU42LU/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1432655115&sr=8-5&keywords=Nordic+mythology

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