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Showing posts from October, 2019

The Witch and the Rollright Stones

Magic, ritual, myth, and mystery – there’s a lot to love about the Rollright Stones, located on the border between Oxfordshire and Warwickshire in England. And although this isn’t the only prehistoric stone circle in Great Britain, it does have one attraction the others don’t – a witch legend.   According to the story, once upon a time a king, his army, and his knights were marching through the ancient Cotswold Hills when they encountered a witch. This witch told the king that he could become the king of all England if after taking seven long strides he could take see the town of Long Compton. The King Stone The king followed her instructions, but after taking seven steps his view of the town was blocked by a mound. So, the witch, no doubt with an evil cackle, turned the king and his followers to stone. And they remain petrified to this day - the king’s men, the huddled knights, and the solitary king.  The legend doesn’t end there. The witch hersel

Perdita: Then and Now

The original Perdita, a character in  The Winter's Tale, imagined by artist Frederick Sandys in 1866 I’m beginning to think there's a link to the Regency period in just about any aspect of our popular culture. Today's c ase in point involves a current television show set in Hawaii,  Magnum PI . One of the actors in this reboot of the popular 1980s series is Perdita Weeks, a Welsh woman who stars in the show as Juliet Higgins. (Yes, in this  Magnum PI  version Higgins is a young woman instead of a middle-aged man).  And wouldn’t you know it, there was a famous “Perdita” in the Prince Regent’s life as well. As a side note, if like me you’re a fan of British TV shows Perdita Weeks may look familiar to you. She's the younger sister of Honeysuckle Weeks, who starred in Foyle’s War . And she’s just as talented and fun to watch. Perdita Weeks as Higgins in Magnum PI   (CC-by-2.0) But what really struck me is her name – Perdita. It’s the Latin word f

Marie Antoinette Gets a Makeover

Marie Antoinette What a difference time can make. At the end of the 18th century Marie Antoinette was perhaps the most hated woman in France. She went from living the high life as Queen Consort to King Louis XVI to a lonely prison cell, and ultimately, the guillotine. During the French Revolution the unfortunate queen was the target of the mob’s hatred, which rose to a fever pitch during the Terror. To the blood-thirsty revolutionaries, Marie Antoinette and her extravagant lifestyle represented the excesses of the old way of government, the  “Ancien Régime,"  and a despised symbol of the monarchial system they were determined to destroy.  Her insensitivity became a legend. Just about anyone who’s heard of the French Revolution has also heard the phrase attributed to Marie Antoinette, something she supposedly said upon hearing the starving poor had no bread to eat. “Then let them eat cake,” was her haughty reply.  That sure sounded like her, or