Okay, so I thought it was about time to gather some of the most believed myths and rumours about historical people that are simply not true. Here we go:
Marie Antoinettenever said “Let them eat cake!”. The phrase was first published in the memoirs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau which was written in 1765 when Marie Antoinette was 10 years old and still in Vienna.
Anne Boleyndid not have a sixth finger. After her execution it became widespread to further “shame” the late Queen and at the time a sixth finger was considered a sign of witchcraft which was just among the charges laid to her. It has been suggested that she had an extra fingernail but a King would never have married her with such an obvious mutation.
Cleopatra did not have a vibrator run by trapped bees. Like Anne Boleyn this was a rumour spread to demean the Egyptian Pharaoh and underline the rumours that she was promiscuous - which she was not either.
Lucrezia and Cesare Borgia did not have an incestuous affair. At the time incest was not merely considered wrong but a death sin and the rumour happened to circle when the Borgias was at the height of their power - it was nothing else but a way to demean and spread a sense of sin and disgust of the family.
Christopher Columbus did not discover America. The Vikings had reached American soil 500 years before Columbus ever set sails. Leif Eriksson is the man remembered for several Viking expeditions to America and not that long ago Viking jewels and tools were found in the USA, conclusively proving that Columbus was not the man who discovered America.
Napoleon Bonaparte was not a short man. Actually, he was the average height of a French man of his time which - granted - is not considered tall today but nothing out of the ordinary. He was nicknamed “the little Corporal” not because of his height, but because he never snubbed his soldiers and was generally friendly with them.
Elizabeth I never had a child in secret. Honestly this one is just against common logic since the Queen was constantly surrounded by her courtiers and it was not uncommon for a lady-in-waiting to sleep within her chambers. This means that there is no way that the Queen could ever had had a child without anyone finding out.
JuanBorgia was not murdered by his brother, Cesare Borgia. Though it has long been the told story the myth is today denounced as false - instead it was almost certainly the Orsini family who was responsible for the death of Juan.
Nero did not play the fiddle while watching Rome burn. There is a very simple reason for this: the fiddle was not invented until 1500 years later. Officially he was not even in Rome at the time but with an insane Emperor there is a chance he might have been there.
Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb. The British Sir Humphrey Davy had invented a method to create light using a carbon filament four decades earlier. The only thing the technicians of Thomas Edison did was to figure out a way to make it shine for a longer period of time but they did not invent it - Thomas Edison himself was no where near the entire product.
So there you go. For some reason these rumours has survived the edge of time despite their falseness. Perhaps we just want to believe something sensational about people we can never meet?
the worst is when you’re reading a really good book that follows multiple characters’ stories and you love it 90% of the time until it periodically switches back to that one character’s story that you just could not care less about and it’s like an entire chapter of internal groaning while waiting for the plot to switch back to a character you actually care about
I want to live simply. I want to sit by the window when it rains and read books I’ll never be tested on. I want to paint because I want to, not because I’ve got something to prove. I want to listen to my body, fall asleep when the moon is high and wake up slowly, with no place to rush off to. I want not to be governed by money or clocks or any of the artificial restraints that humanity imposes on itself. I just want to be, boundless and infinite.
“I was always attracted not by some quantifiable, external beauty, but by something deep down, something absolute. Just as some people have a secret love for rainstorms, earthquakes, or blackouts, I liked that certain undefinable something.”—Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun (via splitterherzen)