Lately, it seems like every new show that is being aired on T.V is based on the time of corsets, feathered hats, and lace gloved hands.
The first of the trend was the “Tudors”, aired on Showtimes, and was based on the life of the womanizing and gluttonous King Henry VIII and his six wives. You know the saying, “Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived” right? Well, that little saying is based on his marriages; can you guess what it means?
Next in the trend was the “Borgias”, aired on Showtimes, and was based on the life of the power hungry an lust driven Pope Alexander VI and his fight to keep his role as Pope secure against his many enemies. The Borgia family were the inspiration to the award winning film the Godfather.
The list goes on with the “White Queen”, aired on Starz, and was based on the, commoner turned English Queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Though the series is meant to be based on the new Queen, it intertwines the lives of Margret Beaufort and Anne Neville, two of the post powerful women of their time.
So if you can see everyone, the age of medieval and renaissance , has perked our interest for some time now and I don’t see it slowing down anytime in the near future. So I have decided to pay a little tribute to the women of these stories and how it was their mere appearances that impacted the people around them, and even, history itself.
Anne Boleyn, future Queen of England and second wife of King Henry VIII, was born into the scheming family of the Howards and Boleyns in 1501. She was not known as a great beauty of the time, but was very enchanting and knew how to use her “good” qualities, such as her eyes, to get what she desired; like becoming Queen of England. Her appearance would also be her down fall, as her body was one of the main pieces of evidence used against her in a trial for being a witch and adulterer.
“She has a sixth finger!” “Her body is covered with the devils moles!”, “The Devil suckles from her teats!”
Marie Antoinette, future Queen of France, was born Josephine-Jeanne-Marie- Antoine into the royal Austrian family on November 2, 1755. She was known as one of the most beautiful in all of Europe with the traditional beauty of pale blonde hair, light blue eyes and peaches and cream skin; unfortunately, her beauty did not make her loved, but instead it made her the target of hatred. It was said that Marie Antoinette was the cause of the French revolution, the same revolution that took her head, and that she caused it by having a “credit card” bill for “Gucci, Prada, Channel” to high.
Gulia Farnese, mistress of the famous Pope Alexander VI, was born into the Italian nobility in 1574. She was seen as the most beautiful woman of the time of the Renaissance; she was even said to be the inspiration and model of Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” because she was the incarnation of the goddess Venus. Gulia Farnese used her beauty as a weapon and to help the people, some say that she helped to bring water to the people of Rome as one of her works of charity.
“The Most Lovely to Behold”– Lorenzo Pucci
So here you have it, just a few of the women in history who have had their beauty impact them and the history; whether it was intentional of not. Without Anne Boleyn’s beauty there may never had been a Anglican Church and without her beauty mark she may never had been condemned to death. Without Marie Antoinette’s beauty there may never had been the French Revolution. Without Gulia Farnese’s beauty there may have never been water in Rome during the renaissance for the peasants.
“Beauty can be deadly, when used well”– Gulia Farnese