Tag Archives: Neglected history

NEGLECTED DUMAS SWASHBUCKLER: LA DAME DE MONSOREAU

Balladeer’s Blog’s recent look at neglected swashbuckler novels by Alexandre Dumas of The Three Musketeers fame was popular enough that here’s a bonus novel. FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE REVIEWING THE NOVELS GEORGES AND CAPTAIN PAMPHILE CLICK HERE    

Le Dame de MonsoreauLA DAME DE MONSOREAU (1846) – A collaboration with Auguste Maquet. The title refers to the beautiful and fascinating Countess Diana de Monsoreau and her illicit romance with the novel’s male lead, Louis de Clermont de Bussy d’Amboise. Both characters are real but naturally Dumas and Maquet take the usual poetic license accorded to historical fiction.

Louis is remembered as a larger than life figure in the court of French King Henry III. He was a deadly swordsman who thumbed his nose at many of the King’s courtiers while laughing at jealous husbands and tailor’s bills as he romped his way in and out of countless beds. He could get away with this because he was the favorite of King Henry III’s younger brother, Francois, the Duke of Anjou.

Even Francois’ patronage was good for only so much, since Henry wielded all the true power and considered Francois a potential rival. While fighting on various battlefields and in assorted duels Louis also walked that tightrope at court, where on any given day one miscalculation or one insult taken too far could bring about his ruin. Continue reading

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ALEXANDRE DUMAS: NEGLECTED NOVELS

Alexandre Dumas

“HELLO DERE!”

Alexandre Dumas pere is synonymous with swashbuckling historical adventures like The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Man in the Iron Mask.

His name became SO associated with swordplay and intrigue that even a Dumas novel like The Corsican Brothers, which in reality lacks any true action elements, has long been adapted as if it’s a swashbuckler. That has always involved altering the original story beyond recognition, which is why no two Corsican Brothers movies bear much resemblance to each other and can’t even seem to agree on a time period.

That’s a shame since plenty of other novels by Alexandre Dumas are loaded with action and historical intrigue yet have been largely overlooked when it comes to movies and television. 

GeorgesGEORGES (1843) – Published just one year before The Three Musketeers, this novel is not only a rollicking adventure full of action, romance and double-crosses but it deals with racial issues in such a way that you would have thought it would have been adapted for film four or five decades ago. The title character uses his sword to fight slavery!  Continue reading

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PRESIDENTIAL LOSERS: PROS AND CONS

mascot new look donkey and elephant headsIn the spirit of Balladeer’s Blog’s irreverent, tongue-in-cheek looks at the pros and cons of U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents here’s another post for the upcoming Presidents Day three-day weekend. 

It’s my tongue-in-cheek look at the pros and cons of the LOSERS who were left in a defeated heap enroute to the Oval Office. In reverse order back to just before Tilden:

hillary-clinton-haitiHILLARY CLINTON (Lost to President Donald Trump)

Motto: “When the money keeps rolling in (to your fake charity), what’s a girl to do? Skim a little (well, quite a lot, actually) off the top for expenses wouldn’t you?”

Nickname: The Rapist’s Wife/ Crooked Hillary 

Hillary clinton dough nationPro: Her childish refusal to address her own supporters the night Donald Trump utterly humiliated her provided a look at how truly petty, shallow and classless she is. 

Con: She and her fascist followers tried to threaten the members of the Electoral College into casting their votes for her instead of Trump, thereby reaching the absolute lowest and most disgusting level that any American politician has ever sunk to. 

MITT ROMNEY (Lost to Obama)

Motto: “Pushing women back to the Fifties … the EIGHTEEN fifties!”

Nickname: The Mormon Mondale/ Ol’ Sploog Face (tie)

Pro: His even more pathetic running mate Paul Ryan actually made him look good by comparison.  Continue reading

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AMERICAN PRESIDENTS EISENHOWER THROUGH TRUMP

Mascot with demo and repub headsThe three-day President’s Day holiday weekend is fast approaching. 

Here’s one of my biggest hits – a tongue-in-cheek look at U.S. Presidents from Eisenhower to Trump filled with insults and pot-shots directed at both Democrats and Republicans.

  

EisenhowerDWIGHT EISENHOWER

Character Type: Well-meaning but befuddled sitcom grandfather.

Military Service: World War One and World War Two

Motto: “FOOORE!” (Remember,  the traditional cry as you’re teeing off in golf? Oh, never mind!)

Nickname: Uncle Milty

Pro: Knew enough to distrust Richard Nixon long before it became the national pasttime. 

Con: Was the first president to pronounce nuclear as “nucular”.

john f kennedyJOHN F KENNEDY

Character Type: Rich playboy who disdained both Liberals and Conservatives and played by his own rules.

Military Service: World War Two

Motto: “Thank God for television!”

Nickname: FDR  

Pro: The man was shrewd enough to distrust both liberals and conservatives equally. I can’t praise that attitude highly enough given our present circumstances. 

Con:  I can’t find out what happened to this guy. Anybody hear anything?  Continue reading

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GEORGE WASHINGTON: WAS HE REALLY THE INDISPENSABLE MAN?

George WashingtonPresident’s Day is coming up in 8 days so here’s yet another seasonal post. It’s one of my random takes on one of our Presidents. Or in this case just one aspect of one of our Presidents.  

GEORGE WASHINGTON – My other posts about Washington have bashed him over the slavery issue, but this particular blog post is on a whole different topic. (Point being don’t leave a juvenile, snarky remark about him being a slave-owner. Everybody knows that. You won’t be retroactively freeing a single slave by indulging your ego that way.)

THE INDISPENSABLE MAN – George Washington is often called the Indispensable Man to the success of the American Revolution. I’m generally not a Washington fan but I’ve yielded on this point over the years. Here are three reasons why:

A. Odd as it may sound, reading several books about the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Turks helped convince me of Washington’s value. His name is never mentioned in any of my books about that war but there are parallels to our Revolution. Continue reading

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SIXTEEN OVERLOOKED SECRETARIES OF STATE

masc chair and bottleWith President’s Day coming here’s a look at some of the men and women who proved pivotal to the administrations of the Presidents of the United States. Many of those Secretaries may not be household names here in the 21st Century but they would definitely stand out on any staff. Here is an examination of sixteen such figures in chronological order. Figures like James G Blaine, William Seward, and Henry Kissinger are so well-known that they are not included on this list.

Timothy Pickering1. TIMOTHY PICKERING (1795-1800)

Served under: Presidents George Washington and John Adams

Noted for: Conspiring with Alexander Hamilton to undermine some of the policies of the Washington and Adams administrations. When Adams discovered this he ordered Pickering to resign, but Pickering refused, forcing Adams to fire him. Pickering remains the only Secretary of State to officially be fired by the President.

Henry Clay2. HENRY CLAY (1825-1829)

Served under: President John Quincy Adams

Noted for: Fighting a duel with Senator John Randolph, one of Clay’s critics who felt he had struck a “corrupt bargain” with Adams to get this prized cabinet position. Also for completing the first commerce treaties between the young United States and the various nations in Scandinavia and Latin America.

John Forsyth3. JOHN FORSYTH (1834-1841)

Served under: Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren

Noted for: Obtaining long-disputed reparations from France for U.S. commercial losses suffered during the Napoleonic Wars. Also for threatening to resign early in Van Buren’s administration before his relationship with the new president improved. Continue reading

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THE CRIMES AND SINS OF AMERICA ARE LARGELY THE CRIMES AND SINS OF DEMOCRATS

Democrat slogan

“OPPRESSING PEOPLE WHILE POSING AS THE OPPRESSED!”

It’s been said that the “crimes and sins of America” are largely the crimes and sins of the Democrats. Their political party has been responsible for so many national atrocities that the sleazy politicians of the Democrat Party then blame on the nation as a whole. They go on to lecture the rest of us for the wrongs done by THEIR political party.

Don’t let Democrats get away with their White Supremacist claim that “That was long ago. We Democrats are different now and all the racist, hatemongering Democrats of the past would not be Democrats now. You know that because we Democrats say so and we order you to believe it.”

February is the month set aside for honoring the people who heroically resisted Democrat oppression and for marking the long, long list of atrocities perpetrated by that party of hatred and division.

At any rate, the hypocritical Democrats love to COMMIT the atrocities that they then go on to blame THE REST OF US FOR! They love to act like THEY can just move on and forget their role in slavery, Japanese internment, the Trail of Tears and so much else, but the rest of the country bears some absurd collective guilt over those things for the rest of eternity.

Hatred and violence are in the DNA of the Democrats.

Imacon Color ScannerTRAIL OF TEARS: Democrat President Andrew Jackson openly ignored a Supreme Court decision and subjected Native Americans to the hardships and large-scale deaths in forcibly moving them along what became infamous as the Trail of Tears.

THE SPOILS SYSTEM: Democrat Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren became synonymous with the Spoils System, under which political hacks would be placed in high positions. Those positions were ideal for graft and other corruption and for abusing authority to force their subordinates to serve the Democrats, NOT the public.

Plantation slavesSLAVERY: Anyone who knows American history knows that the Democrats fought to preserve and extend their beloved “Peculiar Institution” of slavery just as obstinately as they fight today to preserve and extend Islam’s Gender Apartheid and their beloved Peculiar Institution of Sharia Law.  

Hell, slavery meant SO much to Democrats that they callously divided the nation in a Civil War to try preserving it. In typical Democrat fashion they watched wave after wave of young men die for their hate-filled cause. It would not be the last time. 

Roger B TaneyTHE DRED SCOTT DECISION: In the years leading up to the Civil War DEMOCRAT Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger B Taney was responsible for the Dred Scott Decision which claimed that African-Americans were not people and therefore had no rights. Democrats still blame the rest of us for this outrage, too.

THE KU KLUX KLAN: Democrats were so resentful that other Americans freed their slaves that they formed the KKK to torment, terrorize and harass freed African-Americans. A century later they would perfect the practice of pretending moral superiority over the rest of us for what THEIR party was responsible for.    

And yes, Democrats, I know your standard excuse will be “That was a long time ago. We’re better people now.” Well if YOU PEOPLE can say it, then it also applies to THE REST OF US, TOO. So get down off your soap boxes and quit lecturing the rest of us about the “diversity” your political party opposed for so long. 

Jim Crow LawsJIM CROW: Democrats used every underhanded legislative and judiciary trick their bigoted minds could come up with to keep violating the rights of African-Americans. They did this for a century, then gave into the inevitable and embraced the long-active Civil Rights Movement.

Most of the hard and dangerous work in that Civil Rights Movement had already been laid out by the point in the 1960s when the Democrats co-opted it. Over the years, the Democrats would try to take credit for the entire Civil Rights Movement even though THEY were the ones the Civil Rights Movement was FIGHTING for so long. (Martin Luther King, Jr – like Abe Lincoln – was a Republican.) Continue reading

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