Lately, I've been reading more history and biography than fiction. Not only is truth stranger than fiction, real life trumps fiction every time! And the past is so much more fascinating than the present, at least for this history-loving chick:)
I seem to be unable to get over my infatuation with the Founding Fathers. If you haven't seen the HBO miniseries John Adams, please run to your nearest video store and rent it. The musical score is incredible and the movie itself astonishingly clean. There was just a tarring and feathering incident, and then one romantic interlude between John and his peppery wife, Abigail, that had us hitting the fast forward button. Oh, and a couple of minutes showing a very geriatric Benjamin Franklin taking a bubble bath with an equally geriatric French countess. He was quite the ladies man, you know!
Don't let John's unheroic looks fool you. Beneath that balding pate and those heavy features was one of the most amazing intellects of the 18th-century. He was a man of principle and honor and courage. And guess what? He died on the 4th of July, fifty years later. I like to think the Lord rewarded him for a life well lived.
Contrast John with Thomas Jefferson whose personal life would have made prime time television today. He died deeply in debt and his beautiful home, Monticello, passed out of his family. I'm not a Jefferson-basher by any means. He had some very fine qualities. But I'm puzzled and disturbed by his relationship with the mulatto Sally Hemmings even two hundred or so years later. And why his wife made him promise, on her deathbed, to never remarry. I'm also troubled that so many of our founding fathers clung to slavery while crying "liberty" so loudly. Amazingly enough, Jefferson died on the same 4th of July as John Adams, which just goes to show that the Lord doesn't play favorites, I suppose.
I'm not a big movie watcher but thought I'd mention John Adams here. Have you seen any well-made historical movies? Or read any biographies of historical figures? I'd love to know!
Any fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it. -Oscar Wilde