Lunchtime Poll

LTP: 10/18

Recently I began reading Patti Smith’s memoir of her life with Robert Mapplethorpe, Just Kids, which got me thinking about the endless memoir reading I did in high school of figures in the Beat Generation and of a number of women poets. I love a good memoir.

Patti Smith tells this great story about one time when, hungry and a bit emaciated, she was mistaken for a man by another fellow who tried to pick her up at a diner, and the fellow who tried to put the moves on her turned out to be Allen Ginsberg, who backed off upon learning she was a woman. And it got me thinking about how I’m not the only one in my family with biographical obsessions: my mother is hooked on Founding Fathers stuff (ugh), my brother will read any account by foreign war correspondents, era irrelevant, and my fiancé collects Theodore Roosevelt trivia. One of my best friends can’t get enough of John Lennon mythology. So today’s Lunchtime Poll is:

What historical or cultural figures fascinate you? What are the best stories you know about them? 

By Meghan Young Krogh

Meghan had a number of quality writing mentors over the course of her education, which just goes to show that you can't blame the teacher for the way the student turns out. Team Oxford Comma represent.

6 replies on “LTP: 10/18”

This is going to sound so cliché but I kinda love Catherine the Great. The story I like best is when — after being told of people’s poverty due to high inflation — she had the treasury simply make more money to counter it … and it worked! (Over simplification of facts which I may have read in a novelization of her life so hopefully it’s accurate.)

Elizabeth I, and by extension Mary, Queen of Scots.

I can never pass up a book about Bess, even though I’ve read dozens.  Her life fascinates me.  The power she had – power she held on to despite attempts to wrench it away – really, what a great woman.

Mary, on the other hand, had opportunities for real power but was never able to grasp them firmly because she let herself be the puppet of the men around her.

They’re a study in contrasts and they fascinate me.

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