A painting by Edwin White (dated 1861) shows a man in a cabin seated before a fire. Make that lounging in front of a fire. A black kettle sits deep within the hearth, in licking flames of playful oranges and yellows, leaping and glowing. Warm. Inviting. Natural.
If the British East India Company existed today, it would be a billion-dollar mega-corporation. In 1786 the company wanted a suitable port of "refreshment and repair" along the valuable trade route to China, and the tropical island of Penang.
Napoleon had a penchant for making the sign of the cross at moments of stress or exasperation. But he was not a churchgoer, and regarded religion as a tool to control the masses, not an answer to life's mysteries. He also regarded papal approval as necessary for his own legitimacy.
The exhibition has been making the worldwide rounds, from Rome to Melbourne to Hollywood, and the show is always a variation on a theme (for the most part) with the brother and sister involved every step of the way.
In a week when three members of Pussy Riot, Russian President Vladimir Putin's prime party poopers, have been put on trial in Moscow accused of "hooliganism" in an Orthodox church (they sang a "punk" prayer!!!), Russian "queer" politics may have stumbled on its own 1812 moment.
One of the challenges when writing historical fiction is imagining physical and social conditions very different than our own. My Ethan Gage novels take place during the Napoleonic Wars. Did combat of that time produce Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
When I first saw Bondarchuk's "War and Peace," in 1968, in New York, it was presented in two parts and ran six hours. You went in the afternoon, broke for dinner, then came back for the rest. It was stupendous.
If we Americans and our civilian-elected leaders don't come to terms with our over-dependence on the military, we will cede increasing authority to an institution that doesn't want it and should not have it.
To attach the emergently celebrated name of 'Facebook' to that of a company whose actions at a time when the country needed financial help and vision rather chose to profit heedlessly is profoundly sad.
Google's culture is focused on the idea that the company is the spearhead of a revolution. This sense of being part of a cause created an extremely motivated workforce, which allows Google to practice a kind of maneuver warfare.