Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Historical Crush

Rousseau -- love the scruff

Admit it – you have a historical crush too. You've drooled over a bust of Caligula even though you know what a rotter he was. Maybe you have a secret thing for Jean Jacques Rousseau or save your ten dollar bills just to keep hottie Hamilton in your pants pocket. (If you're like me, you also have crushes on actors of the 1930s and 40s, who are not only long dead, but frequently gay. Ah, love... Sometimes all the better for being unobtainable...)

My historical amour is King Charles II of England. Here he is, looking a little weary after years of exile and poverty:

And a little snappier here -->

Charles was absolutely not the beau-ideal of his day. Men (and women too) were supposed to have small, neat features, rosebud lips, blue eyes, light hair, fair skin, delicate hands and feet. Charles' sensuously curling mouth, strong nose, bedroom eyes and black hair might make him a leading man today, but in the seventeenth century he was considered positively ugly.

Charles was also HUGE for the time, at about six foot two, perhaps even taller. Which is great for a potential love interest for me (I'm five foot ten) but awkward for Charles when he was being hunted by Cromwell's forces after they'd beheaded his father. As one of the tallest, darkest men in England, he was easy to spot, and just barely escaped his father's fate.

Maybe its my maternal instincts that draw me to Charles. His father (King Charles I) was executed, his kingdom ripped from him. He had to beg and gamble at foreign courts just to survive. After he was restored to the throne, Parliament blocked nearly every good thing he tried to do. His wife couldn't have children, his mistresses had too many children, his best friend schemed to betray him, plague and fire ravaged his kingdom... I just want to cuddle and comfort the poor king.

Another big thing in his favor, Charles really seemed to love women – not just sex, but women, their company, their minds. Which is rare enough in any age.

Tell me about your historical crush!

(Oh, and congrats to Hallie for winning a copy of Ladies in Waiting. Hope you love it!)

You'll meet Charles II – the lover, the scientist, the bitter king and the loyal friend – in Ladies in Waiting, out in May.