Wednesday, August 21, 2019

1000 famous redheads!

Just a quick note to let you know that our partner blog Famous Redheads in History has just reached 1000 famous redheads! This means we have definitively proven that red-haired people have moved history out of proportion of their numbers. ;-)

Also, check out our ever-growing list of red-haired firsts and founders (first part, second part, third part) and the post about redheads who inspired famous fictional characters.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Milka and Red Hair

There was recently a bit of a to-do concerning the company Milka, the chocolate makers. Apparently a casting company producing an advert for the brand specified that the children appearing should not be overweight or red-haired.

Sky News - Milka: Casting company 'sorry' for ad

We tend to get these stories from time to time, so it's nothing new, and we've covered it before. I always think it's best not to get too worked up about such things. The cries of victimhood often do more damage than the original offence. I certainly cringe a little as a red-haired person whenever I see other people kicking up such a fuss on my behalf. True, it's a little bit galling when you see people deem red hair undesirable or unattractive in some way, but it's a free world and you can't force people to like something they don't like. Or to have the same aesthetic tastes as you. It's probably a little bit more offensive to overweight people really, but then again you can see why a chocolate company wouldn't want overweight people advertising their brand.

Likewise normally when people advertise something they want to make it look attractive, so it's only natural that they will want people they deem attractive in their advertisements. Which is something that can be quite subjective. If someone uses an attractive woman to sell a sports car we may disagree with their taste, but do we really want to strip a creative person of their right to follow their own tastes and judgement? Do you really want everyone producing content to be constantly worrying about offending people, or not having the right level of "diversity"?

For instance, pretty much everyone featured on this blog is red haired, it's hardly diverse. So I can't really complain that something made by someone else lacks the required diversity. Or excludes something I would want included. We can't have it both ways.

Anyway, and I think this is the best way to go about things, I took it upon myself to fix the situation and make my own adverts.

How could you not want adverts like this.

Can I have some free chocolate now?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Pre-Raphaelite Redheads: Dante Gabriel Rossetti

I think I'll just put all the Rossetti pieces in one post. I was going to split them up into smaller groups, but it probably makes more sense to have them all in one place. Plus it's much easier for me too that way, so here goes :)

(The Girlhood of Mary Virgin)

(The Girlhood of Mary Virgin - detail)

(Ecce Ancilla Domini or The Annunciation)

(Ecce Ancilla Domini - detail)

The Latin title Ecce Ancilla Domini translates as "Behold the handmaiden of the Lord".

(Portrait of Elizabeth Siddal)

(Roman Widow)

(The Damsel of the Sanct Grael)

(The Blessed Damozel)

(Beata Beatrix)

(Fair Rosamund)

(Venus Verticordia)

(La Ghirlandanta)

(Bocca Baciata)


(Regina Cordium, meaning
Queen of Hearts)

(The Bower Meadow)

(La Bella Mano, translating as
The Beautiful Hand)


(Sancta Lilias)

Quite a collection. I'm sure there are many more lurking out there still to add as well.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Pre-Raphaelite Red Hair - John Everett Millais

A couple of classics from John Everett Millais now. Firstly, a familiar one, Christ in the House of His Parents. This one's famous from redhead lore as the ginger child Jesus in the image was described by Charles Dickens as a "wry-necked, blubbering, redheaded boy, in a bed-gown." A very wordy put down.

(Christ in the House of His Parents - John Everett Millais)

(Christ in the House of His Parents - detail)

His mother also looks decidedly red-haired going on the hair popping out from her head scarf.

This next image is titled Autumn Leaves and features a cherubic looking boy or girl with red hair holding a broom. Quite a beautiful painting.

(Autumn Leaves - John Everett Millais)

(Autumn Leaves - detail)

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Red-Haired People Who Inspired Fictional Characters

Here’s a list (hopefully ever- growing) of red-haired people who inspired fictional characters of novels and cartoons.

1) Livia Svevo: wife of the Italian writer Italo Svevo, she inspired the character of Anna Livia Plurabelle in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake

2) Larissa Mikhailovna Reissner: this beautiful Bolshevik is said to have inspired the character of Lara in Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago

3) Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald: a British naval officer of the Royal Navy, he inspired the figures of C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey.

4) William Lamport: according to some historians, this Scottish pirate and adventurer inspired the character of Zorro, created by Johnston McCulley. 

5) Palle Huld: his journey around the world at the age of 15 in 1928 reportedly inspired Belgian cartoonist Hergé to create Tintin. 

6) Evelyn Nesbit: this beautiful chorus girl is said to be the inspiration for Anne of Green Gables. 

7) Élisabeth, Countess Greffulhe: she is one of the main inspirations for the character of the duchesse de Guermantes in Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. Countess Greffulhe and her family, who inspired several of the characters in La recherche, played a major role in the genesis of the work and in the discovery of the "magic" name of Guermantes. 

8) Marie Duplessis: the lover Alexandre Dumas the younger, she was the inspiration for Marguerite Gautier, the main character of La dame aux camélias

9) Julie d'Aubigny: better known as Mademoiselle Maupin or La Maupin, Théophile Gautier loosely based the title character, Madeleine de Maupin, of his novel Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835) on her.

10) BrendanBracken, 1st Viscount Bracken: many literary academics believe that it was Bracken who inspired George Orwell to create the character Big Brother in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

11) Sam Brown: his clash with innkeeper Henry van Sickle is, by some accounts, the inspiration for the fictional short story by Dorothy M. Johnson The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Pre-Raphaelite Redheads: Courtesy of Jules Joseph Lefebvre

I've been searching through all the various Pre-Raphaelite images. I got a bit sidetracked with all the Dante Gabriel Rossetti ones. Over a dozen redheads so far. I'll share a few images by the French artist Jules Joseph Lefebvre today though. I'm not sure if he technically counts as a Pre-Raphaelite, but his paintings have the general look. Plus I'm fairly sure that I originally came across the first image I'm about to share in a huge book of Pre-Raphaelite art that I had over a decade or so ago which has since disappeared.

I have no idea why this one would stick in my mind so well after all this time. It depicts Mary Magdalene, not quite in the biblical tradition, and is titled Mary Magdalene in the Cave.

(Mary Magdalene in the Cave)

This second image is titled Young Woman with Morning Glories in Her Hair. The hair in this one is more of a soft, shiny auburn colour.

(Young Woman with Morning
Glories in Her Hair)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Red Hair in Pre-Raphaelite Art

This is an old, but cherished theme. Pre-Raphaelite artwork was the first artwork I ever came across that featured redheads. I'm sure it's the same for most people. However, that was long before I started this blog. So there's a surprising lack of Pre-Raphaelite art on here. Having recently spent a lot of time re-finding such pieces for the Twitter account it occurred to me that perhaps I should post some here. I've even came across a few I wasn't aware of, which I'll share below.

This one is called Amaryllis and is by William Holman Hunt, 1884. Great image.


And this one is titled Bird of God by the artist Joanna Mary Boyce. c. 1861. Another beautiful image.

(Bird of God)

I'll continue the Pre-Raphaelite theme over the coming weeks.