Sunday, August 12, 2018

Red-haired firsts and founders


While working at our partner blog Famous Redheads in History I couldn’t help but notice the great number of “firsts” and “founders” among our famous redheads. Here’s a first list, which (since the blog is a work in progress) probably will get longer in the future.

1) Francis Drake:  he carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580, and was the first to complete the voyage as captain while leading the expedition throughout the entire circumnavigation.


2) William Farel:  founder of the Reformed Church in the Principality of Neuchâtel, in the Republic of Geneva, and in Switzerland in the Canton of Bern and the (then occupied by Bern) Canton of Vaud.

3) Galileo Galilei:  he has been called the "father of observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", the "father of the scientific method", and even the "father of science".

4) Tycho Brahe:  he has been described as "the first competent mind in modern astronomy to feel ardently the passion for exact empirical facts."

5) Camille Jenatzy:  He is known for breaking the land speed record three times and being the first man to break the 100 km/h barrier.

6) Dodge Brothers: founders of dodge Brothers Company. Horace invented the first dirt-proof ball bearing.

7) Christopher Colombus:  discoverer of the American continent.

8) Suzanne Valadon:  in 1894, Valadon became the first woman painter admitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.


9) George Washington:  first American president.

10) Nathaniel Lyon: first Union general to be killed in the American Civil War.

11) Elizabeth of York:  first Tudor queen.

12) Ismail I:  founder of the Safavid dynasty of Iran.

13) Geoffrey I Plantagenet:  first Plantagenet king.

14) Cato the Elder:  first historian to write history in Latin.

15) Alexander Mackenzie: he is known for his overland crossing of what is now Canada, that reached the Pacific Ocean in 1793. This was the first east to west crossing of North America north of Mexico and preceded the Lewis and Clark Expedition by 12 years.

16) H. S. Lewis:  first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

17) Tamerlane:  as the founder of the Timurid Empire in Persia and Central Asia he became the first ruler in the Timurid dynasty.

18) Philip I of Castile:  first member of the house of Habsburg to be King of Castile.


19) John Glenn:  first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times.

20) Herbert B. Swope: first Pulitzer Prize for Reporting.

21) Mona von Bismark: first American to be named "The Best Dressed Woman in the World" by a panel of top couturiers, including Coco Chanel, and she was also named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.

22) Patrick Henry:  a Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia.

23) Anna Bronwell Jameson:  first English art historian.


24) Brigham Young:  he founded Salt Lake City and served as the first governor of the Utah Territory.

25) Gerda Taro:  she is regarded as the first woman photojournalist to have died while covering the frontline in a war.

26) William Sherman:  British military historian B. H. Liddell Hart declared that Sherman was "the first modern general".

27)  Henry IV of France: first French monarch of the House of Bourbon, a branch of the Capetian dynasty.

28) Venus Ramey Murphy:  first Miss America to be photographed in colour.


29) Anita Snook: pioneer aviator who achieved a long list of firsts. She was the first woman aviator in Iowa, first woman student accepted at the Curtiss Flying School in Virginia, first woman aviator to run her own aviation business and first woman to run a commercial airfield.

30) Amelia Earhart:  first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

31) Fulk I of Anjou:  first count of Anjou.

32) Abd-ar-Rahman I:  founder of a Muslim dynasty that ruled the greater part of Iberia for nearly three centuries (including the succeeding Caliphate of Córdoba).

33) Gustav Vasa: he has been labelled the founder of modern Sweden, and the "father of the nation". He founded one of the now oldest orchestras of the world, the Kungliga Hovkapellet (Royal Court Orchestra).


34) Andrew Jackson:  founder of the Democratic Party.

35) L. R. Hubbard: founder of Scientology.

36) Isabella Stewart Gardner: founder of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

37) Florence Nighingale: founder of modern nursing.

38) Vittorio Alfieri: he is considered the founder of Italian tragedy.


39) Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quixote is considered the first modern novel, a classic of Western literature, and among the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes ("the language of Cervantes").

40) Charlemagne: he was the first recognised emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire.

41) H. P. Blavatsky: co-founder of the Theosophical Society.

42) Edward VI of England: first monarch to be raised as a Protestant.

43) Richard Henry Lee: American founding father.

44) Bernardo O’Higgins: he is considered one of Chile's founding fathers, as he was the first holder of this title to head a fully independent Chilean state.

45) Alexander Hamilton:  American founding father.

46) Giuseppe Garibaldi:  Italian founding father.



47) Infanta Beatrice of Portugal: she was the one who introduced the name Emanuele into the House of Savoy through his son Emmanuel Philibert.

48) William Holman Hunt: co-founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

49) Henry VIII of England: his disagreement with the Pope about the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon led him to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Henry is also known as "the father of the Royal Navy"; he invested heavily on the navy, increasing its size greatly from a few to more than 50 ships.

50) Henry IV of England: Henry's mother was Blanche, heiress to the considerable Lancaster estates, and thus he became the first King of England from the Lancaster branch of the Plantagenets and the first King of England since the Norman Conquest whose mother tongue was English rather than French.

51) James VI and I of England and Scotland: first Stuart to become king of England.

52) Archduchess Magdalena of Austria:  founder and first abbess of the convent in Hall in Tirol.


53) Eglantyne Jebb: founder of Save the Children.

54) Ronald A. Fisher: he is described as the founder of modern statistical science.

55) Jesse White Mario: first woman journalist in England.

56) David M. Ogilvy:  founder of Ogilvy & Mather and known as the father of advertising.

57) Jacopo Peri: he is considered the inventor of opera.

58) Eleonora Gonzaga the Younger: she founded a literay academy and established two female orders: the Order of Virtuosity (1662) and the Order of the Starrry Cross (1668).

59) Cyrus West Field: along with other entrepreneurs, he created the Atlantic Telegraph Company and laid the first telegraph cable across the Atlantic Ocean in 1858.

60) Horace Wells: American dentist who pioneered the use of anesthesia in dentistry, specifically nitrous oxide.




61) Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr: first ruler of the Emirate of Granada, the last independent Muslim state on the Iberian Peninsula, and the founder of its ruling Nasrid dynasty.

62) Sir Robert Peel: he is regarded as the father of modern British policing and as one of the founders of the modern Conservative Party.

63) Edmund Burke: in the twentieth century he became widely regarded as the philosophical founder of modern conservatism.

64) Louisa Adams: she is the first First Lady to be born outside the United States, a distinction that would not be replicated until 192 years later by Melania Trump.

65) James I the Conqueror, King of Aragon: his reign has been the longest of any Iberian monarch.

66) Finnan McDonald: he is considered by many to be the "Father" of the Idaho Territories, as he was the first white man to build a dwelling there.

67) George Moorehe is as often regarded as the first great modern Irish novelist.


68) Praskovia Kovalyova: Russian serf actress. Her most important role was Eliane in Grétry's opera Les Mariages samnites. Assuming the part for the first time in 1785, Praskovia sang Eliane for 12 years — a first in the history of serf theatre.

69) Catherine II of Russia: Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796, the country's longest-ruling female leader.

70) Elisabeth of Bavaria: she was the longest serving Empress of Austria at 44 years.

71) Otto von Bismarck: he was the first Chancellor of the German Empire between 1871 and 1890. He also created the first welfare state in the modern world.

72) Lillie Langtry: she is regarded as the first pin-up.

73) Nellie Bly: American journalist who was widely known for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days and an exposé in which she worked undercover to report on a mental institution from within. She was a pioneer in her field, and launched a new kind of investigative journalism.


74) Billy Wilder: with The Apartment, Wilder became the first person to win Academy Awards as producer, director, and screenwriter for the same film.

75) Katharine Hepburn: she received four Academy Awards—a record for any performer—for Best Actress.

76) Janet Gaynor: she won the first Academy Award for Best Actress in 1929. At 22, she was also the youngest to receive the award until 1986, when deaf actress Marlee Matlin, 21, won for her role in Children of a Lesser God.

77) James Mayer de Rothschild: founder of the French branch of the Rothschild bank.

78) Myrna Loy: in 1991 Myrna Loy became the first actress (the second being Maureen O’Hara) to receive an Honorary Oscar without having previously been nominated for an Oscar in a competitive category.

79) F. W. Murnau: his film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927, starring George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, and Margaret Livingston) won the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production in 1929, during the first Academy Awards ceremony. The film is considered one of the greatest of all time.

80) Frank Borzage: his film 7th Heaven (1927, starring Janet Gaynor) won the first Academy Award for Best Director.


81) Greer Garson: she is the only actress to have received five consecutive Academy Award nominations for acting, all in Best Actress category (1940 - 1945), winning the award for Mrs. Miniver (1942).

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Five Famous Redheads From History

Emanuela recently found yet another famous redhead from history. This time the 19th century French author Alexandre Dumas. Famed for such works as The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. I really love the novel The Three Musketeers, but have yet to read The Count of Monte Cristo, so I look forward to doing that. He was said to have "bushy red hair".

(Alexandre Dumas by the
French illustrator Maurice Leloir)

Anyhow, thanks to the fact that we've finally got ourselves up to date on our other blog ( https://redheadsinhistory.blogspot.com/ ) I've been able to go through our list of historic redheads to see if I've failed to mention any especially important ones. A few pretty big ones stood out.

So, if we take Dumas as our first famous redhead in this article then the second we must mention is Amelia Earhart.

Earhart was the famed aviation pioneer who disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 whilst attempting to circumnavigate the globe. A memo written by her school librarian described her as "an attractive, friendly, red-haired teenager - not at all unlike her friends". The following lovely image also leaves little doubt as to her hair colour.

(Amelia Earhart)

Thirdly we have the German statesman and chancellor Otto von Bismarck. He was said to be "six-foot tall" with "flaming red hair".

(Bismarck as Minister President of Prussia.)

Our fourth famous redhead is the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Most famous for his play Under Milk Wood and the poem Do not go gentle into that good night.

(Dylan Thomas)

And finally our fifth redhead is quite a strange one. It's the science fiction writer and founder of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard. He had sandy red hair as can be seen from the following image;

(L. Ron Hubbard)

I was quite surprised to find that Hubbard was a redhead. It seems like something that would be more well known. It reminds me a little of when we found out that Madame Blavatsky was red-haired. She was another founder of a huge alternative movement, in that case the Theosophical Society. Quite a weird, and perhaps worrying trend! O_o

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Red Hair in the Orientalism Genre

A little bit of red hair in art today. A few quite beautiful images which I came across whilst looking through artwork in the Orientalism style. So many of the paintings I flicked through in this genre were really vivid, fascinating and beautiful, but I'll just share the few which feature redheads.

Both the following paintings feature half naked women in harems. A seemingly common theme in the Orientalism genre. Not that I'm complaining about this. The first is titled Pool in a Harem and is by the French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme. The second is titled Murder in the Seraglio and is by another French artist, this time the painter Fernand Cormon.

(Pool in a Harem - Jean-Léon Gérôme)

(Murder in the Seraglio - Fernand Cormon)

A seraglio is a living quarter that was used by wives and concubines in households in the Ottoman Empire. In modern Italian the word is spelt serraglio, and according to Wikipedia;
It may refer to a wall or structure for containment, for example of caged wild animals
Which would tend to suggest that some of these paintings portray a romanticised image of what was in reality no doubt a much more brutal world of sexual slavery. Still the artwork is very beautiful.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Red Hair: Updates July 2018

First up, following on from the last post we have another red-haired Jesus. It's by the Italian artist Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267 - 1337) and is from the Santa Maria Novella church in Florence. The red hair is quite a bold red, at least in these images anyway.


(Tempera on wood - Giotto)

Secondly, and quite importantly, we have another blog now up online. This one, titled Famous Redheads in History, is a blog that's attempting to collect and catalogue all the redheads that we've thus far came across in our investigations. Hopefully it'll act as a kind of redhead database which we can use to look at history in a slightly more analytical way. It'll also be useful for cataloguing the references we have (or in some cases don't have xD) that lead us to have confidence that these figures were indeed red-haired.

(Famous Redheads in History screen-grab)


I'll also add a link to the site in the side bar.

Each post on the blog also comes with "tags" for the particular person in question. So it'll be easy to search for, let's say royal redheads, as it'll just be a case of clicking on the "royalty" tag in the sidebar.

Finally, we have another quite interesting redhead to add to the list ...Lewis Terman. The name will probably be unfamiliar to most readers, however Terman was the man who was responsible for the large scale introduction of IQ testing. So we have a redhead to thank for this often controversial social and educational tool.

We've wondered before where redheads rank on the IQ scale, but so far haven't found a sufficient answer. So it's interesting to note that a redhead was involved in the promotion of such testing.

(Lewis Madison Terman)
"Born in 1877, little red-haired Lewis preferred intellectual games and reading over sports or outdoor play.."

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Red-Haired Art - Yet More Christos

Some more red-haired images of Jesus to add to the collection. I don't think I've shared these ones before (it's getting a little hard to keep track). Either way, I guess it's always better to have too many than too few.

The following two paintings are said to be the work of a Sienese painter named Barna da (or Berna di) Siena. They date from the 14th century.

(The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine)

(Christ Bearing the Cross, with a Dominican Friar)

This next one doesn't so much show a red-haired Christ. It's more of a haloed, illuminated Christ. However, I share it as it illustrates quite neatly the way the halo of light associated with saints and other religious figures seems to lift hair towards a blond or fiery shade. Perhaps explaining the overlaps between red hair and halos I've mentioned on this blog before.

The blood orange was considered to be a symbol of Christ. The word orange is cognate with words like or (French), oro (Spanish) and aurum (Latin) meaning gold. Which in turn are cognate with words like aura.

The painting is titled Going Down to Gethsemane and is by the German-American artist Johannes Adam Simon Oertel. It dates from 1898.

(Going Down to Gethsemane - Johannes Adam Simon Oertel)

Finally, this one isn't Jesus, but it does look very Jesus-like. It shows Olaf II, King of Norway, later St. Olaf. It's from a stained glass window in Ålesund Church, Norway.

(St. Olaf - Ålesund Church)

(St. Olaf, detail)

Red-Haired Artwork - Jewesses, Oranges and Military Heroes

Some quite interesting artwork I've came across over the last few weeks. First up, this is a painting by the Polish artist Aleksander Gierymski and is titled Jewess with Oranges. The hair is more of a soft auburn colour I guess. Though the lady in the painting looks of an age that would suggest such a strong colour is the product of dye rather than nature. The warm colours of both the woman and her oranges are offset quite nicely by the blue-grey background.

(Jewess with Oranges - Aleksander Gierymski)

Next up, this one shows David with the Head of Goliath by the Italian artist Guido Cagnacci. When I saw the thumbnail of this in my folder I assumed it was a military figure because of the costume. It was only when I clicked to enlarge it that I was reminded that it was an image of the biblical David. Again in this one the hair is more of an auburn-red. It's a very beautiful image (ignoring the severed head of course).

(David with the Head of Goliath - Guido Cagnacci)

(David with the Head of Goliath, detail)

Finally this image shows the British military hero General James Wolfe. It shows his death at the Battle of Quebec and is by the artist Benjamin West. Wolfe was also actually red-haired in real life too. This is another quite rich and vivid image. His soft, light red hair can be more clearly made out in the close up.

(The Death of General Wolfe - Benjamin West)

(The Death of General Wolfe, detail)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Legend of the Fiery-Haired Girl - Maiden Tower, Baku

I came across the following tale when I was researching the history of "maidens locked in towers" for an article I intend to write for my other blog.

(That article can be found here
 - - Maid Maleen - The "Maiden in the Tower" Meme - - )

The story relates to a tower called Maiden Tower in Baku, Azerbaijan. In fact, I wasn't too aware of Baku before writing this article, but having looked at its Wikipedia page it looks very beautiful with lots of interesting architecture. The story itself also has its roots in something I'm only vaguely familiar with, namely the ancient Zoroastrian religion and its fire-laden mythology.

The story in question is titled The Legend of the Fiery-Haired Girl and concerns the tale of a fire-haired warrior-maiden who saves the inhabitants of ancient Baku from slavery and destruction.

The story below is a paraphrased version of the one that can be found on the Wikipedia page;
There was an ancient town-fortress in Baku, which had a Fire Temple-Tower. In very ancient times, an enemy encircled the fortress. The enemy ordered Baku's people to surrender but they refused, so they launched a siege to demolish the fortress and enslave all the inhabitants.
The Supreme Magi, together with other priests, prayed to the Holy Fire in the Tower, asking the God of Ahura Mazda to help. On the next day, the people saw that a large piece of the Holy Fire fell down from the top of the Tower. A beautiful girl came out from the fire. She had long fire-coloured hair.
She said: "Don't worry. I'll help and protect you. Give me a sword and a helmet. The enemy should not see my girl's hair, open a fortress gate". Meanwhile, the enemy's commander was waiting outside for one-to-one combat. If the fiery-haired girl won the fight, then the enemy army would back away. But if the enemy won, they would capture the fortress.
Fortunately the fiery-haired girl got the upper hand in the battle and put her knife to the commander's throat. He then screamed: "You win! Who are you? Take your helmet off. I want to see your face!" He took off the helmet and saw that she was a beautiful girl with long fire-coloured hair.
He exclaimed: "Oh, you are a girl! You are brave and beautiful girl! If girls of Baku are so brave, I'll never capture your fortress! Don't kill me, beauty!" They then fell in love with each other, she spared his life and they got married. The people then named the tower Maiden Tower as a consequence.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maiden_Tower_(Baku)