background-647559_960_720

The Return of the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast

Being three decades old, I know it’s hard when people give advice freely—especially about marriage. There was a recent meeting/discussion about the topic. I liked what was said, but it made me think of two past posts I wrote. I hope those in the discussion will read this as well as those who contacted me right after I posted those articles! New readers of course are always welcomed.

Last year, I compared myself to the (non-Disney) Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beauty. In the Little Mermaid post I told how I related to the little sea princess mainly because past hopes and heartbreaks. I would also like to add the reason I have a problem with the story is she died after that heartbreak. That’s an easy way out. It’s harder but to live. That’s where my comparisons with her stop.

As for Beauty and for the Beast, it was about how I fell in love with myself by coming to the realization I have surprising accomplishments. (They’re surprising to me anyway.) And how it’s important to live.

The thing is, I still am connected with all these fairy tale characters.

Like the Little Mermaid, I have a fascination with discoveries and sometimes wonder too much. There are times I wish I could be more like her—take risks. Yes, caution is necessary but I think there are situations when it’s appropriate to step into the unknown.

As for Beauty and the Beast, I still see the beauty and ugly in me. I’ll never forget the night when I came to the unexpected conclusion that I loved myself. I’m telling you, it’s a wonderful experience falling in love—even if it is with yourself.

I guess I have no real advice about finding the one—which can be refreshing. Hopefully, though, my story will help others.

banner-1559400_960_720

The Extraordinary Mark Twain According to Susy

image

I got this from a school book fair. $5 was the final and fair price.

The Extraordinary Mark Twain According to Susy, by Barabar Kerley and illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham, had a creative narrative and brilliant illustrations with little inserts of what Susy, the real life daughter of Mark Twain had to say about him.

image

Funnily enough, a couple years ago, my dad said we should write short biographies of each other! Susy ended up writing over 130 pages about her dad!

In regards to Susy herself, I think it’s very appropriate and entertaining to write your own family member’s biography—especially in their life time so they can get more of a say. Susy wrote when she was thirteen, “It troubles me to have so few people know Papa, I mean really know him.” She made a good case for her papa and added unknown dimensions of him. From her portrait of him, I still saw a narcissistic man, but I felt more sympathy with how insecure and just how loving he was.

While I like what all the creators of the book did, I found my mind wandering, and it was hard to concentrate. It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I recommend that classrooms should get their own copy.

question-mark-958881_1280

20 Questions with Sarah

Thank you to all my readers who continue to show interest in Her Storyline. I think it’s time that I answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

  1. What made you want to start up this website?
    Women are often misrepresented in history, but something that really motivated me occurred on one Tuesday night. I came back from a class, and my mom was watching a movie about an extraordinary heroine that took place during World War II. I wondered why I never heard of her. I thought of more stories that get missed in history, and I wanted to help bring them to the surface.
  1. How do you decide who you’re going to write about?
    I decide when knowing that a certain person won’t get out of mind until I write about her.  That’s when I know. There are so many people I want to write about, but there’s so little time!
  1. Are you the only person who works on this site?
    I do a lot of it, but I have my own inspirational support crew. They edit, write, give honest feedback, and are there to make suggestions. A special shout out to Jenny, Brenda, Lynn, Kyle, and Dad.
  1. So you do take suggestions?
    I do, but I can’t take them all unfortunately. However, I do like hearing them. They’re very uplifting.
  1. Where do you find your subjects?
    All over! Like I said, I take suggestions. Lots of times I feel like I’m led to them. I like history in general. Random books, shows, and footnotes make me curious. I’ve made the most discoveries, however, while doing research about someone else.
  1. Who’s been your favorite?
    I can’t say. That’s like picking a favorite child! It sounds cliché, but it’s true.
  1. Who do you like least?
    The majority of the time I love whom I’m writing about or I wouldn’t be writing about that person! However, there are people within their stories that I would like to have a little chat!
  1. Like whom?
    Hmm…the top two are King David and Robespierre. I don’t think they would like to talk to me though!
  1. Out of the women, who would you like to interview most?
    Whoever I’m writing about! If I had to pick one, though, I’d choose Anne Neville, wife of King Richard III. Hopefully, she would tell the truth about herself, her husband, and what really happened to those poor princes in the tower.
  1. Why don’t you post more often?
    It can take a really long time for me to research and write the posts. Sometimes I get too nervous. And I admit that sometimes I don’t make time.

11. Who’s surprised you the most?
        Definitely Marie-Antoinette and the Kennedy clan.

  1. Who would you like to be friends with most?
    I would have to say Michal. It sounds weird, but in a way, I feel like I’m already friends with her. I’ve spent the most time with her. If I met her in real life, I hope she’d let me in.
  1. What’s the biggest lesson you learned since starting this website?
    That extraordinary people exist now and all around us. Everyone really does have a story and contributes so much to society—even if they don’t think they do. As great as it is to learn about people in the past, it’s also good to learn about the people in the present.
  1. What’s the most frustrating thing about keeping up this website?
    Getting sad. Sometimes I can hardly bear the sorrow that these women went though. And to be totally honest, it’s also difficult for me to keep going when those who are near and dear to my heart roll their eyes at my efforts. Thankfully, I’m blessed with more supporters.
  1. What does “remember the ladies” mean?
    It’s what Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John, when he met with the Continental Congress in 1776. She wanted women to have a voice—almost 150 years before American women could actually vote!
  1. Will you write about Mormon pioneer women?
    I hope so! They are very extraordinary!
  1. What’s your favorite time period?
    I enjoy the intrigue surrounding the Wars of the Roses. I also love the Tudor era. Think about it—even if you don’t give a hoot about what was going on at the royal court, there’s something for everyone like religious reformers and martyrs, exciting world discoveries, and odd fashion.
  1. Who would you be most nervous to meet?
    King David because I haven’t been very complimentary toward him. I would still like to meet him, but he’d literally want to kill me! Out of the women, Charlotte Corday. Even though I believe she did the right thing, I wouldn’t want to upset her!
  1. Are you married?
    No.
  1. I didn’t like what you wrote. Can you change it?
    I take these requests seriously. Maybe. Maybe not. I try to be classy as well as honest.

 

image

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

Last Friday, Rosemary finally came! Beforehand, I had noticed her on Amazon’s best sellers’ list, researched her online, placed a hold, and researched her a little more. I couldn’t wait to read about JFK’s remarkable sister. Finally I was alerted Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson had arrived.

It was a quick read.  As soon as I started reading Rosemary, I felt like I was being introduced to a new friend. Whenever I had to do something else, I closed the book, looked at the cover with Rosemary’s  portrait, and promised I’d be back.

image

The book starts out with Larson dedicating the book to those with disabilities and their families. Larson narrates Rosemary’s story the way she sees it. It’s honest, heartbreaking, and hopeful.

I watched videos of the author on her book tour, and Larson is more frank with her opinions. However, in the book she gives the reader more lead way to decide if Rose and Joseph Kennedy Sr. did the right things for their daughter. Their concern for perfection and family seemed to be a constant conflict.  The Kennedy family cares a lot about image, and they worked hard to include Rosemary while strategically positioning her in public or hiding her so no one would notice their gorgeous daughter’s learning disabilities and mood swings. At the same, Rosemary also wanted to please her parents—from adjusting to multiple schools to the fateful lobotomy.

I enjoyed reading about the love between Rosemary and her siblings—especially Eunice who was especially talented when it came to calming down Rosemary. Whenever Eunice appears, you feel safe.

I’ve always had reservations about the Kennedy family—and still do—but have a new respect and admiration for them. Learning about how Eunice Shriver  founded the Special Olympicsis of course impressive. But I was happy to learn how much they personally cared and didn’t (and still don’t) do this charity work at a distance. The last part of Rosemary’s life, the Shriver family put a lot of effort into strengthening bonds with Rosemary. They made sure that Rosemary made frequent visits to their home. The visits could be challenging but also uplifting. The visits seemed to have inspired the Shriver children to be better people, and they would continue to be involved with the work their mother started.

I texted my mom right after I finished reading Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter. I highly recommended the book to her and recommend it to you. Rosemary is so compelling—so get to know her! Place a hold at the library.  Read this book. It sounds cliché, but you won’t regret it.

Recommended Videos:
Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter 

Timothy Shriver Remembers His Aunt Rosemary Kennedy | Super Soul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network

Eunice Kennedy Shriver discusses her life and legacy

Recommended Sites:
https://bestbuddies.org/

http://www.specialolympics.org/

The_mighty_fallen_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1184821

Book of Mormon: Women of Sherrizah

I believe the Bible is true. I believe the Book of Mormon is true. I shudder at scriptural fiction about specific people that existed though. I get upset because the doctrine tends to get skewed  and people get misrepresented.

That being said, I really do find scriptural fiction exciting–as long as the main character isn’t someone who’s named in the scriptures. That’s why I am begging someone to write a novel about the women of Sherrizah from the Book of Mormon.

It would be a daunting task. The author would have be brave and spiritually in tune.

These women are the women in Moroni Chapter 9–the most gruesome chapter in the entire Book of Mormon. Both the Lamanites and Nephites do the most horrific acts. Mormon recounted the incidences in the letter to his son, Moroni.

First he wrote what the Lamanites did to the people of Sherrizah: 

And now I write somewhat concerning the sufferings of this people. For according to the knowledge which I have received from Amoron, behold, the Lamanites have many prisoners, which they took from the tower of Sherrizah; and there were men, women, and children. And the husbands and fathers of those women and children they have slain; and they feed the women upon the flesh of their husbands, and the children upon the flesh of their fathers; and no water, save a little, do they give unto them. (vs. 7-8)

Sadly, it didn’t stop there. The Nephites showed horrid brutality as well:

And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not exceed that of our people in Moriantum. For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue—And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery. (vs. 9-10)

If someone did write a novel about Moroni 9, I pray they wouldn’t get too graphic. There has to be a way to get across what happened though. Perhaps it can be told from the survivors’ point of view.

Lonelysoul

Yes. I didn’t notice the survivors till recently.

And again, my son, there are many widows and their daughters who remain in Sherrizah; and that part of the provisions which the Lamanites did not carry away, behold, the army of Zenephi has carried away, and left them to wander whithersoever they can for food; and many old women do faint by the way and die. (vs. 16)

So the surviving women were left without provisions. The old women (many–never said all) seemed to have died quicker than the younger ones. They must have been exhausted. But all these survivors of the towers must have been tough. The old women might have been very heroic in aiding the younger ones.

As for the younger women, how did they live the rest of their lives? Were they left alone?

Like totally alone?

Remember that at the beginning of the letter, Mormon tells his son he doesn’t know the full story  For according to the knowledge which I have received from Amoron (vs.7)  And where did Amoron receive it? It seems like the worse things were, the quicker people heard about them. It is puzzling, however, that they did know some women eventually “escaped.” That forced cannibals had little to drink. That old women died by the wayside. Interesting details. Makes me wonder if Mormon and Amoron met some of the women. What would their conversations have been like? It’s heartbreaking that Mormon’s army couldn’t protect them or themselves.

And the army which is with me is weak; and the armies of the Lamanites are betwixt Sherrizah and me; and as many as have fled to the army of Aaron have fallen victims to their awful brutality. (vs. 17)

The women who survived were too few to be numbered. What could these women have lived for?

I think recognition of all the women in Moroni 9 is long overdue. We have to remember them somehow.

I really like the article that http://www.womeninthescriptures.com/ wrote about these women. Please read it. I like how the author includes words of hope that Mormon offered his son at the end of Moroni 9. I wish to quote verse 25.

My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever. (vs 25)

I hope the author who writes a novel based on these events includes the theme of hope.

But one day, perhaps in heaven, we’ll know the exact truth of what happened to the survivors of Sherrizah.

 Images:

The Mighty Fallen tree photo by Stanley Howe

Traditional Roman Catholic depiction of the Anima Sola (“lonely soul”) praying in the fires of Purgatory. From an old holy card.

Petrus and Catherine Gonsalvus

Did Catherine the Beauty Know Petrus the Beast Before They Got Married?

The “characters” from the supposedly real story of Beauty and the Beast (Catherine and Petrus Gonsalvus) are mysterious.

Here’s a big mystery: Did Catherine actually know she was going to marry Petrus Gonsalvus?

It’s portrayed in the Smithsonian documentary’s “The Real Story of Beauty of Beauty and the Beast,” that she had no idea. I believe, however, that she had an inkling. I’m open to the possibility that perhaps they hadn’t talked to each other, but the chances are high that she knew of the Queen and King’s “experiment” to raise the wolf man as a gentleman. Catherine’s father had been a servant in the royal household and so had access to court gossip.

Do you think my theory of Catherine knowing about her husband-to-be is more probable than Catherine being the clueless bride?

Image taken from Joris Hoefnagel’s Animalia Rationalia et Insecta, Plate I. Public Domain.

 Text Copyright (c) by herstoryline.com and Sarah Patten

1024px-Crown_of_Empress_Marie_Louise_299_9964

The Eerie Comparison Between Queen Catherine and Princess Diana

Both married a Charles. Both were used as a poster child to boost the Royal Family’s image. And of course, both had to be a patron of the arts because that’s what a typical royal woman does.

But there’s something much deeper about their similarities. Last November, I drafted a biography of Catherine of Braganza. As I was scratching down obvious comparisons between  Catherine and Diana (a step-descendant of Catherine’s), an eerie feeling came over me.

I felt like saying, “You two remind me of each other.”

tudio of Jacob Huysmans,painting,(circa 1670)

8499071865_a0915616b7_o

I thought about why I would say that to them. Here are some of those thoughts.

I never interviewed them. The closest I ever got was reading what others had to say about them–and literal pictures. How they were used by the public to make money, and in turn, Catherine and Diana manipulated the media. They were able to display their disadvantages which caused people to pity them. They were pretty good at creating propaganda

In private, they could be something else. The Portuguese Infanta and Charles II’s direct descendant could get moody, bossy, and say things that I cannot write in this blog. They gave their servants and husbands headaches.  Diana and Catherine searched for good causes. They were fun. Both disguised themselves in public for laughs. After their marriages ended (one through death and one through divorce), they managed to gain further wealth.

If Catherine and Charles II had a daughter, she might have been a lot like Diana. Heck, their daughter could have also even resembled Diana physically.  Diana was tall like Charles. Catherine’s father had been a fair blonde–could Catherine have passed down that coloring to her kids if she had them?

If Catherine and Diana had been contemporaries, I think they would have liked each other. It’s difficult to say, however,  if they would have continued to be friends. Both women had rocky relationships with good friends.

Historians may challenge me on these thoughts. To me, their similarities are overwhelming. I acknowledge, though, that there are significant differences.

One big thing I’ve been asking is: why did one survive and why one didn’t? I’ve began research and am starting to answer that question…

 

Images:
Catherine of Braganza as St. Catherine by Jacob Huysman
Time magazine’s issue of Diana and Charles’ Divorce

The Big Three

I’ve mentioned comparisons of the following three a few times.

Michal, Catherine of Braganza, and Diana Spencer.

These three get compared to each other the most…well, usually they’re just compared in twos–Michal and Catherine; Diana and Catherine; Michal and Diana. Let me tell  you–there are many obvious comparisons, but in all my research, there are hundreds of princesses who would understand them very well.

That being said, I would like to make a comparison of my own among the big three. My next post: Catherine and Diana similarities.

Her Storyline’s Top 30

In celebration of my recent 30th birthday, I wrote about Her Storyline’s top women. Here are just some words and short description of the top thirty off the top of my head. (Excuse the spacing.)

  1. Catherine of Braganza
    Sneaky. Will get justice. She’s so good, she’s bad.
  2. Charlotte Corday
    Oh, Charlotte, Charlotte. What to say? She was self-motivated and determined for sure!
  3. Jael

Oh Jael. Similar to Charlotte.

  1. Anne Neville

Ambitious. Innocent or guilty?

  1. Michal

Intelligent. Impressive. Miss America type intimidating.

  1. Margaret Jacobs

Setting yourself free. Honesty is the best policy.

  1. Marie-Therese

Tough. Survivor who’s generous and loyal. Daddy’s girl.

  1. Madam Elisabeth
    A bit on the wild side. Opinionated and selfless.
  2. Marie-Antoinette

Fun. Nice. Very strict. Like the two Bourbon women mentioned above, virtuous. Lived religion.

  1. Henrietta Barrett Cook
    If Jane Austen had a happy ending. Fighter. Love is a battle field.
  2. Vashti

Beautiful. Rockstar. Heroic. I admire when people stand up for what they believe in. Dignified.

  1. Ann Rule
    She’s saved my life. A couple times.
  2. Philippa Langley

Go for it! They’ll make a movie about it all fifty years from now. Rivals Anne Neville when it comes to guys.

  1. Rachel, the Poetess

Patriot. More powerful than realized. In tune with surroundings and sees beyond.

  1. Catherine of Aragon
    Too good for Henry.
  2. Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Influential. Though she had a bumpy life, she and the characters in her story make me smile.

  1. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist.
    Hardcore. I mean, come on—having a baby at her age? Please make a movie how her husband sacrificed himself for her and John—and then mother and son had to flee from danger!
  2. Mary, Mother of Jesus.
    So good and responsible and trusted. How did she raise the Son of God? And then raised other children? Awestruck. Her husband was a good man—one of the best. Lucky.
  3. Esther

Peaceful but still a fighter. If only her enemies knew the reputation of a Benjaminite and that she was one. Beware the Benjaminite. Don’t mess with people or causes they care about.

  1. Maria Ann Mozart
    Can we please include she was an influence on her brother? Seriously.
  2. Queen Elizabeth II
    She’s nearing 90, has reigned for over 53 years, and sent an email in the ’70s for crying out loud! Extraordinary! Even for us in the present, she beat the odds. The past would drop their jaws too. Take that, David!
  3. Merab
    So Michal had a sister…
  4. Pilate’s wife
    What’s her name?
  5. Martha of Bethany
    It’s cool to be a Martha. Jesus for sure is the greatest champion of women.
  6. Mary of Bethany
    More on her identity please? But I love Martha and Mary.
  7. Grandma Patten

Honored to have known her. Popular and influential. Hope I can do her proud.

  1. Phyllis Wheatley
    After school. Poetry opens up the heart and brain.
  2. Cassandra Austen

Shares he sister’s sense of humor.

  1. Anne Boleyn

Can I be honest here? I don’t really…hold her in high esteem.

  1. Little Mermaid

Okay—fictional character but still popular and relatable. People need to consider her true story.

Amazing What People Respond–And Don’t–To

Oh, Michal.

Writing about someone for over five years can be exhausting and painful. You search for facts but also need to know others’ perspectives. It opens my eyes when people have different views which makes me consider my material. Over five years, I’ve attempted to contact different kinds of people with a variety of opinions.

The people who have a generally positive view of Michal have thoughtful insights—sometimes I agree and sometimes I don’t, but I like hearing from them just the same.

Then there are those who take a negative approach to define her character…

Let me tell you about these people. They might include her in an anthology. Or a book on marriage. Sometimes to make a better story, they smear her name. I try to reach out regardless to know how they came to certain conclusions. Perhaps they don’t actually consider her overall story. Correction: they don’t at all. Maybe that’s why I haven’t heard from these people. Not one single response from them in my five years of research and writing about the Israelite princess.

If one Anti-Michal contacts me, I will put blue streaks in my hair this summer. Maybe red. I’ll leave it up to my readers. I will definitely post it.

Now I know Michal is not alive but I am still very protective of her and want to take the hair dye an extra step further. If an Anti-Michal says “I’m sorry,” I’ll also take a reader to a steak dinner.

Remember The Ladies