". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Reign Season 2 Episode 5 -- "Blood for Blood"

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, is one of history's Big Losers.  She was from a country that was too poor and too small to be a player, unless by chance someone took out her cousin, Queen Elizabeth.  For all her facility with languages she wasn't all that brilliant an intellect (unlike Elizabeth) and had the poverty of political instinct to match (while Elizabeth's political instinct bit all her rivals and enemies with the snap of a trap.  Worst of all, she was Catholic in a northern European milieu that had tipped Protestant.

Thus this preposterous series purportedly about her, is one of television Big Losers.

Preposterous, but not in a good way.

I suppose I'm going to be spending the rest of my life correcting the Young Who Don't Actually, You Know, Read History (or anything for that matter) who will insist otherwise because "I saw it on Reign" that King Francis did not lurve the protestants in his Kingdom of France. For that matter, neither did his wife, nor his mother. Francis and his mom began a long war of attrition upon the protestants that lasted through several reigns, including that of Louis XIV.

Kings of the day did not believe in religious tolerance -- see: King James Stuart I (a/k/a King James VI before he became king of both Scotland and England); he even persecuted protestants who were not his sort of protestant. Thus we got Plymouth Rock and, finally, Boston.  And the First Thanksgiving for one of our first founding myths.  History, slippery stuff.

Dresses are so much more interesting than that pesky history stuff!

What to wear when reading smut -- hey that's the word the writers wrote for the actors to spoke!

Authentic 16th century French wedding gown!
Who is taking odds on whether Reign's King Francis II lives to see another season?  He only reigned a year, historically speaking.  For that matter who is taking odds on whether Reign makes a season 3?

Though -- it could be mildly entertaining to watch how the writers attempt to deal with Louis, Prince of Condé, whom so far the audience can't figure why he's all over the Court and all up in everybody's biz and being confidential best bf to Queen Mary, and the Huguenot uprising.  They've already played so loose with the history that they're backed into a lot of corners, particularly via the religious situation.  Last season the Big Bad Supernatural Pagan Something-or-Other in the Woods -- and the hidden / lost daughter rather stood in for the protestants -- they even called the pagans heretics, which is ridiculous within the Church's categories.  This season they've brought in the dreaded word, "protestant," though, so far, not Huguenot.

Or if "Huguenot" has been uttered, I missed it, because, you know, it's all about the dresses!

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