Have you ever been asked stupid questions like "if you could have dinner with any historical figure dead or alive who would it be and why"? As someone who basically breathes a combination of air and history (mostly history because you know, oxygen is way overrated), I've been asked this and similar questions on several occasions. And I hate it. What a completely stupid question that sets such narrow parameters! How can you choose just one!? I have a list of about a million historical figures that I would give my remaining breast to actually meet, you know, if you could actually have dinner with dead people.
I mean, why choose just one. Different figures would be able to teach you different things! High on my list would be Marie Antoinette, and I would finally get to the bottom of whether she actually said "Let them eat cake" (I personally find it hard to believe that she was such a vapid narcissist and actually believed that the starving, unwashed masses could a) find cake, and b )afford cake). I would want to talk to Henry VIII, mostly because he is my 2nd favourite ginger, and also because he was the perfect Renaissance prince in my humble opinion, and also because Tudor England is my historical happy place. I would want to talk to Napoleon, because he is my favourite miniature megalomaniac, and Maria Theresa to get all the juicy gossip on her hate and scorn filled feud with Frederick of Prussia, who would also be there, and who would also probably be a complete douche canoe. I would want to talk to Madame du Pompadour, and William of Orange, and Richard I and Eleanor of Aquitaine (I would also invite Sigmund Freud to be party to that conversation, mostly because I think it would be hilarious considering the huge Oedipal issues between Richard and his mum). If given the chance, I would have a chat with William Shakespeare and tell him that Juliet is probably the most annoying character ever written, with the exception of that twit Bella from those Twilight books. I'd talk to Marie Curie, and say thanks for all that work she did on radium and that it totally sucks that she died from it (and probably also started glowing, and not in the good way, because of it). Louis XIV would also have to be, because he was bad ass, and because he made red soled heels hot way before Christian Louboutin. Wallace Simpson and Edward would join us, because let's face, they'd at least be highly entertaining and super scandalous. Throw in a couple crazy dead philosophers like Nietzsche, Simone de Beauvoir and with a little Michel Foucault and Jeremy Bentham for good measure, and you've got yourself a party.
All these people and more would have to be there. As you can probably tell, it's next to impossible to choose just one, and obviously, you'd have to be a little unhinged to want to actually sit down with any of these people. But we all know that I am far from normal. Think of all the awesome corrections and contributions to the study of history you could make! And let's face it, that would be one kick ass party. Granted, you would have to make sure people don't shank each other between courses.
I know, I'm weird. Deal with it.