My shallow secret pleasure is reading about tragic monarchs.
Monarchs you say?! Those romanticized fiends who let the peasants suffer while they romped at court and treated women like objects?!
That’s the one.
Apart from my huge interest in the Romanovs and all those insane Russian monarchs who tended to die quite violently, I have also been fascinated with English monarchs.
We marvel at the sex scenes and the fact that, save for bestiality and making love in a kiddie pool of macaroni, the TV series suggests every sex act in the spectrum.
We marvel at the rippling abs and idealized bodies of courtesans and Queens, as if the English and French courts of the 14th century were actually model recruitment agencies for Vogue and GQ.
We marvel at how trim their midsections must have been then, what with all the bowing and the squatting whenever someone of higher rank passed you by.
We contemplate a drinking game, where we partake of tequila shots and boar livers every time someone says “Your Grace” and “Your Majesty.”
We take note of the historical nuances and when the plot departs from history. We scour Wikipedia for evidence suggesting that the doggy style position was invented in the 1500s.
More so, we use Fridays to re-enact the TV series’s promotional poster.
Why are these powerful people– who destroyed colonies and ripped apart lands and identities, who spurned millenia of suffering among the lower classes, these people who dared to own the world– so fascinating?
I suppose it’s because we see our societies as replicates of theirs.
They may not wear as fine jewels as the Tudors, they may not be clad in puffed trousers and stiff bodices, they may not sign their letters in ink, parchment and waxed seals and they may not get their rewards in minted gold.
But corrupt politicians are still here.
There may not be as much tedious bowing, feasts and jousts to celebrate the birth of an heir to the throne, or grand ceremonies to bestow titles and land upon your wards.
But “courtly life” where ambitions depend on the good graces of those in power still exist.
We may have birth control, medicine, cars, effective courier systems, ultrasounds to determine whether our children are boys or girls (and hence, future kings or queens), electricity, more comfortable shoes and we have more varied religions in our consciousness.
But our modern monarchs still remain, and so does the natural oppression.
Is it not incredulously fascinating?