Welcome to this week’s blog hop. Today’s topic is:
What historical/public figure would you most like to learn more about? Would you ever write about them?
The person I’d really like to learn more about is the very private Joan Armatrading, who never gives interviews. She says “It’s all about the music, and nobody needs to know anything about me“. However, she’s wrong, and I’m sure there are many others out there apart from me who also love her music and would like to know more about her. So… if you ever read this, Joan, I’ll be happy to write a book about you but you need to grant me an interview first!
While I’m waiting for Joan to get in touch, next on my list would be learn more about Oscar Wilde, the tragic Irish poet and playwright. I have visited his childhood home in Merrion Square, Dublin, and have read a few of his poems and plays. I also made a point of seeking out his wax likeness at Madame Tussauds when we went there a few years ago; he was quite tall at 6ft 3 in. I know his basic life story; he was born into a wealthy family and had the good fortune to attend the best schools. He married and had 2 sons, but also had a secret life as a gay man when homosexuality was illegal. Due to ‘gross indecency’ he eventually went to prison for 2 years hard labour, which almost broke him and spawned the poem ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol.” Would I ever write about him? Possibly, if I were to learn something new about him that had never been written about before.
I have always admired his quick wit. Some of his quotes have stayed with me for years, and here are a few of them:
“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow.”
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”
“When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.”
“The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.”
“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”
“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
“I can resist anything except temptation.”
“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
“The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.”
“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”
And my favourite: – “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Oscar Wilde’s last words were reportedly “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.” The wallpaper stayed and Oscar died penniless on 30th November 1900 aged only 46 from meningitis (brought on by an ear infection), three years after his release from prison.
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