Tag Archives: scarlett grant

Cleopatra

Cleopatra is one of the most iconic women in history. Historians have chronicled her exploits for over 2000 years. She’s considered the quintessential “dangerous woman.” Despite being known as a sex symbol, Cleopatra was a powerful monarch feared and respected in the Ancient World. Her complex life makes her one of my favorite historical figures. Continue reading

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Aphra Behn: The Unsuccessful Spy

As cliché as it may be, sometimes things do fall into place. While we all try to find our purpose in life, we’ll make mistakes and have experiences that will change us forever. This might come across as superficial blathering (believe me, it feels like that writing it), but we all have our own niche. No one found this life lesson more apt than Aphra Behn. Continue reading

An Unconventional Life

The particular relationship between Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, her husband William, Duke of Devonshire and Lady Bess Foster has fascinated historians for generations. While married women often had to tolerate their husband’s mistresses, it was unheard of to place her in the same house as the wife. The scandal was even more juicy because Georgiana and Bess were best friends… or could they have been something more? Continue reading

Olympe de Gouges

The history of women in politics has been a long, torrid, even bloody affair. Even women born into positions of power, such as Cleopatra and Elizabeth I, had to fight for their thrones. What about the women who weren’t lucky in the parental lottery? The odds of an ordinary woman gaining access to the political circles before the 20th Century were second-to-none. But even before “feminism” arrived as a concept, one woman dared voice her political opinions. Continue reading

Let Them Eat Cake: The Real Marie Antoinette

No one is more synonymous with the French Revolution than Marie Antoinette. Notorious spendthrift, Austrian spy, and licentious adulterer, Marie became the focus point for everything the French public despised about the Monarchy and the wider Aristocracy. After all, upon hearing the French peasants could not afford bread, she said “Let them eat cake!” Except she didn’t. A vaguely named “Grand Princess” supposedly uttered that statement before Marie Antoinette’s arrival in France. Is it possible many of Marie’s infamous traits were exaggerations, if not outright slander? If so, who was the real Marie Antoinette and what kind of Queen was she? Continue reading

A New Maleficent

Just how do you rework a classic fairy tale, offering something new and different to audiences whilst still maintaining the magic? Maleficent (2014) balances new and old in this wave of live-action adaptations of old animated classics. Interestingly, unlike Cinderella (2015) and Beauty and the Beast (2017), Maleficent is the Wicked-esque version of Sleeping Beauty (1959) where the titular Maleficent receives a rich backstory. This twist on the classic tale has not been used for any other Disney live-action adaptations. Maleficent is unique in not only being able to keep to the bare bones of the original, but also insert some new twists and subversions of fairy tale tropes. Continue reading

The Shape of Water

Women falling in love with monsters is nothing new. Beauty and the Beast is just that—a beautiful young woman falls in love with a monster and the power of true love turns the scary monster into a handsome prince. Even outside the realm of fairy tales, later stories such as The Phantom of the Opera, or the Francis Ford Coppola 1992 adaptation of Dracula had the female lead falling in love with a monster. Even then, the Phantom has the gift of music to woo Christine and Dracula can use his powers to turn into a handsome younger man. Continue reading

V for Vendetta

Turmoil devastates the near future of 2027. A Second Civil War overtakes America and a pandemic of the deadly “St. Mary’s Virus” plagues Europe. Cut off from the rest of Europe, a far-right dictatorship, controlled by the Norsefire Party and its High Chancellor, Adam Sutler, now rule Britain, and imprison and kill political undesirables, such as ethnic minorities; non-Christians; atheists; and members of the LGBT+ community. Martial law and censorship control those that fit the desired criteria of Norsefire. Our main character, Evey, becomes embroiled in the story when she flouts military curfew. This is the premise of the iconic graphic novel (1988) and film (2005) V for Vendetta. Continue reading

Hellboy

Guillermo del Toro knows how to create a dark but beautiful atmosphere. He played with the Victorian Gothic in Crimson Peak (2015), and almost ten years earlier with the warped fairy tale Pan’s Labyrinth (2006). Who better to take on not one, but two big screen adaptations of Mike Mingola’s iconic comic book creation, Hellboy? Continue reading