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  #121  
Old 10-31-2009, 06:54 PM
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Spain produced some odd characters.

I think a particularly sad one was Juana la Loca. Her husband treated her badly, but she was so in love with him she became obsessed... and refused to let him be buried after he died. So sad.
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  #122  
Old 11-01-2009, 01:14 AM
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Ivan the Terrible!
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  #123  
Old 01-31-2010, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tiaraprin View Post
I wanted to reproduce here what was written about "Sissi" in the book, so here goes an abridged version:

Elizabeth (1837-1898). Empress of Austria and a stunnng royal beauty. Yet her looks, however striking, were not nearly so breathtaking as the lengths she went to in order to improve and preserve them. Not for her the half-hearted diet or the quick going-over with soap and water; instead she subjected herself to every cosmetic torture known to a woman--and a few that had hitherto not even been imagined. As a result, she held for decades her position as the most attractive and stylish royal in the world--a kind of nineteenth century Princess Diana.

As with that lady, nature had been more than kind to Elizabeth. She had a magnificent head of chestnut hair, finely proportioned features, a lustrous complexion and an extraordinarily trim figure. It was this slender shape that at heart was her most outlandish obsession. Trim was not good enough; nothing less than perfection, with an 18-inch waist and everthing else to match, would ever satisfy Elizabeth. To achieve this, her diet verged on the self-destructive. . . with glasses of meat juice, dry biscuits, and raw eggs. . .

Elizabeth supported these outrageous efforts with a fearsome programme of exercise. She took a daily walk of anything up to 20 miles. . and had gymnastic equipment installed in her private apartments at Laxenburg . . She bathed daily in distilled water but if she felt her body was in danger of losing its unique suppleness, she would immerse herself in warm olive oil. . in an effort to maintain her waist, she slept with wet towels around her middle.. . . There was nothing ordinary about the way she washed her hair--the shampoo was 20 bottles of the best French brandy mixed wth yolks of a dozen eggs and Elizabeth forbade the use of any artificial drying method. . . . .

Indeed, as one who had always inspired admiration rather than love, she increasingly became a rather lonely figure as she moved from haunt to haunt. She had never been very willing to play the public role of the Emperor's wife and by her mid-forties she had effectively ceased to act out the part in private either. Nor could she count on the love of her two children. . .she had taken little interest in their upbringing. . she did suggest that the nerves of her son Rudolph might be trained to withstand shocks by having pistols fired off suddenly near his ear.. .

So as she moved into late middle age, Elizabeth's life was more and more that of the introverted and wealthy tourist. . .In September 1898, an Italian anarchist with a grudge against royalty. . . .stabbed her in the chest. Somehow she managed to stagger a hundred yards, but the weapon had pierced her heart and she collapsed and died, aged 61.

**Copied from David Randall's Crazy Kings and Kooky Queens.
--
From what I've read, it looks like a lot of Sissi's self esteem was tied to her looks, which is one reason her husband chose to marry her; she was introverted, independent, extremely vain, competitive about her beauty -- maybe to help keep her husband -- and had "restricting type" anorexia (with restricting calories and excessive exercise). Anorexics are about power. They often feel powerless in their everyday lives but they can control what they eat and their exercise. I've read articles in the past that mention how difficult it was for Sissi to perform properly in the highly restrictive and disciplined Austrian court of the time. Sissi's mother-in-law had Sissi's children taken away so they would be raised according to the Austrian court standards. After awhile Sissi wanted to escape her highly disciplined life, rarely seeing her offspring, wanted freedom, independence, and traveling was the way she chose to escape. She also believed her son and his girlfriend were murdered. A lot of important things were out of Sissi's control. She needed a reprieve and chose to escape by traveling and seeing the world. She was lucky to have had the money and that the royal family finally allowed her to do so. She was obsessive, independent, anorexic, determined, willful, but to say she was crazy seems harsh to me. I think she adjusted the best way she could and worked very hard at keeping one thing that was obvious to the public that she excelled at and helped her self esteem -- and that was her looks.
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  #124  
Old 01-31-2010, 07:49 PM
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Vlad the Impaler www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlad_the_Impaler takes the cake but www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Hamid_II is equal to worse.
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  #125  
Old 01-31-2010, 10:46 PM
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Wow Terrifying!
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  #126  
Old 02-01-2010, 12:45 AM
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Of course, Sissi was the cousin to King Ludwig of Bavaria, who had a mania for building and seems to have been a Howard Hughes-type character. We have him to thank for the lovely fairy tale castle, Neuschwanstein.
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  #127  
Old 02-01-2010, 02:26 AM
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Has anyone mentioned HIH Jean-Bédel Bokassa? President of the Central African Republic, declared himself Emperor Bokassa I on December 4, 1976. Bokassa spent the equivalent of over 20 million United States dollars, a quarter of the country's government annual income, on his coronation ceremony.

If that ain't mad I don't know what is.
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  #128  
Old 02-01-2010, 02:43 AM
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... but Abdul_Hamid_II is equal to worse.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II (1842-1918)?? Are you sure you've got the right Sultan?
Here's what Wiki has to say:

"He was a striking amalgam of determination and timidity, of insight and fantasy, held together by immense practical caution and an instinct for the fundamentals of power. He was frequently underestimated. Judged on his record, he was a formidable domestic politician and an effective diplomat."

Abdul Hamid II was also an amateur carpenter who personally crafted his own furniture. He was interested in opera and wrote the first-ever Turkish translations of many opera classics as well as hosting performances of European opera singers in his palace.

None of this classifies him as "insane".

* * *

As to Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, he's considered a national hero in Romania for the courageous defence of his principality against repeated Ottoman attacks and invasions. The stories of his atrocities (impaling babies on their mother's breasts, skinning and boiling people alive etc) were spread throughout Western Europe in the form of pamphlets produced by his Saxon enemies in Germany. They were encouraged and abetted by Vlad's rival Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, who's own efforts in fighting the Ottoman armies were somewhat lacklustre compared to those of the Wallachian Prince. Matthias Corvinus also needed to bolster his own position vis a vis Vlad as the King had misused the large sums of money given to him by the Pope, Venice and most of the Catholic states of Europe for the express purpose of fighting the Ottomans.

Lastly, the impaling of one's enemies was an Ottoman method of execution, first witnessed by Vlad while he was in Turkey as a boy hostage.
Vlad III was a ruthless, cruel and absolute ruler, but those qualities were required by those on the front line in defending the margins of Europe against the relentless Ottoman advance. He was definitely not insane.
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  #129  
Old 02-01-2010, 11:11 AM
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Ivan the Terrible was pretty bad, and Peter the Great had his own son murdered.
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  #130  
Old 02-01-2010, 12:07 PM
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Thanks Warren,
www.ourararat.com/eng/e_sultan.htm
Maybe not insane but enough to question that sanity of his deeds.
Hope this the right one.It states there Sultan Abdul Hamid the Second.
Questioning his deeds then would not make him insane-he has to be certifiable.
Not insane then.Maybe just a bit off..........when it struck him.
Like his oars weren't always in the water.
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  #131  
Old 02-03-2010, 12:14 AM
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I'd vote for:
1. Elisabeth (murdered 600+ virgins and bathed in their blood) who was selfish and vain, without compassion or value for life; probably the biggest serial killer in the world.
2. Ivan the Terrible (ate meals while watching people being empaled) also had no compassion or value for life. He did not have to "eat" while watching such things to intimidate his enemies. Just empaling would have done the job. ----------
----------
I have wondered about handsome "Mad" King Ludwig II. He did not seem "Mad" to me. He was a character born into a ruling position with little interest in politics, economics or war but was naturally introverted, sensitive, extremely creative, imaginative, artistic, romantic, gifted and passionate about creating architecture, loved to be surrounded by beauty, grand architecture, nature, Wagner's music -- and Wagner. I see him as naturally an architect/artist forced to be a King. I think I read somewhere that his father was very harsh with him. Who knows when his imagination and desire for escapism arose. In any event, its possible King Ludwig II chose to often escape from his Kingly responsibilities to be true to himself by creating and surrounding himself with incredible beauty and fantasy amusement park settings and situations that Walt Disney would be proud of. How many of us, if we had the wealth, would create a world for ourselves that others would think strange -- to include period costume parties and midnight sleigh rides? How many people have created an Avatar and have a Second Life (fantasy life) on the computer -- because they can? How many people would love to work at one of Walt Disney's theme parks because they'd like to spend a lot of time there? Some say King Ludwig II was bankrupting the Bavarians by using their funds to build his castles, the Swan grotto, etc., while others say the money was actually from his "Wittlesbach" family. Its very possible his political and economic enemies wanted him to stop spending and used the term "Mad" to discredit him with the hope it would stop his actions. In the end, his creations are great gifts, famous worldwide, and tourism has brought and will continue to bring great wealth to the Bavarians. I wish he could have been appreciated while he lived. In today's world, we probably would not think he were "Mad."
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  #132  
Old 07-18-2011, 03:56 AM
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Isabella "She Wolf" of France.
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  #133  
Old 07-18-2011, 04:08 AM
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It was probably no worse a senator than most. Not worse than those other senators who allowed it anyway.
Agree.

It's more likely he wanted to taunt and humilliate the senate and publicly display how impotent and powerless the senators were. - To some extent he failed, as it's now seen as an example of how completely nuts he was.

The image of his successor Emperor Claudius has been very much distorted by the "I Claudius books and later TV-series. - In reality he was very different from Dereck Jacobi's magnificent protrayal.

So we have to look with very critical eyes at how people are percieved now. A lot of it is most likely based on successful character assassinations.
One of the must successful propaganda feats in history is how we until the last couple of decades have percived Karthage as decadent, greedy and depraved.
The Romans won - and they wrote the epitaph.
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  #134  
Old 07-18-2011, 10:23 AM
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I think a particularly sad one was Juana la Loca. Her husband treated her badly, but she was so in love with him she became obsessed... and refused to let him be buried after he died. So sad.
An other queen whose behaviour after her husband's death was a bit unstable was Maria Eleonora of Bradenburg, the mother of queen Christina of Sweden. Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Among other things she made her seven year old daughter sleep in a bed over which her father's heart was hung in a golden casket.
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  #135  
Old 08-10-2011, 01:44 AM
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Isabella "She Wolf" of France.
Why? Wanting to see her children again doesn't seem all that mad to me. A mother scorned is likely to be rather strong in her desire to get her children back. Being married to Edward was no walk in the park - but being a strong woman, willing to lead an army, is not a sign of insanity.
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  #136  
Old 08-22-2011, 01:46 AM
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One Roman emperor whose sanity was in question was Caligula, Caligula - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Among the things he did was to promised to make his horse a consul and later on he appointed the horse as a priest.
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  #137  
Old 12-30-2011, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by iowabelle View Post
Spain produced some odd characters.
Portugal too , from there Spain maddnes got start
i think Charlotte of Belgium was quite crazy too
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  #138  
Old 12-30-2011, 09:26 AM
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I vote for King George III of UK.
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  #139  
Old 12-30-2011, 09:58 AM
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King George III wasn't crazy - he was ill with Porphyria -
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  #140  
Old 12-30-2011, 10:04 AM
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I definitely consider as the most insane and dangerous royals ever,the Roman emperors,Nero and Caligula,who besides all were very cruel and committed themselves many crimes and contributed to the death of their own people.
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