From Francia to France (476-987 CE)

I bloody love history and I love bloody history. I’ve always been intrigued by the rise of different nations in the world, especially of those who have had a great history. In these serie I would like to indulge in the parts of their history, which are not very well known. The first in the serie to appear is France.
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Jacques-Louis David and the French Revolution | Essays

The modern democracy is a beloved topic in both national and international media. More often than not, one is referred to the realisation of that particular modern form of state and whether that concept has been used right by our peers. To understand the origins of the values of democracies, we need to go back to the era what is often referred as the beginning of modern democracy: the French Revolution. The French Revolution is a thankful subject voor cultural scientists all over the planet. The last years a variety books have been written on the French Revolution and the symbolism of that period, have been written, each with their own innovative perspective. However, literature is not the only form where we could learn about the French Revolution. Art is another form of expression where we can see the symbolism of the French Revolution. One of the most celebrated artists of that specific era, was the French artist Jacques-Louis David, whose name is known because of his paintings. (Lajer-Burcharth, 1999). David is a very interesting persona in history, no historian would tell you otherwise. Not just for the fact that he is seen as very important painter, but also because he has been one of the most prolific political activist artists during the French Revolution. (Robert, 1989). As one of the so-called forefathers of neoclassicism, his work is depicted as symbolical for the French Revolution. In this article efforts are made to to research David’s political conviction and how his paintings have been influenced by this conviction, in particular the Oath of the Horatii.
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The Crown | TV Review

Just a short statement before I start, I was so excited to write about The Crown. So, if I am biased and overenthusiastic, that’s the reason. As an Arts & Culture student and having done History degrees, I’m quite sceptic of costume dramas. For one particular reason: the historical accuracy. I’ve often seen series or films where I was thinking, this is just not how it went back in the day. While different historians debate about some events or dialogues in the series The Crown, it’s one of the most accurate historical series I’ve had the pleasure of seeing.

The acting is brilliant. The thing I personally like about The Crown is that it’s focused on the quality of dialogues. There is little distraction from the scenes, so it the speaking part has to be good. I’m not going to highlight every single actor in the show, but some do deserve some attention in my opinion. Claire Foy is ridiculously talented and does Queen Elizabeth II justice in this series. I saw her in Wolf Hall as Anne Boleyn, incredibly gifted actress. At least for this genre.

Before I started watching the Crown, I wasn’t to sure what to expect from Matt Smith who is Prince Philip in The Crown. I was entirely biased of course, as we all are when we previously seen a film or series with a particular actor. For me was Doctor Who and it was so weird to see him portraying Prince Philip. That changed after the first 10 minutes of episode one, he surprised me with his acting and it’s the chemistry between him and Foy that made The Crown more outstanding than I anticipated.

I loved Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mom and Jared Harris as King George VI. They were great in the series, especially the role of Hamilton was portrayed so well. It’s not easy to play the coldness, yet emotional vulnerable mother of the Queen. The role of Winston Churchill worried me a bit, because John Lithgow is American. I don’t know, but I didn’t like the idea of an American playing Churchill, but he surprised me. He did it very good.

It was an outstanding performance from everyone and what I thought was rather special, was the following. The individual qualities of the actors is fantastic, but the collective was what made this show – and the next season(s) I hope – so great to watch.

This series has not only been about great acting, but also about creating understanding and educating us about society, the British one in particular. We have this idea of the monarchy and in particular the people who are royal. Our collective memory is different than the reality and The Crown attempts to not only change our perception, but also let’s us think about life. I think that’s really brilliant.

We have also had this idea about the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. It’s very biased and clouded by our contemporary judgement, but this series tries to be more open about a certain way of live. Both negative and positive, that’s the feeling I got at least. The royal family is first and foremost a family. Families do have internal struggles, so does the royal family and the show learns us that it’s incredibly difficult to have to make a decision between what’s good for your country and what’s good for family and in extent, love. It tells us the struggle of a family, the difficulty of life and the changes everyone had to endure over the years.

I loved the actors, the acting, the almost accurate historical events and the way they portray the monarchy. It started as an over the top, very posh and expensive Downton Abbey, but the series ended as some kind of Sopranos in Buckingham Palace. Bring on season 2!

Have you seen The Crown? What did you think?

Marc
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August | Monthly plans

I’ve always been this terrible chaotic person and that’s just the way I am, I suppose. I’m trying to invest into a more well documented and structured lifestyle, with a little help on the side. One of the things that may help me is to be reflective of my months. To make reflection on the past month a bit easier, I want to document my plans at the beginning of that particular month. Because we are almost halfway in August, this month will be less busy or occupied.

  • Meet with friends more, hang out
  • Have quality time with my girlfriend
  • Go for a coffee with my sister 
  • Zomerparkfeest – Dutch summer festival in the park
  • Go to 5 football games of my club VVV-Venlo vs. EVV Echt, NEC Nijmegen, Sparta Rotterdam, FC Twente and Ajax Amsterdam
  • Try to play tennis, fitness or run once a week
  • Read 4 books: The Pursuit of History by John Tosh, When China Rules the World by Martin Jacques, William Marshal by David Crouch & The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky
  • Finalise everything for my 2nd year of my degree at university
  • Properly review Gorillaz’s album Humans
  • Watch Game of Thrones season 7
  • Clean my room
What are you up to this August? I’d love to know!


Marc

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Why I’m changing my blog content

So, I’m back! Although my written English is incredibly rusty at this point, I’m back with blogging. I took a break from blogging and the online world a.ka. social media, to focus on the things that I would call priorities. It’s good to reflect on one’s life every know and again, and it has made me change a few things about my blog. Or that’s the plan anyway. I’m changing my content.


I’m changing my content and first and foremost, this is because of my own wellbeing. It’s kind of easy to get caught in all the praise and encouragement on social media when you have a brilliant post or action, but for me it went too far. I suppose I wrote those mental health posts, but I didn’t see how damaging it was for my own mental health. I don’t regret writing any of those posts, but I realized that being so into mental health blogging alone, that I went down a negative spiral and I couldn’t get out. I realised that I made myself worse and that’s why I’m stopping blogging about mental health for a while. It’s not that I won’t mention it in a post or something, but I won’t write post for a while which will dominantely  discuss mental health.

So, what will I write about? It’s still a culture and lifestyle blog – God knows what that’s supposed to mean – and I want to focus more on that. I have a few ideas about writing about my travels, my football life. I want to dip my toes in fashion blogging and perhaps write more article-type posts about politics, history and society. I’m not sure how it will be in the end, but I’m very excited about the prospect of writing things which make me smile and feel more positive! Writing this last paragraph made me feel better already and I hope to see you all take part in my journey.
Marc

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