Happy Birthday Dr Seuss
Dr Seuss was born on 2 March 1904 as Theodor Seuss Geisel. He studied to be a Doctor, not of medicine but of Literature at Oxford.
I adore the books written by Dr Seuss. I read them avidly as a child and now I read them with joyous gusto to the children of today. Dr Seuss is a great champion of literacy as he has made reading accessible and a joy for millions of children. Literacy is the great chain-breaker, freeing humanity from fear, poverty and dictatorship. Our hero, Malala, is a living testament to that.
To celebrate the birthday of Dr Seuss and to cheer all champions of literacy, I have recorded 'Green Eggs and Ham'
Happy birthday Dr Seuss, long may your books be enjoyed.
Horses fit for Kings
The #LineOfKings is a new and exciting exhibition in the Tower of London telling the story of how the armour of Kings was presented from the C17th to the C18th.
The 'Russian doll' story that intrigued me most in the #LineOfKings was the origin of the wooden horses carved and painted to display the armoured Kings. Their origin is being researched at the moment but most were carved in the later C17th. Each one is individual in look, colour and in many cases, construction too. As soon as I saw them a bell rang in my head but the message it chimed was not clear to me until I returned home.
The majority of the horses are posed in a distinctive Renaissance style with one hoof raised and the muscles in tension. This is an artistic tradition of the Renaissance directly inspired by the glory of Rome and by a very famous Emperor.
The statue of Marcus Aurelius is typically Roman in style. Many others have been discovered from the same classical stable, including a marble statue in Herculaneum. Marcus Aurelius is the only equestrian bronze to survive the turmoil of the fall of Rome and mediæval mayhem. Not only that, it was also the only equestrian bronze in Europe for over a thousand years. This has made it uniquely influential and the Adam, as it is a stallion, of the equestrian art that procreated in the Renaissance.
Michelangelo represented the statue in 1538 and sketched it too. The distinctive appearance of this horse then featured in his work and that of da Vinci, Dürer and Donatello. This distinctive Renaissance style symbolises Kingship and power. It is not just a statue of a horse. The wooden horses in the #LineOfKings are part of this tradition and were specifically carved to portray the power of the monarchy.
The C17th horses in #LineOfKings are clearly part of this artistic tradition. Further research across a range of disciplines will reveal more about their precise ages and the artists who created them. A dendro-date is being obtained from one horse and both endoscopy and x-ray analysis are in progress. The paint is being carefully examined to search for dating evidence. This has already shown the horses were stored between the time they were primed and when they were given their final colours. A farrier has looked at their hooves to study the shoes and nails, and in due course a vet will examine their anatomy.
I would like HRP to invite Patrick Baty to examine the horses as he has the relevant expertise to delve deep into their story. Not only is Patrick the preeminent expert on historical paint, he was also an officer of Lancers and is familiar with war horses. Patrick restored the Tudor sculptures at Hampton Court and has an incredible depth of knowledge about Renaissance painted sculptures.
Please do follow Patrick on Twitter @patrickbaty and visit his very useful website http://patrickbaty.co.uk/
Most of all, please visit #LineOfKings at The Tower of London and see the armour, horses and weaponry for yourself.
Follow @HRP_palaces to learn more.
This evening, between 6.00 and 7.00 pm, make sure you are following @HistoryNeedsYou's official Twittercast for Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznik's Q&A on their new book and tv series, Untold History (tagged #untoldhistory).
"The Untold History of the United States" re-examines America’s financial, diplomatic and military influence on the long twentieth century to produce a polemical account of the rise and fall of the American Empire..."
Oliver Stone has an illustrious and controversial career as a film maker and television producer/director.
Oliver Stone has been credited with writing and or directing over 20 full-length feature films, earning him a well-respected place in cinematic history for some of the most influential and iconic films of the last two decades.
Join us this evening and expect the unexpected from the man who says on his own website: Either you're born crazy or you're born boring.
Face to face with Richard III
Last month, Matthew attended the press conference we all wanted to be at ... where the answer to the question 'is it Richard?' was revealed. Not only that, but he found himself face to face with the man himself. Matthew related his unforgettable experience to the Birmingham Post.
I went upstairs and there was the skeleton laid out. It was an extraordinary experience.
You can find out more about Richard III, and other missing monarchs, in Matthew's next radio show for EGH Media, to be broadcast live next Tuesday 19 March from 8.00pm. Put your questions to Matthew via @HistoryNeedsYou at Twitter.
Thank you, all 10,000 of you!
12/12/12 seems an auspicious day to reach a major landmark. Even the trees had bedecked themselves with glittering frost this morning in celebration of Matthew's @HistoryNeedsYou Twitter following passing the 10,000 mark. Thank you to all 10,000 plus of you, and here's to more historical knowledge, jollity, and friendships. A cup of tea and a slice of cake for one and all, wouldn't you say?
Of course, one doesn't achieve a large social media following by chance. Success comes from delivering a carefully mixed, appetising cocktail of ingredients, and Matthew most certainly has the recipe. Social media is an increasingly powerful way of connecting with the people you need to influence, yet it is still an alien world to many.
Happily, Matthew is able to pass on his recipe, adapted for your needs - whether you are a business, a heritage body or an individual - on engaging and interacting with your audience using social media. He will help to demystify it for you and show you how to use it to best advantage for your organisation.
To learn how to TwitterBetter with Matthew, please get in touch to find out more by going to our Contact page or you can email info at historyneedsyou dot com.