Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dining with History

Bill B., keeper of the flame over at The Lexicans, had this old Lex post up the other day.

The topic being: pick five folks from history that you'd like to have dinner with.

Just five? I'm an amateur historian, I would need a banquet hall to cover all the historical figures I'd like to sit down with over a meal (and perhaps an adult beverage or two).

Admittedly, Lex has a pretty nice list. Though he did kinda break his own rule and listed five men and five women. (Were the five women The Hobbit's list?) Anyhoo.

Five men that I would like to sit down and chew the fat with, literally I guess as it's over dinner, but figuratively as well. I'm not really sure if I'd open my mouth at all (except perhaps to take a bite of whatever it is we're eating, I am a bit of a trencherman, or a sip of whatever it is we're drinking). I might just sit back and listen, perhaps nod every now and then, just to show that I'm paying attention. Perhaps my contribution to the conversation would be no more than a question, "More wine, Sire?"

At any rate, here's my list -
  • Samuel Clemens
  • Napoléon Bonaparte
  • George Washington
  • Winston Churchill
  • Carroll "Lex" LeFon
Yeah, Lex is on the list, I daresay he'd have more to contribute to the discussion than me.

I might try to get Napoléon and Mr. Clemens into an argument. I bet that Mr. Clemens might take the Corsican down a peg or two.

Five women from history? Lex's list is pretty close, I'd swap out Ms. Browning for Joan of Arc though, it's the historian in me. So my list of interesting ladies from history would look like this -
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Abigail Adams
  • Queen Elizabeth I
  • Joan of Arc
I daresay though, that young Joan might put a damper on the festivities. Piety and witty conversation don't always mix!

What say you?


  1. I hear Joan of Arc had a warm personality, and could bring a spark to any conversation. Quite the firebrand, she was.

    Me, I have to stick to historical figures who speak English.

    1. Hahaha!

      I am assuming that at this dinner with history, translators (such as the UN has) would be on hand.

  2. Replies
    1. Yup, a fine choice. Hence my need for a banquet hall.

  3. Maybe we can't have dinner with Sam, but we can spend an evening with him---

    I would have a seat for the Marquis de Lafayette, and another for Alexis de Tocqueville. Perhaps King Leonidas as well. And Ronaldus Magnus.

    1. Further reinforcing my need for a banquet hall.

  4. I'm pretty sure my list would include JC. And I pray it, sometime in the distant future, will.

  5. Men?

    George Washington
    Robert E. Lee
    Stonewall Jackson
    Erwin Rommel
    Winston Churchill
    (and maybe Jesus, Son of?)(A night with him alone maybe?)


    Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror
    Ada Lovelace
    Eleanor of Aquitaine
    Mary, mother of Jesus
    Queen Victoria of England

    Some are ones right off the bat, some took some thimking.

    Maybe we can have a huge dining in with all of us commenters and all of our invitees?

    1. Excellent choices.

      That last bit is an excellent idea as well.

    2. Ah, a serious brain-fart. How about the original Founding Fathers, who worked on the Declaration of Independence, and the 12 Apostles.

      Lots of wine and beer. Fish and bread being one of the courses, of course.

      Now that would be a party. Probably a few fists thrown (those apostles played rough in their younger days) and some drunks escorted off the property...

      That. That would be the party I'd like to be a fly on the wall of.

    3. Things are now officially out of control.


    4. Oh, sure, blame me for when the trolley goes off the rails. Not the damned drunken generals in the back, singing the Panzerlied, or the holy mumblers up front busy tossing bricks at the moneylenders....

      Hmmmm, Washington singing the Panzerlied. Bet Rommel could get him to do it. Stonewall and Lee would definitely be into that song. Not drinking, but that song. Winston would be pounding out the beat like a conservative hippy with a set of bongos. Eleanor would probably rock the crap out of it, and the drinking (one of the original medieval party girls, whooooooo! And she showed her tits, too!)

      Vicky and Matilda would be all flustered and secretly smiling, as they hand bricks to the apostles.

      No earthly clue as to what Ada would be doing, probably reading a book or showing her ankle or something scandalous like that.

      All the while the Virgin Mary be all glowing like and looking all saintly down upon them all.

      Oh, yeah. Getting weird here.

      (Don't feed me carrot after midnight. They make me many more weirder...)

  6. I'd like to be there, even if only as a server.

    Paul L. Quandt

  7. Joan of Arc? Just make sure neither entrée nor dessert are en flambé!

  8. Or Mark Twain and Joan of Arc at the same dinner, given Twain's fascination with her.

    1. But I plan on starting an argument between him and Napoléon!

    2. Now THERE is an idea. Certainly having a civilized extended dinner with any one of the historical figures mentioned would be quite something. What if there were two? Which two would you choose to pair at your table?

  9. Hannibal, Publicus Cornelius Scipio Africanius(courtesy of 3 quarters of Ancient Civ at university), Teddy Roosevelt, Joe Foss and Joe Dimaggio( c'mon..... Marilyn for petes sake!) For the women Queen Victoria is there, Marie Antoinette, Cleopatra, Annie Oakley and Margaret Thatcher.

    1. I can envisage sparks flying at that table! Scipio Africanus AND Hannibal?

      Your women are interesting choices. I like those picks.

    2. According to legend at least(maybe more than just legend), Hannibal and Scipio met after the war was over and had a quite civil discussion on great generals of history. I think DiMaggio would be the odd man at that table

  10. I would take a gathering of some if ww2's best generals to the mens table:
    Patton, Rommel, Zhukov, Yamamoto, with Clausewitz as moderator :P
    For women,science + tech is the theme: Ada Babbage, Maria Curie-Sklodowska, Jacqueline Cochrane, Amelia Earhart, and Sally ride.

    1. I like your men's table. The ladies you have chosen are superb. Women of accomplishment and daring.

      Great choices!

  11. Ok, for the record I agree with the banquet hall format but here are my choices:

    Florence Nightingale
    Clara Barton
    Abigail Adams
    Martha Washington

    Samuel Clemons
    Will Rogers
    Kit Carson
    Louis L'Amour
    Abraham Lincoln

    I can come up with a whole bunch of fictional characters I would love to have dinner/coffee/glass of bourbon with, but that would be a different list.

    1. Great list Suz, Martha is an excellent choice (as in, I wish I had thought of that).

      Ooh, fictional characters to sit down with, that will require some thought.

  12. I took Lex and Mary out to dinner in Del Mar. It was a fun evening. I'd put him and Mary at the top of a list of good people to share dinner with.

  13. I wonder how Joan and my Katy would get along?

    1. Probably fine, as long as they don't both show up wearing the same chain mail.

  14. So this post made me want to comment: I too would need a hall to seat everyone I'd like to chat with. A few are on your top banner. One person that I always wanted to meet would be Ben Franklin. So:
    Ben Franklin
    Gen. George Patton
    Teddy Roosevelt
    Col. Townsend Whelen

    1. Excellent choices. Now that I know about Col. Whelen, I need to read up on him.

    2. Here's a good primer :

    3. And here:

    4. I also note that the Army tried to keep him out due to "inadequate chest development."

      That doctor must have been blind!


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