Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Revisiting "Parallel Lives"

Photo Credit: Insects(dot)org

I must say that I’m amazed at the parallels I’m finding between Queen Victoria’s life and my own. I have been knee-deep in research about her formative years, and as I’ve read about the circumstances surrounding her conception, the death of her father when she was an infant, and the machinations and manipulations she was subjected to by her own mother, my emotions have run the gamut of anger, empathy, pity, and sorrow.

Reading farther into her life, I have found myself swinging between paragraphs filled with understanding and paragraphs filled with disenchantment at her sometimes childish behavior. I've been surprised sometimes at my own sharpness in some of the things I wrote.

Photo Credit: Unresolved Abandonment

Since I don’t believe in coincidence, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that Victoria appears to have had a severe and sometimes debilitating case of codependency. Her life was vastly different from mine, yet there is a silver cord of similarity running between the lines of her life that I cannot help but recognize as my very own struggle with depression, self-pity, and codependency.

Though she is lauded as one of the most prominent figures in world history, I can see that despite the popular perspective of greatness, she actually died a shell of a woman. She did not fully live her life, and that is not how I want my story to end. I will try so very carefully to address these issues with love and compassion, but there will be times when I know I won’t be able to be as gentle as I would like to be.

Faberge Egg
Photo Credit: Weston Jewelry

It is vital that you and I go farther than she did in her life. We may not find ourselves queen of an empire, but we owe it to our children and those who look up to us to push past the bitterness and resentments in our life and learn what it means to live life to the fullest. It is my job to push and prod and poke at the weak spots in her life to ferret out every last nugget we can learn from her.

Research Credits:
1. The World of Royalty
2. Joyce Gidel

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Revisiting "Victoriana"

Asian Motif Brooch
Photo courtesy of Weston Jewelry

During the Romantic Period, jewelry reflected the sentimental nature of the times with mementoes, love tokens, and souvenirs from foreign travel. Italian cameos were brought back to Britain as souvenirs of the "Grand Tours" of the upper class to Italy and Greece. Victoria’s love for all things Scottish popularized many Highlander influences in jewelry and fashion, particularly brooches with a grouse foot set in gold or silver and tartan clothing. These trends lasted well into the 1860s. This was a time when culture and travel were extremely important to British culture, and throughout the era we see an influx of imported jewelry from many parts of the world. [Read more...]

[Insert a link to The Jewelry Annals.]