Capt. John Norris Letters

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via Capt. John Norris Letters

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Union soldiers helped dedicate the Confederate Rest monument

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Stately Blaska Manor

Your Humble Squire shared his wisdom with three Madison agencies meeting jointly Tuesday night over the Confederate Rest monument issue at Forest Hill Cemetery. Those being the Park Commissioners, Landmark Commission, and Equal Opportunity Commission. They will ultimately decide the fate of two memorial stones erected there, one of which Mayor Soglin unilaterally had removed last summer.

The joint meeting attracted maybe 60 people to Warner Park Community Recreation Center, at 1625 Northport Drive, Tuesday night (1-30-18) — most of whom spoke in favor of keeping the large monument erected in 1906.

Sept 8, 1937 Well into his 90s, Union Civil War veteran C. H. William Ruhe lays a wreath at the Confederates Rest monument in the G.A.R. encampment of 1937. — Wisconsin State Journal, 8 September 1937

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Conrad Aiken and the struggle of consciousness

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The Mockingbird Sings

even one’s newness is old
—Conrad Aiken

One of the first things that comes up in a google search of the name “Conrad Aiken” (right next to we found Conrad Aiken) is a review of his Selected Poems in the Guardian from 2004. However, a recent article in the LA Times with its nod to an upcoming issue on the writer in The Scofield, along with a couple of nice articles in the Wuthering Expectations blog indicate that Conrad Aiken has not been forgotten after all.

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the Curse of Charlotte of Belgium

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tiaras and trianon

Charlotte of Belgium 1850 Charlotte of Belgium before she lost her marbles.

Hey kids, the bewitching hour encroaches like a linesman in a 3-point stance. Seems appropriate for a tale of black magic that extinguished 3 European empires. A curse that that freaked out the blue bloods of Europe to the point it affected the marriageability of anyone of Hapsburg blood. Let us away to the Second Mexican Empire, an ill-fated project from the start, especially after the United States refused to recognize legitimacy under the Monroe Doctrine. Born an Archduke of Austria and rather a simpleton, Emperor Maximilian of Mexico refused to abandon his people. Yup, the same people who were closing in on him with the armies of Benito Juarez.

By 1865, his wife Charlotte of Belgium [aka Empress Carlota of Mexico] had already returned to Europe begging family and friends to save her husband from impending doom. Charlotte’s pleas were callously ignored…

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THE CURSE OF MIRAMARE CASTLE

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sjhstrangetales

A beautiful mid-19th century castle in the north-east of Italy may be responsible for cursing an entire European dynasty, and may even be held indirectly responsible for the start of World War One.   The Curse has it that anyone who sleeps in the place will die a violent death in a far country, and that was the grim fate which befell many of its occupants.

The Victorian era was a notable one for extravagant building projects.  It wasn’t unknown for aristocrats and tycoons to build grandiose dwelling-places for themselves, usually in a style which harkened back to a romanticised view of the Middle Ages or an elusive Arthurian era.  Those stern, forbidding Victorians were keen romantics at heart, and the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian was no exception.

It is said that Ferdinand fell in love with the area, near Trieste, after sheltering there during a storm.  He chose to…

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