Cleopatra

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, March 1, 1912:  

March

This month signifies that the winter is passing.

And soon will be the Springtime

With all its bright scenes and soul stirring dreams,

And memories so long and so dear.

After a whole week of trying to get a theme in readiness, I finished the thing at noon. It came under General History. Cleopatra was what I had to write about. I got it so as to suit my satisfaction. But of course there were some mistakes.

Late 19th century painting of Cleopatra by Jean-Leon Gerome--Maybe this is what Grandma pictured Cleopatra looking like. (Source: Wikipedia)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

How did Grandma end up writing about Cleopatra? Did she choose the topic? (If so, why?) . . . or did her teacher assign it? (If so, why did he assign it to her instead of to another student?)

The way I picture Cleopatra is strongly affected by the 1960s movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.—and I can’t quite envision how people thought about her a hundred years ago.

Was Cleopatra’s beauty, charm and ability to control men generally seen in a positive or a negative light back then? The suffragettes were very active a hundred years ago. Do they see Cleopatra as a role model or as a failure of the past to allow women appropriate roles?

Monthly Poem

One the first day of each month Grandma begins the entry with a poem.  It’s almost spring! Yeah!

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