Sunday 23 November 2008

Which Way?

This is not history-it's geography!

A Pushy Mother? Part 3

Soon after their marriage Jennie and Randolph Churchill became society's 'golden couple'. Together Jennie and Randolph were a formidable team-Jennie knew that the only way she would get what she wanted was if she helped Randolph along the way in his political career. In personality Jennie and Randolph were quite different; he was deemed rude and awkward in social situations, whereas, Jennie was quite the social butterfly. Jennie would make polite conversation with people she met and would charm them with her wit and knowledge. If Jennie wanted Randolph to be successful in politics she knew she would have to push him hard.

Luckily for Lord Randolph, Jennie had many important social and political contacts, as well as the drive and ambition to work hard herself to make sure her new hubby started to fly high in politics. Jennie was a risk taker and the intensity of politics excited her-she joined up with Lord Randolph to make a very successful political team. Jennie would canvass for her husband and even make political speeches on his behalf! It was this self confidence that Jennie displayed regularly that made her a magnet-men seemed to fall at her feet where ever she went. Lord Randolph didn't seem to mind all his wife's affairs-as they would often benefit his career. By the time Lord Randolph was 37 he was the Chancellor of the Exchequer and many, including Jennie, believed that he would become Prime Minister. Jennie was intensely loyal to her husband, especially when it concerned his career. So when Lord Randolph resigned from his job in 1886 over a minor detail of government policy, Jennie was extremely angry. This act meant that Jennie had lost hope in her dream of becoming even more influential and powerful than she already was.

Not long after Lord Churchill's resignation his health started to deteriorate-it is now believed that he was suffering from syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection that he probably caught from sleeping with prostitutes in Paris. Unfortunately, syphilis was incurable in the 19th century and so Lord Randolph had to suffer the awful effects of the disease. When Lord Randolph's condition deteriorated further he did what many rich people did at the time; he went travelling, with the idea that the fresh air would be beneficial to his health. Ever the loyal wife, Jennie went with him on his trips, as did Lord Randolph's coffin-just in case he died. Within a few years of Lord Randolph contracting syphilis he was reduced to insanity and in January 1895 he died.
Now that her husband was gone, Jennie had to rethink her political plans-she no longer had Lord Randolph to push into working hard to achieve her dreams. Jennie would have to look to her up and coming son, Winston, to achieve them for her instead.

Saturday 22 November 2008

'Do you Smell something Burning?'

We recently studied disasters as part of our H-Links curriculum and a lot of you really enjoyed looking at the Great Fire of London. If you want to read up on the fire a little more I have found a great article. Most of the detail in the article is what we covered in class but it makes an excellent read. Enjoy!

Monday 17 November 2008

A Pushy Mother? Part 2

Jennie Jerome's rise to the landed aristocracy in England started at a time when the English aristocracy was in desperate need of some new money and new blood to revitalise it. The young and ambitious Jennie moved to London with the hope of mixing with the right people. Jennie caused a stir almost immediately-even getting the attention of HRH the Prince of Wales (who would later become King Edward VII). Jennie was everything a young woman was supposed to be-she was charismatic, vivacious, charming, well-read, and an accomplished pianist. It goes without saying that Jennie Jerome impressed the high society in England.

It wasn't long before Jennie was being invited to all the best parties, including a party thrown by the 'Playboy Prince' himself, where Jennie would meet her future husband, Lord Randolph Churchill, for the first time. Churchill was completely captivated by Jennie's charm and beauty-he even said to his friend that he would marry her. True to his word, three days later Lord Randolph proposed to Jennie Jerome.

It was a match that was advantageous for both sides; Jennie had succeeded in securing the life that she desperately wanted, and Randolph was given an astonishing £3 million-a very tidy sum for 1874! However, despite the great start Jennie and Randolph got in the married life it would not be an easy marriage for the couple.

Histatic Quiz 2!

Here it is-the all new Histatic quiz! Have a go...

1. Who is the only British Prime Minister to be buried in St Paul's Cathedral?
2. Name the four American Presidents on Mount Rushmore.
3. Who is the famous son of Lady Randy? (see blog below for help)
4. Who discovered the smallpox vaccine?
5. What was Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire's marital surname?
6. What was the name of Oliver Cromwell's son?
7. When Nelson won the Battle of Trafalgar, which two nations did he beat?
8. What was the name of the rebellious Iceni Queen?
9. In what year was the Globe theatre originally opened?
10. When was the first electric powered washing machine invented?

Questions compiled with the help of Emma Basden!

Have fun!

Wednesday 12 November 2008

A Pushy Mother? Part 1

Winston Churchill once said of his mother that he "loved her deeply, but from a distance". Obviously, Jennie Jerome, Churchill's mother's name before she married Lord Randolph Churchill in 1874, was not what you would call a 'hands on' kind of parent. In fact, 'Lady Randy' (dubbed this because of her somewhat questionable lifestyle), was not at all maternal towards her son-as soon as young Winston was old enough he was packed away to Boarding school; a situation that Lady Churchill was quite happy about, maybe because she could carry on her lavish lifestyle without having to bother with giving her son any attention. Despite this quite lonely and seemingly loveless childhood, Winston Churchill went on to achieve many great things, including leading Britain through the Second World War. Many historians argue that this was down to the influence of his power hungry Mother.

Jennie Jerome was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1854 to an affluent family; Jennie's Father had made money from investing in the Railway. Jennie grew up watching her father work very hard for what he got. Even though some of his ventures failed, her father would always get straight back to work. This strong work ethic stayed with Jennie; she realised that if she too worked hard like her father, she would achieve all that she desired. And what Jennie Jerome desired was power, influence and wealth.

Monday 10 November 2008

Lest We Forget

This November marks the 90th anniversary since the end of the First World War. Tomorrow is Remembrance Day where most people will show their respect by wearing a Poppy and observing a 2 minute silence at 11am.
The reason Remembrance day is held on the 11th November at 11am every year is because on 11th November 1918 the Armistice was signed between the Allied and German armies, ending the First World War – a global war that lasted four years with the total human cost to Britain and the Empire of 3,049,972 casualties, including 658,705dead.
Every year people remember our war heroes and all the service men and women who are currently fighting. The money raised from the Poppy Appeal is used to help ex-service men and women, their families, injured and disabled soldiers, and soldiers who need help in any way.

Sunday 2 November 2008

Iconic Images

I have just come across a fantastic website called 'World's Famous Photos' that contains hundreds of iconic images, many I recognise myself. I very often look for a number of these famous pictures to use with my groups at school, now, thanks to this website, it will be a much easier task!

The picture I have posted at the top is one that I came across many years ago that I keep coming back to. I find this image to be very poignant, not only for what it is showing; the plight of Sudan during a terrible famine and the starving boy that is being stalked by a vulture,that is waiting for the child to die, but also for the story behind this photo. The photo was taken in 1994 by Kevin Carter in Sudan. The dying child is crawling towards a United Nations food camp, located a kilometer away. Carter took a photo of this scene to highlight the plight of the Sudanese people, but after the picture was taken he left the scene. Carter's image went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. No one knows what happened to the starving child depicted in this photo, not even Carter. The picture did generate public interest in the plight of Sudan but Carter couldn't live with the guilt of leaving the child. Three months after taking the photo Carter committed suicide.

Take a look at the images contained on the website and let me know which one stands out the most for you!