Strange Stories from History for Young People
EPUB EBook by George Cary Eggleston
EBook DescriptionI found some of these stories to be rather interesting, but as a collection they all seemed rather trite. Strange Stories from History for Young People EPUB EBook As I read through the book I also wondered at their at their accuracy. I have not researched the details on all of his stories but I did look up Catherine I of Russia. In the "Story about Catherine," he claimed that Peter the Great of Russia named his wife, Catherine, "the fittest person to be his successor on the throne," and that "she rose by her genius and courage to be the sole ruler of a great empire." The Wikipedia article about Catherine states that Peter died without naming a successor, that she was placed on the throne by a coup, and that she acted mainly as a figurehead—the real power lay in the Supreme Privy Council.
Eggleston said of Antonio Canova, "he was not only one of the most celebrated sculptors of his time, but one of the greatest, indeed, of all time." I've read a smattering of art history, and was not familiar with his name, so I looked him up. He was renowned during his day, but I don't know that many art historians would call him one of the greatest of all time. Eggleston also wrote about Michelangelo, who easily merits that title, but he called him "Michael Angelo," and even "Little Michael."
I found Eggleston's story of Ivan the Terrible offensive. Eggleston states that as a boy, Ivan liked to drop dogs and cats from the top of the palace, and that "sentimental historians have construed these interesting experiments in the law of gravitation into wanton cruelty." And "another of the young czar's amusements was to turn famished pet bears loose upon passing pedestrians, and it is the part of charity to suppose that his purpose in this was to study the psychological and psysiognomical phenomena of fear." After more examples of the young czar's cruelty he states, "In short, his boyish sports were all of an original and highly interesting sort." I give him credit for writing those comments with his tongue firmly in his cheek, but he's writing for children (despite the big words), and they can't always discern sarcasm. I'd recommend a pass on this book. Like this book? Read online this: Three Cheers for Catherine the Great, A Young People's History of the United States, Volume 2.
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