Tuesday, January 8, 2019

What I'm Reading: January, 2019

Famous Women in my Family Tree

Something a little different for the new year.  Many of you know that I have been busy working on my genealogy.  Over the past few years I've enjoyed reading biographies of some of the famous women that I've discovered in my family tree, and I'm starting the year out with a biography of Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots (partially because there is a new movie out about her).  Therefore, thought I'd also share a few of the  books on famous women from my family tree that I've read and think worth spending some time with.

Queen of Scots:  The True Life of Mary Stuart  by John Guy

My 3rd cousin 13x removed was Queen of Scots from 1542 (when she was 6 days old) until she was executed in 1567 by Queen Elizabeth I, my 2nd cousin 14x removed.  This is the book that the current film "Mary, Queen of Scots" is based on.  The movie is worth seeing (even though it takes some artistic license with the historical facts.

Marie Antoinette
Queen of Fashion:  What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber (2006)

Not as frivolous as the title sounds.  My 4th cousin 9x removed, Maria Antonia von Habsburg (1755-1793) - better know in history as Marie Antoinette - developed her reputation for fashionable excess, and Weber explains the political controversies that her clothing provoked.  As queen, Marie Antoinette used stunning, often extreme costumes to project an image of power and wage war against her enemies. Gradually, however, she began to lose her hold on the French when she started to adopt "unqueenly" outfits (the provocative chemise) that, surprisingly, would be adopted by the revolutionaries who executed her. 

Joan by Anne R. Bailey (Forgotten Women of History Series)

This is the story of Joan de Geneville (1286-1356), my 21st great grandmother and wife of one of England's most infamous traitor,  Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March.  After the deal of her father in 1292, Joan became one of the greatest English heiresses of her generation.  In a time when eomen were subservient, she was raised by her mother to command and became a formidable women in her own right.

Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots by Nancy Goldstone

The Winter Queen, Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of King James I, granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots, and my 5th cousin 11x removed, reigned as Queen Consort of Bohemia for just one winter and was deposed in events that sparked the Thirty Years War that devastated Europe while turning France into a continental powerhouse.

The Maid and the Queen:  The Secret History of Joan of Arc by Nancy Goldstone
Joan of Arc
(depicted in a 1505 manuscript)

Yolande of Aragon, my 18th great grandmother and one of the most powerful women of the Middle Ages, was a throne claimant and titular queen regnant of Aragon, titular queen consort of Naples, Duchess of Anjou, Countess of Provence, and regent of Provence during the minority of her son.  Joan of Arc (no known relationship) claimed that it was the hand of God that was responsible for her success in battle - but it may also have been the hand of Yolande of Aragon.


The story of mother-and-daughter queens Catherine de' Medici (my 2nd cousin 15x removed and Marguerite de Valois (my 2nd cousin 14x removed), whose wildly divergent personalities and turbulent relationship changed the shape of their tempestuous and dangerous century.


Four provocative sisters—Marguerite (my 22nd great grandmother), Eleanor (my 22nd great grandmother), Sanchia (my 23rd great aunt), and Beatrice (my 22nd great grandmother) of Provence—rose from near obscurity to become the most coveted and powerful women in Europe, each becoming ruler of  a European power—France, England, Germany and Sicily.  


My 16th great grandmother, Caterina Sforza, was a brilliant and fearless ruler, a strategist to match Machiavelli and a warrior who stood toe to toe with the Borgias.  


About Me:  Kevin P. Dincher

I have a 40-year track record that includes organization and strategic consulting with non-profits, both big and small, as well as small family-owned business and Fortune 500 global technology companies.  My experience also includes work in education, counseling psychology and crisis management, program and operations management, nonprofit management and consulting, and human resources and education.


Although I currently work primarily as an organization development consultant, one of the things that energizes me is learning new things and sharing what I learn - and not just career-related things about organizational change and development.  I create exciting and enriching educational opportunities for adults that incorporate psychology, philosophy, history, historical anthropology and more—with a perspective that “everything’s related.”  My broad background in psychology, philosophy and theology along with my deep interest in history, sociology, politics and organizational systems have given me the perspective that nothing ever really happens in isolation.  Ideas, decisions, actions and events all occur in a web of other interrelated ideas, decisions, actions and events.  I enjoy pulling connecting threads to see where they lead – and if you don’t come away from my classes and lectures asking more questions than you started with, I haven’t done my job!




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