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Old November 20th, 2012, 09:17 AM   #41

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Originally Posted by antonina View Post
I used to respect her a lot, she and Regan seemed to be the only Western leaders who had the integrity, brains and guts to stand up to USSR.

It was a sad disillusionment to read this, good we didn't know it in the 80's:Thatcher considered backing communists against Solidarity? - Thenews.pl :: News from Poland

She used cheap coal from communist Poland to deal with British miners, of course.
I understand your sense of disillusionment. But it is not quite so surprising to me. Margaret Thatcher was always someone riven with deeply felt prejudices which informed her government. One of these, of course, was a deep loathing of Communism, something that held her in good stead with you and many other oppressed East Europeans.

But she had other prejudices too that were very obvious to us here in Britain that would have been much less obvious to foreigners living outside. One of these, of course, was a deep loathing for trade unionism. She was accustomed to thinking of trade unions as an "enemy within" and as an overmighty threat to the state. The more powerful a trade union, the more dangerous it was. Thus, when it came to Solidarity, her hatred of communism was in direct conflict with her hatred of trade unionism. Instinctively, she would have hated both the communist regime AND Solidarity. For her it was always a question of greater and lesser evils, and such was her loathing of trade unionism that she evidently considered regarding the communist regime itself as the lesser evil and supporting it against Solidarity!

I must say that at the time, we in Britain were not made aware of this, and Solidarity was widely popular. But those of us on the democratic left of British politics were always puzzled by the apparent hypocrisy of Thatcherite support for trade unionism in Poland whilst waging war on the very idea of trade unionism at home. Seems Thatcher herself was puzzled by that hypocrisy too!

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Old November 20th, 2012, 09:17 AM   #42

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Nawojka - ?

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First Polish female student, whose name was not passed down to posterity. It's known she enroled into the Cracow Jagiellonian University as a boy called Jakub in 1414. She was discovered to be a woman shortly before her Baccalaureate - allegedly during the traditional Easter Smigus-Dyngus festivity.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 09:22 AM   #43

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Originally Posted by Von Ranke View Post
In Scotland we had Flora MacDonald (1722-1790). After Bonnie Prince Charlie's defeat at Culloden Moor in 1746 he took refuge in the Western Isles where he came into contact with Flora, who was living in Benbecula. Disguised as Flora's Irish maid Betty Burke the Prince was taken by boat to Skye from where he eventually escaped to France. Flora was soon arrested and thrown in the Tower but was later allowed to live outside it until 1747 when she was released under the Act of Indemnity.
Didn't realize you were Scottish. As a kid I used to wonder what "my Bonnie is over the ocean" meant, and why they should bring him back.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 09:32 AM   #44

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when it came to Solidarity, her hatred of communism was in direct conflict with her hatred of trade unionism.
Thanks for explaining. What a sorry predicament.
We used to view her as saviour on the white horse, but come to think of it I can't imagine Margaret Thatcher entering a cigarette smoke filled factory hall and rubbing shoulders with socialist & catholic minded workers in overalls debating co-ownership of means of production in accordance with John Paul II "Laborem Exercens".
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Old November 20th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #45

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Didn't realize you were Scottish. As a kid I used to wonder what "my Bonnie is over the ocean" meant, and why they should bring him back.
For my sins I am antonina There are a number of folks songs which commemorate the event but the Skye Boat Song is probably the best known. Here is a version performed by the Corries :

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Old November 20th, 2012, 10:05 AM   #46

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Maria Isabella "Belle" Boyd (1844-1900)
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Confederate spy during the Civil War and even married a Union
Naval officer, Samuel W. Hardinge, while she was his prisoner.

Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), Aviatrix
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Old November 20th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #47
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Also for China: The Four Beauties of China, renowned for their beauty, perhaps a legend, some of the beauties caused their kingdom/dynasty to fall, and most died in tragedy...

Click the image to open in full size.

Xi Shi: said that the fish will forget to swin when she walks by.

Wang zuojun: will entices the birds will fall down when they sae her.

DiaoChan:

Yang Gui Fei

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Old November 20th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #48

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I can't say I've ever been too interested in women from my own country, but I am thoroughly amazed and interested in women from other countries.
For the US though, I will say my grandmother Marjorie Stella Anderson, was one of the first female air traffic controllers in the US and during WWII; that certainly something I can admire.

This is going back a few centuries, but how is Jadwiga remembered in Poland, Antonina? I know she is the Queen who was crowned 'King' and is also a saint. I've read a little on her, but there isn't a lot in English about her.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #49

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For the US though, I will say my grandmother Marjorie Stella Anderson, was one of the first female air traffic controllers in the US and during WWII; that certainly something I can admire.
Impressive heritage, I also admire women who do jobs connected with aviation (especially as I'm rather scared of flying).

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This is going back a few centuries, but how is Jadwiga remembered in Poland, Antonina? I know she is the Queen who was crowned 'King' and is also a saint. I've read a little on her, but there isn't a lot in English about her.
You must have read my mind because I've been thinking of posting about her, actually.

Jadwiga, King of Poland (1374 -1399)

To simplify matters a little - when the native Piast dynasty which ruled the Polish kingdom for nearly 400 years died out, the local lords invited the ten year old Hungarian princess Jadwiga of Ajou to rule Poland as sovereign king.

She was engaged to be married to a young Habsburg prince she allegedly fancied, but the Poles wanted to avoid the dynastic connection (wisely, seeing the future fate of the Czech and Hungarian kingdoms) Instead, the crown council asked Jadwiga to marry the Lithuanian Grand Duke Jogailla who was many years her senior and a pagan. According to legend, she tried to sneak out of the Royal Wawel castle to marry William Habsburg in secret - only to find the passage blocked by a delegation of nobles. She allegedly snached an axe from the guard and started hacking at the locked door - when the nobles wend down on their knees and begged her to put the good of the realm before her heart, she finally relented. As a wedding gift she received about 20,000 freed Polish slaves previously captured by Lithuanian cross-border raids.

So in 1386 Jadwiga married Jogaila and Poland and Lithuania (then a huge state encompassing modern day Belarus, Ukraine and swathes of Russia) became joined embarking on a shared adventure which was to last 400 years. Ther Polish Lithuanian Commonwealt became the largest state in Europe and probably the most unusual. If Jadwiga had said "no" Polish history would have run an entirely different course, safer, less tragic but definitely less fascinating.

Click the image to open in full size.

Jadwiga was said to be very beautiful, which of course was said about all Medieval princesses. But during a 1960s exhumation it was established she was almost 180cm tall and slim, with regular features and gold-reddish hair.

Another object was found: plain wooden crown and sceptre.

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Obviously the story about Jadwiga selling her jewels to support Cracow university was no legend.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #50

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For Pakistan the most important female has to be Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister in the Muslim world. Her legacy is split however as rampant corruption also took place during her rule and there was little economic growth.

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