Who is your favourite historical person?

This is a spin-off of the sub-discussion on the 'Joys of being a landlord' discussion, I thought it might be interesting to see who you all pick.

I don't necessarily mean people you admire because they are good (so often goes with acute dullness) but fascinating characters with fascinating lives, you don't have to like them for worthy reasons, in other words. You may even be full of mauvaise foi & superficial, it doesn't matter.

My family spend probably far too much time arguing about who should be No 1 and why (perhaps we are weird, but it makes for interesting meal-times...) eg my absolute favourite top person is probably Frederick II Hohenstaufen, aka stupor mundi, polyglot, polymath, excommunicated at least twice, dubbed the Antichrist by Pope Gregory IX; all round splendid person.

Charlemagne or maybe Asterix.

Thanks, Brian. Definitely not pub material.

Proudhon was the 'rival' of Marx, the latter's social theories winning out in the end, albeit P was more of an inspiration to M than the reverse.

Oh, b***r, Brian, does that mean I have to go and google Proudhon? I'm not a historian, I'm just inspired by a military architect who tried to do something far-sighted - several things, actually - in an age when no one, I mean, few people bothered their pretty wigs about it. Anyway, Vauban was an engineer; he was supposed to be dull. I still think it would have been worth listening to him talk cochon down the pub.

Arthur Conan Doyle for me Norman. He was a good storyteller and I can imagine being swept away to another world with his tales. The Lost World is still one of my favourite reads. My fictional character would be William, created by Richmal Crompton. I could never figure out how a 'soppy' girl could write about the michievous antics of a young tearaway ! I'm sure most young lads of that more 'innocent' era related to William and his gang, I certainly did and still do if the truth be known !

Oh yes, Owen was certainly a prize bore. Not somebody to pop down the pub with. So too was Vauban as too Proudhon and many other reformers and visionaries. Admirations is for what such people do, not how they came across personally. If that was the case, arrogant aristocrats like Wellington who treated the people who worked for him in his homes and on his land appallingly and spoke equally as dismissively or negatively about them would never be heroes for anybody but those of the same mind.

Owen was remarkable but not sure he would be all that splendid to be be with. I remember reading he could drone on for Wales and Scotland combined, which could get a bit dull after a few hours...

One of my favourite Frenchies is Vauban, who took the time and trouble to think about feeding the masses and reforming the tax system when he was not fortifying the country. As a man of action, he could probably have been relied on to get to the point when he had to.

I have a kind of admiration for Flashman too. I have always identified with Jude Fawley, Jude the Obscure of Thomas Hardy's final novel. I know it is a different trajectory to my life but some of the barriers placed before him, the social issues even as they were back then, the class divide in education and so on, all have at times touched to me a degree. So not actually my favourite but an identity thing.

What about your favorite FICTIONAL character? Say in Literature or whatever? (Dinner Table Diversion?)

I suggest this because even as i was writing previous posts one name came leaping into my head - and that is the Immortal Flashman!!

'Poltroon, Liar, Womaniser, Coward and end-up Winner'

I think there are a lot of things to admire in the man! :-)

If we're not necessarily discussing worthies, I'd like to suggest Thelonious Monk. Eccentric piano-playing composer of such weird and wonderful jazz music that the Baronness Pannonica de Koenigswarter was prompted (on hearing 'Round Midnight') to give up her aristocratic life and family to become the great man's patron.

Nice one, Bruce. I watched a wonderful French film last night by Michel Gondrey, L'écumes Des Jours, which features a lot of his music in a deliciously whacky context. It's a gem and, if you love the Dook, you'll appreciate it all the more. He was a shrewd cookie, n'est ce pas, and he probably didn't give Swee'pea, Billy Strayhorn, all his royalties and other dues, but I love the touching platonic relationship he had with his fellow pianist and fellow composer who, as a black homosexual in those days, might have otherwise hidden his light under a bushel. Let us now praise famous men!

John D Rockefeller is my favorite he donated the land of most of the US national Parks, founded the first black college and the excellente University of Chicago just to name a few of his varied gifts.

George double V Bush!!

He has an outstanding IQ. He was obedient to his Dick C.

But best of him was: he created a empire of chaos and liberated the rest of the world from all illusions

At least he got me used to the absurd so that I can feel at ease in our times.

I bet Vlad The Impaler would be an interesting person to spend an evening with. Little known fact but he was the inventor of the pencil sharpener...

Apparently his favourite meal was stake and chips !

......ok, i'm leaving the building....

To put the cat among the pigeons - MICHAEL COLLINS (1890 - 1922) !

I watched the film with Liam Neeson !

He opened pubs everywhere !

Oh just though of another one - Napoleon, who apart from having a remarkable mind he also had a remarkable memory. As you knwo this year is the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, and as is my wont, I went back to check out the various regiments etc., involved on both sides. Bearing in mind both Wellington and Napoleon took personal charge of all elements and deployment of troops, Napoleon had no fewer than 11 Corps including the imperial Guard. Counting Regiments and Battalions involved takes some 46 pages of double-spaced listing! Each to be placed and shifted about according to what developed.

I coudn't even remember the first page!

Now I am not a war-gamer so maybe they too have this capacity, but then they can see things on a board - neither Wellington nor Napoleon could do that, nor did they have any modrn communications systems.

However that's not the real reason I have nominated Napoleon. The main reason is because he gave me the longest-lasting hobby of my 75 years - that of enjoying and often painting his army's uniforms. I say 'His' deliberately as he apparently was directly involved in designing them. His other hobby?

THis year I have been approached to produce more of the ones below;

You thought it was all going to be serious didn't you?

Yep Norman saw that and actually felt a bit sorry for the landlord who was owed 2400€ by one tenant which seems to be seriously affecting his well being. But, any intelligent landlord will 'invest' in an insurance policy against this common problem surely ?

Not being a landlord or tenant I don't have a vested interest in the 'Joys of being a Landlord' but I was more than a bit sad to see on last night's ch.2 news that 42% of Landlords in France has problems getting the rent paid. I realise that is a broad brush figure and covers a multiplicity of situations (and landlords!) but it is surely exceptionally high, and propective landlords must have a few quivers over the idea of renting out?