May 8th, 2008

gosh!

The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself

Peculiar Historical Fact of the Week: The Duke of Wellington had an 11-foot tall nude statue of Napoleon in the stairwell of his house.

The statue looks like this, and is a fine example of the early 19th century's answer to unconvincing Photoshopping, consisting as it does of the muscular body of a Greek god with Napoleon's head pasted on, yay. According to art-historical sources, it remains a matter of debate whether Wellington owned the statue for the purposes of mockery (it is reputed to have been used as a coat rack) or out of unironic admiration for old Boney's elite military skills.

But whichever way you splice it, having a huge naked statue of your archenemy in your house is asking for people to ask inappropriate questions, innit? Sometimes, truth is truly stranger than fanfiction...

Note: If your mind has been warped by overexposure to the internet, you may now be pondering Wellington and Napoleon in the context of Rule 34. In the interests of academic research, I can confirm that it does indeed hold true, but shall refrain from providing linkage. If you're feeling particularly foolhardy, there's always Google...