Trivia I Learned from Books, Vol. 3

Not to toot my own horn (that’s what she said) but I think I have a pretty good vocabulary. I also know lots of random bits of trivia, I mean geez I sambasDID win our 6th grade regional trivia competition by naming the 2nd largest city in England. I remember the day so vividly, down to what I was wearing – my favorite Gap t-shirt with blue flowers, umbros shorts, and Sambas ::eyes glaze over in fond memory::

Of course for every one bit of trivia I DO know, there are 82438 others out there waiting for me to discover, and reading certainly helps! Looking at my past Trivia posts I realize that a lot of the things I have had to Google-search seem to be common knowledge, and this post might be no exception, but at least now I know!

la-pompadour1

her dress is SO SUPER CUTE. i wish i could wear frills and bows every day

1. La Pompadour: as in “Leonie tried to snatch a glance at La Pompadour sitting behind the King, but the Duke pulled her away.”

Now from the context of this scene with Leonie and the Duke in These Old Shades I could figure out that she was the King’s mistress, but why was she important? My old friend Wikipedia explained that she was born Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson (haha her last name was Fish) of common parents but was beautiful, intelligent, and refined. Her first marriage raised her up in society and King Louis XV took notice of her. She became his mistress and he made her the Marquise de Pompadour which is a place in central France.

Now I’m not going to go into her political influence, but rather concentrate on more important things, like why did her name sound familiar to me? Because of the pompadour hairstyle of course! It is named after her.

Also she might have contributed to a common theme in my historical romance novels – the color of the more slutty chemises, nightgowns, and other frippery always seems to be the same. The more sensual and provocative ones seem to typically be some purple color and there are vague references to this being a “mistress color”- according to Wikipedia La Pompadour’s favorite color was purple, so maybe that’s where the authors got it? Otherwise its a huge coinkydink (people still say that, right?).

2. Londinium: as in “In 450A.D. Caius served his cruel master near Londinium.”

In Bryan’s Vexing the Viscount the hero and herione are searching for treasure hidden by an Roman slave named Cauis in the 5th century. Now OBVI this is some latin-ish word for London, but would you believe I had NEVER heard it called that before???!! Ugh, what an idiot. When I looked it up I though the story of the founding of London was SUPER interesting, I read about it for hours. Instead of plagiarizing Wikipedia because I haven’t done that since graduating college, you can read more about it here.

londiniensium-plaque

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