For some reason, all of the Katherines I read about in history books are completely awesome-tastic. In light of this, today I’m going to count down my five favorites.
5. Catherine Earnshaw
So, of course, I start off my list of historical figures with one of the most annoying literary heroines pretty much ever. But I figured that since Wuthering Heights is a classic, it is perfectly acceptable to include it in my History Thursday festivities. And even though Cathy is almost as annoying as Bella Swan, I’m including her here on this list because without her and her spectacular level of insanity, we all would’ve been deprived of the chance to read one of my favorite books ever, and that would be really, really unfortunate.
4. Katherine Swynford
Katherine Swynford was the Duchess of Lancaster, way back in the 1300s. She’s probably most well-known for being John of Gaunt’s mistress for a really, really long time, and having several children with him, before they finally got married. Without her, we would’ve been deprived of one of my favorite conflicts of all time, the Wars of the Roses, which is second only to the Hundred Years War in my book.
3. Catherine de Medici
In addition to the fact that any List of Awesome must contain a Medici (it’s sort of a Thing), there’s also the argument that Catherine’s sons were only really able to remain in power in France for so long because of her. So. There’s that.
2. Catherine the Great
Catherine was known for possessing quite a bit of crazy and taking many lovers. But she also revitalized the Russian Empire; in fact, her rule is considered the Golden Age of the Russian Empire, and she also presided over the Russian Enlightenment. Not bad, considering this all went down in the 1700s.
1. Katharine of Aragon
First wife of Henry VIII. When he decided to flaunt his relationship with Anne Boleyn in front of her and the entire rest of the world, and delegitimize their daughter, and do pretty much everything else he could to slap her in the face, she was the epitome of class, keeping her head up high and handling it all with grace and humility, in addition to having a backbone. This woman was fierce.