Happy Valentine’s Day, one and all!
Today’s list will be a little different than planned because of st. Valentine’s Day. We will be looking at some of the most famous military romances and loves during wartime.
1.) Antony & Cleopatra
Possibly the most famous military romance, the liaisons of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra VII Philopator have been immortalised by William Shakespeare.
In Shakespeare's rendition of the events at the twilight of the Roman republic, it is implied that the passion between the two was so great that it led to a certain weakness and distraction in the couple's gambits for power.
While this might be fanciful, the trope of a powerful and intense love affair ultimately leading to the demise of political and military figures has become very popular.
2.) Napoleon and Josephine
Napoleon Bonaparte was not a man to be cowed by other people's opinion of his actions or tastes.
So when he proposed to Josephine de Beauharnais, the shock and disapproval of his family was unlikely to phase him.
At six years his senior, a widow and a mother of two, it is said that Josephine's presence made Napoleon's mother and sister in particular feel themselves to be clumsy and unsophisticated.
In a letter to her while he was in Italy with his army, Napoeleon proved that his skills were not restricted to battlefield brilliance and political machination. He wrote: “You to whom nature has given spirit, sweetness, and beauty, you who alone can move and rule my heart, you who know all too well the absolute empire you exercise over it!” clearly proving himself as a top class honey-dripper and an afflicted lover.
3.) Catherine the Great and Gregory Potemkin.
Catherine was the wife of the Russian Czar Peter III. After just a year in power however, Peter was overthrown and killed, possibly with Catherine's help or even under her instruction.
During the very hour of the Czar's exectuion, Catherine got acquainted with a soldier named Grigory Potemkin, who was guarding her. The two hit it off and Potemkin was able to work his way into Catherine's favour, achieving political promotions along the way.
The two were intellectually matched and their passion was said to be very fierce. Apparently their liaisons frequently occurred in the sauna at the Winter Palace.
Despite the fact that Potemkin was at this point obese, vain and missing an eye, it is said that Cathering loved him truly and deeply. Even after their relationship had finished, they remained very close. When he died in 1739, Catherine sank into depression.
If you know of any particularly good military or wartime romances, please let us know!