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February 13, 2014




From the poetic tenderness of Lord Byron to the alluring confidence of Bessie Coleman, HISTORICAL HEARTTHROBS: 50 Timeless Crushes from Cleopatra to Camus by Kelly Murphy with Hallie Fryd features 50 heartthrobs from the ages most likely to catch our eye and asks the question: Would you really want to date them? The book mines our shared cultural past for history’s most swoon-worthy icons such as Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette and Che Guevara, and ranks them according to their overall "crushability," based on their relative levels of heroism/villainy. Below, see Teenreads’ 10 favorite facts from the book!

1.     Cleopatra and Julius Caesar did indeed have a child together. I’m sure that kid never felt the pressure of living up to his parents’ achievements.

2.     So in love with Cleo, Caesar actually modeled his Roman reforms after her Egyptian society. Still, I guess there was no pleasing some people (we’re looking at you, Brutus).

3.     Annie Oakley, famous sharpshooter and source for the popular musical Annie, Get Your Gun!, was married to Frank Butler for over fifty years until she died, and they even performed their gun shows together. Adorable! Slightly violent, but adorable!

4.     Harry Houdini and his wife, Bess Rahner, made a pact that if he ever died during one of his acts, she was to try to contact him in the afterlife through a séance. Now that would have been a show all of its own.

5.     Ernest Hemingway proposed to his third wife while still married to his second. Keep it classy, Ernie.

6.     Salvador Dali’s idea of desire was encapsulated in the image of a lobster on the back of black rotary telephone. So no one’s surprised by this, really.

7.     Lord Byron brought a tame bear to his dormitory at Trinity College because the rules specified no dogs, but nothing about bears. Ladies, he too likes to live dangerously.

8.     Nikola Tesla remained celibate his whole life. I could make an absolutely terrible pun about electricity or lighting things up, but I think everyone would be happy if I didn’t go there (or would you?)

9.     Josephine Baker, famous trailblazing dancer, actually had a tryst with artist Freida Kahlo. Kudos for being progressive, ladies!

10.  Picasso had two wives, three baby mamas, at least ten lovers, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Check out all of the other blogs on the blog tour! 

Born and raised among the sprawling cornfields of rural Pennsylvania, Kelly Murphy now writes from her child-sized apartment in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Her articles have appeared in Brokelyn, Brooklyn Based,Chic Today, NCTE’s The Council Chronicle and various other publications. A Penn State graduate, Kelly currently works in publishing. Hallie Fryd is the author of Scandalous!: 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About (So You Can Impress Your Friends), which was a Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Winner in 2012.