As sort of a lead-up to my first real Forgotten Figures article on Monday or Tuesday, I thought we’d have a discussion about it. Not the articles themselves, but the whole concept of obscure historical figures.
My idea with the series is, as I’ve said, to bring to light figures that are forgotten in mainstream history. I still love Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Charlemagne, but who can forget the accomplishments of Aurelian, Zenobia and Emperor Li Shih-min? Some of those names are far from obscure in the circles of history buffs, but they have been forgotten by most people. As in, you could go up to a random person on the street, tell them the name and ask what they accomplished and most people would look at you blankly. So basically, as far as I define it, it’s all about name recognition.
That’s why I chose to start on what will hopefully be a regular article series here on The Mad Reviewer. I have a passion for history that I want to share and although it’s not necessarily the most book-related thing ever, many of these people are people I discovered either within books or people I’d love to see represented in fiction. So if you’re an aspiring historical fiction writer, maybe you’ll find inspiration here in the weeks to come.
Enough preamble, though. What I want to know is this: Who is your favourite historical figure that’s been forgotten by the mainstream media? Why?
(And on a side note: Is there a particular figure you’d like to see me feature in Forgotten Figures? I’m quite open to suggestions and I have the resources to mount at least a decent research effort into most eras, so please don’t hold back if you want to share your love of an obscure figure.)