An Odd, but Not Surprising Fact

The picture is taken from Leonard Rossiter's very fine performance as King John, which I have blogged about before. It's one of my favourite plays, partly because I read it when I was very young having found it in an, at the time to me, impossibly beautiful teenage woman's bed, and then again when I was just growing into a literary taste as a young autodidact snob that I have now grown out of.

I have no traceable genealogy, really, and, though I am nominally an historian, feel the pass-time akin to astrology. Just about everyone is related to everyone else, if one draws the links wide enough. I do, however, believe in cultures and traits.

Still, here's an interesting fact;

All US Presidents, bar Martin Van Buren, may be related to Bad King John, who was forced to sign Magna Carta on account of high and illegal taxation. Inter Alia.

Of course, America is a nation of immigrants, predominantly from Europe, former slaves, Mexicans, and Amerindians. There's a good case for relating the presidents of any description to Charlemagne. Trying to carve a line out of the stream is to attempt the impossible--to quote King John, we cannot hold Mortality's strong hand, by making that line a tether to things before and after us.

What's the whackiest association, do you think? Was Pat Nixon a Borgia? Is Brooke Shields a descendant of Mohammed? When I look at a picture of Jerry Ford, should I hear castanets and El Cid? How connected were George Bush and Shaka Zulu?

Right, that and the Wogan stuff earlier today'll do for me. Good-bye, cruel world.


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