This is Dr. John Snow. During the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak in London, Dr. Snow traced the source of infection to a public water pump making a key discovery about the transmittal of the disease. He also pioneered the use of anesthesia during medical procedures (using ether and chloroform). He had the honor (?) of personally anesthetizing Queen Victoria during the births of her last two children. I hope he makes house calls because we are in need of some sexual healing.
That smoldering stare! That perfect coiffure! Who is this dreamy Latin Romanticist? It’s Alvares de Azevedo, the “Brazilian Lord Byron.” Born in 1831 and living only until age 20, he wrote romantic poetry, a play, and essays, all published posthumously because of his very early death. I have never actually read anything he wrote, but I don’t think I really need to.
This week’s hottie is the adorable Scott Joplin.
I love a man who plays piano, and Joplin could play a mean piano. He lived from 1867 to 1917 and in that time he basically invented ragtime and wrote several very famous pieces still enjoyed today including “The Entertainer” and “Maple Leaf Rag.” He was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his singular influence on American music. Scott, you make me want to leave my piano out of tune forever and ever.
We hold this truth to be self-evident, that not all hotties are created equal. The Vicky A’s are over-stepping our bounds just a bit and dipping way back into history, before Queen Victoria, back to the end of Colonial America and the founding of our nation, the United States of America. This week, we will answer the timeless question, “Who is the Hottest Founding Father?” But Katherine, you may scoff, these men were great statesmen, diplomats, soldiers, and philosophers – it is shallow and silly to compare them on looks alone. To you I say, I have the greatest respect for the men who founded the nation in which I live. I love this country dearly, and I think the people who laid the political and legal foundations of this country were truly remarkable. Some of them were also pretty hot, so I say it’s about time for a little objectification – we women have been putting up with it, oh, FOREVER. So lighten up and let’s get to it!
First up, Thomas Jefferson!
Let me start by saying, I don’t understand this whole, “Make fun of gingers” thing – I think redheads are awesome. I have always been super-jealous of girls with vibrant red hair – I think it’s striking and beautiful. TJ was a redhead, and I love him all the more for it.
In addition to being a sexy Red, he did a few little things with his life like writing the Declaration of Independence, writing the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom, and founding the University of Virginia. Honestly, I could go on for a long time about TJ’s many talents and interests, but all you need to know is how good he looks in this painting. How can Ben Franklin concentrate on anything else with so much hotness in such close proximity?
Next is Alexander Hamilton. Have you ever stopped to look at a ten dollar
bill? I mean really look at it? Do it right now – take a minute to gaze
upon the visage of Mr. Hamilton and tell me that man isn’t a major hottie.
If he had been president, he would have been Babe-raham Lincoln. He was even acknowledged in his time as being a major looker. In fact, he gave this country one of its first political sex scandals. Oh yeah. Before he was in office, Hamilton had an affair with a married woman and blackmailed her husband to keep it a secret. This came to light during Washington’s administration, and Hamilton admitted to it and resigned. According to Wikipedia, the affair started when the woman came to him for help, claiming to be abandoned by her husband. She asked him for some money to get herself and child back to New York. This is what he had to say about the meeting, “I took the bill out of my pocket and gave it to her – Some conversation ensued from which it was quickly apparent that other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable.” Thus began a three-year long affair. Dang, Hammy!
Ben Franklin – Playa Plenipotentiary and Ambassador of Love
He’s not here because he’s good looking per se but because he was the
Pan-Global Mack of the Millenium. He went to France and got it on with
everyone. In what is now a classic letter, Franklin advised a friend on his choice of mistress, arguing that the man should choose an older woman rather than a younger one because:
1. There is no hazard of children
B. They are more discreet
4. Since people walk upright, the body parts up top fade and sag more quickly than…lower parts. So an old woman looks just like a young woman “below the Girdle.” (I AM SERIOUS HE SAID THIS)
Plus he invented bifocals and lightning.
I feel like this could be a picture of a young Tommy Lee Jones. John Marshall was one of the first Supreme Court Justices, and he was incredibly influential in the development of the American legal system. He also served as John Adams’s Secretary of State. He is so handsome and stately in his old age…
Next up is James Madison — he was a major player in the creation of the Constitution, wrote the Bill of Rights, and helped write the Federalist Papers. He served as Jefferson’s Secretary of State before becoming president himself.
Ignore the hair on this next photo. He actually kind of looks like a vampire here with that crazy widow’s peak, but if you focus on the face, he’s pretty good looking.
So who is your fave? I know this list does not include all of the Founding Fathers, but I’m not sure I would classify the others as hotties. His Rotundity John Adams just doesn’t do it for me, but feel free to fight for General Washington’s right to eternal hottie-dom in the comments!
This guy might be the best looking physicist I have ever seen. He is James Clerk Maxwell of Maxwell’s equations fame. I might have paid more attention in the second semester of physics if I had known what this guy looked like. I would say he has a sort of magnetism, wouldn’t you?
His work in electromagnetic theory was revolutionary and provided the foundation for basically all of 20th century physics. Well done, Maxwell! Now let’s go generate some electricity of our own.
Robert was the oldest son of President Abraham Lincoln. He served as Secretary of War under President Garfield and President Arthur. There is a fascinating anecdote on Wikipedia about how Robert was saved from injury or possibly death on a train platform by Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth. When Edwin Booth pulled Lincoln back from nearly falling off the platform onto the track of a moving train, he did not know he was saving the son of the man his brother had very recently assassinated.
Robert Todd was also played hotly by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the movie Lincoln. The resemblence is a little freaky.
I love seeing great books adapted into movies. Seeing the story played out with the nuances of facial expressions and body language lends a drama I can miss when reading the book. Older novels are particularly good to see acted, because it is easy to miss the humor or the irony in a written scene if you are not fully familiar with the customs or etiquette of the period; I often find the context to be more clear within a movie. Plus, I love seeing handsome actors in cravats and frock coats. There have been so many adaptations of the great 19th century works of literature that it can be hard to pick favorites, but we are up to the challenge. Below are the Vicky A’s choices for Top 10 Male Leads in a 19th century Film or TV Literary Adaptation, aka the Top TV/Movie Victorian Hotties.
10. Christian Bale as Laurie from Little Women
Before he was Batman or an American Psycho, he was every girl’s favorite boy-next-door, Laurie from Little Women. Apparently what it takes to win the heart of a March sister is to grow a goatee and become a wastrel.
9. Gene Wilder as Victor Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein
There have been a lot of Frankenstein movies, but for us, the definitive Victor Frankenstein is actually Victor FrAHnkensteen. Gene Wilder is simultaneously debonair, hilarious, and insane — the perfect man!
8. Orson Welles as Rochester in Jane Eyre
We’re dipping into the archives for this one, because I’m a bit concerned that this list is too heavily biased towards recent movies. There have been a ton of Jane Eyres, and I don’t necessarily think this one is my all time fave (I love the Masterpiece Theatre version with Toby Stephens which I just saw for the first time recently), but I do love me some Orson Welles. Citizen Kane-era, pre-liquor commercials Orson Welles.
7. Daniel Day-Lewis as Newland Archer from The Age of Innocence
Oh, Daniel Day. DDL is amazing in everything he does, so if you haven’t seen this version of Age of Innocence, you can imagine the intensity he brings to the role of Newland Archer. Also, I have a feeling all the top hat wearing he does in this movie helped him really nail the role of Lincoln. Note: We know The Age of Innocence was written in the 20th century. Indulge us, please.
6. Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights
When asked to choose a favorite Heathcliff, Ralph Fiennes is our pick. It’s too bad he went on to be Red Dragon and then Voldemort for 8 movies – that kind of ruined him for me.
5. Brendan Fraser as Trevor Anderson in Journey to the Center of the Earth
HAHAHAHAjustkidding, I would never put Brendan Fraser on this list.
5. Mark Strong as Mr. Knightley in Emma
I am aware that Mark Strong has a minor male pattern baldness situation going on even in this movie, but I kind of don’t care; he’s a total fox.
4. Gabriel Byrne as Professor Bhaer from Little Women
Yes, another one from Little Women. Clearly, I saw this movie at too impressionable an age, and I still love Gabriel Byrne as the kindly Professor Bhaer.
3. Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility
Alan Rickman can read me Shakespearean sonnets anytime. How it took Kate Winslet so long to come around to this guy, I have no idea. I’m pretty sure I thought he was superhot even as a teenager.
2. Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes
He hasn’t been around as long as some of the others, and as they age like fine wine, Benny is just hitting his stride. Is that too mixed a metaphor? The point is, who doesn’t absolutely adore Cumberbatch in this role?
Sorry, that photo slipped in. I can’t control myself around Benny. Focus…
1. Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy
The number one spot is easy. Who can deny that Colin Firth is the one and only Darcy? And who doesn’t remember the first time she saw that LOOK of his? In college, I spent hours discussing that look with the girls in my dorm. Colin Firth is number one on our list no matter what the subject of the list actually is.
Ok, we want to hear from you! Who did we miss? Are we way off? Who is in your top 10?
Mahler lived from 1860 to 1911. Before his career as a composer, he was a well-known conductor and director, working his way up to the preeminent Austrian concert hall, the Vienna Hofoper (now the Staatsoper). Because he was Jewish, performance of his music was banned during the Nazi era in Europe, and he was harshly criticized during his lifetime by bigoted reviewers. His music was rediscovered after World War II and has been widely performed ever since.
This one might be controversial. I think this guy has what it takes to be a Victorian Hottie, but others might disagree. I will admit, he’s no Hermann Rorschach, but I think he looks a bit like Benedict Cumberbatch and that has swayed me. This is George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom under Queen Victoria from 1852 to 1855. Before becoming Prime Minister, one of the many offices he held was that of Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Austria. Ambassador Extraordinary sounds like a superhero name.