Friday, June 05, 2015

Six Degrees of Historical Separation

There’s a game that has been around for a few years that I absolutely love. It’s based on the idea of six degrees of separation; the theory that everyone in the world is a maximum of six steps away from each other so that a chain can be established to connect any two people. A while ago the BBC History magazine introduced a game called six degrees of historical separation – a challenge to see how broad a spectrum of historical characters you could connect in six steps. I’ve been playing it ever since and I challenge you to do the same!

Here’s one of my favourites, William Craven to Nellie Melba!

1.William First Earl of Craven 1608 – 1697. Soldier, cavalier, secret second husband of Elizabeth of Bohemia.

2.Elizabeth of Bohemia, 1596 – 1662, daughter of King James I, married Frederick the Elector Palatine, who was offered the throne of Bohemia in 1619.

3. Bedrich Smetana 1824 – 1884 A Czech composer whose music was inspired by Bohemian history and legends. His orchestral music includes the symphonic poem Richard III.

4. Richard III, King of England from 1483 – 1485, re-interred in Leicester Cathedral in 2015.

5. Thomas Cook 1808 – 1892, born in Melbourne Derbyshire, was also buried in Leicester. He founded the world’s first travel agency Thomas Cook and Sons in 1872 and offered “Grand Circular Tours of Europe” and trips to Egypt and the United States.

6. Dame Nellie Melba, 1861 – 1931 was an operatic soprano and one of the most famous singers of the Victorian era. She trained in Melbourne Australia and took the pseudonym "Melba" from the city. 

Okay, so maybe I have too much time on my hands! But if you like historical research and obscure facts, have a go at creating your own six degrees of historical separation!


Elizabeth Hawksley said...

I just loved this, Nicola! It's a sort of whistle-stop mystery tour which takes in history, geography, music, Victorian entrepreneurs and opera!

Elizabgeth Hawksley said...

I meant to add that I'm just off to the unveiling of the Georgette Heyer blue plaque in Wimbledon and I shall blog about it here on Sunday, 7th - thanks to Nicola swopping places with me.

Nicola Cornick said...

So pleased you like the game, Elizabeth! I think it is so much fun. I hope you have a wonderful time at the blue plaque unveiling and look forward to reading all about it.