Most of us are suckers for a good love story. We like it even more when the love story is based on real life.
There have been some historical figures who are known as much for their romantic exploits as they are for their great contributions to society. Their genuine love stories contain elements of joy, sadness, regret and redemption, but each testifies about the greatness of true love..
Five of the best examples of this are:
Jacob and Rachel
Even if you have never personally read the Bible, you may still have heard of one of its greatest love stories, told in the Book of Genesis.
Jacob, the son of Isaac, had to leave his father’s land, after he tricked the father into bestowing his blessing on him, instead of to his twin brother Esau, who it should have rightfully gone to, since he was the firstborn twin. Back then, the father’s verbal blessing was like a binding contract, which couldn’t be revolked.
Needless to say, Big Bro’ was furious and Jacob had to escape his wrath by going to stay with a relative named Laban. Laban had two daughters, the older one being Leah and the younger one being Rachel. Apparently, Jacob fell in love at first sight with Rachel and asked to marry her. Laban, a pretty crafty guy, told Jacob that he could marry his daughter if he promised to work for him for 7 years.
I don’t know too many men today who’d be willing to wait that long for a woman, so Rachel really must’ve been something special. At the conclusion of the 7 years, Laban did, technically, give his daughter to Jacob as a wife. Since the traditional wedding garb for a female during that time consisted of a heavy veil and because the newlyweds consummated their wedding night in a dark tent, Jacob didn’t discover, until he rolled over, in the morning light, to see that it was Leah and not Rachel beside him.
Naturally, Jacob was extremely upset, so Laban appeased him by giving him Rachel as a wife, also, since polygamy was in back then. Jacob loved Rachel so deeply that he agreed to work another 7 years for her father.
I don’t think guys like this exist anymore.
Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais
When one thinks of historical love figures, the names of Napoleon and Josephine are usually the first ones that come to mind.
Josephine, who already had a pretty interesting love life already, met Napoleon when he was still a French general and the two hit it off, spectacularly and married a year later. In the capacity of his role as a military leader, he had to be away on campaigns for long periods of time, but he stayed in regular communication, with his bride. There is still a record of the passionate love letters he sent to Josephine and let’s just say that Napoleon had quite a way with words.
Later they were crowned Emperor and Empress of France. It would have been wonderful if things had ended on so high a note. However, Josephine’s affair during his absence and the fact that she could not produce children were huge factors in why their marriage fell apart. Napoleon did a little “payback” himself by having a number of mistresses on the side, in spite of his wife’s repentance. Josephine, proven barren, was forced to divorce Napoleon, so that he could wed Marie Louise of Austria, who went on to give birth to his heir.
Still, she must have remained in his heart, because it is reported that his final words were, “France, the Army, the head of the Army, Josephine”.
Now that’s what I call love!
Andrew Jackson and Rachel Robards
Most folks today probably don’t know much about Andrew Jackson, the 7th U.S. President, since he is not particularly known as one of the most enduringly popular people to hold that office. A frontiersman who led a rugged and tough life, Jackson possessed a volatile temper and fighting nature, so much so that he was labeled “Old Hickory”.
In spite of that tough exterior, even he was not immune to love’s call. When he met pretty Rachel Robards, the two fell immediately in love with each other and married, believing that her first husband Lewis had divorced her. Jackson was extremely devoted to Rachel as she was to her, but their idyllic life together was disrupted when they found out that Rachel’s first hubby had not divorced her at all, which meant she had to end up divorcing Lewis herself and then remarry Jackson.
In the social mores of that time, divorce was looked down on. With the circumstances of this particular divorce and remarriage, many disparaging remarks were made against Rachel, so many that Jacksno spent a lot of his time fighting duels to defend his wife’s good name. When he decided to make a run for the Presidency, his enemies cruelly insulted Rachel as a woman of loose morals,.although she was, in fact, a very gentle and religious-minded person.
Rachel Jackson died only two months before he was slated to take office and he blamed his political
enemies, for the rest of his life, for causing her demise.
Jackson never married again and remained dedicated to his wife’s memory to the day he died.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
When a lot of people think about Queen Victoria, they think of the image of her in her later years, not realizing that she was actually a young woman when she took the throne of England.
Her reign began when she was a mere 18-years-old and she was only 21 when she married her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Although their match may have been put together by others for political purposes, the couple became quite devoted to each other and the queen listened to her husband’s advice before that of most of her official advisors. Because of his influence on Victoria, Albert had enemies during the 21 years of their union.
The term “Victorian Age” is connected to a time when most people consider that everyone was sexually repressed in society, but, just because morals were more traditional during those days, doesn’t mean that they were against sex. Queen Victoria, as a matter of fact, gave birth to 9 children, so it’s evident that she had Prince Albert definitely got busy. When Albert died of typhoid fever in 1861, his mate was, or course, devastated.
The reason you see so many photos of an older Victoria wearing black is that she dressed as such to express her lifelong grief for.her husband. Victoria ruled a total of nearly 64 years, longer than any other monarch has before or since, loving her Albert to the last.
Prince Khurram and Mumtaz Mahal
Although their names may be unfamiliar to the majority of folks, most of us have seen the proof of their great love.
The story that launched the reason for the building of one of the most beautiful buildings in the world took place in early 17th century, when Prince Kharrum, who later became Shah Jahan I, fell in love with Arjumand Banu Begum, whom he wed.
He gave her the title of Mymtaz Mahal, which means- in Persian- “beloved ornament of the palace” She was adored by her husband and praised by those he ruled. They quite obviously got alongvery well, because they had 14 children together. Unfortunately, she died while giving birth to one of them and the Shah ordered his kingdom into a two year period of mourning for his wife. Accounts of the time claim that, after having secluded himself for one of those years, Shah Jahan I, his appearance sadly and dramatically changed, returned to public life.
To pay tribute to the woman he loved more than life, the Shah erected a mausoleum that was an exquisite monument to Mumtaz Mahal’s memory, probably the most recognizable building of all time, now known as the Taj Mahal.
It stands in Agra, India, an eternal reminder of the power of love.